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Jul 1, 2013

Singapore home prices up again, suburbs seen most vulnerable to correction

SINGAPORE, July 1 (Reuters) – Singapore home prices rose for
a fifth straight quarter in the three months to June, and
analysts said owners and developers of private apartments in the
outer suburbs appear most at risk should the property market
correct.

Singapore’s central bank on Friday introduced rules to cap a
property buyer’s monthly payments at 60 percent of income in a
bid to stabilise the housing market and to ensure those buying
homes would not be caught out by a rise in interest rates.

Jun 28, 2013

Singapore takes further steps to cool property market

SINGAPORE, June 28 (Reuters) – Singapore’s central bank on
Friday introduced rules to ensure that a property buyer’s
monthly payments do not exceed 60 percent of his income, a move
aimed at cooling the housing market and ensuring investors are
not caught out by a rise in interest rates.

“The TDSR (total debt servicing ratio) will apply to loans
for the purchase of all types of property, loans secured on
property, and the re-financing of all such loans,” the Monetary
Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement.

Jun 20, 2013

Smog in Singapore from Indonesia fires could last for weeks

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Haze from fires in Indonesia blanketing Singapore could persist for weeks or longer, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday, as the smoke drove air quality to “hazardous” levels and disrupted business and travel in the region.

Illegal burning of forests and other land on Indonesia’s Sumatra island to clear space for palm oil plantations is a chronic problem during the June to September dry season.

Jun 20, 2013

“Hazardous” air, murky skies in Singapore from Indonesian fires

SINGAPORE, June 20 (Reuters) – Singapore’s air quality
deteriorated to “hazardous” levels on Thursday as smoke from
forest fires in Indonesia obscured skies over the wealthy
city-state and parts of Malaysia and disrupted some businesses
and travel.

In Singapore, air traffic controllers gave more time for
aircraft between taking off and landing at Changi Airport, a
major aviation hub, because of poor visibility.

Jun 20, 2013

Singapore demands action from Indonesia on haze

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore called on Thursday for “definitive action” from Indonesia as air quality stuck at very unhealthy levels for a second day because of forest fires in its neighbor, disrupting businesses in the prosperous city-state.

Work at several Singapore construction sites slowed with few workers seen outdoors and fast-food operator McDonald’s suspended its delivery service. The Singapore military suspended outdoor training.

Jun 19, 2013

Singapore’s air turns ‘hazardous’ as Indonesian fires rage

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s air quality deteriorated to “hazardous” levels late on Wednesday as smoke from slash-and-burn land clearing in Indonesia enveloped the city-state, inflaming tensions between the Southeast Asian neighbors.

Singapore, a major financial center, will send a delegation to Jakarta on Thursday to discuss the smog that has turned its usually clear skies grey, Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told a news conference.

Jun 18, 2013

Singapore pressures Indonesia to identify firms behind haze

SINGAPORE, June 18 (Reuters) – Singapore’s worst air
pollution in 16 years sparked diplomatic tension on Tuesday, as
the city-state urged Indonesia to provide satellite data to
enable it to act against plantation firms that allow
slash-and-burn farming.

Singapore’s environment minister made the request to his
Indonesian counterpart by telephone as air pollution on the
island hit unhealthy levels for a second straight day, with some
of the worst readings since a 1997 regional haze crisis.

Jun 14, 2013

Singapore punishes 20 banks in benchmark rate review

SINGAPORE, June 14 (Reuters) – Singapore’s central bank
censured a record 20 banks on Friday after it found more than
100 traders in the city state tried to rig key borrowing and
currency rates.

The probe by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) marks
the latest development in a global crackdown on rate-rigging and
adds more banks, including ING and Bank of America
, to the list of lenders involved.

Jun 14, 2013

Singapore reprimands 20 banks after benchmark rate review

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s central bank has censured 20 banks on Friday after it found traders in the city state tried to manipulate benchmark borrowing and currency rates, and has ordered them to set aside additional reserves for a year.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it had found 133 traders had tried to inappropriately influence the rates.

Jun 11, 2013

In Asia, dissidents worry that U.S. may share Prism data

SINGAPORE/BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) – Dissident and
opposition groups in Asia, including those supported by the
United States, are voicing concern over reports that Washington
may have monitored and collected their conversations and
e-mails.

Some of these groups include legitimate political parties,
others are dissidents given U.S. assistance. But they are
worried that data collected by the National Security Agency
(NSA) and the FBI from U.S. Web giants like Google Inc,
Facebook Inc and Yahoo inc could some day be
used against them.