The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 12 Aug 2020 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore’s condo resale volume nearly doubles in July: SRX
Pent-up demand and a surge in HDB upgraders entering the market nearly doubled the resale volume of non-landed private homes in Singapore in July; 978 units were resold, up from the 496 units resold in June 2020.

Two shophouses in CBD, three in Jalan Besar up for sale
Two shophouses located in the central business district (CBD) and three adjoining shophouses in Jalan Besar have been put up for sale by tender, marketing agents PropNex and Edmund Tie said separately on Tuesday.

Is work-from-home phenomenon creating a disconnect from reality for property buyers?
Was a surge in private home sales in the last two weeks of June purely an expression of pent-up demand, following the second phase of Singapore’s reopening after the circuit- breaker partial lockdown? Or could it also reflect some property buyers’ disconnect from the reality of an economic recession and job losses?


Singapore Economy

The shape of things to come
What is the shape of recovery from the Covid-19 recession? The range of possibilities is unusually wide because so much hinges on what happens with public health and the timing of recovery. So what is more likely?

Singapore may take ‘some quarters’ to bounce back from 2020 recession
All eyes are now on Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s arsenal of fiscal bazookas, as the Covid-19 pandemic drags the economy towards its worst recession since independence. That’s as the deadly novel coronavirus, which reached Singapore’s shores in January, has done enough damage in just half a year to wipe out economic gains since 2016.

Upcoming fiscal support may be more targeted
More fiscal stimulus may be on the way, though measures may not remain as broad-based as before. With retrenchments rising even before the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) wage subsidy ends, it might be time to assess which jobs should still be supported.

Pandemic, circuit breaker cut GDP by $11b, but Budget support helped: Ministry analysts
The pandemic and circuit breaker measures this year lowered Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $11 billion and led to a spike in unemployment – but both could have been higher if not for the four rounds of Budget support measures.

Singapore economy suffers worst quarterly contraction on record
Singapore suffered its deepest economic slump on record in the second quarter, prompting the Government to trim its growth outlook for the year and warn of more job losses. With the pandemic still raging, the road to recovery is likely to be long and rough, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

Singapore recession deepens: Weak economy, high uncertainty mean hard adjustments
The economy has probably bottomed out, but there’s still a long way to go before a recovery appears on the horizon or the jobs situation returns to anywhere near normal. That’s the main takeaway from the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) numbers released yesterday, combined with the first-ever jobs situation report.

Economists expect tepid recovery from Singapore’s deepest economic slump while businesses hold off hiring
Singapore’s recovery from its worst-ever quarterly slump is likely to be slow and choppy, with a coronavirus resurgence looming as a constant threat. Travel and tourism will continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic, and full revival of construction activities may take longer than previously expected.

NODX 2020 growth forecast raised to 3-5 per cent
Thanks to better-than-expected shipments of certain products and a low base, Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grew 6.5 per cent in April-June, higher than the revised 5.4 per cent (5.8 per cent initially) rise in the first quarter – tighter restrictions on movements and economic activities notwithstanding.

Manufacturing sector grows by 3.5% in H1 2020
Biomedical manufacturing and precision engineering clusters helped grow the manufacturing sector in the first half of this year, contributing 5.0 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points respectively. The sector grew by 3.5 per cent year-on-year in H1 2020, with most of the growth clocked in Q1.

Some SMEs already in process of transforming themselves
Local businesses in some sectors, particularly those hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, have already been taking action to reinvent themselves instead of waiting out the crisis, firms and trade associations told The Business Times.

Singapore’s refining sector showing some recovery in July: Refinitiv
Singapore’s refining sector has finally shown some recovery in July, as the Republic’s three refineries hit full operable capacity for the first time since February 2020 at 1.315 million barrels per day. This was up from an average of about 80 per cent during the March to June 2020 period and a five-year low of 76 per cent in May…

24,000 job seekers placed; MOM weekly updates to highlight opportunities
AS AT the end of July, 24,000 job seekers have been placed under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills package, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Tuesday, in the first of a series of weekly updates on the job situation.


Companies’ Brief

Centurion Corp’s profits slip 10% in Q2 from costs to manage Covid-19 in workers’ dorms
Mainboard-listed housing operator Centurion Corp on Tuesday saw profits slip by 10 per cent to S$9.13 million for its second quarter ended June 30, on the back of additional costs incurred to manage the Covid-19 situation in workers’ accommodation.

GuocoLand appoints new group chief financial officer
Property developer GuocoLand has appointed Sim Chee Wah as its new group chief financial officer (CFO), effective Tuesday. He will be responsible for all financial matters of GuocoLand, including financial reporting, taxation, risk management and treasury functions, the group disclosed in a regulatory update on Tuesday.

Keppel sees selloff after Temasek walks away from deal
Keppel Corp shares were dragged down on Tuesday as investors were on edge after the surprise announcement that Temasek Holdings has scrapped its S$4 billion partial offer for the conglomerate. Within the first minute of the opening bell, Keppel sank nearly 13 per cent or S$0.69 to a low of S$4.71.

Roxy-Pacific’s net profit sinks 70% in H1 2020
Property and hospitality group Roxy-Pacific Holdings saw its net profit sink 70 per cent to S$2.79 million for the half-year ended June 30, dragged down by the impact of Covid-19. Revenue fell 16 per cent to S$118.07 million, mainly due to lower revenue from the property-development and the hotel-ownership segments.

Soilbuild Construction sinks deeper into the red for H1 2020
Soilbuild Construction sank deeper into the red for its half-year ended June 30, as the suspension of business activities and extension of construction periods for its projects hit its business hard. Its losses deepened to S$17.94 million for the period, deteriorating from a loss of S$1.83 million a year ago.

Sembcorp, Sembmarine end lower after investors vote for demerger
Shares of Sembcorp Industries (SCI) and Sembcorp Marine (SMM) saw heavy trading on Tuesday after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of their two-part recapitalisation and demerger proposal. Both companies had halted trading for the first half of the day while the extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) took place for voting.

Holiday Inn owner points to recovery after first half slump
Intercontinental Hotels said on Tuesday it was seeing some “very early” signs of improvement in demand after the Holiday Inn-owner’s revenue more than halved and profit slumped 82 per cent in the first half of 2020.

Marriott posts bigger-than-expected loss
US hotel operator Marriott International posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic curbed global travel and led to a plunge in room bookings. Marriott’s shares, down 40.3 per cent this year, fell 3.8 per cent in premarket trading as the company also reported an 84.4 per cent plunge in revenue per available room (RevPAR).

AA Reit proposes buying Bulim Street logistics facility for S$129.6m
The trustee of AIMS Apac Reit (AA Reit) on Aug 7 entered into a put and call option agreement with Titan (Wenya) to acquire a ramp-up logistics warehouse at 7 Bulim Street for a purchase price of about S$129.6 million.

Ascendas Reit sets up S$7b euro medium-term securities programme
The trustee of Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) on Tuesday established a S$7 billion euro medium-term securities programme, the Reit manager said on Wednesday. The net proceeds from the issue of each tranche of notes or perpetual securities will be used for financing or refinancing Ascendas Reit’s acquisitions and/or investments and any development and asset enhancement works the Reit initiates or has an interest in.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Covid-19 is not going to blow over. Urgent need to remake economy now
This is our worst quarterly performance on record. The forecast for 2020 essentially means the growth generated over the past two to three years will be negated.The nu mbers reflect the impact of Covid-19, as well as deeper forces reshaping the global economy and our position in the global value chains.

A new digital game plan for business survival mode
More than two months have passed since the announcement of Singapore’s Fortitude Budget, which included a sum of more than S$500 million allocated as part of the supplementary Covid-19 relief package to fund local digital transformation initiatives.

Management, boards shouldn’t go for low-hanging fruit of layoffs
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a brake on global economies, including Singapore, where total employment saw its worst quarterly contraction on record in the second quarter of 2020, according to preliminary data. The total number of people working in the city-state between April and June – when most of the economy was shut during the circuit breaker to stem the virus spread…


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

61 new coronavirus cases, lowest daily figure since April 2
A total of 61 new Covid-19 patients were announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday, the lowest daily total in more than four months since April 2, when 49 new infections were reported.

First Singapore volunteers given locally co-developed Covid-19 vaccine in trial
[Singapore] The first cohort of local volunteers has been dosed with a coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by Duke-NUS Medical School and United States pharmaceutical company Arcturus Therapeutics. Arcturus said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 11) that this first phase of the trial involved volunteers aged between 21 and 55, who were injected with a single shot of the vaccine.

Coronavirus: Tracking workers’ health with mobile apps, wearable devices
As the economy and travel gradually restart, migrant workers re-entering both the country and the workforce pose potential Covid-19 risks. To address this, the authorities have turned to digital technology, using tools like apps and wearable GPS devices to keep track of their health and movements.

Fresh cases detected at dormitories cleared of Covid-19
There have been new cases detected at dormitories declared to be cleared of the coronavirus, and the authorities are monitoring the situation to manage the risk of new outbreaks. A joint statement by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Building and Construction Authority…
*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

Australian consumer sentiment sinks amid ‘air of panic’

Australian Q2 wage growth lowest ever as pandemic rages

South Korea’s July jobless rate falls for second month


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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