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This Is Home, Singapore

>> Friday, December 9, 2011

Back to Singapore after a 2 week break and it seems that a lot has changed in such a short time!

Increase in Comfort taxi fares
Comment: Not that I am blaming the fare increase, inflation is so high, I think it is only fair. However, the way it is implemented those not make sense. Extending the peak period to throughout (6pm to midnight) gives no incentive to space out the peak situation. Instead of usually delaying the trip to avoid the surcharge, there is no point now and it will cause frustration for the true peak period. As everyone now rushes for the same timing.

Singapore ranking as most costly city jumped up
Comment: Guess our kiasu culture as influenced even trying to be the number one most expensive place to live! If it is due to the strong SGD dollar, it is not exactly working. Although the effect is supposed to reduce inflation increase domestically, inflation continues to remain stubbornly high.

New buyer stamp duty tax
Comment: 10% is quite a significant amount that will deter foreigners and companies from speculating in the property market. However, that will also mean those with the holding power will reconsider selling the property, as their next purchase will be "punished" with the tax, further decreasing the resale market supply and keeping prices constant. As there is no immediate decline in economic fundamentals, there is no push factor for mad selling. No doubt demand side will slide down, but supply will decrease as well, allowing price to be remain constant (at the current high prices) in the immediate future, instead of the predicted drop, which will most likely only arrive late 2012/early 2013 when supply floods the market and potentially increase in interest rates in US.

DBS/Aviva to launch renminbi insurance plan
Comment: Dragon Renminbi Plan, offering a 115% return after 5 years. That is 2.85% per annum, "capital guaranteed". Main risk is that it will be denominated in RMB, if SGD strengthens significantly more than the yuan currency, the profits would be eroded if converted back. However, vice versa, if RMB strengthens, that is potentially more profits.

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