Thursday, February 22, 2007
With only 692.7 sq km in the entire country of Singapore, residential and commercial building is scarce. The relaxation of the corporate tax and the building of a casino industry in Suntec City should attract a business migration into Singapore - or at least this is what the government hopes will happen. Singapore does stand a chance with its english speaking diverse nation and pollution free business friendly environment.
What does mean? We continue to be very bullish on all things Singapore, including the Singapore dollar, the Singapore fund and Singapore real estate.
Here is a picture of the downtown area in development courtesy of Channel NewsAsia
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Today, Singapore wants to become Southern California. Sentosa which is 15 minutes away from the center of Singapore is being built to be just that. The 1230 acre island has a gated community with luxury homes and a yacht marina and is the annual host of the Singapore open. A casino has been approved to be build in Sentosa, which should drive a huge wave of construction that will include the usual luxuries like hotels, spas and shopping malls.
After a slow start, property in Sentosa is selling like "hot cakes" according to the director of property for the Sentosa Leisure group.
"Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where non-permanent residents can buy land; 60% of buyers are foreign — almost all from Asia — and the rest are local. (Local law bars foreigners from buying land in Singapore unless they can show assets of $13 million and deposit at least $3 million in a Singapore bank.)"
To learn more about Singapore's quest to become a main tourist destination, read on!
Interestingly enough, the MAS manages the Singapore economy using the currency instead of exchange rates.
Singapore is doing alot to spur growth. Last week, they announced plans to cut corporate taxes by 2 percent to compete with the corporate tax rate offered in HK
Monday, February 19, 2007
Unfortunately their plans have fallen through but they havent given up.
Perhaps they will end up collaborating with casino mogul Stanley Ho who lost his hold on the Macau gaming industry when China deregulated the casino industry in 1999 after they took over the colony. Ho use to be the sole owner of the casinos in Macau but he may be branching out though as recent donations to Australia's Labor Party suggests that he may want to start developing casinos in Australia.
"Star City Casino in Sydney was given exclusivety for 12 years when it opened in 1995. That exclusivety runs out in six months time."
Ho's political donations have sparked casino rumors
Friday, February 16, 2007
In an interview with VietNamNet Bridge Minster of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen explains where he expects to see export growth to come from:
In a nutshell:
He expects exports of the following products to rise -
1) Industrial and mechanical products like small engines and boats
2) Apparel Exports
3) Seafood and Farm Produces
And exports of these products to fall -
1) Crude Oil
But be careful of capital controls!
There have been reports today that Vietnam may want to impose capital controls to tame the roaring stock market and the hot speculative capital that is rushing into the country. The stock market rallied 144 percent in 2006 and is up 46 percent this year. The government's fear is that local investors will be burned in the market pulls back.
Although total foreign participation in the [Vietnamese] stock market is still about one-third, most of the in-demand and big-cap stocks are approaching or at their respective foreign investor limit" of 30 percent or 49 percent, depending on the sector, Credit Suisse said. In addition, average daily equity trading volume tripled in the past two months, it said.
If Vietnam opts to follow in the footsteps of Thailand who imposed penalties on foreign investors withdrawing assets within a year this past December, we could see a pullback in Vietnamese stocks. When Thailand announced the capital control, the Bangkok stock index fell 15 percent in one day.
If this happens, I will be looking for cheap investments!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
• Expect to drink a lot of coffee and tea (some sources say turning down a beverage offer is considered impolite).
• Prepare for working lunches and dinners.
• Expect very difficult traffic on the streets.
• Plan for logistics delays or longer leadtimes when shipping product out of Vietnam.
• Expect air and noise pollution in major cities.
• Bring more business cards and copies of materials than you expect to need. Many businesspeople report meeting more contacts than they expected to in Vietnam.Don’t
• Put your Vietnamese colleagues in a position where they may lose face.
• Talk about the Vietnam War (they refer to it as the American war) in business relationships. In fact, avoid politics altogether in conversation.
• Rent a car. Find someone else to drive you, at least for your first visit.
• Expect to find access to raw materials in Vietnam.Link to full article
Whatever you think you know about business in Vietnam, forget it. The economic and business environment in today’s Vietnam surprises most U.S. buyers that visit the country in search of low-cost, high-quality suppliers.
“My personal image—as well as those of most of my associates—prior to visiting Vietnam, was one of manufacturing facilities with dirt floors and sweat-shop type atmospheres,” says James Malch, senior supply chain manager for Pacific Scientific’s Electro-Kinetics division in Carpinteria, Calif., which buys alternator parts from Vietnamese suppliers. “But after visiting several different suppliers in various industries such as stamping, PCB assembly, machining, and wiring and harness assembly, I was very impressed. Once I was inside the building, I could not tell I was in a foreign country."
This only scratches the surface, to read more from other supply chain managers, check out this article: