The Week in Retrospect [May 11 – 17]

The past week sees Singapore’s new agreements with Shanghai, decreasing M&A activities in Southeast Asia and last but not least, warmer and drier weather coming.

IMF predicts a slow rebound for Singapore’s economy in 2015: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Singapore to grow an average of 2.5-3% in 2015, lower than the official forecast range of 2-4%. The IMF highlights that Singapore’s restructuring increases real wages but continues to hamper its growth.

IE Singapore signs agreements with Shanghai to boost services sector: The International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) has inked four agreements with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce to promote trade in the services sector, particularly healthcare (Raffles Medical), education (EtonHouse Education) and media (MyChina Channel).

Seeing and believing: Virtual reality set to conquer living rooms: Oculus, the virtual reality (VR) business bought for US$2 billion by Facebook Inc last year, said it would start shipping a consumer version of its Rift headset in early 2016, raising hopes that investment in VR software will finally take off.

M&A activities in Southeast Asia slow but will pick up: The value of M&A deals in Southeast Asia has totalled US$22.34 billion, 12.5% down from the same period last year, despite the 83.6% global growth. However, the outlook is still looking positive and M&A value is expected to see a low double-digit growth at the end of the year.

Warmer and dry weather expected as El Nino begins: The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) forecasts that Singapore is likely to experience weak El Nino conditions in the coming weeks. The duration and strength of the phenomenon is still unclear but MSS said there is a 60-70% chance of warm and dry weather happening.

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