Pelosi also said it's "irrelevant" whether approving the USMCA trade deal would give President Donald Trump a victory ahead of the 2020 election.Politicsread more
Brent crude oil jumped the most in history in the previous session after attacks on Saudi's oil industry disrupted the kingdom's production.Marketsread more
General Motors stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in lost production as a United Auto Workers union strike against the automaker enters its second day, but Wall...Autosread more
The fallout from two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes has ensnared the manufacturer's most-loyal customer: Southwest Airlines. The carrier has canceled thousands of...Airlinesread more
The White House and General Motors on Tuesday are decrying a Politico report that the Trump administration has gotten involved with the automaker's contract negotiations with...Autosread more
WeWork hopes to sharpen its story for investors as it works to get its on-again, off-again IPO back on track.Technologyread more
The Justice Department said it was seeking to recover "all proceeds earned by Snowden because of his failure to submit his publication for pre-publication review in violation...Politicsread more
"It is really a tale of pretty failed governance, almost of the highest order, short of something fraudulent," says the tech investor.Deals and IPOsread more
Private equity firm 3G Capital Partners discloses that it sold 25.1 million shares of Kraft Heinz, bringing its stake down by about 9%.Marketsread more
"That leads the developed world to say to China: 'We've got to rebalance this. It's working for you. It's not working for us,'" says the billionaire Blackstone co-founder.Economyread more
Microsoft founder Bill Gates added $16 billion to his net worth this year, despite giving away over $35 billion to charity, according to Bloomberg.Wealthread more
Singapore's famously efficient government faces a challenge that has stymied many a country before: safely guiding its toppish property market to a soft landing as interest rates rise.
Property prices in the city-state have surged over 60 percent since 2009, propelled by rock-bottom global interest rates and quantitative easing in developed economies, even as Singapore's government has enacted a series of cooling measures to prevent a bubble from forming.
(Read more: A risky year for the global property market?)
But the prospect of rising interest rates as the U.S. Federal Reserve begins tapering its asset purchases has spurred fears that Singapore's property market could be headed for a crash as higher mortgage payments could spur forced selling and defaults.
This week, Singapore indicated the specter of forced selling remains a serious concern, with the central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), relaxing one of its cooling measures, the Total Debt Servicing Ratio, or TDSR. The measure aimed to ensure that buyers' monthly payments do not exceed 60 percent of their income, so they wouldn't be caught out by a spike in interest rates. Most mortgages in Singapore have adjustable, rather than fixed, rates.
(Read more: Singapore home price fall sets bearish tone for 2014)
The government now allows an exception for borrowers who took out their loan on their home before the TDSR was introduced last year and who need to refinance as their payments rise.
"These exemptions will reduce the incidence of TDSR-imposed fire sales and lower the risk of a property market collapse," David Lum, a property analyst at Daiwa, said in a note, adding the exemption could prove crucial as it will insulate owner-occupied homes from the pressure.
"This should help to reduce possible systemic risk from the TDSR, or any blind application of policy thresholds," he said, adding that the latest steps likely indicate the TDSR has been the most-effective cooling measure.
(Read more: Are Singapore home prices set for a bruising?)
The MAS estimates around 5-10 percent of Singapore's borrowers have a monthly debt-servicing burden that exceeds 60 percent of their income, with that percentage potentially rising to 10-15 percent of borrowers if mortgage rates rise by 300 bps.
Keeping those households from dumping their properties into an already slowing property market is likely key to keeping an even economic keel in the city-state.
The consequences of getting it wrong on efforts to guide the property market to a soft-landing can be both long-lasting and high. While much of the U.S. housing market has shown significant recovery only five years after the Global Financial Crisis, Singapore's property market didn't fare as well in the wake of the crash during the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s.
(Read more: Economist defends Singapore bubble claims)
It wasn't until 2009 that the city-state's private residential property prices returned to their 1996 peak level, according to the government's property price index data.
Others also believe the latest steps, which aren't likely to affect new sales, will help prevent a meltdown.
Without the changes, "stressed" households with TDSR ratios above 60 percent would be "held to ransom" by lenders as payments rose without the option to refinance, Citigroup noted.
(Read more: When will Singapore roll back property curbs?)
"This ensures a softer landing for such 'stressed households' as well as 'fringe households' (40-60 percent TDSR, which form one in five borrowers), whose debt servicing burden could deteriorate upon any adverse changes in their household cashflows," Citigroup said in a note.
—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter