Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Daily news - 9 Sep

IDA gives SingTel partial relief from 'dominant licensee' rules
Singapore Telecommunication – SingTel's claim that it no longer has a competitive edge in major business telephony segments is not holding up fully under regulatory scrutiny, with the Government denying most of its requests to be unshackled from the strict regulations that come with its market dominance. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has decided not to grant SingTel full exemption from 'dominant licensee' obligations across all the market segments. Under the Singapore Telecom Competition Code, SingTel is subject to a stringent set of operating rules in markets where it is deemed dominant. In October last year, the island's largest telco submitted two requests to IDA for regulatory relief from such conditions in two business markets. The first was for customers who spend more than $250,000 a year on telecom services, while the second was made up of six business-related phone and Internet offerings. IDA reached its preliminary decision on SingTel's request after seeking public feedback and factoring in the dissenting views of rival operators M1 and StarHub.

China Energy acts on PwC's proposals
China Energy - Has taken measures to enhance and strengthen its approval processes and ensure compliance with continuing listing obligations and corporate governance practices after it reviewed and considered the findings of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In an update filed with Singapore Exchange (SGX), China Energy provided an overview on its follow-up action since PwC released its findings on an additional payment of RMB191m (S$39.9m) made in its acquisition of Jiutai Guangzhou, on top of an agreed sum of RMB197.8m. The bulk of the additional payment went to repaying debts incurred by Jiutai Guangzhou for the construction of its dimethyl ether (DME) Phase 1 plant. PwC had said in the report that there is no irregularity in the payments but highlighted that certain approval processes in the group could be improved. It recommended that the board of directors implement measures to enhance or strengthen such processes. China Energy said it has since appointed KW Capital as Group Compliance Adviser to assist its management in complying with continuing listing obligations under the SGX listing manual.

CapitaLand to book $43m gain from building sale
CapitaLand – Will book a gross gain of about $43m from the sale of Somerset Orchard by its fully owned serviced residences unit The Ascott Group. Ascott has entered into a conditional sale-and-purchase agreement to sell Somerset Orchard, an 88-unit serviced residence in Orchard Road, for $100m cash or about $1,530 per square foot to OG Private Limited. The property is on a site with a remaining lease of 74 years. The carrying value of the property is $57m. After the divestment, Ascott will continue to manage the serviced residence for 15 years, with an option to renew the contract for another 10 years. Somerset Orchard is part of Orchard Point, which also includes a four-storey retail podium owned by department store retailer OG. Ascott made an offer to OG to buy the serviced residence component of the complex in accordance with the right of first refusal granted to OG when the latter bought the retail podium from Ascott in 2001 for $91m.

Source: Kim Eng

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