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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Son and Father

44% of employers struggle to fill vacancies

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
2. Engineers
3. Technicians
4. Drivers
5. Accounting & Finance Staff
6. IT Staff
7. Skilled Trades
8. Customer Service Representatives & Customer Support
9. Labourers
10. Management / Executive (Management / Corporate)

Jobs most in demand in 2010 in Singapore

1. Sales Representative
2. Engineers
3. Production Operators
4. Teachers
5. Customer Service representatives & Customer Support
6. Drivers
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.

Mr Peter
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
business objectives.

09:25 PM May 20, 2011-todayonline

Sunday, May 15, 2011

World famous Myanmar 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.

                                          “Chhatrapati Manik Ruby”
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.

                                                "Peace Ruby"

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

Mortgage Market in Singapore

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

Beyond 3.75

Flexible Rate Mortgage 1 Year 1.59

2 Year 2.38

3 Year 2.92

Beyond 3.40

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.


 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

Uncompleted Property
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

Uncompleted Property
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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