The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 13 Jan 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore resale condo market robust despite pandemic, with prices up 1.4% in 2020
With the breathless pursuit of property in Singapore despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 ended on a robust showing in the condominium resale market. Resale transactions for non-landed private homes rose 18.1 per cent in 2020 from a year ago, flash figures from SRX Property showed on Tuesday. A total of 10,712 properties changed hands.

New home sales to hover at 10,000 in 2020: analysts
Developers sold 1,217 new homes in December, up almost 60 per cent over the November figure, data compiled by analysts showed. This brought the unit tally to 10,008 for 2020, a year when Singapore recorded its worst recession as a global pandemic resulted in lockdowns in many countries. It was an “amazing year”, said Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tee director and senior vice-president of research and analytics, who looked at December caveats filed with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday.

Blackstone to buy Sandcrawler building in Singapore for S$176m
US private equity giant Blackstone Group is planning to buy Lucas Real Estate Singapore’s iconic facility, the Sandcrawler, at an indicative price of nearly S$175.8 million, The Business Times (BT) has learnt. The sale process is ongoing and will be subject to approval from JTC Corporation. BT understands that CBRE brokered the deal. The futuristic-looking, horseshoe-shaped building’s design was inspired by the Star Wars franchise’s giant fictional vehicles with the same name.


Singapore Economy

Singapore F&B sector braces for labour, cost squeeze from MCO
Malaysia’s latest Movement Control Order (MCO) will exacerbate a manpower shortage and cost issues that have plagued food and beverage (F&B) firms in Singapore for nearly a year now, companies in the sector told The Business Times. The silver lining is that many companies have adjusted to the manpower and supply-chain disruptions over the last several months.

Malaysia’s latest curbs to have limited impact on Singapore: economists
SINGAPORE may not be too greatly affected by Malaysia’s state of emergency and its reintroduced Movement Control Order (MCO) curbs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with the most significant impact likely to be on movement of manpower, said economists. “Malaysia’s state of emergency and MCO should only have a small negative impact on Singapore,” said Maybank Kim Eng economist Chua Hak Bin.

Call for employers to shake off bias and hire, train mature workers
Employers in Singapore still harbour a bias against mature workers, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday. He called on employers to “take the high road” and make use of government schemes to hire and train such workers. This will benefit both workers and companies, given the tight labour market, Mr Tharman said at a forum on jobs and skills at the Singapore Perspectives conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies.

Strike balance between performance and resilience: Economists
In a post-Covid-19 world, Singapore should strike a balance between performance and resilience, even as it becomes less dependent on foreign workers against the backdrop of rapid advances in technology and digitalisation. Several leading economists offered this view yesterday at the Singapore Perspectives conference. “Let’s now drive, not for maximum efficiency, but for the right mix between performance and resilience. Don’t get caught out again by the next pandemic,” said Professor Danny Quah, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Experts see role for Singapore in spurring sustainability in region
As Singapore recovers from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has the rare opportunity to accelerate its sustainability efforts not only at home but also in the region, said experts during a forum on sustainability and the environment yesterday. Associate Professor Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said Singapore can drive efforts in the region through bilateral agreements, funding clean energy and investing in incentive schemes like carbon markets.


Companies’ Brief

Ascott cracks record unit growth despite Covid-19
CapitaLand’s The Ascott has built a four-year straight streak of record growth in property units in 2020 as it boosts recurring fee income through management and franchise contracts. In 2020, Ascott added 14,200 units across 71 properties globally. Despite Covid-19, the additional units exceeded the total number of units added in 2019 of some 14,100 units based on numbers disclosed as at Dec 2019.

GIC retains position as most active state-owned investor: report
Singapore’s GIC retained its position as most active state-owned investor (SOI) for the second year running in 2020, based on a report by Global SWF, a data platform that tracks sovereign wealth funds and public pension funds. On the back of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, GIC had deployed US$17.7 billion in 65 deals, lower than its US$24 billion deployed in 2019.

Tee International books Q2 net profit of S$547,000 after divesting loss-making operations
Mainboard-listed Tee International returned to the black in the second quarter, on the absence of losses from discontinued business operations. In its unaudited financial statements released on Tuesday, the group reported a net profit of S$547,000 for the three months to Nov 30, 2020, reversing the loss of S$35.9 million in the year before.

Ex-Sembcorp CEO Tang Kin Fei joins Manhattan Resources as chairman
Former Sembcorp Industries chief executive Tang Kin Fei is the new chairman of coal-mining group Manhattan Resources, in a board shake-up announced on Tuesday. The previous chairman of Manhattan, Liow Keng Teck, died at 77 in 2018.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Is inflation making a comeback?
Except for those who have spent time in developing countries, a whole generation has grown up without any experience of inflation. The last time we witnessed double-digit inflation in advanced economies was after the oil shock of 1979. The last seriously inflationary decade was the 1970s, when consumer prices more than doubled. Inflation has kept on falling ever since, to an annual average of 5.8 per cent in the 1980s, 3.1 per cent in the 1990s, 2.5 per cent in the 2000s and 1.8 per cent since 2010.

The Brexit boon to Europe and the US
Most Europeans are happy that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. Whether they realise that his economic policies will put the euro and Europe in a bind is another matter. The new US administration will want the euro to remain strong against the US dollar in order to keep the US economy humming. With the goal of boosting spending on the pandemic response, the environment, and infrastructure, the Biden White House will undoubtedly pressure the US Federal Reserve to keep the value of the US dollar low, regardless of how much more fiscal stimulus it can coax out of Congress.

Tilting towards value equities in 2021
We maintain a bullish outlook for global equities in general for 2021. However, we are switching our bias from a preference for the so-called Quality and Growth stocks to an increasingly optimistic outlook for Value equities. At a high level, Growth stocks are companies with a high expected earnings growth rate. Value stocks are companies that are cheap relative to the rest of the market.

ESG investments to drive growth for asset managers: IMAS survey
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments are expected to drive growth for asset managers over the next three years, an outlook survey by the Investment Management Association of Singapore has found. Eighty-six per cent of respondents surveyed believe this, compared to 68 per cent last year. Sixty-seven per cent also expect ESG or impact strategies to grow in popularity in 2021.

How advisory boards can raise the bar on ESG advocacy
THE board of directors of a large family-owned conglomerate in Asia was intensely discussing a proposal to invest millions of dollars to enhance emissions standards and worker safety across their power plants. The founder chairman wanted the board’s eight qualified non-executive directors to weigh in – and the majority of them seemed to favour this proposal. However, some directors endorsed the idea of deploying the capital to create additional capacity through brownfield investments.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

83-year-old Singaporean man among new Covid-19 cases in Singapore
[Singapore] An 83-year-old Singaporean man who returned from India was among the 17 new coronavirus cases confirmed on Tuesday (Jan 12). He was asymptomatic and tested positive for the virus on Monday. Tuesday’s cases were all imported, taking Singapore’s total to 58,946. They were all serving their stay-home notices or had been isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

No herd immunity in 2021, says WHO
Geneva • Despite Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out in a number of countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday that herd immunity would not be achieved this year. Countries across the globe are looking forward to vaccines finally allowing a return to normality in the months ahead. But the WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned that it will take time to produce and administer enough doses to halt the spread of the virus.
*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

US job openings declined by less than forecast in November

Former Trump property aims to be Palm Beach’s most expensive ever

US home prices eases in sign pandemic rally may cool

Biggest bitcoin plunge since March shakes faith in crypto boom

UK businesses drowning in red tape under Brexit border rules

Investors have a new default worry in China’s debt market

China puts 5 million in Hebei under lockdown to eradicate Covid cluster

Cash piles, hostile bids set stage for a wild Japan M&A year

Bank of Japan to mull cutting this year’s growth forecast: Nikkei

South Korea’s jobless rate hits 10-year high as Covid-19 cases surge

Thailand unveils 210 billion-baht stimulus to counter virus impact

Analysts expect Malaysia’s MCO to be extended

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