Bizview: Today's top business news

Economists downgrade Singapore's growth forecast to 1.9% for 2015

Private sector economists downgraded their outlook for the Singapore economy this year (2015), as they predicted slower growth across all sections of the economy. Growth should come in at about 1.9 per cent for the year, down from the 2.2 per cent previously forecasted, according to the majority of the 22 economists polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Rents for non-landed private homes, HDB flats in Singapore fall in November

Rents for private homes in Singapore declined 1.1 per cent last month (November) from the month before, while rental volume also decreased, SRX Property said on Wednesday (Dec 9). In the HDB market, rents fell even as rental volume rose.

Frasers Hospitality acquires four boutique hotels in Britain

Frasers Hospitality has acquired four properties in Britain for 36.1 million pounds (S$76.3 million). The hotels were purchased from Swire Properties Hotels Holdings through Frasers Hospitality subsidiary Malmaison and Hotel du Vin Property Holdings Limited.

Ascendas REIT acquires One@Changi business park in Singapore for S$420 million

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust said it will acquire the One@Changi business park in Singapore for S$420 million. The Reit will acquire the property from a joint venture between Ascendas Development Pte Ltd and Frasers Centrepoint Ltd, according to a statement on Wednesday (Dec 9) to the Singapore stock exchange.

Singtel's mobile wallet services will come to GrabTaxi app by 2016

The Singtel Group has joined hands with GrabTaxi to promote its mobile wallet services for taxi app customers in the region who do not prefer to make payments by cash or credit card. Users of Thailand's AIS, Philippines' Globe and Indonesia's Telkomsel will be able to book cabs through the GrabTaxi app and pay for the rides using the personal wallet services, the company said in a release on Wednesday (Dec 9).

Health and pensions overhaul needed as Asia ages at record pace: World Bank

China and other middle-income countries in East Asia are getting old before they are getting rich, requiring overhauls of health and pension systems, according to the World Bank. East Asia is home to a third of people aged 65 and over and is ageing faster than any region in history, according to a report released on Wednesday (Dec 9).

Singapore-based hedge fund star Stephen Diggle seeking money managers, traders

Mr Stephen Diggle, co-founder of a hedge-fund firm whose assets expanded more than 1,000-fold before it returned investors' money, is re-entering the industry with a plan to back managers and traders seeking a new career in money management.

Australia real estate boom leaves swath of empty property

Australia's three-year property boom is leaving Melbourne awash with empty homes. In the country's second-biggest city, growing numbers of local landlords and absent overseas owners have locked up their properties - forgoing rental income as they focus instead on price gains, a report by Prosper Australia said on Wednesday (Dec 9).

China inflation rises more than expected, signalling stabilising demand

China's consumer inflation increased more than estimated in November, boosted by price gains for services, signalling demand in the world's second-largest economy is stabilising after accelerated fiscal stimulus and a year of interest rate cuts.

Dow Chemical, DuPont in advanced merger talks: WSJ report

Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. are in advanced talks to merge, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website, citing people familiar with the plan whom it did not identify. The companies may announce a merger in the coming days and it would be followed by a three-way breakup of the combined company, the newspaper reported.