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Saturday, May 21, 2011
May 21, 2011
Up to 44 per cent of employers have found it difficult to fill critical positions, said ManpowerGroup in a press release on Friday. -- PHOTO BLOOMBERG
ALMOST half of employers in Singapore have problems filling vacancies in their companies, according to a survey conducted by a human resource firm.
Up to 44 per cent of employers have found it difficult to fill critical positions, said ManpowerGroup in a press release on Friday.
Sales representatives and engineering talents were the hardest to recruit, and have topped the list for at least five years. They are followed by technicians and drivers.
Out of all employers interviewed, one-third felt that applicants tend to lack the skills and experience necessary for the job.
This signals an imbalance between the number of available workers in the workforce and the number of qualified workers.
When asked what strategies employers were pursuing to overcome their difficulties filling positions, the most common responses in Singapore were to enhance benefits packages, focusing more on staff retention and broadening recruitment outside of Singapore .
Close to 40,000 employers across 39 countries and territories were questioned in the survey.
Jobs most in demand in 2011 in Singapore
1. Sales Representative
5. Accounting & Finance Staff
6. IT Staff
7. Skilled Trades
8. Customer Service Representatives & Customer Support
10. Management / Executive (Management / Corporate)
Jobs most in demand in 2010 in Singapore
1. Sales Representative
3. Production Operators
5. Customer Service representatives & Customer Support
7. Management/Executive (Management/Corporate)
8. IT staff
9. Sales Manager
10. Skilled Trades
One in three employers worldwide hit by talent shortage
Recruitment firm Manpower Group's sixth annual talent shortage survey reveals
one in three employers worldwide struggling to fill key vacancies.
polled nearly 40,000 employers across 39 countries and territories in the first
quarter of 2011 to determine the extent to which talent shortages are affecting
global labour markets.
The results of the survey released on Friday also
show 44 per cent of employers in Singapore experiencing difficulty filling
critical positions within their organizations. In Singapore, the jobs employers
have most difficulty filling are sales representatives, engineers and
Since 2006, when Manpower Singapore started conducting the
survey, the roles of sales representatives and engineers have consistently been
in the top two of the list as difficult positions to fill.
Haglund, country manager of Manpower Singapore, said businesses need to adopt a
long-term approach to ensuring they have the talent they need to achieve their
09:25 PM May 20, 2011-todayonline
Sunday, May 15, 2011
“Chhatrapati Manik Ruby”
"Alan Caplan Ruby"
Origin of name
“Alan Caplan Ruby” also known as the “Mogok Ruby” gets its name from Alan Caplan the famous geologist and mineralogist and also mineral and gemstone dealer who acquired the stone while on a trip to Burma in the 1960s or 1970s. The ruby remained in his collection until 1988, when it was disposed for a record breaking price at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. An alternative name used for the “Alan Caplan Ruby” is the “Mogok Ruby,” a name apparently derived from the source of this high quality ruby, the Mogok Stone Tract of Burma (Myanmar).
Characteristics of the gemstone
One of the finest rubies in the world
The “Alan Caplan Ruby” is a 15.97-carat, untreated, natural ruby with a perfect cushion-cut, and an “eye clean” clarity, having an intense red color approaching the benchmark pigeon’s blood color for rubies. The gemstone also has good translucency. The overall quality of the ruby is so perfect, that it achieved the highest ever per carat price for a ruby sold at an auction, in the year 1988, a record that it held until the year 2006.
Burma rubies show a strong red fluorescence in ultra-violet light
Intense red Burmese rubies show a strong red fluorescence in ultra-violet light and a warm red glow when exposed to strong natural sunlight rich in u-v rays. The presence of such fluorescence might be an indication of the possible origin of the stone. Rubies of Thailand origin show a less intense red fluorescence in u-v light, and those of Sri Lankan origin a strong orange-red fluorescence in long wave length u-v light.
The cause of the red color in rubies
The cause of the red color in rubies is chromium, which displaces some of the aluminum atoms in the crystal lattice of aluminum oxide, that constitutes the mineral corundum. Burma and Sri Lankan rubies contain only chromium as the color inducing agent, but the Thai rubies also contain iron in addition to chromium, which imparts a darker red color to the rubies with a brownish or purplish overtone.
Dichroism can be used to distinguish true rubies from red spinels and garnets
Rubies crystallize in the trigonal (hexagonal) crystal system, and the crystal habit is short hexagonal prisms. Crystals of the hexagonal crystal system are strongly dichroic, and therefore when rubies are examined under the dichroscope, two colors appear, an intense purple-red color and a light orange-red color. Red garnet and red spinel that crystallize in the isometric crystal system are not dichroic. Therefore this property can be used to distinguish between true rubies and their look-alikes red garnet and red spinel.
History of the Alan Caplan Ruby
Source of the ruby
Alan Caplan purchased the Ruby in the 1960s or 1970s during one of his trips to Burma, and in all probability the ruby originated in the Mogok Stone Tract of Burma, the world’s premier source of rubies since the 15th century. Mogok lies about 400 miles (650 km) north of the capital city of Rangoon (Yangon) and about 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Mandalay, the second largest city in Burma. The town of Mogok situated in the Katha district of upper Burma, is located 1500 meters (4860 feet) above sea level, surrounded by hills rising to a height of 2300 to 2400 meters (7400 to 7700 feet). The area where the ruby mines are located is about 400 sq miles in extent, but the actual gem-bearing areas cover only about 70 sq miles.
The hills that surround the Mogok area are a part of the eastern Himalayan orogenic system, that was formed by the collision of the Indian sub-continental tectonic plate with the Eurasian tectonic plate, about 40 to 60 million years ago. The energy produced during this tectonic activity helped in the transformation of corundum containing igneous rocks to metamorphic rocks by contact metamorphism. The metamorphic rocks produced were mainly crystalline limestone (marble). Millions of years of weathering released the rubies from their limestone matrix, which were then carried down the hills and deposited in the valleys below, forming placer deposits, where the rubies are mined today.
According to legend rubies were first discovered in Mogok by bandits and outlaws in the 15th century, who were forcefully settled there after being banished from the kingdom of Mandalay. But, the discovery of pre-historic stone age and bronze age mining tools in the area, show that the mines would have been exploited thousands of years earlier. Continuous exploitation of the Mogok mines for over six hundred years, have almost exhausted the deposits of rubies and several new mines have been discovered recently. One such mine is the Mong Hsu mines discovered in 1992-93 and situated about 60 km southeast of Mogok. However, the rubies produced here are dull red in color and require heat treatment to transform them to a bright lively red color.
Alan Caplan, the gem and mineral dealer
Alan Caplan, who claimed to be of Jewish origin, was born in New York or New Jersey on December 29, 1913. He was interested in the natural sciences since early childhood and developed an interest in minerals while at high school. After graduating from high school in 1933, he worked for a short period in the Denver Museum of Natural Science, and later began collecting fossils and minerals from the Colorado region, which he sold by placing small ads in mineral magazines. After following a three-year course in geology and mineralogy between 1934-37 at the University of Colorado, and a post-graduate course at the Colorado School of Mines up to 1938, Alan Caplan, embarked on a full time career as a collector and dealer of minerals. Later he decided to take a trip to Brazil on a mineral hunting expedition, which proved to be successful. More trips followed and before World War II he had already made 10 trips to Brazil, and had become one of the most successful mineral dealers in the country, supplying institutions like the Smithsonian, Harvard, and American Museum of Natural History.
After enlisting in the Army in 1943 during World War II, he served in Italy until the end of the war in 1945. After the war he resumed his lucrative mineral hunting trips to Brazil and visited Brazil at least 12 times. After the year 1958 his interests changed from minerals to gemstones both cut and rough. Caplan made several trips to Columbia to purchase emeralds. He also traveled to Burma, looking for rubies, and it was during one of these trips that he purchased Alan Caplan Ruby. He became one of the most successful and prominent gem dealers of New York. He is credited with having owned one of the largest and historic emeralds in the world, the “Mogul Emerald.” Alan Caplan died in the year 1998 at the age of 85 years.
Alan Caplan’s Ruby auctioned at Sotheby’s New York in 1988
After the purchase of the ruby in Burma, he got it cut and polished by the expert cutters working for his company, under his supervision and was successful in turning out a perfect cushion-cut ruby that eventually became the most expensive ruby in the world. In October 1988, the ruby was put up for auction by Sotheby’s of New York, and after a competitive bidding process, was finally purchased by Laurence Graff of the London-based Graff diamonds, for a sum of $ 3,630,000, which works out to $ 227,301 per carat. This was the highest amount ever paid per carat for a ruby in the world. Laurence Graff mounted the valuable ruby on an engagement ring, and later sold it to his favorite royal customer, the Sultan of Brunei, who gave it for the engagement of one of his wives. Laurence Graff incidentally, had been the main supplier of diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry to one of the richest men in the world, the Sultan of Bunei, to whom he partly owes his success.
Record held by Alan Caplan’s Ruby broken on April 12, 2005
The price per carat record for a ruby held by the Alan Caplan’s Ruby since October 1988, was broken 17 years later on April 12, 2005, when an 8.01-carat faceted ruby sold for $ 2,200,000 at a Christie’s auction held in New York. This works out to a price per carat value of $274,656 which is higher than the previous held record of $227,301 per carat.
New record for price per carat for ruby set on February 15, 2006
The record set for price per carat for a ruby on April 12, 2005, was again broken the following year on February 15, 2006, when an 8.62-carat ruby set in a Bulgari ring sold for $3,637,480, at a Christie’s auction held in St. Moritz. This works out to a price per carat value of $421,981, a new record per carat price for rubies. The Bulgari ring was also purchased by Laurence Graff, and possibly sold to the Sultan of Brunei, his favorite royal customer.
Origin of name
The “Chhatrapati Manik Ruby” which according to legend is one of the oldest rubies in the world dating back to 380-415 AD, the period of rule of the powerful emperor of northern India, Candragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya (son of valour), gets its name from the title “Chhatrapati” (supreme king), which Candragupta II assumed, immediately upon his ascension to the throne. The Sanskrit word “Manik” means gemstone or precious stone. Thus “Chhatrapati Manik” translates as the “Supreme King’s Gemstone.”
As the story goes Candragupta II on his ascension to the throne in 380 AD, commissioned the royal jewelers to design and construct a new crown in keeping with his status as the “Supreme King” of the northern Indian kingdom, with his capital based in Ayodhya. The royal astrologers were consulted who advised the king that the new crown should incorporate the “Navaratne Jewels,” the nine principal gems, representing the nine planets according to Hindu beliefs which included the sun and the moon, in which the sun occupies a predominant position, lording over all other planets. Accordingly, the astrologers advised that the gemstone ruby which represents the sun, should be given pride of place in the new crown, and made its centerpiece. The royal treasury was searched for the finest of gemstones representing the nine planets, and suitable gems for eight planets were selected. These included the following : pearl (Moon), coral (Mars), emerald (Mercury), yellow sapphire (Jupiter), diamond (Venus), blue sapphire (Saturn), garnet (Rahu), cat’s eye (Ketu). However, an appropriate ruby to represent the lord of the planets, the Sun, could not be found. The great king sent out his agents to look for an appropriate ruby in his domain, that would suit the purpose. Finally, his agents were able to identify one in the collection of a banker, which the king duly purchased, and was incorporated in the new crown.
Characteristics of the gemstone
The 4Cs of the ruby
The “Chhatrapati Manik” is an oval cabochon-cut ruby with dimensions of 25.4mm x 31.75mm, with an original weight of 25 ratis, equivalent to 21.5 carats, but subsequently re-polished to 24 ratis, equivalent to 20.7 carats. Some authorities have listed the weight of the “Chhatrapati Manik” as 40 carats. The exact color and clarity of the stone are not known but going by the glowing descriptions of the stone, which refer to its color as a good deep color, the ruby undoubtedly must be of exceptional quality, possibly a “ko-twe” which in the Burmese language means “pigeon’s blood,” which is in fact a rich crimson color, equivalent to the color of a red traffic signal. The clarity of the stone would also have been of “eye clean clarity” the best clarity one can get in natural rubies, which normally contain many inclusions, a hallmark of their natural origin.
Why Burma rubies are the finest in the world ?
The source of the “Chhatrapati Manik” is unknown, but the stone is believed to be of Burmese origin, whose international fame as the finest rubies in the world is due to a combination of several factors such as body color, fluorescence, and the presence of silk. Fine Burma rubies have a slightly bluish-red body color of high intensity, and a strong crimson fluorescence, which covers the dark areas of the stone caused by “extinction,” i.e. light escaping from the sides of the gemstone, instead of returning through the table facet, due to a deep pavilion. The presence of tiny rutile fibers called silk, spreads the color across a greater part of the gems face, that also covers “extinction.” Rubies from Sri Lanka lack the intense red color of Burma rubies, but have strong orange-red fluorescence and silk. The Thai and Cambodian rubies have a dark red color, but lack fluorescence and silk, and are therefore dull in appearance. Thus only Burma rubies combine the three important factors of intense red color, strong fluorescence, and silk, and has become the benchmark of rubies in the world.
History of the “Chhatrapati Manik Ruby”
Source of the “Chhatrapati Manik”
The “Chhatrapati Manik” is believed to be of Burmese origin. The stone first appeared at the end of the 4th century AD. The earliest evidence of mining for rubies in Burma comes from the mining implements of stone-age man discovered in the Mogok mines, situated on the Shan Plateau. There is evidence of mining activity in the Shan Plateau, the traditional homeland of the Shan people, who live in northwestern Burma and the Yunnan province of China, in the 6th century AD, in a region known as Momeit ruled by one of the seven sons of Kung-Lung the founder of the Shan dynasty. Ruby mines were known to have existed near Momeit, and an yearly tribute of rubies mined from the area was sent to the dominant kingdom of Burma. It is quite probable that mining activity by the Shan in the Shan Plateau goes back even further than the 6th century AD, although evidence for such activity is not available. The “Chhatrapati Manik” a gemstone of the 4th century AD might have originated from a ruby mine in the Shan Plateau, and later found its way to one of the cities of the Gupta Empire, after moving across the Burmese-Indian border, where it was purchased by a dealer in gemstones.
Is it possible that the “Chhatrpati Manik” originated in India itself ? Ancient Sanskrit texts mention Sri Lanka as the main source of rubies in ancient times. But, later texts also mention two regions in India that were famous for the production of rubies and sapphires. These regions are Kalinga in northeast India and Kalpur in central India. It is quite possible that the “Chhatrapati Manik” might have originated in these regions, but we are not sure whether the period of production of rubies in these regions correspond with the period of the stones first appearance, viz. 4th century AD. Moreover, it must have been the deep red color of the stone and its strong red fluorescence, features characteristic of Burma rubies, that might have led to the conclusion that the gemstone most probably originated in Burma.
Emperor Candra Gupta II – Vikramaditya – “Son of Valour”
The “Chhatrapati Manik Ruby” was incorporated as the centerpiece of a new crown made for Emperor Candragupta II, when he ascended the throne of the western and central Indian Gupta Empire, in the year 380 AD. Candragupta II assumed the title “Chhatrapati” which means the “Supreme King”. He inherited a vast empire from his father Samudra Gupta which extended from Allahabad to the borders of Bengal. He followed in the footsteps of his father, and expanded his empire by subjugating Gujarat, Saurastra, and Malwa. He set up his capital at Ayodhya, but also developed the city of Pataliputra (Present day Patna in Bihar). He was a benevolent ruler who gave peace and prosperity to his subjects. His reign marked the climax of cultural development of ancient India, and art, architecture, and sculpture flourished during this period. He extended patronage to learning, and among the learned scholars in his court were the astronomer Varahamihira and Sanskrit poet and dramatist Kalidasa.
History of Chhatrapati Manik after Vikramaditya
The crown containing the “Chhatrapati Manik” passed down the descendants of Vikramaditya and then through the hands of different merchants and rulers. One such ruler was Sultan Abdul Hussein Qutb Shah, the last king of Golconda (1672-87) from the Qutb Shahi dynasty, who was also known as Tana Shah. After the crown came into his possession, Tana Shah, unmounted the gems in the crown. It is said that Tana Shah loved the ruby so much that he got his name engraved on it, and got his scholars to write a book of poetry, extolling the virtue of the ruby. In the year 1687, the great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb sent an army headed by his son, to attack and capture the kingdom of Golconda. Tana Shah was defeated in battle and taken prisoner. The ruby and the book of verses were taken over by Aurangzeb’s son who carried them to his father. Aurangzeb was so impressed by the beauty of the ruby, that he ordered the erasure of Tana Shah’s name from the stone, and that his own name be engraved in its place.
During the period of rule of Aurangzeb, there lived at Murshidabad in Bengal, a renowned family of bankers, who had dealings with the mighty Mughal emperors. This family often lavished valuable gifts to the royal family, and during one such occasion, Aurangzeb the mighty Mughal emperor decided to present the “Chhatrapati Manik” to the bankers family, together with the book of verses, as a gesture of reciprocation. Later a resident of Lucknow Lala Kalkadas acquired the ruby and the book by trading a number of gems. Lala Kalkadas decided to remove the seal of Aurangzeb from the stone not realizing the historical significance of the seal. Later the gemstone was inherited by his son Lala Budreedas, who moved to Calcutta, where he got the historical ruby remounted as the centerpiece of a new tiara, in keeping with its former glory as the stone that adorned the crown of Vikramaditya.
In the year 1934, the “Chhatrapati Manik” re-appeared in London, as the centerpiece of a diamond tiara. The ruby was mounted as the centerpiece of an aigrette in front of the diamond tiara. The current location of the “Chhatrapati Manik” is not known.
Origin of name
The 42-carat, pigeon’s-blood color, rough ruby was discovered in the Mogok valley on June 30, 1919, just two days after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, a peace document signed by the Allies and Germany at the end of World War I, in the Hall of Mirrors, in the Palace of Versailles in France. The rough ruby was accordingly named the “Peace Ruby” in order to perpetuate the memory of this historic event, which was hoped to usher in an era of peace and prosperity to the entire world, free of wars and confrontations, that brought in its wake enormous human suffering by the unprecedented slaughter, carnage and destruction of human life and property, as caused in World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was actually a product of the Paris Peace Conference which was inaugurated on January 18, 1919, and was attended by the Heads of State of United States, Britain, France and Italy and representatives of other allied powers Russia and Japan and the Central Powers Germany, Turkey, Austria and Hungary. Other major products of this conference were the approval of the Covenant of the League of Nations, The Treaty of Saint-Germain affecting Austria, and the Treaty of Neuilly affecting Bulgaria.
Characteristics of the gemstone
Features of the rough gemstone
The rough gemstone when first mined had the shape of a irregular hexagonal prism with a flattened apex, the normal crystal habit of rubies that crystallize in the trigonal (hexagonal) system. The weight of the rough stone was 42 carats. The stone had a perfect pigeon’s-blood color. In the rough state the stone appeared to be without any blemish, save for a minor crack at the base. The discovery of the gem-quality rough stone in 1919, generated a lot of excitement and expectations, and the author of the book, The Book of Ruby and Sapphire (1934), J. F. Halford-Watkins, who had the privilege of holding the rough stone for sometime, wrote that the rough stone was like a piece of red currant jelly, and that he used to exhibit it on a small plain white china-plate to heighten the illusion.
Features of the finished “Peace Ruby”
The rough stone was purchased by an Indian gem merchant of Mogok, who got the stone cut and polished in Bombay. The finished “Peace Ruby” had a weight of 25-carats, and was a perfect brilliant-cut stone, absolutely flawless, and having the much sought after pigeon’s-blood color, the benchmark color for the highest quality rubies. Halford-Watkins wrote that the “Peace Ruby” was a magnificent stone, and at that time the finest ruby the world had ever seen.
The use of the term “Pigeon’s-blood” color has no scientific justification.
Pigeon’s-blood color considered to be the finest color for rubies is known as “ko-twe” in the Burmese language. This color has also been compared to the center of a live pigeon’s eye or the color of the first two drops of blood from the nose of a freshly slain, Burmese pigeon. It’s interesting to note that in all these comparisons the animal that has been chosen as the reference is the pigeon. However, in the year 1985, James Nelson in an attempt to find a scientific justification for the use of the term “pigeon’s blood” collected a sample of aerated pigeon’s blood, courtesy of the authorities of the London Zoo, and subjected it to spectrophotometry, and compared it with the color of the so-called pigeon’s blood ruby. To his utter amazement he found that the two colors do not match, and therefore the use of the term “pigeon’s blood” for the so called pigeon’s blood ruby, has no scientific justification.
Color of “red traffic signal” is a better comparison for top color rubies
Other comparisons that have been made for the prime-color rubies are the color of the fresh pomegranate seed, and rich crimson without trace of blue overtones. But, so far the best comparison for the prime-color rubies has been made by the renowned gemologist Richard Hughes, author of the book Ruby & Sapphire. He compares the color of the best quality rubies to the color of a red traffic signal or stop light. According to him, the color of these rubies is a glowing red color, due to the strong red fluorescence in light rich in ultra-violet light, such as strong sunlight. This glowing red color compares very well with glowing red color of a red traffic signal.
Fluorescence compensates for the low dispersion of rubies
The “fire” of diamonds is caused by its high dispersion which is equal to 0.044. But, in the case of rubies the dispersion is low, only 0.018. Thus rubies tend to be dull in appearance in spite of its red color, as in the case of Thai and Cambodian rubies. But most rubies including the Burmese and Sri Lankan rubies tend to show a strong red or orange-red fluorescence in ultra-violet light or natural sunlight rich in u-v rays. The strong red fluorescence of rubies, particularly the Burmese rubies causes the gemstones to give a glowing red color in strong sunlight. Thus, what rubes lack due to their low dispersion, is more than compensated by the strong red fluorescence.
History of the “Peace Ruby”
The source of the “Peace Ruby”
The “Peace Ruby” was discovered on June 30, 1919, in the mines of the Mogok valley in Burma. The Mogok mines were during this period still under the control of the Burma Ruby Mines Ltd, formed by Edwin Streeter’s Syndicate joining with N. M. Rothschild & Sons of London, which had taken control of the mines under a supplementary agreement from 1913 to 1925, having completed three consecutive leases of seven years duration each, beginning from the year 1889. During the first lease that lasted from 1889 to 1896 the mines were run at a loss except during the last year of the lease, 1895-96, when the company was able to make substantial profits. The second lease that ran from 1897 to 1904, was generally profitable except for two years 1897-98 and 1903-04. The company’s third lease that was effective from 1905 to 1912, was generally profitable, except for the year 1909-10. After the company signed a supplementary agreement for twelve years from 1913-25, losses began to mount due to the rich gem deposits being exhausted as well as the market slump due to World War I. Only three out of the 12 years prove to be profitable, which were the years 1913, 1918 and 1920. Even the year 1919, the year of discovery of the “Peace Ruby” turned out to be an overall loss making year. Finally on November 20, 1925, the company went into voluntary liquidation.
The “Peace Ruby” is cut and polished in Bombay
The 42-carat rough “Peace Ruby” was purchased by Chhotalal Nanalal, an Indian gem merchant based in Mogok, for a sum of £27,500, which works out to £654.75 per carat, which at that time was the highest price per carat ever paid for a rough ruby. Chhotalal Nanalal carried the rough ruby to Bombay, where he got it cut to a round brilliant weighing 25 carats.
The “Peace Ruby” is sold at Paris
He then dispatched the ruby to Paris, where it was sold to an American buyer for an undisclosed sum, which undoubtedly must have been a record-breaking figure given the exceptional quality of the stone.
The present location of the “Peace Ruby” however is unknown.
Readers who might have access to an image or images of the Peace Ruby are kindly requested to upload the same.
References :-Dr Shihhaan Larif-internetgemstone
1) Ruby & Sapphire – Richard Hughes
2) Encyclopaedia Britannica – 2006
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The unique feature for mortgage particularly housing finance in Singapore is the role of the
mandatory saving scheme, Central Provident Fund (CPF). The home purchases in Singapore is mainly financed through the use of Central Provident Fund (CPF). This CPF was introduced in 1 July 1955 as the national funded pension scheme by the Colonial British Government. The relaxation of the CPF regulation has allowed residential property purchases in mid 1970s for public housing and early 1980s for private property. The total amount of withdrawals for housing has increased by about 14 fold in its peak in 1999 as compared to the year 1981. According to the Singapore Census 2000, the scheme has become very successful in promoting home ownership whereby 92% of the Singaporeans own a home.
Home Ownership In Singapore
Singapore’s home ownership is segmented into two types like private homeownership and public home ownership. Among them the public home ownership sector is the dominating sector accommodating 81.3 percent of total households from low income to upper middle income groups.
The public housing system is strictly under the authority of the Housing Development Board (HDB), which covers duties such as housing production, housing management, housing finance and formulation of housing policies.
The public home ownership sector is divided into three sub-sectors as follows
• The public new housing sector.
• The HDB resale market.
• The HDB executive condominium market.
In the new housing market, the dwellings are newly built and are sold at subsidized prices.
The private owner-occupier housing market accommodates less than 10% of the total number of households. There is an indication of rising private housing stock, which increased from 14% in 1989 to 18.1% in 1999. The private sector receives comparatively less subsidies from the Government and thus is less regulated.
Financing System In Singapore
There are mainly two types of financing systems in Singapore, which are as follows:
• The HDB public finance sector
• The commercial finance sector.
HDB flats owners can enjoy the subsidized mortgage rates if they are eligible for the subsidized loans. The HDB can grant a subsidized loan to first time homebuyers and also to second time homebuyers who upgrade to another HDB flats. The private home owners and homeowners who do not qualify for the subsidized loan will, however, have to secure their financing from banks and financial institutions.
Interest Rates On Mortgages In Singapore
Types Tenure Interest Rate %
Fixed rate mortgage
1 Year 1.61
2 Year 2.72
3 Year 2.89
Flexible Rate Mortgage 1 Year 1.59
2 Year 2.38
3 Year 2.92
Loan To Value Ratio Max Tenure of Loan
80% 30-35 Years
In Singapore the average of the mortgages rates are offered by HSBC, Hong Leong Singapore Finance, NTUC, OCBC, DBS, May Bank and United Overseas Bank Group in October 2003.
Packages / Banks DBS UOB OCBC HSBC SCB CITI
1.28% ( Fixed ) 1.28% ( Fixed ) 1.60% ( Fixed ) 1.88% ( Fixed ) 1.00% ( Fixed ) 1.85% ( Fixed )
1.68% ( Fixed ) 1.68% ( Fixed ) 1.80% ( Floating ) 1.88% ( Fixed ) 3 mth SIBOR + 1.10% 1.85% ( Fixed )
1.98% ( Fixed ) 2.65% ( Floating ) 2.65% ( Floating ) 2.65% ( Floating ) 3 mth SIBOR + 1.30% 2.65%( Floating )
3 years Lock in 2 years lock in 1 year lock in 2 years lock in 1 year lock in 2 years lock in
3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 1 mth SOR + 0.95% 3 mth SOR +0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.90% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.50%
3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 1 mth SOR + 0.95% 3 mth SOR +0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.80% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.85% 3 mth SIBOR +0.75%
3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 1 mth SOR + 0.95% 3 mth SOR +0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.70% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +1.25%
No Lock In No Lock In No Lock in No Lock in No Lock in 2 years Lock In
3 mth SIBOR +0.75% 1.25% ( Floating ) 1.25% ( Floating ) 3 mth SIBOR + 0.90% 3 mth SIBOR + 1.25% 3 mth SIBOR +0.78%
3 mth SIBOR +0.75% 1.65% ( Floating ) 1.65% ( Floating ) 3 mth SIBOR + 0.80% 3 mth SIBOR + 1.25% 3 mth SIBOR +0.78%
3 mth SIBOR +0.75% 2.65% ( Floating ) 2.65% ( Floating ) 3 mth SIBOR + 0.70% 3 mth SIBOR + 1.25% 3 mth SIBOR +0.78%
No Lock In 2 years Lock In 2 years lock in No Lock in No Lock in No Lock in
3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 3 mth SOR + 0.75% 3 mth SOR + 0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.90% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.75%
3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 3 mth SOR + 0.75% 3 mth SOR + 0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.80% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.85% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.75%
3 mth SIBOR + 0.75% 3 mth SOR + 0.75% 3 mth SOR + 0.75% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.70% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.95% 3 mth SIBOR + 0.75%
No Lock in No Lock in No Lock in No Lock in No Lock in No Lock in
Packages / Banks MAYBANK CIMB SBI Hong Leong RHB ANZ
0.88% ( Fixed ) 1.85% ( Fixed ) 1.80% ( Fixed ) 1.68% ( Fixed ) 1.85% ( Fixed )
1.90% ( Fixed ) 2.00% ( Floating ) 1.90% ( Fixed ) 2.28% ( Fixed ) 1.85% ( Fixed ) Nil
2.30% ( Fixed ) 2.65% ( Floating ) 3.75% ( Floating ) 2.65% ( Floating ) 2.48% ( Floating )
3 years lock in 1 year lock in 2 years Lock In 2 Years Lock in 2 years Lock in
SIBOR/SOR 3 mth SIBOR +0.50% 3 mth SOR +0.50% 3 mth SIBOR +0.80%
3 mth SIBOR +1.00% 3 mth SOR +0.75% 3 mth SIBOR +1.00% Nil Nil Nil
3 mth SIBOR +1.25% 3 mth SOR + 1.25% 3 mth SIBOR +1.10%
1 year Lock in 2 years Lock in No Lock in
Floating 0.80% ( Floating) 3 mth SOR + 0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +1.00% 0.90% ( Floating ) 1.25% ( Floating )
1.68% ( Floating ) 3 mth SOR + 0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +1.10% 1.40% ( Floating ) 1.65% ( Floating ) Nil
2.28% ( Floating ) 3 mth SOR + 0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +1.20% 2.20% ( Floating ) 2.65% ( Floating )
2 years Lock In No Lock In
3 mth SIBOR +0.75% 3 mth SOR +0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +0.75%
3 mth SIBOR +0.75% 3 mth SOR +0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +0.75% Nil Nil Nil
3 mth SIBOR +0.75% 3 mth SOR +0.95% 3 mth SIBOR +0.75%
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