23 Feb '14, 4pm

Citigroup Downplays Property Bubble in Singapore: Southeast Asia

Citigroup Inc. (C) said it’s “encouraging” that the city’s household debt tied to the real estate market is only a fraction of property values, downplaying concerns of a bubble. Singapore’s S$203 billion ($160 billion) of mortgages amounted to 24.2 percent of the value of residential properties in the third quarter, according to Citigroup’s analysis of government data. The lender, the biggest employer among foreign banks on the island with 10,000 employees, offers housing and car loans as well as credit cards and other banking services. “Nobody has walked me through the mechanics of a total crash of the real estate market for it to be compelling,” Michael Zink, who heads Citigroup’s operations in Southeast Asia , said in an interview in Singapore on Feb. 20. “Ninety percent of households live in a home that they own, so where’s the bubble?” Singapore’s fourth-quarter home ...

Full article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-23/citigroup-downpl...

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