Morning business news round-up for Nov 3, 2014

SINGAPORE - Catch up on the morning's top business headlines in Singapore with The Straits Times Money Desk's daily update.

1. Latest China PMIs point to sluggish growth for world's second-largest economy. Manufacturing growth rose to a three-month high in October as smaller firms saw more orders, a private survey showed, but growth rates slowed in several key areas. An official reading on the services industry earlier on Monday showed growth in that sector hit a nine-month low in October as the cooling property sector weighed on demand.

2. Sembcorp unit secures $308.8 million contract to build new jack-up drilling rig. Sembcorp Marine said its subsidiary PPL Shipyard has secured a US$240 million (S$308.79 million) contract to build a new jack-up drilling rig from BOT Lease Co., a leasing company of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

3. GIC makes first property investment in New Zealand. GIC is taking a 49 per cent interest in a joint venture that is developing Auckland's Viaduct Quarter, marking GIC's first real estate investment in New Zealand. The joint venture, which includes GMT's existing viaduct property interests, has a mandate to grow to NZ$500 million over time.