COE prices close mixed in first tender of the year

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums ended mixed in the first tender of the year yesterday, with prices hardly changed from the previous tender two weeks ago.

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp finished 0.1 per cent higher at $40,609. The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed 0.6 per cent lower at $49,001.

The premium for the Open COE - which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles but ends up mostly for bigger cars - ended merely 0.02 per cent, or $11, lower at $49,489.

The commercial vehicle COE price was 2 per cent up at $35,900, while the motorcycle premium closed 2.4 per cent lower at $7,501.

Motor traders said the Christmas and New Year holiday breaks meant fewer buying activities in the past two weeks.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Kah Motor, said the traditional year-end rush by dealers to meet annual sales targets is over.

"It is a good breather," Mr Wong said of the latest results, noting that prices had gone up by nearly $10,000 (for bigger cars) in the last two rounds.

With the halt in the price spiral in the closing weeks of last year, buyers may be encouraged to return to showrooms, he said.

Dealers are divided on the COE supply outlook for this year. Some expect a small increase in supply on account of about 22,000 cars that had their COEs revalidated for five years in 2016. - THE STRAITS TIMES