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    Jun 23, 2016

    COE costs hit year-high with easing of car-loan curbs

    CERTIFICATES of entitlement (COEs) ended higher again in the latest tender yesterday, as the easing of car-financing rules continued to fan pent-up demand.

    The increases were, however, not as sharp as the double-digit rises posted in the previous round immediately after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprung its surprise move to relax car-loan curbs late last month.

    COE cost for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp rose by 2.8 per cent to end at $55,200. That for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp crept up by 1.8 per cent to hit $57,010.

    The premium for Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mostly for bigger cars, climbed 4.2 per cent to finish at $57,390.

    All these costs are at their highest level this year, driven up by the car-loan changes and aggressive bidding from private-hire players.

    The Land Transport Authority recently blocked free access to bidders' information, which was available before Uber and company began growing their fleets aggressively.

    Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor, said: "There were 200 to 300 bids submitted in the last minutes.

    "It might have been private-hire companies but we have no way of verifying now."

    Mr Wong said premiums are likely to remain high as motor firms "collected a lot of orders" after the MAS announcement.

    Commercial vehicle COE cost rose by 3.4 per cent to end at a three-month high of $48,002.

    Motorcycle COE premium ended $1 higher at $6,303.