Funan DigitaLife Mall Closing for Redevelopment

Funan Centre

The news was a surprise to many retailers at Funan DigitaLife Mall. The mall will be closing for redevelopment in 3Q2016 for 3 years.

Funan DigitaLife Mall is home to Challenger’s flagship megastore including many IT retailers. Challenger will be shuttering its operations at its 53,000 sqft flagship store. Challenger mentioned that it will be employing a more ambitious e-commerce strategy to make up for the closure of the megastore.

I have previously divested all my stake in Challenger Technologies. Personally, I feel that unless prices are competitive, Challenger’s e-commerce platform will face tough competition. You can read more at my previous review (My Personal Analysis of Challenger Technologies).

Well, at least for me, I still enjoy shopping in a physical shop for technology gadgets as compared to shopping online.

What about you?

CPF Salary Ceiling will be raised to 6K

CPF LogoThis is old news but I believe it has slipped through the minds of many.

In the Budget 2015 Speech, Mr Tharman announced that the CPF (Central Provident Fund) salary ceiling will be raised from the current S$5,000 to S$6,000 with effect from 1st January 2016.

Time flies and we are already in December, the last month of 2015.

How Will This Impact You?

The current employee contribution is 20% and employer contribution is 17%.

If you are earning S$5,000 or less, the increase of CPF salary ceiling will have no impact on you. However, if you are earning more than S$5,000, basically you will be taking home less cash but more contribution into your CPF account starting from 1st January 2016.

For example

In 2015, if you are earning a monthly salary of S$6,000, you take home $5,000 (80% of S$5,000 + S$1,000 above CPF salary ceiling).

In 2016, if you are earning a monthly salary of S$6,000, you take home S$4,800 (80% of S$6,000 + any excess above CPF salary ceiling).

How Will This Impact the Employer?

In 2015, if you are earning a monthly salary of S$6,000, your employer has to contribute S$850.

In 2016, if you are earning a monthly salary of S$6,000, your employer has to contribute S$1,020.

Update on Singapore Savings Bonds December 2015

Singapore Savings Bonds December 2015

It has been 3 months since Singapore Savings Bonds have been launched. Personally, I feel that the effective return per year has not been impressive with interest rate as low as 2.44% in December 2015 Singapore Savings Bonds. The highest ever achieved was 2.78% in November 2015. I missed the boat!

I have subscribed to October 2015 Singapore Savings Bonds which currently makes up 6% of my stock portfolio. I am happy with 2.63%, considering that Singapore Savings Bonds is a risk-free investment as compared with alternatives such as fixed deposits, equities, structured notes or funds that offer higher potential returns but come with higher risk.

While building on my war chest, I shall be keeping an eye on higher interest rates. When comfortable with the interest rate, I shall buy more Singapore Savings Bonds. The maximum one can buy is $50,000.

The effective interest rate for January 2016 is 2.58%, slightly better and comparable to October 2015 rate.

Month Oct 15 Nov 15 Dec 15 Jan 16
Effective return per year (%) 2.63 2.78 2.44 2.58