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Editorial Desk
Editorial Desk | 16 December 2011
By: Xavier Lim
Articles (51) Profile

Reacting to the reports that Iran could hold military drills that will close the Straits of Hormuz – a strategically important oil-shipping channel – crude oil prices rose above US$100 a barrel in a furious burst of trading on 13 December. The greenback too turned stronger, while gold sank US$30 in a single day, after the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged and declined to signal another round of quantitative easing.

Over at Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the idea of boosting the ceiling of the European Stability Mechanism for the euro area, adding woes to the already volatile market.

Back home, Singapore’s economy is expected to grow by 3% in 2012 according to Monetary Authority of Singapore’s December survey of Professional Forecasters.

Grabbing the headlines was the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) imposed by our government, on top of the regular 3% stamp duty. Let us attempt a closer understanding of the situation emanating from this harsh new measure.

At the same time, we zoom in on Mainboard-listed SC Global Developments, a leading developer of exclusive high-end luxury residences, which is expected to be hit hard by the new property cooling measures. So, is it still worth a bet?

If you are a risk averse investor, REITs will be a good choice for your portfolio because they provide you a stable income return with inflation protected growth due to their high dividend payout. However, with so many REITs listed in Singapore, which one is a better choice?

While we remain mindful of the worsening global economic situation, which may generate even more choppy sessions before the end of the year, let’s hope that continued low interest rates and a US presidential election may lay the foundation for better days next year.

Armed with an arsenal of investment knowledge, Xavier is the Senior Research Editor at Shares Investment.

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