Singapore digest news (20.12-24.12)

Photo by S. Pronin

Singapore freezes new bookings for VTL bus and flight entry before Jan 21

ALL new ticket sales for Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights and buses for travel into Singapore from Dec 23 to Jan 20 next year will be frozen, to reduce the country’s exposure to imported Omicron cases.
After Jan 20, VTL quotas and ticket sales will be temporarily reduced. For designated VTL flights into Singapore, total ticket sales will be capped at half of the allocated quota from Jan 21.
But all travellers who already hold a ticket for a VTL flight or bus and meet all the other requirements can continue to travel under the VTL. The freeze does not affect sales of tickets for flights that enter Singapore after Jan 20, which can still be bought.


Singapore factory output up by 14.6% in November on electronics export demand

Singapore's factory output jumped by 14.6 per cent year on year in November, according to figures from the Economic Development Board (EDB).
The latest growth came on the back of a surge in production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, and was also supported by a pick-up in semiconductor output. Industrial production rose by 12.4 per cent when the volatile biomedical cluster was excluded.
Output by the linchpin electronics cluster grew 10.2 per cent, faster than the 6.7 per cent in the month before. The EDB noted that all segments recorded higher production "on the back of strong export demand", taking the cluster growth to 16.5 per cent in the year to date.


Singapore's surprise 3.8% headline inflation in Nov prompts higher full-year forecasts

Singapore's higher-than-expected headline inflation of 3.8 per cent figure exceeded economists' expectations of 3.4 per cent and beat October's previous high of 3.2 per cent, Department of Statistics (Singstat) consumer price index (CPI) figures.
It is expected that headline inflation to be around 3 to 3.5 per cent for most of the first half of 2022, before coming off in the second half.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) raised their full-year estimates, though official forecasts for 2022 did not budge.


Singapore up two ranks to become 12th most expensive location globally

Research published by ECA International found that Singapore is the 12th most expensive location globally for overseas workers. Singapore also found itself amongst the top ten Asia rankings for the same criteria at the seventh place. 
Singapore has witnessed relatively high rates of inflation in the past year when measured by our basket of goods. Inflation in day-to-day items has been accompanied by relatively high rates of growth in the costs of rental accommodation. This contributed to Singapore’s rise of two places in the rankings along with the relative strength of the Singapore dollar against the yen and US dollar. 
Topping the global ranking is Hong Kong.


OCBC becomes first Southeast Asian bank to adopt Poseidon Principles

OCBC Bank has joined the wave of financial institutions which has adopted the Poseidon Principles, becoming the first bank to do so in Southeast Asia.
The Poseidon Principles provides a “baseline to quantitatively measure the carbon footprint of their shipping customers and disclose whether their lending portfolios are tracking the adopted climate goals by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).”