India - Falling rupee, high freight make the going tough for cement sector
Source: The Economic Times, 21 December 2011
Cement prices in the southern region have held firm and are now hovering close to their highest levels for this calendar year. This despite the fact that the monsoon season is yet to end.
Typically, there is curtailment of construction activity during the monsoon season and cement prices remain sluggish during this phase. The current trend of strong cement prices in this region is once again attributed to production discipline among leading producers, according to analysts tracking this sector.
Singapore - S'pore construction sector expected to slow in 2012
Source: Propertyguru.com, 23 December 2011
Following two years of a construction boom and the recent government measures to curb property prices, OCBC expects the pace of construction demand to slow next year, according to a report by Singapore Business Review.
However, OCBC noted that the slowdown will likely pick up from demand in the public housing sector, as the Housing & Development Board (HDB) plans to roll out more flats. While the drivers of construction demand will change, OCBC pointed out that the overall impact will not mean “a big drop in construction activities and prospects are in general still healthy.”
China - China to expand property tax reforms next year
Source: Reuters, 27 December 2011
China will widen its pilot property tax programme next year while speeding up resource tax reforms, according to Finance Minister Xie Xuren. “We will summarise the experience from property tax reforms being experimented with and steadily push forward the reforms,” said Xie.
Officials from China noted that a pilot property tax programme in Shanghai and Chongqing will eventually be expanded across China to cool home price increases. Xie added that China will expand resource tax reforms and widen the scope of resource taxes based on prices at the right time to help conserve resources.