The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 15 Oct 2020 (Thu)

Singapore Real Estate

Mediacorp puts former Caldecott Hill site for sale
The sprawling seven-hectare leasehold plot that used to house the iconic Caldecott Broadcast Centre has been offered for sale by Mediacorp via a public tender. The gross land value for a proposed bungalow redevelopment on the site is expected to be more than S$400 million – including the differential premium (DP) and the lease upgrading premium (UP), said CBRE and Showsuite Consultancy.

HDB rental volume jumps in September as Malaysian workers return to Singapore
The phased reopening of Singapore’s border with Malaysia boosted the property rental market last month, after rental volumes in August hit their lowest point in 12 months. Rents and leasings for both HDB and condominiums rose in September, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX Property released on Tuesday.

Flats sold for at least $1m made up 0.3% of total resale deals
Housing Board flats that sold for at least $1 million made up 0.3 per cent of total resale transactions this year, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee yesterday. There have been 38 such million-dollar flats sold as at August, out of 14,400 resale transactions.

Trusts’ corporate governance scores ‘have stagnated or regressed’
Netlink NBN Trust has retained its No.1 spot in the Governance Index for Trusts (GIFT) 2020, although the overall average score for the sector has dropped, partly due to a raising of standards. The GIFT ranking, a study of Singapore-listed trusts, was produced by Mak Yuen Teen, associate professor of accounting at the NUS Business School, and Chew Yi Hong, an active investor and keen observer of the corporate governance scene.


Singapore Economy

Singapore poised for K-shaped recovery following Q3 rebound
A k-shaped recovery for the Singapore economy seems the most likely outcome, with IT, advanced manufacturing and financial services leading the way, while other sectors are likely to suffer a more prolonged impact, economists told The Business Times (BT).

Digital economy holds a large chunk of new opportunities: Chan
The global economy faces a fundamental choice between integration or fragmentation, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Wednesday. But whether nations can continue to reap the benefits of globalisation depends on their ability to bring inclusive growth to their populations, and by helping businesses and workers adjust to the forces of change.

MAS Singdollar policy tipped to be in neutral gear for a while
The Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate (SGDNEER) path may not return to appreciation bias until as late as 2022, analysts say. But punters may already be betting on the SGD, with HSBC currency strategist Joey Chew dubbing the market “emboldened by diluted forward guidance”.

Concerns raised over reserves and balancing the Budget
Three MPs have voiced concerns over whether Singapore would be able to balance the books for the current term of government, as well as in the future, after the Government committed nearly $100 billion to Covid-19 support measures this year.

MOM actively monitoring shifts in remote working
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is actively monitoring shifts in workplace practices due to remote working and sharing views with its international counterparts to assess the need for policy intervention.

Growth, jobs, and fiscal matters main themes of debate as MPs highlight areas of concern
As economic reopening continues amid the Covid-19 pandemic, pilot schemes – safe cruises, for instance – will help businesses adapt and let Singapore play a role in setting global standards, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan on Wednesday.

Teething problems in job-matching sorted: minister
Some kinks emerged early in the drive to match job-seekers with opportunities, but these have since been ironed out, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in Parliament on Wednesday. More than 20,500 traineeship and company attachment opportunities have been made available, and more than 2,800 local job-seekers have been helped under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, she said.

MPs call for more help for workers hit by pandemic
Since he was retrenched from his sales job that drew a five-figure monthly salary, Mr Tan has attended job fairs and sent out multiple resumes. But the 50-year-old, who lives in a terrace house, remains unemployed and works as a Grab driver to make ends meet.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand’s Ascott signs 12 more properties in China; enters Austria
CapitaLand’s wholly-owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited, has secured more than 2,100 new units across 12 properties in China in the last three months. Revenue from its operating properties in the country have also almost fully recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels, said Ascott in a press statement on Thursday.

GuocoLand to exit Vietnam, sell subsidiaries for 656.09b dong
GuocoLand has proposed to sell its subsidiaries in Vietnam for some 656.09 billion dong (S$38.3 million), after which the luxury property developer will no longer have business operations in the country. The mainboard-listed company on Wednesday evening said its wholly-owned subsidiary GuocoLand Vietnam (S) Pte Ltd (GLVS) is planning to sell the entire charter capital of GuocoLand Vietnam Company Limited (GVC) to Hang Vay Chi, Vuong Hoa and TT Investment Company.

Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust receives HK$263 million in interim insurance payout for Festival Walk damages
Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) has received interim payments totalling HK$263 million (S$46 million) in insurance claims for property damage and revenue loss due to business interruption to Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong.

SPH shares dip below $1 after company posts first net loss
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) shares sank yesterday after the media and property group fell into the red for the first time and slashed its dividend payout. The counter shed 5.2 per cent, or 5.5 cents, to 99.5 cents in early trade – the first time it has dipped below $1 – but regained a little momentum to close at $1, down 4.76 per cent, with 44 million shares done.

Slow recovery a setback for hotels, but there’re encouraging signs
The recovery for the travel industry remains slower than expected, throwing a spanner into the works for the hotel sector as peak season looms. The International Air Transport Association was previously banking on international borders re-opening by the fourth quarter of this year, but those hopes are rapidly dimming as subsequent waves of infection prompt countries to keep their borders tightly sealed.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Time to start thinking about debt repayment, restructuring
Even as Singapore prepares to open the economy further under a Phase 3 plan, things are not going to return to levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic. It will take time. Like many countries, Singapore has implemented various support packages to help households and businesses survive this rough patch.

Tweaks to the scoring for governance index prepare trusts for more volatile weather
Rankings in GIFT 2020 place less focus on pure disclosure and meeting standards, and more on substance.

Investors not pricing in broader climate risks
Climate change is a complex and poorly understood problem, yet I believe it to be one of the most relevant investment issues we will face over the next several decades. Because of the immense uncertainty around how our ecosystems will be impacted by increasing greenhouse gas levels – as well as how government policies and economic systems will adapt – climate change is fundamentally a risk-management issue.

Liquidity drying up for VC firms as investments age
THE pressure is mounting on venture capital (VC) funds to show real cash returns to investors, but as exits are delayed and market conditions remain rocky, some early VC funds might be burdened with a backlog of ageing investments.

Electricity, gas consumption up as people spend more time at home
Singapore households used on average more electricity and gas each month between April and July, compared with the same period last year. Their electricity consumption rose 16 per cent while that of gas went up 34 per cent, as people spent more time at home during the circuit breaker and the early stages of Singapore’s phased reopening amid the pandemic, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng yesterday.

Tariffs go towards power firms’ costs, not SP Group’s profits: Minister
Electricity tariffs collected by national power grid operator SP Group do not go to its profits, but to the power generation companies which have incurred higher production costs given the increase in global fuel prices, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng told Parliament yesterday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

2 schoolchildren among five new Covid-19 cases
A 13-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl are the two new Covid-19 cases in the community reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday. Both patients had last been at their respective schools on Oct 2. They were both quarantined from Oct 3, and were swabbed on that day but tested negative, MOH said in a statement last night.

Singapore ready for cold-chain transport of Covid-19 vaccines
Singapore handled more pharmaceutical cargo in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period last year – an increase that comes on the heels of local efforts to boost air transport of temperature-sensitive products like vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
*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 business creation soars to record in Q3

JPMorgan sticks with plan to build giant New York headquarters

Banks slash UK commercial property lending as default fears mount

G-20 vows to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support global economy

Countries turn to rapid but less accurate tests to contain new Covid-19 wave

Another coronavirus vaccine setback

China’s President Xi backs stronger property rights, protection for Shenzhen entrepreneurs

Evergrande deal misses target after it cuts out founder’s rich friends

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