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    Dec 05, 2013

    COE prices soften ahead of changes

    CERTIFICATE of Entitlement prices ended mostly lower yesterday in the latest tender, as vehicle buyers and sellers adopted a wait-and-see stance ahead of changes in the new year.

    The COE for cars up to 1,600cc slipped by 2.4 per cent to close at a five-month low of $73,160.

    From February, cars in this category must not have engine power exceeding 130bhp. Several popular European models, such as the Mercedes C-class, BMW 3-series and Volkswagen Golf, will be affected, and will be moved to the category for bigger cars.

    The premium for this category - cars above 1,600cc - tumbled by 7.9 per cent to finish at a six-month low of $73,010.

    Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up being used mainly for bigger cars, fell by 7.3 per cent to close at $76,901, its lowest level in five months.

    The commercial-vehicle premium ended 7.1 per cent down at $51,112, its lowest since August.

    However, the motorbike premium bucked the trend by ending 4.1 per cent higher at $1,782.

    Motor-industry players said the industry is exercising restraint ahead of February's COE re-categorisation.

    But those affected by the change are making a final sales push. This has led to the COE for smaller cars closing higher than that for bigger cars - a situation that has happened only occasionally in the past.

    Singapore Vehicle Traders Association secretary Raymond Tang said softer property and stock markets have also dampened buyers' sentiment.

    "This is affecting the bigger cars more," he noted.