The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 16 Feb 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Guoco Midtown to bring 30 thematic gardens into Singapore’s CBD
GuocoLand is weaving 30 gardens into a patch of Singapore’s concrete jungle, as more developers take up the challenge to embed “green” features into their projects. Through its second flagship integrated mixed-use development Guoco Midtown, the property developer looks to create the most extensive privately-developed collection of gardens in the central business district (CBD), it said on Sunday in a press statement.

January’s strong new home sales likely to be a one-off
January’s new private-home sales rose 32 per cent to 1,609 over December’s 1,217, on the back of launches of a few mega projects, pulling up prices further. The bulk of January’s buyers were locals, but the number of foreign buyers – although small in absolute terms – also rose sharply amid low interest rates and abundant liquidity. But consultants say that because no more mega projects are expected for the rest of the year, January’s sterling showing is unlikely to be repeated.


Singapore Economy

Timing Singapore’s GST hike a catch-22 situation: tax analysts
Deciding on the timing of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) could prove to be a delicate challenge for the Singapore government, which is sandwiched between not just fiscal and political pressure but now recessionary pressure as well. Tax analysts that The Business Times spoke with appear divided on where the sweet spot lies, with most predicting the GST hike to take place in 2023; some expect it to come in late 2022 or 2024.

Singapore economy on the mend but uncertainty remains over pace of recovery
Singapore – Even as Singapore’s economy stays on the recovery track, enthusiasm over a significant growth acceleration is wearing off. Vaccines have so far failed to put at rest the threat of a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainty over the trajectory of the pandemic is casting a long shadow on the sustainability of global demand and a robust revival of domestic consumption.

Singapore maintains GDP forecast for 2021, but economy not yet out of the woods
While Singapore’s economy shrank in 2020 by a smaller margin than the government’s earlier estimates, analysts say the Republic is not yet out of the woods, with a slowing and uneven recovery on the horizon, and significant uncertainties in the external outlook. On Monday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in its latest Economic Survey of Singapore report that the economy contracted by 5.4 per cent last year – a shade better than the advance estimate of a 5.8 per cent contraction, and above the official forecast range of -6 and -6.5 per cent.

ESG maintains official 2021 non-oil export estimate; economists more optimistic
Global vaccine distribution should boost Singapore’s recovery and export growth this year, said economists, with some having more optimistic forecasts than trade agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG), which on Monday maintained its modest forecast for non-oil domestic export (NODX) growth. NODX remains expected to grow by zero to 2 per cent year on year in 2021, slowing from 2020, ESG said in its quarterly review of trade performance.

Wage subsidies helped trim Singapore firms’ unit business costs in 2020: MTI report
Overall business costs have decreased on a unit basis in Singapore, as wage subsidies drove down the total cost of labour during the Covid-19 recession. But labour costs are expected to go up again this year, as the subsidies wear off and salaries rebound from the projected economic recovery. Unit business cost (UBC) in manufacturing lost 14.4 per cent year on year in 2020, while services UBC dipped by 0.2 per cent in the first nine months, the most recent period on record.


Companies’ Brief

Why is Lum Chang declaring a large dividend despite lacklustre results?
Lum Chang Holdings last Tuesday reported its results for its first half ended December, with earnings significantly lower than the prior year. What stood out, however, was the high dividend being declared. The construction firm saw revenue for the half-year fall 30 per cent to S$130.9 million from a year ago. This was mainly due to slow resumption of work at two construction sites, and lower revenue from two construction projects that were substantially completed in the previous financial year.

Brokers’ take: Analysts positive on Lendlease Reit on expectations of domestic recovery
Analysts across three brokerages are positive on Lendlease Global Commercial Reit (LReit) on expectations of a domestic recovery amid Covid-19 vaccine rollouts. Last Wednesday, LReit posted a higher H1 distribution per unit of 2.34 Singapore cents. Both UOB Kay Hian and CGS-CIMB maintained a “buy” and “accelerate”call on the Reit respectively. UOBKH kept to the same target price of S$0.97, while CGS-CIMB raised its target price to S$0.86 on the back of higher domestic consumption post-Phase Three of Singapore’s reopening.

Hot stock: Oxley up 4.4% after H1 profit more than doubles to S$34.1m
Shares of Oxley Holdings rallied at the start of the week, a day after the property developer announced that its half-year net profit more than doubled to S$34.1 million, from S$15.7 million a year ago. This came on the back of higher revenue and lower finance costs, the mainboard-listed company said. The mainboard-listed counter finished at S$0.24 on Monday, up S$0.01 or 4.4 per cent, with some 9.47 million shares changing hands.

Mapletree Logistics Trust to acquire five South Korean logistics facilities for 280 billion won
Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) is acquiring five freehold logistics properties in South Korea for 280 billion won (S$334.8 million) as it seeks to ride on growth opportunities in the logistics market. Based on the purchase price, the properties will generate an initial net property income yield of about 4.5 per cent, MLT said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Monday night. The acquisitions are expected to be accretive to MLT’s distribution per unit (DPU).


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Asian central banks are ahead of the green curve
While 2020 will no doubt be remembered for the global outbreak of Covid-19, it was also among the hottest years on record and witnessed unprecedented extreme climate events such as droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and floods worldwide. Beyond the humanitarian consequences of these disasters, the steadily increasing frequency of extreme climate events pose “green swan” or tail risks to the stability of entire financial systems. Despite this, actions to minimise these risks have, until recently, been rather limited.


Singapore Bugdet 2021

Follow ST’s live coverage on DPM Heng’s speech from 3pm
This year’s Budget, which will be unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat today, comes as Singapore has spent about a year tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout. Mr Heng has said that helping workers and firms adapt, innovate and grow will be a key priority for Budget 2021 – his sixth Budget speech. The Government will also continue to support workers and businesses, especially those in hard-hit sectors, he added.

5 things to watch for at Budget 2021
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is presenting the 2021 Budget Statement this afternoon, the first one for this term of government following the General Election in July 2020. Mr Heng is likely to offer continued support during the Covid-19 pandemic while keeping focus on Singapore’s long-term goals.

Heng warns of lingering fiscal tightness, urges ‘prudent spending’ ahead of Budget
Singapore’s fiscal situation will be “tight” for several years, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has said, a day before he is to deliver the Budget. Mr Heng, who is also finance minister, warned in a Facebook post on Monday that the Republic will end FY2020 with “a record budget deficit”. In the wake of drawdowns on the national reserves, he reiterated a call for commitment to an “economically vibrant” and “fiscally disciplined” society.

Budget to focus on emerging from Covid-19 crisis stronger: DPM
This year’s Budget – named Emerging Stronger Together – will focus on how Singapore can come out of the Covid-19 crisis stronger, and forge partnerships to meet the challenges ahead as one people. This means finding new ways to innovate and transform the economy, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in a Facebook post yesterday ahead of his Budget statement today.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Nine new Covid-19 cases, all imported
Nine new coronavirus cases were confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 59,809. All were imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were no community cases or cases from migrant workers’ dormitories. In an update last night, MOH said that of the nine imported cases, one is a Singapore permanent resident who returned from India. Another is a dependant’s pass holder who arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

New Covid-19 test requirement for seafarers who disembark here
Seafarers getting off ships in Singapore will now need to take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the port where the ship last stopped and test negative before arriving here. This new requirement applies to all applications submitted from yesterday for seafarers who wish to disembark their ships here for a crew change, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a circular issued on the same day.
*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 housing prices up even as tax break expiry draws near

UK rolls out hotel quarantine for ‘high-risk’ country returnees

Japan economy shrinks for first time since 2009 but tops forecast

Thai economy shrinks most since 1997 on tourism collapse

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