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 Jun 2020 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Bukit Sembawang’s price cut at 8 St Thomas has some agents in a tizzy
Amid slow sales of new homes, an unlikely discounter has emerged, with price cuts of up S$500,000. Bukit Sembawang Estate, a developer of premium homes and controlled by the Lee clan of OCBC fame, has been promoting its discounts discreetly for 8 St Thomas, a freehold development with 250 units in District 9. The Lee family owns over 40 per cent of listed Bukit Sembawang.

May new home sales rebound with more local buyers drawn to lower quantums
More locals braved the circuit breaker last month to buy their dream homes though most were prudent in their decision. Developers in Singapore sold 486 new private homes in May, a sharp 75.5 per cent rebound from 277 in April, as stay-at-home buyers became more confident of committing to a purchase during the circuit breaker.


Singapore Economy

Private-sector economists see 5.8% GDP fall in 2020
Private-sector economists expect Singapore’s full-year gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 5.8 per cent in 2020, with an 11.8 per cent year-on-year contraction in the second quarter, according to the latest Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) survey of professional forecasters released on Monday.

Q1 total employment dives a record 25,600, Q2 likely to be worse
Singapore’s employment in the first quarter of 2020 performed worse than expected, registering the largest quarterly contraction in total employment on record due to the pandemic, and analysts believe the labour market could weaken further in the second quarter.

Cargo ship arrivals in Singapore plunge to 27-year low in May
Cargo ship arrivals in Singapore, the world’s top transshipment and bunkering hub, plummeted to their lowest in nearly three decades last month, while dragging sales of marine fuels to a three-month low, official data showed.

Asia electronics sector bucking global economic slump
Global trade data in the Covid-19 era has been generally abysmal, but look a little closer and the electronics sector that fires Asia’s trade engines could be headed for a pretty good year. In South Korea, semiconductor exports rose in May and imports of equipment used in producing semiconductors surged 168 per cent, trade ministry data show.

SGH ranks 8th in survey of world’s best hospitals
Singapore General Hospital (SGH) fell five spots in Newsweek magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s best hospitals, but managed to remain in the top 10. SGH was ranked 8th in the survey of 1,600 hospitals in 21 countries, with the National University Hospital (NUH) in 31st place. The first survey last year looked at 1,000 hospitals in 11 countries.


Companies’ Brief

CMT offers more rental relief to SME tenants; CapitaLand accelerates China digitalisation push
CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) expects to provide additional rental relief of up to one month of rental or other forms of rental assistance for June to small and medium enterprise (SME) tenants that do not qualify for help under a new rental relief law.

CapitaLand receives Singapore’s first SORA-based loan from OCBC
OCBC Bank and CapitaLand have inked Singapore’s inaugural loan facility agreement referencing the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA), for a S$150 million three-year corporate loan. This is a milestone in the industry’s transition towards adopting SORA as the new interest rate benchmark for the Singapore dollar cash and derivatives markets, the lender and the real estate giant said in a joint statement on Tuesday morning.

Hmlet readies property listing platform, names new CFO and CTO
Singapore-based co-living operator Hmlet is testing out a new platform which will let landlords list their properties directly with the startup. The platform will also give them access to advanced analytics, tools and services. This will give them better insight on how their properties perform, Hmlet told The Business Times on Monday.

Keppel’s Alpha in 3-way tie-up to invest in Indonesia’s logistics property sector
Keppel Corporation’s Alpha Investment Partners, Manulife subsidiary Asuransi Jiwa Manulife Indonesia, and Mega Manunggal Property (MMP) have entered into a new venture focusing on Indonesia’s logistics property sector.

LMIRT to pay perp coupon due in June; reopens most malls
The manager of Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) on Monday said it will pay the upcoming distribution for its S$120 million, 6.6 per cent perpetual securities. The trust has deposited S$3.97 million with the London branch of Citibank NA to satisfy the coupon payment which is due on June 19, the manager said.

Lum Chang unit wins S$155.5 million contract to refurbish former State Courts building
Mainboard-listed construction group Lum Chang Holdings has clinched a S$155.5 million contract to refurbish the iconic former State Courts building in Havelock Square. The contract value, which includes an optional five-year maintenance service package worth S$9.4 million, takes wholly-owned Lum Chang Building Contractors’ outstanding construction works yet to be reported as revenue to S$1.9 billion.

Mapletree Logistics Trust to buy Brisbane warehouse for A$21.25 million
Mapletree Logistics Trust has inked a conditional agreement for a newly-built freehold warehouse in Brisbane for A$21.25 million (S$20.17 million), the manager announced on Monday. With the acquisition to be funded by debt, Mapletree Logistics Trust’s aggregate leverage ratio will stand at about 39.4 per cent when the deal is completed – up from 39.3 per cent as at March 31, 2020, according to the trust’s most recent financial results.

OUE C-Reit prices S$100 million offering of 4% notes due 2025
OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit) has priced an offering of S$100 million of 4 per cent notes due 2025, to be guaranteed by Reit trustee DBS Trustee. Net proceeds from the issuance will be used to refinance Reit borrowings, the manager said.

Suntec Reit expects better H2 performance on ‘circuit breaker’ easing
The manager of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Suntec Reit) on Tuesday said it expects the trust’s performance in the second half of the year to improve as Singapore eases out of the “circuit breaker”, and on additional contribution from completed developments.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Pandemic layoffs – how they are done matters
Studies show it’s better for companies to consider pay cuts and furloughs first

More chances for ICT SMEs to snag government contracts in FY2020
The Singapore government’s plan to increase spending on information and communication technology (ICT) and make more use of bulk tenders and dynamic contracting is welcome news to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector, especially as the virus outbreak dampens private sector demand.

Surveillance fears over TraceTogether Token unwarranted
The government’s decision to roll out a contact tracing device, the TraceTogether Token, later this month has generated a fair amount of controversy, with concerns that it would turn Singapore into a “surveillance state”.

NEA puts up tender for 12-month in-depth study of funeral industry
A comprehensive 12-month study of Singapore’s funeral industry will be conducted to scrutinise standards and assess manpower demands. This follows a series of recent blunders, including a mix-up at a funeral home that resulted in the wrong body being cremated.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

7 workplaces told to stop operations for safe-management lapses: MOM
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued 52 composition fines of S$1,000 each to Singapore employers for failing to comply with safe-management requirements at their workplaces, as at 5pm on Monday. It also ordered seven workplaces to cease operations for lapses in safe-management measures. Of these, six had many employees on site even though the staff were able to perform their work from home…

Businesses warned of rough road ahead despite Phase Two
Even as economists agree that Singapore’s moving into Phase Two of reopening from Friday is a welcome confirmation that the worst is over and the economy can start recovering, they warn that the going will still be tough and businesses need to be mentally prepared.

Businesses scramble to meet earlier reopening date
The earlier-than-expected Phase Two of Singapore’s reopening, though a pleasant surprise, may see some frontline businesses scramble to prepare to reopen. Some of them had expected this to come around the last week of June, given the indication from the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 last month.

Working from home will continue to be default in phase 2 to reduce Covid-19 transmission: Lawrence Wong
Singapore – Working from home is to continue to be the default for employees even as Singapore further reopens its economy from Friday (June 19), said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Monday. Telecommuting is important for preventing the spread of Covid-19, he added at a virtual press conference announcing details of the move into phase two.

Phase two starts on Friday: Shops can reopen, dining in allowed
Singapore will embark on phase two of reopening its economy on Friday, having managed to keep infections in check in the two weeks since the end of the circuit breaker period. A range of restrictions will be eased to allow more business and social activities to resume.

Further easing of curbs not signal to let guard down: Lawrence Wong
Most activities in Singapore can resume on Friday, but the expansion should not be a signal for people to let their guard down, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 warned yesterday. Sounding a cautionary note at yesterday’s virtual press conference, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said: “Do not treat phase two as a signal that we can all relax…

Months before phase 3 can begin: Lawrence Wong
It could be months before Singapore reaches the third and final stage of its phased reopening, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday. He noted that some restrictions – like the limit of five people for social gatherings – could be further eased during phase two. However, he also cautioned that “along the way, we might have to slow down or even tighten some restrictions” if necessary.

Phase 3 businesses resigned to waiting their turn to reopen
Large-scale events and venues such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs; and entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions will still remain shut when Phase 2 kicks in on Friday.

Testing for all entering Singapore; more long-term pass holders can return
Singapore will make changes to its border measures this week, which will require testing of all incoming travellers and will see the return of more long-term pass holders in the coming weeks.

askST: What is being done to cut blood clot risks faced by Covid-19 patients?
Patients with severe Covid-19 infections are closely monitored, Dr Ling Li Min, a senior consultant at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), said. This includes monitoring with blood tests, and if clinical suspicion of thromboembolism is high, imaging studies – such as an ultrasound or a CT (computed tomography) scan – of the blood vessels in the lungs may be done.

Iswaran: Digital cooperation a must in post-Covid-19 world
Digital cooperation at the international level is indispensable in a post-Covid-19 world where digitalisation has become an imperative, Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran told a United Nations online panel yesterday.

Apple-Google’s contact tracing system not effective for Singapore: Vivian
Singapore will not be using a contact tracing system jointly developed by tech giants Apple and Google. In a Facebook post yesterday, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan said: “We decided that it would be less effective in our local context.”
*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

House-hunting in Sweden: An entire historic village for sale at 70m krona

England property sales rebound after lockdown ends

Shops in England reopen but big contraction in store for economy

BOE gets negative rates advantage by watching others go first

Australia’s economic downturn possibly shallower than previously thought: RBA

Australian jobs started to pick up slowly through May: ABS

China home prices rise most in seven months

China’s factory output continues rebound in May

Saudi property firm plans first post-virus Riyadh IPO

Indonesia’s trade activity last month drops the most since 2009


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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