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 Dec 2020 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore’s housing market through the various crises
The world entered the 21st Century with its fair share of turbulence, ranging from the dot-com bubble-burst in early 2000, the 911 terrorist attack of the US World Trade Center in 2001, to the Iraq war in 2003, among others. There were also two major pandemics (Sars and Covid-19) and a global financial crisis that have caused significant economic disruptions.


Singapore Economy

Vaccination plan a boost for growth in 2021, but border reopening remains key
With Covid-19 vaccination set to be available to all long-term residents by end-2021, Singapore’s growth may gain a boost late in the year, said economists – though much hinges on the extent of border reopening. The start of Phase 3 this Dec 28, meanwhile, is likely to bring only a modest uplift, they said in response to Monday’s update on the pandemic.

Singapore to begin phase 3 on Dec 28
Singapore will enter phase three of its reopening in two weeks, on Dec 28, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. The permitted group size for social gatherings will go up from five to eight, with capacity limits at attractions, malls and places of worship also set to be increased.

S’poreans urged to stay vigilant and abide by rules to curb virus
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has an important message for Singaporeans as they gear up for phase three of the country’s reopening: Stay cautious and vigilant, continue to cooperate with the Government and abide by the rules to keep the virus at bay. “Please do not abandon your mindset of watchfulness and caution,” he urged them yesterday in a televised national address.

Some light at the end of the tunnel, but Covid-19 battle far from over
As the end of a difficult year draws near, there was cause to let out a little cheer when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered some good news in his latest televised address to the nation on Monday. First, there was the long-awaited update on Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination plans that everyone wanted to know more about.

Singapore to play crucial role in transporting vaccines around world
As a global aviation hub, Singapore will play a crucial role in transporting Covid-19 vaccines around the world, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In a televised address yesterday on the next steps for the nation, PM Lee outlined how Singapore is well positioned to handle large volumes of vaccines, which he said will support “our recovery in more ways than one”.

S’pore, France working on reciprocal green lane for business, official travel
Singapore and France are working on a reciprocal green lane for short-term business and official trips. The framework for the arrangement has been agreed between French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday.

Singapore, Malaysia in talks over HSR project as deadline nears
Singapore and Malaysia are still in discussions over the twice-delayed high-speed rail (HSR) project, which has until Dec 31 before officials have to make a final decision on its status, a Singapore Ministry of Transport spokesman has said.


Companies’ Brief

CDL to sell Penang hotel for RM75m
City Developments Limited (CDL) on Monday said it plans to divest the Copthorne Orchid Hotel & Resort Penang in Malaysia for some RM75 million (S$25 million). The sale and purchase agreement was entered into by CDL’s wholly-owned subsidiary Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Limited (M&C).

CVC buys Myanmar’s largest telecom tower company for US$700m
CVC Capital Partners has agreed to buy Myanmar’s largest telecom tower company in a deal that sources said was valued at about US$700 million and which marks the global buyout firm’s first foray into the South-east Asian country.

LMIRT unitholders give green light for Lippo Mall Puri purchase, rights issue
Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) can now proceed to acquire the majority of the strata titles within a West Jakarta mall for about 3.5 trillion rupiah (S$336.5 million) from its sponsor, despite recent opposition from some unitholders.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Entering the new age of responsive real estate
There is no doubt that in today’s world, we must continually respond and adapt to evolve the way we do business. Following a recent leadership panel discussion that I hosted virtually with several real estate leaders, it has become more discernible that as we look beyond Covid-19, a mindset shift is necessary in navigating the road to recovery.

World needs climate change surge in 2021
The global warming agenda has taken a lower profile for much of 2020 with the coronavirus crisis dominating political debate. However, 2021 could see a global climate surge which could yet reshape the international debate.

FTAs critical to easing trade flows
After three years of negotiations with the Pacific Alliance of four South American nations, Singapore stands ready to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with them in the new year. That is the substantial outcome of last Friday’s maiden participation by Singapore in the Alliance’s summit, held as a virtual forum this year. Singapore had been invited to attend as a Candidate Associate State of the Alliance.

We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel: PM Lee
In his televised address yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the progress Singapore has made since the first Covid-19 case was detected here, the brighter outlook offered by vaccines and what must be done to get over the final stretch. The text of his speech follows:

Give the AI economy a human touch
Automation, robotics and artificial intelligence technologies have been taking over routine tasks for years. The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly increased that trend, driven by the triple necessities of increased productivity, lower costs and human safety. Suddenly, human contact is both undesirable and more longed for than ever.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Five new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
Five new coronavirus cases were confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 58,325. All five were imported cases and had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, the Ministry of Health said last night. The new cases comprised four work permit holders employed in Singapore and one short-term visit pass holder.

Free, voluntary vaccinations for all Singaporeans, long-term residents
Free Covid-19 vaccinations will be offered to all Singaporeans and long-term residents who are currently here, though they will be voluntary, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. Those who are at greatest risk will be given first priority, including healthcare workers and front-line personnel, as well as the elderly and vulnerable, he said in a televised address.

HSA okays use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, will keep monitoring safety
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Singapore, and said it will keep monitoring it to ensure that it continues to be safe for use. “We will draw on our network of healthcare professionals and international regulatory counterparts, as well as use data analytics, to enable us to detect early safety signals,” said Associate Professor Chan Cheng Leng, group director of HSA’s health products regulation group.

Getting a jab: A case for sooner or later?
It is great news that Singapore has secured enough Covid-19 vaccines for everyone here, with the first vaccines slated to arrive by the year end. Once there are enough vaccines here for the entire population – around the third quarter of next year – and a sufficiently large number of people have been vaccinated, current measures can be eased. That is something to look forward to.

Greater freedoms for migrant workers in coming weeks
Migrant workers will be able to enjoy greater freedoms in the coming weeks as those in some dormitories will be allowed to access the community once a month as part of a pilot scheme to be kicked off in the first quarter next year.

Much lower Covid-19 prevalence rate in community than among migrant workers, according to study
Unlike the migrant worker population – where almost 50 per cent of those staying in dormitories have tested positive for Covid-19 – the prevalence rate of the virus in the larger community is much smaller, the Health Ministry’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak said yesterday.

Pharmaceutical firms to manufacture vaccine in Singapore
Singapore has made arrangements with various pharmaceutical companies to facilitate their clinical trials and drug development in Singapore, with the government having attracted a few players to establish vaccine manufacturing capabilities here.

Seating, alcohol curbs still challenging for F&B sector
Food and beverage (F&B) businesses have welcomed the move to allow gatherings of as many as eight people from Dec 28, up from five now, as Singapore enters Phase 3 of its three-stage economic reopening.

Some hotels cancel year-end staycations to take in SHN guests
Even as hotels in Singapore see a robust demand for staycations with borders largely remaining shut, some hoteliers have had to give up leisure bookings to make way for guests required to serve their stay-home notice (SHN).
*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 restaurant owners get creative to keep workers safe

Possibility of EU-UK trade deal brightens

Google delays return to office and eyes ‘flexible work week’

Germany likely to be under lockdown until early next year

NZ agrees on two-way ‘travel bubble’ with Australia in early 2021

China’s domestic spending continues to grow in November

Japan, Korea struggling to curb surging virus cases

Indonesia poised for strong economic rebound in 2021

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