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Singapore developers build overseas as foreign firms splash out on land

Published on Dec 23, 2013 11:09 AM

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's mid-tier property developers are laying the first stones of their overseas business as domestic sales plunge, land prices climb, and foreign rivals bet high stakes on the city-state's long-term prosperity.

Hiap Hoe and Oxley Holdings followed sector leader CapitaLand this year by going abroad. At home, government action to slow the rise of record-high prices led to a 50 per cent drop in third-quarter private home sales.

Official plans for a significant supply of new homes over the next decade make the price outlook even dimmer. Yet land prices have rallied, pushed up by foreign developers drawn by political and economic stability.

"The Singapore market is now very tough," said Teo Ho Beng, Hiap Hoe's chief executive officer. "Getting new land is a challenge, because there is so much competition."

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