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 & 11 Nov 2020 (Tue & Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

8MRE pays S$26.4m for latest shophouse buys
Singapore-based property investment company 8M Real Estate (8MRE) has picked up two conservation shophouse properties in the Duxton Hill/Craig Road area for a total of S$26.4 million. The District 2 properties on sites with balance leasehold tenures of close to 68 years each are being sold by entities linked to veteran property investor Stanley Quek.

Two Craig Road shophouses up for sale with S$31m guide price
Two conservation shophouses along Craig Road have been offered for sale with a total guide price of S$31 million, exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore said on Monday. The price tag translates to about S$3,157 per square foot based on an estimated built-up area of 9,817 square feet (sq ft).

Singapore condo resale volume up 21.6% in October as buyers sense worst is over
Resale volumes of non-landed private homes in Singapore rose 21.6 per cent month-on-month to about 1,509 units in October, a level not seen since May 2018. This comes amid healthy demand for homes, signalling recovery from the Covid-19 situation as more buyers enter the market, according to research heads from PropNex and ERA on Tuesday.

October new home sales dive by half following clampdown on OTP reissue
Sales of new private homes in October were less than half that in the month before – which analysts have put down to buyers holding back on purchases following the clampdown on the re-issuing of options to purchase (OTPs) by developers.

S-Reits’ acquisition blitz set to hit S$10b in 2020 despite Covid-19
Singapore real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) are back in the buying game, spurred on by low interest rates, higher debt capacity under an enhanced gearing limit allowed by the central bank, and pent-up from the transaction slowdown in the first two quarters of this year.

How will Covid-19 impact Asian real estate?
Covid-19 will likely impact the property market. Some of it might be cyclical and therefore temporary, while others might be structural and permanent, such as the accelerated shift to online retailing. This in turn lowers the demand for retail properties but would encourage retailers to increase capex on their logistics, delivery and storage capabilities.

URA pulls foreigner home buying price data, leaving gaps in market overview
A recent overhaul of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) platform providing data on the Singapore property market has also stripped out certain pricing data on foreign buying, leaving gaps on how such transactions are shaping a robust property market.

Mega-sale events won’t ring in happy holidays for retailers
The demise of department store Robinsons Singapore could portend a more muted holiday sale season, as Covid-19 takes a toll on retailers and their ability to survive, let alone offer the steep discounts consumers have come to expect especially along the Orchard Road shopping belt.


Singapore Economy

Phase 3 will go ahead only if three conditions are met
Singapore can go ahead with phase three of its reopening only if three key conditions are met, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday. “There may be a chance we can do it before the end of the year. If not, we will roll over to January or some time early next year,” he said.

Minister: We are ready to open borders further, but with safeguards in place
Singapore is willing to reopen its borders further, but this has to be done safely because of the varying levels of infection and risk in the region and around the world, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday. Outlining the country’s general approach on the matter, he said: “Our overall posture towards the opening of our borders is one where we are, in principle, prepared to consider more opening up, but it has to be done safely and with appropriate safeguards.”

Asean inks pact to ease flow of essential goods amid pandemic
Asean members have agreed to refrain from implementing trade-restrictive measures on some essential goods such as medicines and medical supplies amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

E-commerce booms but S’pore’s Internet economy shrinks 24%
The clear signs of an e-commerce boom in Singapore failed to prevent its Internet economy – or business conducted online – from taking a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. Online travel – Singapore’s star digital performer last year – slumped by about 70 per cent this year to US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) in gross merchandise value (GMV), stricken by lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Number of manufacturing jobs doubles to 6,370 in two months
The manufacturing sector in Singapore has continued to create more jobs, thanks to increased output – and even hard-hit sub-sectors like marine and offshore now need workers to support their transformation efforts.


Companies’ Brief

Bukit Sembawang H1 net profit rises 11% to S$73.7m
Bukit Sembawang Estates reported a net profit of S$73.7 million for the first half of its financial year ending in September, up 11 per cent from S$66.6 million the year before. The group’s earnings per share were lifted to 28.45 cents, up from 25.73 cents last year.

Far East Orchard sinks into the red with S$6.3m nine-month loss
Mainboard-listed hotel operator and property developer Far East Orchard has sunk into the red with a net loss of S$6.3 million for the nine months ended Sept 30, compared with a net profit of S$5.4 million a year ago.

Frasers Property full-year profit tumbles 66.4% on Covid-19 hit
Real estate developer and manager Frasers Property has posted a 66.4 per cent drop in net profit to S$188.1 million for the full year ended Sept 30, 2020 from S$560.3 million a year ago. This is in line with its profit guidance released last month and comes as earnings were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the mainboard-listed group said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Keppel Land China divests Hill Crest Villas in Chengdu for 1.26b yuan
Keppel Land China, a subsidiary of Keppel Land, is divesting its 100 per cent stake in Chengdu Hilltop Development Co Ltd for an aggregate amount of 1.26 billion yuan (S$250.4 million). The transaction, entered into by Keppel Land China’s subsidiary Hillwest Pte Ltd, is expected to earn the company a divestment gain of approximately S$43 million.

99 Group acquires real estate data provider SRX
99 Group, which operates property portal, has acquired property platform and real estate data provider Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) for an undisclosed sum. StreetSine Singapore, the company that operates the SRX platform and that 99 Group is acquiring, is majority owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes The Business Times.

Multiple lawsuits added up can be material so why does Oxley Holdings not disclose them?
The High Court will be hearing at least two litigation cases involving Oxley Holdings this week. If you don’t remember being alerted to these proceedings via the listed property firm’s disclosures to the Singapore Exchange (SGX), it’s because no such alerts exist.

Quarz, Black Crane seek Sabana Reit EGM to vote on five resolutions
Fund managers Quarz Capital and Black Crane Capital, in a letter sent on Tuesday and seen by The Business Times, have made a requisition to the board of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Sabana Reit) manager to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Aspen shares surge 15% after announcing placement
Shares in Catalist-listed Aspen (Group) Holdings rallied 15.1 per cent or four Singapore cents to S$0.305 by the closing bell on Monday, after it announced a proposed placement to raise up to S$23.8 million. Some 121.4 million shares changed hands, making it one of the most heavily traded counters on the Singapore bourse for the day.

Ascendas Reit seeks to raise S$1.2b, plans US$560.2m purchase of office buildings
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) has launched a private placement and preferential offering to raise gross proceeds of about S$1.2 billion. This will go into financing its potential and proposed overseas acquisitions, including the US$560.2 million purchase of two office properties in San Francisco that was also announced on Tuesday morning.

Cromwell E-Reit posts indicative Q3 DPU of 0.882 euro cent
Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Cromwell E-Reit) indicative distribution per unit (DPU) rose 5.8 per cent quarter on quarter to 0.882 euro cent for the three months ended Sept 30. The indicative DPU is based on a 100 per cent payout of the distributable income and takes into account no capital distribution, as well as base manager fees and property manager fees paid fully in cash.

EC World Reit cuts Q3 DPU by 6.8% to 1.388 S cents
EC World Real Estate Investment Trust’s (EC World Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) dropped 6.8 per cent to 1.388 Singapore cents for the three months ended Sept 30, from 1.489 cents a year ago. Gross revenue was up 10.8 per cent to S$28.5 million for the quarter, from S$25.7 million a year ago. Net property income (NPI) grew 14 per cent on the year to S$26.1 million for the quarter, from S$22.9 million.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Unpacking Bidenomics
For months, analysts have been speculating on what would happen to the United States, global economies and financial markets in the event of a Biden presidency, which is finally at hand. But while there is hope for an overhaul of many economic and social policies, the path ahead is strewn with political obstacles.

Summit season starts as leaders dial in to Asean, Apec, G-20 meets
It’s the time of the year when, in normal circumstances, world leaders along with hundreds of government officials and journalists would be flying around the world to attend a series of annual summits.

2020 heralds new era for South-east Asia’s digital growth
As the novel coronavirus pandemic struck, people in South-east Asia embraced technology at a faster rate and in more ways than ever before. In doing so, they have mapped out the role a strong, inclusive digital economy might play in the region’s long-term success and prosperity.

A logistical challenge like no other in history
Picture the biggest launches in history – the original iPhone, or perhaps the invention of the humble ThumbDrive by Singapore tech company Trek 2000 International – and you can imagine all the logistical coordination that took place behind the scenes.

S-E Asia’s Internet growth to stay flat amid pandemic
Despite an addition of 40 million new users and an increase in online usage, South-east Asia’s Internet economy is expected to achieve US$105 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) this year, similar to the levels seen in 2019, a report jointly produced by Temasek, Google, and Bain showed.

S$6.8m disbursed to 2,700 food, retail businesses in Singapore for going digital
Since August, about 2,700 food services and retail businesses in Singapore have received a total of S$6.8 million in Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB) payouts, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said last Friday.

How Singapore can break out of land scarcity in data centre space
Singapore is naturally constrained by its size against other large data-centre markets in the region. But what it lacks in size, it hopes to make up for in green innovation. The heat literally is on, with analysts saying that Singapore might lose out should it not meet its goal of becoming more energy efficient.

Singapore tenant collective SGTUFF to hold job fair for over 1,000 positions
Singapore tenant collective Singapore Tenants United for Fairness (SGTUFF) will be holding a job fair with more than 1,000 roles on offer, in a bid to help ease the labour shortage in frontline industries.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Bugis Street, Mustafa Centre among sites visited by Covid-19 cases
Bugis Street, Mustafa Centre, Jurong Point and Kitchener Complex were among new sites visited by coronavirus patients while they were infectious, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday. Bugis Street was visited on three separate occasions – between 8.15pm and 11pm on Nov 1, between 3.30pm and 6.55pm on Nov 3, and between 11.45am and 3.20pm on Nov 8.

No positive cases so far from rapid testing at larger events
Rapid testing being conducted at larger events has yet to pick up any positive Covid-19 cases, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, director of medical services at the Ministry of Health (MOH), said yesterday. Singapore is piloting the use of these tests as an important part of its strategy in containing the coronavirus, which will allow for larger gatherings in phase three of its reopening, he said.

Those who need a Covid-19 test can get it from 600 approved providers, says Gan
Any company or individual who requires a Covid-19 test will be able to procure such services from about 600 approved providers, Singapore’s authorities said on Tuesday, in a move to make testing more accessible.

From Nov 17, travellers to Singapore from high-risk countries must take pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test
[Singapore] All travellers from higher-risk countries will be required to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test at least 72 hours before departing for Singapore. The Health Ministry (MOH) on Tuesday (Nov 10) said these travellers will still be required to serve a 14-day stay home notice upon their arrival, and be tested at the end of their quarantine.

Singapore in talks with Pfizer in quest for multiple vaccine sources
Singapore’s strategy is not to depend on any single source for Covid-19 vaccines, the authorities said on Tuesday. This is even as the government is in discussion with major pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, whose experimental vaccine was reported to be 90 per cent effective.

Pfizer vaccine provides hope for ending pandemic
Almost a year into the pandemic, a world facing the unrelenting spread of the coronavirus received a burst of good news, with a vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc showing “extraordinary” results while an antibody therapy from Eli Lilly & Co was granted emergency-use authorisation in the US.

Vaccine by Singapore scientists may be available early next year
Singapore could have a Covid-19 vaccine by early next year. The first shipments of a vaccine co-developed by Singapore researchers are expected in the first quarter, said Arcturus Therapeutics – the American pharmaceutical company working with Duke-NUS Medical School scientists on the vaccine – yesterday, as it announced positive preliminary results from the early-stage clinical trials being conducted in Singapore.

Singapore Covid-19 test kit gets FDA nod
A Covid-19 antibodies test kit that was developed in Singapore is the first to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can detect whether a person has antibodies that neutralise the coronavirus, can be used to test if vaccines work, check the proportion of the population that has already been infected, and assist in contact tracing.

Nightclubs in pilot scheme to have cap of 100 patrons
Clubbing and karaoke under the Government’s proposed nightlife pilot programme will be open only to local residents and those with work passes, who must show proof of a Covid-19 test taken in the 24 hours before they can enter a joint.

TraceTogether check-in at venues is better, (cyber) safer
By the end of the year, Singapore will be switching to a new Covid-19 management tool: TraceTogether-only SafeEntry. This system is more effective for contact tracing and provides better cyber hygiene, making the switchover a no-brainer.
*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

UK Reit’s property value dives £945m in pandemic

Redundancies in UK hit record high as job market slumps in Q3

Property firm Connells makes initial approach on Countrywide buyout

WFH injecting life into suburban malls as downtowns empty out

Australia may allow visitors from some Asian places

Australia’s Nov consumer sentiment jumps to seven-year highs

Australian business confidence jumps to 1-1/2 year highs

China’s Oct PPI falls faster than expected

Evergrande scraps China listing, strikes more investor deals

South Korea’s Oct unemployment rate rises; jobs fall at fastest pace in six months

Ant’s stalled IPO could see its value slashed by US$140b

Philippines economy contracts 11.5% y-o-y in Q3

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