Higher Taxes and Mortgage Requirements Turn Off Deals in Singapore

Singapore’s latest round of measures to curb record property prices has become a stumbling block in the city-state’s two-biggest corporate takeover deals.

Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. (OUE) this week gave up its two- month S$13.8 billion ($11.2 billion) tussle against Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi for property and drinks company Fraser & Neave Ltd., citing the measures. Wheelock Properties Ltd., which tried to thwart a plan by SC Global Developments Ltd.’s chief executive officer to buy out the company, dropped the fight less than a week after the new rules, citing “market developments.”

Singapore’s latest curbs — from higher taxes to tougher mortgage requirements — have been described by broker Knight Frank LLP as the “most severe” since the government started cooling the market more than three years ago. Announced acquisitions of Singapore property companies and real estate investment trusts were worth $37.3 billion last year, the top destination for property deals behind the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


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