The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 10 Mar 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

2 freehold residential properties near Somerset put up for sale
Two residential properties in Devonshire Road – The Bayron, a condominium, and Devonshire Apartment, a serviced apartment tower – have been put up for sale by exclusive marketing agent CBRE. The guide prices for the two developments, which are next to each other, are $376 million for The Bayron and $66 million for Devonshire Apartment.

7 in 10 plan to invest more in regional hotels this year: Poll
Over 70 per cent of investors plan to put more money in the Asia-Pacific hotel sector this year, a new poll by JLL showed this week. The property consultancy expects about US$7 billion (S$9.4 billion) in regional hotel investments this year, 20 per cent more than last year’s US$5.8 billion. The long-term confidence comes despite the impact from Covid-19, with the pandemic hurting the tourism industry as limits on international travel remain largely in place.

Office space provider IWG says recovery taking longer
Office space provider IWG on Tuesday signalled that it will shut more underperforming centres as the market recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was taking longer than anticipated, but said it was seeing increased demand for hybrid work. The pandemic has caused a radical change in the office space sector as employers opt for shorter leases and employees increasingly choose to work from home, forcing providers to adapt their business and properties to hybrid working.


Singapore Economy

Booking agents tackle friction in tourism voucher checkout
Users eyeing tours and attractions no longer need to click away from operators’ websites to redeem their SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV). Payment portal integration is one key way that the five appointed SRV booking platforms have responded to brickbats from consumers and merchants, The Business Times has learnt.

US firms can help Asia-Pacific face challenges: Heng
Firms from the US can play a constructive role in helping the Asia-Pacific region face challenges such as Covid-19, US-China relations, and rising global debt, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his keynote speech at the AmChams of Asia Pacific Business Summit on Tuesday. At the hybrid event, with 28 AmChams (American Chambers of Commerce) from the region, Mr Heng said that while global recovery from the pandemic is likely to be long-drawn and uneven…

Singapore-Indonesia Bilateral Investment Treaty enters into force
The Singapore-Indonesia Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) which establishes rules on the treatment of investors and investments from both countries entered into force on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said that this treaty will provide additional protection for Singapore’s investments in Indonesia, and Indonesia’s investments in Singapore, including protection from discriminatory treatment and illegal expropriation.

What else may be in store after petrol duty and GST hikes?
When Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said during the recent Budget debate that there is scope to further review Singapore’s wealth taxes, there was a flurry of speculation about what this could mean. With the Government imposing a petrol duty hike and set to raise the GST soon, what other tax increases could be on the cards?


Companies’ Brief


Patchy earnings recovery in FY20 hints at ‘worst being over’
The worst is over, analysts say, going by the recent bounce-back in corporate earnings. The recovery was patchy and uneven across sectors. Banks surpassed expectations despite a 28 per cent earnings decline and reported easing net interest margin pressure and lower credit costs, leading analysts to upgrade their earnings forecasts on them.

GIC makes further foray in US retail segment, invests in US$1.2b retail real estate platform
GIC is doubling down on its investment in US retail real estate by teaming up with RPT Realty, Zimmer Partners and Monarch Alternative Capital to form a net lease retail real estate platform targeting over US$1.2 billion of strategic assets. GIC, Zimmer, Monarch and RPT have committed to fund US$470 million in the platform called RGMZ over the next three years, including the initial investment portfolio that is to be seeded by RPT.

Temasek in US$500m partnership with global impact investor Leapfrog
State investor Temasek announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a US$500 million strategic partnership with global impact investment group LeapFrog Investments, building upon its presence in the impact investing space. Temasek said the strategic partnership will take the form of a multi-fund investment by the state investor “to anchor LeapFrog’s future funds”. It will take a minority stake in LeapFrog and provide growth capital to support the expansion of the LeapFrog team and investment capabilities across Asia and Africa.

Eagle Hospitality Trust entities’ sale of properties gets opening bid
Some entities of Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) have entered into a stalking-horse agreement with a bidder, as they seek to sell their properties as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the US. Fifteen out of 18 of the properties in EHT’s portfolio that are owned by the Chapter 11 entities are up for sale. A “stalking-horse” agreement effectively sets an opening price or “price floor” to protect the company selling the assets from low bids.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others


Is it time to raise taxes on the rich?
The Singapore Budget 2021 brought news of increased petrol duty rates and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on small-ticket items bought online. These measures will go a long way in raising the future revenue of the government. However, there is another way of increasing revenue that also helps narrow the income gap of citizens at the same time – raise taxes on the rich.

S-Reits on journey to raise sustainability standards
After Covid-19, climate change is accepted to be the next big global crisis confronting humanity. Many senior management and boards are actively discussing what this means for their business model and how prepared they are for the transformations that will inevitably take place as we move towards a greener society. The focus of this article is on the “E” (environmental) of ESG. This is not to imply that social and governance aspects of ESG are not important (they certainly are) but merely to lay out the scope for this writeup.

These 10 key tech trends are reshaping many industries
The Covid-19 crisis has dramatically accelerated corporate digital transformation. As companies hurry to develop new digital capabilities, build resilience and retool for the post-pandemic world, keeping up with fast-moving technology trends is critical. Based on our meetings with a carefully selected group of over 100 technology companies and startups, Bain & Company has identified 10 trends that are having an impact on a wide range of industries.

Establish proper protocol for future closure of Johor- Singapore border
At this time last year, Malaysia tossed a bombshell that was as far reaching as the capital control it unveiled in September 1998, at the height of the Asian Financial Crisis. The 1998 measures stopped the free flow of the ringgit into and out of Malaysia, whereas the March 2020 Movement Control Order curtailed the movement of people in and out the country in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Movement-tracking wristbands to be trialled at hybrid Mice event
Wristbands to track movements and partitioned meeting pods with microphones will be trialled as Singapore looks to revive its battered meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) sector. Almost 1,000 business visitors, delegates and speakers, comprising mostly locals, will try out these new measures at the Geo Connect Asia 2021 event to be held at Marina Bay Sands on March 24 and 25. 

Business meeting facility at S’pore Expo gets first guests
International visitors can see counterparts in meeting rooms with airtight glass panels. The first travellers to make use of a dedicated business meeting facility at Singapore Expo have begun arriving from countries such as Germany, France, Indonesia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Six new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
There were six new coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 60,052. All were imported cases and had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health. They included one long-term visit pass holder who arrived from India and one work permit holder who travelled from Indonesia.

Pfizer vaccine can give early protection 12 days after one dose
Researchers here have found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can help the body produce specific antibodies and immune cells against the Sars-CoV-2 virus. That may explain why it is able to offer protection from Covid-19 as early as 12 days after a single dose. According to an Israeli study conducted among healthcare workers, the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be 85 per cent effective against Covid-19.

Vaccine able to neutralise Brazil variant of virus, scientists find
New York • The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech was able to neutralise a new variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in Brazil, according to a laboratory study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Blood taken from people who had been given the vaccine neutralised an engineered version of the virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the highly contagious P1 variant first identified in Brazil, the study by scientists from the companies and the University of Texas Medical Branch found.
*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website and refer to for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Rising Treasury yields, inflation expectations fuel safe haven pull-out

US rescue plan a ‘booster shot’ for economy

US stimulus set to boost global economy as Europe lags behind: OECD

Bitcoin breaks through US$55,000 as risk appetite revives

UK shop sales soar as end of lockdown nears: report

Japan GDP grows 11.7% in Q4, less than preliminary figure

Property scandal roils S Korea as house prices soar

Pandemic property investors bet on Hong Kong’s old factories


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