Commercial Launch from 1st IoT-Dedicated Network Operator in Asia
SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — UnaBiz has officially launched the first IoT (Internet of Things) dedicated network in Singapore at the inaugural UnaDay.
Six months after its incorporation with Sigfox and ENGIE, and barely three months after being granted the FBO (Facilities-Based Operators) licence from IMDA, UnaBiz, the exclusive Sigfox network operator in Singapore and Taiwan, is now fully operational to deliver commercial grade connectivity and services for IoT in the city-state, starting from as low as S$1 per device per year.
Attended by an impressive panel of industry partners, representatives of government agencies and the media, the inaugural UnaDay was graced by the presence of Mr Christophe Fourtet, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Sigfox.
Henri Bong, CEO & Founder of UnaBiz, opened the event by announcing the LPWA network (low-power, wide-area) outdoor coverage at 95% of Singapore’s population and territory. The French technology essentially addressed the four greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: ultra-low power consumption, low capital and operational expenses, efficient and secure data handling, and long-range coverage.
With a fully operational network for connected objects nationwide, UnaBiz is capping its network subscription charges at S$1 per device per month, which comes with a data plan for up to 140 messages per day. Qualified channel partners who commit to volume can ultimately enjoy subscription charges from as low as S$1 per device per year. Jonathan Tan, Vice President Business Development & Sales, UnaBiz said, “Sigfox’s technology is built for massive deployment and we are offering ultra-low cost connectivity to grow exponentially the base of devices that can access the network. Compared to existing local networks, businesses on our global network can generate savings of at least 90% off data plan subscription charges.”
The network operator also honoured its incredible ecosystem of partners. From multinational solution providers, such as Dimension Data, Fujitsu and Kyocera, to device manufacturers, such as Advantech and Aztech, over thirty ecosystem partners participated in the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signing ceremony on the occasion.
Among them, leading fibre broadband provider MyRepublic shared their decision to partner with UnaBiz. “MyRepublic shares UnaBiz’s vision for a vibrant and accessible IoT eco-system in Singapore. We look forward to working with UnaBiz to develop an exciting suite of IoT solutions, reach new market segments and fast-track the adoption of IoT.” – Yap Yong Teck, MD MyRepublic Singapore.
Andy Cocks, Chief Technology Officer, Dimension Data said, “What UnaBiz is doing in Singapore is part of a global IoT movement led by Sigfox. I believe this is a game changing technology that will make IoT a reality for thousands of companies in Singapore, at a palatable price point.”
Representatives from local tertiary institutions such as NUS Enterprise, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic were also present. “The collaboration with partners such as UnaBiz and Sigfox provides our students with access to technologies that help hone their skills in developing smart solutions. Students from courses such as our Specialist Diploma in Internet of Things (IoT) gain relevant hands-on training to respond to industry needs,” said Mr Oh Chin Lock, Director, School of Informatics & IT, Temasek Polytechnic.
The event concluded with the announcement of UnaBiz Ventures, a new entity set up to support start-ups to join the IoT Revolution and bring their ideas from conception to reality. Aspiring entrepreneurs can leverage on UnaBiz’s ecosystem of experts and developers to accelerate their go-to-market process and deploy solutions in Singapore and beyond, where the Sigfox’s network is readily present in 30 other countries globally.
“This is just the beginning, we have built an impressive ecosystem in mere six months, a clear sign of an enormous appetite and an accelerating demand for IoT solutions in the local market. We are proud to kick off the IoT Revolution in Singapore in alignment with the goal of becoming the first Smart Nation in the world. We are confident that our strategy and solutions will soon be replicated across Asia and beyond,” said Henri Bong, CEO & Founder, UnaBiz.
UnaBiz is an end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company dedicated to accelerate the adoption of IoT worldwide. As the exclusive network operator of Sigfox’s low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) in Singapore and Taiwan, UnaBiz is the first Iot dedicated network operator in Asia to roll out a nationwide IoT network.
UnaBiz aims to shape the future by providing cost-effective and energy-efficient IoT solutions, that include wireless infrastructure, devices and more. This ubiquitous network will allow businesses to connect millions of devices simply, affordably and globally.
UnaBiz helps businesses collect and analyse data from millions of devices allowing them to maximise the efficiency of their resources and increase productivity, by facilitating detection and control of anomalies, accelerating resolution or even preventing them entirely. Our objective is to help businesses realise the true value and full potential of IoT.
Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.
Today, the network is present in 31 countries and on track to cover 60 by 2018 — covering a population of 486 million people. With millions of objects connected and a rapidly growing partner ecosystem, Sigfox empowers companies to move their business model towards more digital services. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in Labege near Toulouse, France’s “IoT Valley”. Sigfox also has offices in Paris, Madrid, Munich, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai and Singapore. For more information, see www.sigfox.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
ENGIE develops its businesses (power, natural gas, and energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy: access to sustainable energy, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and the rational use of resources. The Group provides individuals, cities and businesses with highly efficient and innovative solutions largely based on its expertise in four key sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, liquefied natural gas and digital technology. ENGIE employs 154,950 people worldwide and achieved revenues of EUR69.9 billion in 2015. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).
ENGIE is present in Singapore for over 20 years, where it employs around 1,600 employees. Besides offering energy efficiency and facility management services, ENGIE trades a wide range of energy financial products as well as LNG, conducts R&D projects and holds a 30 per cent stake in Senoko Energy, which is the largest electricity generator in the country.
UnaBiz Ecosystem Partners
1) Advantech Co. Singapore Pte Ltd
2) Ascent Solutions Pte Ltd
3) Aztech Technologies Pte Ltd
4) Cyclet Electrical Engineering Pte Ltd
5) Dimension Data Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
6) KYOCERA Communication Systems Singapore Pte Ltd
8) Astek Singapore Innovation Technology Pte Ltd
9) Fujitsu Asia Pte Ltd
10) GRID Communications Pte. Ltd.
11) LKH Precicon Pte Ltd
12) MyRepublic Ltd
13) PCI Limited
14) Schneider Electric South East Asia (HQ) Pte Ltd
15) Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd
17) BeyondEdge Pte Ltd
18) Konbini Vending Automation Pte Ltd
19) Nuratech Labs Pte Ltd
20) Pevoli Enterprise
21) PTGEM Pte Ltd
22) SpaceAge Labs Pte Ltd
23) V&V Innovations Pte Ltd
24) Swee Lee Holdings Pte Ltd
25) MicroSec Pte Ltd
26) NUS Enterprise
27) Republic Polytechnic
28) Singapore Polytechnic
29) Temasek Polytechnic
31) IDA PIXEL Labs
34) ST Microelectronics
35) Trusted Objects
HONG KONG /PRNewswire/ — Geoswift, a leading provider of cross-border payment solutions between China and the rest of the world, announced today that the company has been awarded the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification ISO/IEC 27001:2013. The ISO27001 certificate is a globally recognised international standard for Information Security management system (ISMS). Geoswift presently partners with major global banks, financial service providers, payment solutions providers and merchants.
Attaining ISO/IEC 27001:2013 enables Geoswift to continually enhance the organization’s data security management system and build a risk-based framework for process and secure cross-border payments with international markets. Geoswift received the certification following an extensive external audit, conducted by the BSI group. The certification further seals an international certification of reassurance for Geoswift’s partners on data security and protection.
Raymond Qu, Founder and CEO of Geoswift said, “We believe data security and quality control is essential for any business. At Geoswift, we have always taken a proactive approach to safeguard the information integrity and security of our partners.”
“As we expand our global footprint, data security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property and third-party data from partners must be guarded with highest diligence and respect. The ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification was certainly an intensive auditing process but a step in the right direction. Our partners welcome the move and it’s definitely a business investment as we continue to expand our business and deepen relationships with partners this year.”
“In the global payment market, security and reliability are non-negotiable. It is of utmost importance for technology organizations to improve their standards of security and reliability. The success of Geoswift in achieving the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, the latest standard of information security management system, demonstrates the strategic long-term development as well as rigorous and serious work attitude of the organization in protecting their users’ information. Also, it indicates their determination to incorporate international best practices of data protection to meet the increasing expectation of its business customers in the large, rapidly expanding marketplace,” said Emmanuel Herve, Managing Director, BSI ASEAN.
The ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification signals Geoswift’s commitment to strengthen the integrity and security of its information security management system. Geoswift is headquartered in Hong Kong with operating offices in Shanghai, London, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco for strategic and regulatory functions.
Geoswift is an innovative payment technology company connecting China and the rest of the world. The company comprises the world’s leading payment technology experts that have a deep understanding of the industry, technology, and global and China monetary policy. Geoswift provides clients with customised one-stop cross-border payment solutions to and from China. Geoswift is relied upon by the world’s leading e-commerce companies, most prestigious universities and the largest brands in the travel industry to grow their businesses.
Geoswift is an acquirer of UnionPay International in North America and a long-term partner of many other leading financial institutions. It also maintains 19 currency exchange outlets throughout China. Geoswift is headquartered in Hong Kong with operating offices in Shanghai, London, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco for strategic and regulatory functions. For more information visit, please visit www.geoswift.com or send in your queries to email@example.com.
Cognito, Prisita Menon / Liz Asri,
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia and SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — Allianz, the international financial services company, and the Asian Football Confederation (“AFC”) today announced a multi-year pan-regional partnership. The exclusive category sponsorship extends and leverages Allianz’s global football heritage to connect more deeply with its customers in key Asian markets, while significantly expanding its brand presence in the growth region.
Encompassing Asia’s most important club tournaments – including the AFC Champions League, the AFC Cup, as well as the AFC Futsal Club Championships – the partnership programme reaches a huge audience base across stadiums, television and on diverse social and digital platforms.
“We are very proud to be working with the AFC to support Asian football. This partnership exemplifies the distinct Allianz values of innovation, courage and excellence, and brings them to life by celebrating our footballers, fans and communities in the region,” said Lars Heibutzki, Chief Distribution Officer for Asia, Allianz.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the AFC is one of six Confederations that make up FIFA, the world football federation. It comprises 46 Member Associations across Asia, Australasia and the Middle-East, spanning a population of 4.27 billion people.
“As the most popular sport in the world, football continues to reach record heights every year, and nowhere more so than in the dynamic Asia region. This partnership provides Allianz with a unique platform to support the huge segments of Asian society, for whom football is a passion and an essential part of life. We see ourselves supporting the games both at the top championship levels, as well as in nurturing Asia’s next-generation talent with our signature youth programmes,” added Paul Groves, Head of Market Management for Asia, Allianz.
Allianz : May Kek +65-9783-2014, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editor
About Allianz in Asia
Asia is one of our three major growth regions. It is characterized by a rich diversity of cultures, languages and customs. Allianz has been present in the region since 1910, providing fire and marine insurance in the coastal cities of China. Today, Allianz is active in 14 markets in the region, offering its core businesses of property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance and asset management. With its more than 32,000 staff, Allianz serves the needs of over 18 million customers in the region across multiple distribution channels.
The Allianz Group serves 86 million retail and corporate customers in more than 70 countries, making it one of the world’s largest insurers and asset managers. In 2016, over 140,000 employees worldwide achieved total revenues of 122.4 billion euros and an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros. Allianz Group managed an investment portfolio of 653 billion euros. Additionally our asset managers AllianzGI and PIMCO managed over 1.3 trillion euros of third-party assets. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. As an investor, Allianz is active in a variety of sectors including debt, equity, infrastructure, real estate and renewable energy. The Group’s long-term value strategies maximize risk-adjusted returns.
About The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of Asian football and one of the six Confederations making up FIFA. Formed in 1954 in Manila on the sidelines of the second Asian Games, the AFC was sanctioned by FIFA in Berne, Switzerland. The AFC is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and consists of 46 Member Associations and one Associate Member Association (The Northern Mariana Islands). The AFC is responsible for running football in Asia. Among its various responsibilities are: regulating the game, drafting new laws to improve the sport, implementing the law, boosting grassroots and youth football, and conducting major competitions.
These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements
The statements contained herein may include prospects, statements of future expectations and other forward- looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.
Such deviations may arise due to, without limitation, (i) changes of the general economic conditions and competitive situation, particularly in the Allianz Group’s core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets (particularly market volatility, liquidity and credit events), (iii) frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the euro/US-dollar exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration issues, and reorganization measures, and (xi) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. Many of these factors may be more likely to occur, or more pronounced, as a result of terrorist activities and their consequences.
No duty to update
The company assumes no obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information required to be disclosed by law.
BANGKOK /PRNewswire/ — The list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was announced at an awards ceremony at the W Hotel, Bangkok.
The winning chefs and restaurateurs celebrate at the fifth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
For a third consecutive year, Chef Gaggan Anand (Gaggan, Bangkok) receives the dual awards for The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna and The Best Restaurant in Thailand, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Gaggan in Bangkok claims the No.1 spot for a third consecutive year and retains the titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in Thailand, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
The 2017 list welcomes 10 new entries while China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand each count nine restaurants on the list.
Rising one place to No.2, Restaurant Andre retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Singapore, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Amber (No.3) in Hong Kong is named The Best Restaurant in China, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Narisawa (No.6) is named The Best Restaurant in Japan, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, for a fifth successive year.
Mingles (No.15) in Seoul is again The Best Restaurant in Korea while Indian Accent (No.30) is awarded The Best Restaurant in India for a third time.
RAW (No.24) has won The Best Restaurant in Taiwan title, Ministry of Crab in Colombo (No.29) is The Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka and Gallery Vask (No.35) in Manila keeps The Best Restaurant in the Philippines honour.
Other award winners announced include:
Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Mekhong: Odette, Singapore
Chef Julien Royer’s restaurant at the iconic National Gallery Singapore debuts at No.9, the highest new entry in the history of the list.
Asia’s Best Pastry Chef: Kazutoshi Narita, Tokyo
At Tokyo’s Esquisse and Esquisse Cinq, pastry specialist Kazutoshi Narita combines the artistry of Japanese cuisine with the nuances of French pâtisserie.
Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Peroni: Dave Pynt, Singapore
Dave Pynt’s mastery of various cooking techniques has earned him the respect of his regional peers. This year Pynt is the recipient of the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Peroni.
The Art of Hospitality: Den, Tokyo
Rising 26 places to No.11, Den delights in surprising and entertaining its guests, making it a worthy recipient of the inaugural Art of Hospitality Award in Asia.
Highest Climber Award: Locavore, Bali
Locavore rises 27 places to No.22, earning the title of The Best Restaurant in Indonesia.
Chef-restaurateur May Chow of Little Bao in Hong Kong and Bangkok is named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017.
TocToc in Seoul earns the Miele One To Watch Award while Italian chef Umberto Bombana of 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana is the 2017 recipient of the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award.
How Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled
The list is created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia. For the 2017 edition, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is once again working with professional services consultancy Deloitte as its official independent adjudication partner.
To see more details on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, visit
Notes to Editors:
William Reed Business Media
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is owned and published by William Reed Business Media, which also publishes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, launched in 2002, and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, launched in September 2013. William Reed Business Media is entirely responsible for the organisation of the awards, the voting system and the list.
Host Country: Thailand
Thailand has also become a gourmet’s playground with the best of the world’s cuisines represented. The nation’s kitchens and restaurants produce dishes traditional and innovative, local and global, but always delicious and everyone is welcome to sample its unique flavours.
Main sponsor: S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna
S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are the main sponsors of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are the leading natural mineral waters in the fine dining world. Together they interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of excellence, pleasure and well-being.
- Diners Club International — Official credit card partner and sponsor of ‘The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award – Asia‘
- Miele — Official kitchen appliances partner and sponsor of the ‘Miele One To Watch Award’
- Peroni — Official beer partner and sponsor of the ‘Chefs’ Choice Award’
- Mekhong — Official spirit partner and sponsor of the ‘Highest New Entry Award’
- Lavazza — Official coffee partner
- Penfolds — Official wine partner
- Aspire Lifestyles — Official concierge partner
- W Bangkok — Official hotel and venue partner
Note to media: To receive further updates from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, you MUST register with our media center online at
For press enquiries, please contact:
CatchOn & Company in Hong Kong
SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — Veritas Technologies, the leader in information management, and Microsoft Corp. today announced a multi-year global, strategic partnership to help organizations use Microsoft Azure to optimize for hybrid cloud environments and to host Veritas’ Enterprise Vault.cloud management and governance service on Azure.
The partnership builds on the longstanding relationship between Veritas and Microsoft and includes collaboration to enable and jointly sell hybrid cloud storage solutions to mutual customers to provide a comprehensive, simple and cost-effective approach to managing data in the cloud. Such hybrid cloud storage solutions will enable customers to take advantage of the cloud to reduce their storage costs while increasing business agility, and to extract greater value from their data, once stored in the cloud, through the full suite of Azure cloud services, including advanced analytics and machine learning.
“Enterprises increasingly rely on cloud computing to advance digital transformation,” said Mike Palmer, executive vice president and Chief Product Officer, Veritas. “As Veritas embarks on its one-year anniversary as an independent company, today’s announcement marks a pivotal milestone towards accelerating cloud initiatives for our mutual customers, and it begins with more efficient ways to move their data to the Azure cloud.”
“Microsoft and Veritas customers have enjoyed the benefits of highly complementary technology offerings, focused on solving IT challenges in the data center,” said Jason Zander, corporate vice president, Microsoft Azure team. “Today, our strengthened partnership delivers deeper integration, allowing customers to more easily take advantage of the flexibility and enterprise-grade reliability that Azure provides.”
New solutions aligned to customers’ journey to hybrid cloud
As part of the partnership, Veritas NetBackup 8.0, the company’s flagship data protection solution for enterprises, now supports storage tiering to Azure, improving data lifecycle management by optimizing the movement of data to Azure cloud storage. This provides enterprise organizations with lower costs and the increased operational benefits of Azure while reducing the need to deploy additional storage with a separate point product. For small and midsized businesses, Veritas Backup Exec 16 now supports the seamless movement of backup data to Azure, reducing time and costs and improving resource savings.
Veritas is also leveraging the power of Azure to drive greater efficiencies for its own workloads. Veritas has selected Azure as the cloud backend on which to run its Enterprise Vault.cloud service. Enterprise Vault.cloud provides policy-based information retention to streamline eDiscovery and helps Office 365 subscribers quickly find archived information when they need it. Enterprise Vault.cloud will continue to deliver advanced productivity and compliance functionality. Veritas has been recognized, as a leader for its archiving solutions for on-premises and cloud, which include Enterprise Vault.cloud, in the Garter Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving for 13 consecutive years.
For more information about, visit: www.veritas.com/microsoft
About Veritas Technologies
Veritas Technologies enables organizations to harness the power of their information, with information management solutions serving the world’s largest and most complex environments. Veritas works with organizations of all sizes, including 86 percent of global Fortune 500 companies, improving data availability and revealing insights to drive competitive advantage. www.veritas.com
Forward-looking Statements: Any forward-looking indication of plans for products is preliminary and all future release dates are tentative and are subject to change at the sole discretion of Veritas. Any future release of the product or planned modifications to product capability, functionality, or feature are subject to ongoing evaluation by Veritas, may or may not be implemented, should not be considered firm commitments by Veritas, should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions, and may not be incorporated into any contract.
Veritas, the Veritas Logo, NetBackup, Backup Exec and Enterprise Vault are trademarks or registered trademarks of Veritas Technologies LLC or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @Microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Source: Gartner, Inc., Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving, December 2016
Mizu Chitra / Marc Lee
HONG KONG /PRNewswire/ —
– Hong Kong citizens continue to see local homes as overpriced and the cooling measures ineffective in stabilising property prices. Housing prices are expected to grow in 2017.
– The majority of respondents are unsatisfied with the housing policy last year and look forward to the new government to stabilise the property market with a new series of measures.
– Land shortage is the key factor for the rise of property prices. Hong Kong citizens expect the next Chief Executive to provide an effective remedy for this problem. Land development policy will be a major factor affecting the success of Hong Kong housing policy.
– Most of the respondents agree to the change of land use of industrial buildings, warehouses and brownfield sites to increase housing supply. However, opinions diverge on whether building public housing in country park land.
– Property price remains the most crucial consideration in home purchase. First -time buyers are turning to microapartments offered by developers.
– The supply of mid-priced second–hand properties is relatively sufficient, resulting in more room for bargaining and encouraging the transactions of mid-priced second–hand properties.
– Compared to last year’s survey results, the tendency and extent of rent increases are higher.
– Respondents are more interested in purchasing overseas properties. Australian property market is favoured while enthusiasm for Mainland China market has cooled down.
Hong Kong’s number one property platform GoHome.com.hk today announces the results of Hong Kong Property Perspective Survey forecasting into the first half of 2017. Since 2012, Gohome.com.hk has been conducting the Hong Kong Property Market Perspective Survey twice a year to analyse public opinion on Hong Kong’s property market trends. Over 2,800 respondents were interviewed and their responses were evaluated through an online questionnaire. The survey has been regarded as a prominent indicator for the market.
1. Hong Kong citizens continue to see local properties as overpriced, way beyond their level of affordability. Generally speaking, respondents don’t find the cooling measures effective in stabilising property prices and expect prices to rise continuously during the first half of 2017.
- Views on property market trends: Nearly 90% (89%) of respondents believe that Hong Kong’s housing market is overpriced. When compared with results from 2013 to 2017, respondents who find property prices unaffordable have increased by 12%. In the first half of 2016, those who expected property prices to edge down outnumbered those who believed it to grow; however, in the second half of last year, the gap had narrowed. According to the survey, over 50% (52%) of respondents say that property prices will continue to grow, which has increased by 16.4% as compared with the last survey (36%). Those who expect an upward trend (52%) have hugely outnumbered those who see property prices dropping (25%). Over 40% of respondents (42%) even expect property prices to increase by 5 to 10%. The promotion of microapartments since 2015 also contributes indirectly to the rise of price per square foot. It is expected that the supply of microapartments will grow in 2017.
- In regard to the government’s cooling measures, over half of the respondents (52%) see the market as overpriced and the government should rein the rise. However, a majority (66%) of respondents convey that the cooling measures have not been effective enough in constraining property prices, nearly 80% (78%) of them strongly believe that the new cooling measures cannot stabilise property prices because the government fails to tackle the problem of land shortage, population rise and hot money from China. On the other hand, about 70% of respondents (68%) find the cooling measures responsible for boosting property and rental prices. According to the survey, most people believe that property prices will continue to increase despite the new cooling measures.
- In retrospect, most respondents feel that the government’s housing policies in 2016 has failed to regulate market prices, while nearly 80% of them (78%) commented that the new cooling measures has not resolved the fundamental issues of the property market. Those unsatisfied with the housing policies of Chief Executive CY Leung outnumbered those who found them satisfactory. 16% of respondents rated his performance as 0 (very poor). Respondents hope that the new government in 2017 will stabilise the housing market with a new series of policies. Nearly 70% of them (69%) agree on making adjustments to the cooling measures: the allowed period for “one-for-one” property exchange should be extended from 6 months to 1 year; 70% support vacant property tax; 74% of respondents strongly agree the offering of various zero-interest home ownership schemes for first-time home buyers; nearly 70% (68%) support a ban on non-resident property purchase.
- Most respondents agree to the development of brownfield for residential use (75%) and the amendment of town planning policies to allow for the change of use of industrial buildings and warehouses to residential units (76%). Over half of them (53%) oppose to developing country park land. Citizens have reservation towards any land development plan that would have a negative impact on the preservation of the ecosystem and environment. Respondents believe that the next Chief Executive should focus on the increase of housing supply, land planning and development.
- In regard to RMB depreciation, 45% believe that it will cause property prices to rise while 33% believe that the price level will drop as a result. Only 22% believe that the market will not be affected, reflecting that the mainland China factor remains strong in Hong Kong property market. As many as 65% express various levels of concerns towards the expiry of deeds by 2047, affecting their interest in property purchase.
2. Primary market and developers: Price remains the most critical consideration for property buyers. Valuation of HOS units is too high, while developers tend to attract buyers with additional offerings on first–hand homes, contributing to the domination of first–hand private properties in the market.
- Over 70% (73%) of respondents express their desire to purchase a home, recording a 7% drop compare with the last survey. 44% will consider buying a home after 2 years while 36% of them will consider doing so within 1 to 2 years. 45% will target properties priced between HK$3-5 million, and 16.1% those below HK$3 million.
- Among those interested in the primary market, 34% of them express that they are attracted by the special offers and discounts provided by developers, reflecting that price remains the most crucial factor of consideration. 90% find cash rebate the most attractive option while 91% prefer a price cut. Others (24.8%) are inclined to the primary market because of its favourable investment value.
- HKMC offers mortgage insurance schemes for home starters with a higher proportion of mortgage. Meanwhile, developers are offering different types of mortgage loans, special offers and discounts for first-time buyers, attracting them to opt for the primary market. Looking into the future, without many changes in the cooling measures and mortgage loans factors, starter homes in the primary market will continue to drive market transaction and starters will also see it as their top priority.
- The survey on microapartments in 2015 H2 revealed that 71% of respondents were unwilling to purchase a microapartment even if they could afford it. Nevertheless, in the recent survey, respondents resisting to purchase a microapartment have dropped to 62%, while 20% and 18% of them express their willingness to buy for investment or self-use respectively.
- The findings indicate that property price remains the most critical consideration of buyers. Buyers are inclined to starter homes with lower entry costs, and first-time buyers now turn to microapartments offered by developers.
- With increasing demand of first-hand residential properties, citizens will end up losing confidence in government’s housing policies. The next Chief Executive should respond to citizens’ appeals, and address policies to control the ration of public and private housing demand to protect the interests of society as a whole. Government should also stop first-hand home prices from soaring and to resolve the imbalance in the supplies of primary and secondary property markets.
3. Secondary market and the adjustment in rent: Sufficient supply of mid-priced units and increase in bargaining power encourage the transaction of second–hand mid-priced properties. The tendency and extent of rental increase have risen.
- Over 80% (82%) of respondents express that they will not consider selling their properties in the coming 6 months, while 17% claim they will consider, which shows a 5% increase from the last survey. 44% of them will target properties between HK$5-10 million while 31% will look for options at HK$3-5 million. A mere 13% will target properties below HK$ 3 million, reflecting a high supply in mid-priced secondary market. Most landlords (41%) will accept a bargain of 10%, a 4% increase from the last survey. Coming in second are those accepting no bargain (38%), which has dropped by 6% from the last survey. Buyers interested in starter homes below HK$3 million have dropped from 27% to 16%, while those eyeing for HK$5-10 million property have increased from 23% to 33%. Purchasing power of mid-priced flats is increasing, together with a sufficient supply and increased bargaining power, transactions in the secondary market are expected to rise.
- Most landlords (74%) are expected to increase rent during the first 6 months of 2017, 29% will increase by 5% of below, while 30% will increase by 6 to 10%. Comparing with the last 2 surveys, the number of landlords expecting to increase rent has increased by 43%, while tenants paying rent in the range of HK$15,001-20,000 have increased by 6% (20%) and those paying less than HK$10,000 have dropped to 34%. The results reflect that the overall rental level is climbing up, especially within the range of HK$ 15,001-20,000. The tendency and extent of rent increases are expected to rise.
4. Hong Kong buyers show growing interest in overseas property market with Australia becoming a hotspot.
- The US market has always been a property hotspot. Since Donald Trump assumed presidency, 75% of respondents believe that Hong Kong will speed up in the raising of interest rate, thus increasing the burdens of repayment instalment. 84% of them said that they would not consider buying properties in the US.
- About 20% of respondents (17%) show interest in overseas properties, which increased by 4% when compared with the last survey (13%). The majority of them (54%) will consider purchasing Mainland or overseas properties below HK$3 million, recording a 16% drop from the last survey. However, those opting for flats between HK$3-5 million (27%) and HK$5-10 million (16%) increased by 9% and 8% respectively. Potential investment return of overseas properties (46%) remains the major consideration of respondents, while 37% of them show the desire to migrate or retire to the location. Taking advantage of the robust US dollar, an increased number of respondents aim to profit from the exchange rate difference due to the depreciation of many currencies. In general, both interest in overseas property market and respective investment budget have slightly increased. We believe that investors are looking for a new way out in light of the cooling measures at the end of last year. Overseas property market shall remain the place to look for in 2017.
- The Australian and British markets have always been popular among Hong Kong buyers. In the recent survey, Australian property market has become No.1 in terms of investment value. 33% of respondents have shown interest in making purchases there, while the traditionally popular Mainland market (29%) has dropped to No.2, ranking the same as the UK. Japan (25%) ranks third in this year’s survey.
- According to the findings, respondents interested in the Mainland market have dropped by 6%. The slowing down of mainland China’s economic growth and the depreciation of RMB have caused the potential value of Chinese properties to decrease, thus also the interest in purchasing. The rising demand for Australian properties and the expected interest cut of Central Bank in Australia both stimulated the rise of property prices. We believe that Australia will remain a popular destination in overseas properties.
Ms. Carrie Law, Regional General Manager of iProperty Group (Hong Kong & Macau) stated that, “Since 2012, Gohome.com.hk has been conducting the Hong Kong Property Market Perspective Survey twice a year to analyse public opinion on Hong Kong’s property market trends and housing policies. The results have long been well received and highly regarded by industry players in Hong Kong. Findings in this survey reflect that respondents are unsatisfied with the cooling measures in curbing property price rise; the market is expected to go upward in the near future. People are looking forward to the new government to stabilise Hong Kong property market with a series of new policies. On the other hand, developers will continue to provide special offers and discount for home starters, pushing the property plot to be dominated by primary market. In terms of the secondary market, the sufficient supply of mid-priced properties and the increase in budget and bargaining power will contribute to more active transactions in the mid-priced secondary market. Last but not least, investors are opted to head overseas for property purchase in view of the cooling measures launched late last year.”
GoHome.com.hk is Hong Kong’s No.1 online property platform, with focuses on providing value-adding property search for residential, commercial, serviced apartments, interior design projects and related information in Hong Kong and ASEAN countries since 1999.
The website outperforms other local real estate portals with the highest traffic, number of users and updated property listings, making it the most popular property portal for home buyers and property investors in Hong Kong. GoHome.com.hk was named Marketing Magazine’s “Property Portal of the Year” in 2011, 2012 and 2013. And, it was also awarded “Best Property Developer Partner — Most comprehensive Property Website” by the Capital Magazine in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
About iProperty Group Limited (www.iproperty-group.com)
iProperty Group operates Asia’s No.1 network of property websites under the iProperty.com umbrella brand. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Group, with the vision “Think Property, Think iProperty”, is focused on developing and operating leading real estate portals and delivering the most comprehensive set of related real estate services and project marketing across the region. It currently operates market leading property portals in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines that specially target consumers and service providers. iProperty Group is also the leading organizer of real estate exhibitions in Asia. In February 2016, iProperty was acquired by multinational property digital advertising company REA Group Limited CAN 068 349 066 (ASX:REA), which turned REA Group Limited and iProperty into the market leader in the online property advertising media sector in Asia-Pacific region.
– Company earns backing of yet another strategic investor from the region
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia /PRNewswire/ — BookDoc, a healthcare technology start-up headquartered in Malaysia, has announced the latest investment round led by a family member of Dr. Stanley Ho, the Macau billionaire tycoon with a business empire spanning from entertainment to tourism, shipping, real estate, banking and air transport in multiple counties.
BookDoc welcomes the member of Dr. Stanley Ho’s family as its latest strategic investor after Prince Abdul Qawi, of the Brunei Royal family, who invested in BookDoc barely a year ago. The latest undisclosed investment values BookDoc at double-digit USD millions, and adds to its growing list of backers who bring along with them deep cross-border business networks and valuable multi-disciplinary experience from entrepreneurship, healthcare and IT to banking and insurance.
“We are really fortunate to have such illustrious strategic investors who can offer great insights into the unique business environment that BookDoc is operating in. We offer solutions at the confluence of healthcare and IT, and yet the potential business applications extend as far as HR, insurance and even retail. This is why these experienced individuals who hail from various business verticals with deep know-how on doing business in Asia are vital to BookDoc. It will help us penetrate markets faster and more effectively,” explained Dato’ Chevy Beh, Founder and CEO of BookDoc.
Since its inception in October 2015, in less than 18 months, BookDoc has expanded its presence from Malaysia to Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand. It has launched an integrated online ecosystem for health travellers, local and abroad, to search for and book appointments with healthcare professionals. The system integrates seamlessly with Uber, Grab, AirAsia, Agoda and TripAdvisor, and is the official partner of Social Security Malaysia, Foreign Workers’ Medical Examination Malaysia (FOMEMA), and the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia. In addition, it launched BookDoc Activ, the latest module which rewards users for maintaining a high level of activity, and successfully partnered with more than 40 major retailers and service providers in 12 countries within 3 months of its launch.
BookDoc was honoured with Frost & Sullivan’s 2016 Innovation Excellence Award in the Mobile Healthcare Technology Market in South East Asia.
“With additional funding, we will be in a stronger position to expand regionally in South East Asia, roll out more products and features targeting the B2B market, and form strategic partnerships in the region. It is more important to get it right than to rush into any opportunities that arise,” added Chevy Beh on the strategic direction of BookDoc moving forward.
BookDoc, with presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand, is an online platform that operates across the healthcare continuum connecting patients to healthcare professionals anytime and anywhere, while incentivising all to stay active.
BookDoc has established an integrated online ecosystem for local and overseas health travellers. The ecosystem allows users to search and book healthcare professionals anytime and anywhere, and integrates seamlessly with navigation (Google Maps, Waze), transport (Grab, Uber, AirAsia), accommodation (Agoda) and recommendeds restaurants & attractions (TripAdvisor) for a hassle-free and enjoyable experience to healthcare appointments. In addition, through BookDoc Activ, it rewards users for maintaining a high level of activity by partnering with major retailers and service providers that offer users discounts for achieving reward tiers based on activity level.
The company is backed by a diverse group of investors from entrepreneurs to seasoned healthcare and insurance professionals, banker, regulators as well as ICT professionals. It has made records in achieving the highest pre-seed and seed valuation in Asia Technology Start-up history. It is available online at www.bookdoc.com, App Store and Google Play Store.
For More Information Please Contact
Name: Ms. Valerie Voon