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More cash for elderly downgraders (AsiaOne)
Singapore — Two schemes that help the elderly monetise their Housing Board (HDB) flats to meet retirement needs have been tweaked to offer them more cash on hand.
From Feb 1, lower-income elderly HDB households that sign up for the enhanced Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) programme to downsize their flat will no longer be required to use all net proceeds from the sale of their home to top up their Central Provident Fund (CPF) retirement account.
The other programme that was tweaked is the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), which allows lower-income elderly folk aged 63 or older and living in three-room or smaller HDB flats to sell the tail-end lease of their home to the Government.
For Casino Builders, Manila Is the Next Macau (New York Times)
Manila — A casino rush has started in the Philippines, buoyed by strong economic growth and a stock market that has been among the top performers in the world this year, with the $1.2 billion Solaire Manila property scheduled to open in March.
The project, being developed by the port magnate Enrique Razon Jr., is an indication of the stakes riding on the country’s ambition to join Macau and Singapore among top gambling destinations in Asia.