The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 8, 9, 10 May 2021 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Green buildings keep tropical tenants cool
On a typically hot and humid afternoon in Singapore, a fresh breeze blows beneath the canopy of the South Beach complex, keeping temperatures several degrees cooler than on the surrounding streets. The rippling 280-metre wave of steel-and-aluminium runs the length of the Norman Foster-designed complex, funnelling prevailing winds over outdoor patrons of eateries and bars and saving on air conditioning for the mixed-use project.

Over 80% of first phase of One Bernam units sold
Over 80 per cent of the first phase of 100 units of One Bernam was snapped up over its launch weekend, said MCC Group and HY Realty in an announcement. Due to tightened Covid-19 measures, developers released the units for sale in phases and brought forward the booking day by one day to May 7.

Home buyers fret as some BTO flats may be delayed by a year or more
Singapore – Home buyers are becoming more worried that they will have to wait longer to get the keys to their Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, while others said they are resigned to the fact that their housing projects may now be delayed by up to one year or more.

Construction firms can expect more support, says minister
Companies in the construction sector could receive higher foreign worker levy rebates as the Government considers additional support after recent border closures led to arrivals from several countries being denied entry, putting the squeeze on manpower supply.

No new work pass holders allowed in from high-risk places
Singapore has stopped accepting new entry applications for work pass holders from countries or regions at higher risk of Covid-19, given the resurgence of the virus in several countries and the emergence of new virus variants.



Singapore Economy

Global minimum corporate tax unlikely to cause US capital flight from Asia
Calls for a global minimum corporation tax rate, if implemented, may see some American companies restructuring to shift certain functions back home or elsewhere, but an exodus of US capital from high-growth Asia is unlikely, tax experts say.

Visitor arrivals in Singapore in for a tough second quarter
Singapore visitor arrivals face a rocky second quarter, as fresh Covid-19 infections and virus variants derail the global travel recovery. On the bright side, analysts do not expect consumer spending to take a severe hit, as domestic consumption has proven a solid buffer against the plunge in tourism.

4G leader will have to bring rest of team together: PM Lee
As the People’s Action Party’s fourth-generation (4G) ministers deliberate on their next leader, their eventual choice has to be someone who is able to bring the rest together, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.



Companies’ Brief

Worthwhile to invest in sustainability: Surbana Jurong
It’s a cost that needs to be incurred sooner or later, which is what makes sustainability a zero-sum game, says Surbana Jurong’s group chief executive Wong Heang Fine. Noting that there has been several flooding incidents of late due to torrential rain, Mr Wong tells BT in an interview that this is not because Singapore’s infrastructure is not designed for it, since it was designed according to what he calls “operating conditions”.

Build back better
After a year of challenge and loss, Tony Lombardo is strapping on his new boots as Lendlease’s incoming Group CEO.

Is ESR-Reit on a road to redemption?
A string of growth initiatives unveiled by ESR-Reit last week, including an equity fund raising, was met by a sell-off in the market. But these latest moves could set ESR-Reit on a road to redemption of sorts, after spending months last year embroiled in a controversial attempt to acquire Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) at a steep discount to its book value.

ESR-Reit drops as much as 9.8% after proposed acquisitions, fundraising
Shares of ESR-Reit fell by 9.8 per cent amid heavy trading, one day after the manager announced plans to raise about S$150 million to fund a Singapore acquisition and asset enhancement initiatives (AEIs). The real estate investment trust (Reit) also obtained a S$68.5 million unsecured loan to finance the acquisition of a 10 per cent interest in a GIC-majority-owned Australian logistics investment for A$60.5 million (S$62.4 million).

Corporate digest



Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)
Singapore faces a rapidly ageing population and workforce, dwindling birth rates and constraints on foreign manpower. Hence it is imperative for us to tackle ageism decisively to achieve optimal development and deployment of our limited human capital.  

Should children be vaccinated to slow the spread of Covid-19?
(Financial Times) – With more than one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses administered to adults around the world, debate is turning to the contentious question of whether or when to extend vaccinations to children.
The biggest vaccine manufacturers have all trialled their jabs on young people, including babies in some cases.

Would S’pore have avoided a return to phase 2 if it had shut the borders early?
Singapore has reintroduced some safety measures as a new wave of Covid-19 infections spreads through the community, fuelled by new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus, such as the B16172 “double mutant” strain first detected in India.

How firms can better manage emerging risks from remote working
Singapore – The protracted Covid-19 pandemic is no longer just a disruption to the way we work but has transformed permanently the world of work. As we distil the learnings from 2020 to prepare ourselves for a pandemic-resilient workplace, the future of work is shaping into a hybrid model that optimises employee flexibility, autonomy and performance across locations.

We are heading into bubble trouble
Talk of bubbles everywhere – travel bubbles and asset bubbles. Some will burst, some will deflate and then reflate again. Bubbles are a part of life, and cannot be avoided. But it is important to know how to navigate through it – with the help of diversification, proper planning and a long term mindset.

Will work from home end soon?
(Bloomberg) – Working from home for more than a year may revolutionise some parts of business but I think most people in the United States will be back at their desks in September. Let’s talk numbers. Of the 150 million or so people who were employed in March, 31.6 million telecommuted, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, or about 21 per cent of the pie.

Singapore not barring entry to all work pass holders: MOM
Singapore is not closing its doors to all work pass holders and their dependants, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday. It is reducing arrivals from higher-risk areas, meaning that some work pass holders who had earlier obtained entry approvals will have to be rescheduled to arrive in later weeks.

Higher foreign worker levy rebates for essential sectors
Foreign worker levy rebates are being increased from $90 to $250 a month to bring extra relief to about 15,000 companies in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors. The move, announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday, is to help firms in the immediate term, given the manpower shortages and increased costs as Singapore tightens its border measures.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

4 Covid-19 community infections among 25 new cases in Singapore
There were 25 new coronavirus cases, including four in the community, the Ministry of Health reported on Friday at noon. This takes Singapore’s total number of cases to 61,311. The other 21 cases were imported. They had been placed on stay-home-notices or isolated on arrival from Singapore, said MOH. There were no cases from the workers’ dorms.

Seaport, airport step up Covid-19 precautionary measures
Singapore is ramping up precautionary measures for both its seaport and Changi Airport after 12 workers contracted Covid-19 in the past 10 days, according to two separate announcements on Sunday night. Over the past 10 days, four workers at the seaport facilities have been detected to be infected with Covid-19, while there were eight cases at Changi Airport.

VJC student tests positive; over 100 quarantined
About 2,200 students, staff and vendors of Victoria Junior College (VJC), as well as visitors to the school, will be swabbed for Covid-19 as a precaution after an 18-year-old student tested positive on Friday. Through the whole of this week, starting tomorrow, all students there will not be allowed into the school and lessons will be conducted online to allow for the swab tests to be completed and finalised.

Cases of discrimination against TTSH staff: PM
Staff at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) have not only been fighting Covid-19, but some have also faced discrimination by members of the public, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. “People are understandably fearful, but it is no less distressing to see,” he said in a Facebook post.

Vaccines used here will protect significantly against variants
The two vaccines Singapore is using will protect significantly, but not absolutely, against all current variants of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, say experts. To what extent, however, is where they do not agree.
The Ministry of Health said last week that all three Covid-19 variants of concern (VOCs) – strains that could cause the most harm —

Over 6,600 coronavirus mutations, but not all make waves: Expert
The Sars-CoV-2 virus that sparked the Covid-19 pandemic has undergone more than 6,600 unique spike protein mutations, said Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, executive director of the Bioinformatics Institute at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Swab tests ongoing for Victoria JC students, staff following positive case
A Covid-19 testing exercise is under way at Victoria Junior College (VJC), with a steady stream of students seen entering the school yesterday morning for their swabs. Dressed in their school uniforms, students entered the school through the main entrance and left via a side gate after they had their swabs taken.

Hotels ramp up room capacity to cater to longer SHN stays
Hotels serving as stay-home notice (SHN) facilities have put in place additional measures to help their guests cope with longer stays, while also ramping up their room capacities. But the new rules that kicked in last Saturday requiring those on SHN to serve an additional seven days have left some holidaygoers frustrated, as some hotels that previously catered to staycation guests have been converted into SHN-only facilities and have cancelled earlier bookings.

Firms see spike in demand for pre-event testing
Providers of pre-event testing (PET) for Covid-19 are ramping up resources and hiring or training more staff as they handle a spike in demand. They were already taking bookings for large-scale events when the Ministry of Health (MOH) last Tuesday announced a tightening of restrictions after a surge in local cases. From yesterday to May 30, the capacity limit for weddings is 250 people with PET or 50 without PET.

Firms should not use app data to bar people from premises
Businesses should not use records from the TraceTogether app to deny users access to their premises, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) said in a joint statement yesterday.

4 ways to travel safely with no quarantine: Ong Ye Kung
Covid-19 testing, vaccination and “bubbles” between both people and countries are some ways to ensure safe travel without the need for quarantine, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday.

*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at and refer to for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Investors watching US economic data for signs of inflation, and Fed’s response

Blackstone offers to buy British developer in UK warehouse chase

NY property managers take wait-and-see attitude over reopening

April job growth misses estimates; jobless rate at 6.1%

Trials show jab 96% effective among teens, says Moderna

Sydney extends anti-Covid measures for a week on untraceable case

Malaysia bans inter-state travel, shuts malls listed as possible virus hot spots

Questions being raised about Malaysia’s lack of Covid communications strategy

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