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Opinions On The Subject Of Scrapping Investor Scheme

July 14th, 2012 · No Comments

The plans by the  Monetary Authority of Singapore to scrap its Financial Investor Scheme (FIS) are not likely to diminish foreign investors’ appetite for Singapore residential properties.

Singapore property agents said the reason behind is such property investors add less than one per cent of overall residential property transactions in Singapore.

The scrapping of the FIS may be visualized as yet an additional measure to curb Singapore’s red hot property market.

The provision of the scheme provides that foreigners who desire to apply for permanent resident status can decide to invest up to S$2 million in properties in Singapore, out of a total investment of at least S$10 million in Singapore assets such as bonds or equities for at least five years.

Mohamed Ismail, chief executive officer of PropNex, said: “The FIS…was actually never intended to target foreigners to come in to buy the S$2 million property. It was more towards a PR status. What we have realised here is that foreigners are interested to invest in Singapore properties for its right fundamentals, regardless whether they get PR or not.”

However agents acknowledge Singapore could lose a little of its attractiveness from foreign investors whose primary motive for investing properties  in Singapore is to acquire a permanent residency status.

Tan Kok Keong, director for Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee, said: “There are still a lot of wealthy people who believe in the growth of Asia and the growth of Asia’s economy, so in that light, I think Singapore would play a very important part of their asset allocation, which means that over the medium and long term, we still think that all these rich people will still find residence properties worth investing in to ride on the growth of Asia.”

Some realtors are instead more concern as regards to  changes in the Global Investor Programme (GIP) that is run by the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Angela Lee, managing director of Lianco International Property, said: “They are more concerned (about) taking it as a platform and bringing their children here to study. At the same time, they are doing a one-stop service by bringing the business back to China as well. So, S$2.5 million is a lower platform for them to start with…”

Under GIP, a foreigner has to invest S$2.5 million in a new company in Singapore or expand an existing business that has an annual turnover of at least S$30 million.

These changes are projected to be announced by EDB on April 15.

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