What's Next: April 1, 2016

Visitors at the the biennial Singapore Garden Festival at Gardens by the Bay, on Aug 16, 2014.
Visitors at the the biennial Singapore Garden Festival at Gardens by the Bay, on Aug 16, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

Japan opens up power market

Japan's power utilities will lose their monopoly over electricity from today in an unprecedented shake-up that could give a much-needed jolt to the country's long stagnant economy.

Already, a price war is on, with more than 260 firms to be allowed to sell electricity in the country's US$70 billion (S$94 billion) retail market. Consumers will now be able to buy from suppliers ranging from telecoms giant Softbank to a Hokkaido-based supermarket cooperative.

Garden Festival back in July

The biennial Singapore Garden Festival will run from July 23 to 31 - its sixth and largest edition. It will be held at Gardens by the Bay and feature inspirational garden-related displays. The event is targeted at a wide range of people, from the serious gardener to the hobbyist to those just looking for a day out with the family. Details of this year's festival will be announced today.

Data for Q1 private home sales

The Urban Redevelopment Authority will be releasing this morning its flash estimates for private home sales in the first quarter. The data is expected to come under close scrutiny, given the numerous calls from developers for cooling measures to be lifted in the face of falling demand and prices. Private home prices fell 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, taking the full-year decline to 3.7 per cent, compared with a 4 per cent decline in 2014.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'What's Next: April 1, 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe