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, 16, 17 May 2021 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Property players fall back on digitalisation efforts in response to stricter safe distancing measures
Singapore property players are falling back on digitalisation efforts in response to stricter safe distancing measures. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced on Friday that the occupancy limits of shopping malls and showrooms will be reduced to one person per 16 square metres (sq m) of gross floor area, down from the current one person per 10 sq m, effective May 16 till June 13.

A new age for office space: What happens to the office market when offices adapt?
With remote working high on the agenda and businesses looking to cut costs, early doomsayers had proclaimed a grim post-pandemic future for offices and their landlords. Yet a recent survey of firms in the Asia-Pacific by CBRE showed that about two-thirds of those polled now plan to eventually limit remote working to one or two days weekly.

BT Explains: Why are condo, HDB rents rising?
Rents for condominium units have risen for four consecutive months as at April, flash data from real estate portal SRX this week showed. Likewise, Housing Board (HDB) rents have increased for 10 straight months. Specifically, rents for condo units and HDB flats both rose 1.3 per cent in April from the previous month.

GLP sells world’s largest US-dollar green perp offering at US$850m
Property investment firm GLP this month sold the world’s largest US-dollar green subordinated perpetual offering. It priced a landmark US$850 million offering of green subordinated perpetual securities at a coupon of 4.5 per cent, GLP said in a media statement.


Singapore Economy

STB to allow SingapoRediscovers Voucher refunds for cancelled staycation bookings
While approved attractions, hotels and tours will remain open from May 16 to June 13, customers who used SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRVs) to make bookings may be able to get refunds or reschedule their bookings, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Sunday.

Outlook too cloudy for new wage guidelines but firms should reward workers fairly: NWC
The economic outlook remains too uncertain and uneven for the tripartite National Wages Council (NWC) to issue fresh guidelines on wages and employment at this time. Still, all businesses should re-evaluate their situations, and those that are doing well should reward their employees fairly.

S’pore’s diplomacy, green efforts gain global recognition
Singapore’s profile on climate change is gaining recognition on the international stage. Last week, a senior United States official said that the Republic’s efforts towards innovation to deal with the issue could offer lessons for other cities.

S’pore-HK air travel bubble likely to be delayed again
The air travel bubble to allow for quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Hong Kong is likely to be delayed yet again, given the rising number of Covid-19 community cases in Singapore. Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said yesterday: “It is very likely that Singapore will not be able to meet the resumption criteria.


Companies’ Brief

JD Logistics’ US$3.5 billion IPO draws SoftBank, Temasek

JD Logistics has attracted SoftBank Vision Fund and Temasek Holdings as cornerstone investors in its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), people with knowledge of the matter said, as the warehousing and shipping firm is set to kick off one of the year’s biggest share sales in the city.

Mapletree Commercial Trust to provide more tenant support amid stricter Covid-19 measures
Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) on Sunday said it is committed to providing the necessary rental and operating assistance to its retail tenants as Singapore tightens its Covid-19 measures till June 13. Since the start of the pandemic, MCT has implemented support packages comprising more than S$70 million of rental rebates to help eligible retail tenants offset…

Separation from media will let SPH seize new opportunities
A lot of ink has been spilt and many opinions have been shared on social media about the proposed restructuring of Singapore Press Holdings. Under the plan, SPH would be giving up 6.6 per cent of its assets to a new entity, a company limited by guarantee (CLG).

Developers need to find new ways to improve value
Locally listed property developers keen to arrest persistent undervaluation may need to take a leaf out of CapitaLand’s book and consider different formats for their listed vehicles. The current go-to means of improving value – share buybacks, recycling capital via real estate investment trusts (Reits), and even privatisations – are not living up to investor expectations.

Stapled developer and Reit structure suggested to arrest trading discounts
Singapore-listed property developers are trading at half their book values, on average, while their real estate investment trust (Reit) counterparts are trading at book on average. One banker is therefore suggesting a hybrid stapled vehicle combining the attractive yield-paying features of a Reit with the riskier business of development.

Western S-Reits sanguine on post-Covid outlook

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Small economies in a post-Covid world
Small economies have managed well through the Covid-19 crisis relative to larger economies. Despite the recent cases, Singapore is commonly ranked as a world leader, alongside New Zealand and Taiwan, in having controlled the spread of Covid-19.

Stricter measures for a safer outcome
Stricter measures that kicked in yesterday and that will last till June 13 have been imposed in the light of a rise in the number of new Covid-19 clusters and unlinked community cases recently. Even as the authorities test people more intensively and try to ring-fence transmissions, a society-wide effort based on stringent restrictions is now needed to stem the spread of cases.

Enough stocks and supply lines are intact, says Chan as queues form
Long queues formed at supermarkets islandwide yesterday, as people stocked up on groceries and essentials after the multi-ministry task force announced tighter measures that begin tomorrow. People began lining up at supermarkets in various areas, including Jurong East, Waterway Point in Punggol…

Workplace safety fears mount as firms grapple with Covid-19 crisis
Industry groups say pressure to complete delayed projects may raise risk of accidents and injuries.

More health and safety breaches at workplaces
More than 3,200 workplace safety and health (WSH) contraventions were found during inspections between January and April, almost double the 1,800 contraventions recorded the same period last year. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the rise is due partly to more enforcement operations this year.

Limited resources, endless opportunities for S’pore: DPM Heng bids farewell to Finance Ministry
Singapore – Singapore’s resources may be limited, but its opportunities are endless – this is the gist of a message engraved in a black leather briefcase that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has carried with him to 10 Budgets over six years.

Challenges, aims and priorities of 7 S’pore Cabinet ministers with new portfolios
As seven Cabinet ministers take on new portfolios on Saturday (May 15) following the latest reshuffle, Insight looks at the key challenges facing them and what some of their key priorities are likely to be.

Challenges faced by Chinese firms and Singapore’s unique role
It is not all hunky dory for Chinese enterprises coming to this region, as they face challenges such as cultural differences and language issues. The hiring of Chinese workers by Chinese firms can be highly contentious in some countries, due to misperceptions that they are taking over local jobs, according to Tham Siew Yean, visiting senior fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Research Institute in Singapore.

Mandatory for diners to return trays, clear own litter from June
It will be mandatory for diners to return their trays and clear their table litter from June 1, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday. Table litter includes used tissues and wet wipes, straws, canned drinks, plastic bottles and food remnants.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

38 community infections among 49 new Covid-19 cases
There were 49 new Covid-19 cases, including 38 in the community, as at noon on Sunday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Of the community cases, 18 are currently unlinked. Thirteen of the community cases had already been placed under quarantine earlier. There are no new cases in the workers’ dormitories.

Infected prison inmate’s 4 cellmates test negative, but to be tested again
Four cellmates of a 32-year-old inmate with Covid-19 have tested negative and will be tested again, said the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) yesterday. They were immediately transferred to separate, isolated cells after the inmate tested positive for the virus, the SPS said.

Infected airport staff mainly in zone for higher-risk arrivals
The Changi Airport workers infected with Covid-19 had mainly been working in one zone that had received travellers from higher-risk regions, including South Asia. Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung – who takes over as Health Minister from today – said yesterday that the airport identified this trend after studying the more than 20 initial infections in the airport cluster.

S’pore to cap social gatherings at two, ban dining out until June 13
Singapore will cap social gatherings at two people and ban dining out from tomorrow until June 13 in an effort to stem a worrying increase of Covid-19 clusters and unlinked cases in the community. The stricter restrictions on social activities stop just short of a second circuit breaker, and will also see working from home become the default again for employees.

All ‘mask off’ activities cancelled from tomorrow to prevent spread
Indoor activities for which masks are usually removed – including dining out, exercise classes and facial treatments – will be cancelled starting tomorrow until June 13. This is because recent clusters have shown that the new Covid-19 variants are more infectious…

No child with Covid-19 seriously ill but situation worrying: Chan
Several children who have been infected with Covid-19 have mild symptoms, and none of them is seriously ill, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday. Still, the situation is worrying because new strains of the coronavirus are much more virulent and seem to attack younger children, he added.

Rapid testing to identify Covid-19 cases will help speed up contact tracing
Singapore has started carrying out rapid testing for Covid-19 and picked up seven of yesterday’s 18 unlinked cases through this method, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung. The new testing strategy, along with higher virus transmission in the community, explains why more cases were reported yesterday, Mr Ong added.

Pfizer seeks approval for vaccine use for kids aged 12 to 15
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is seeking approval for its Covid-19 vaccine to be used in children aged 12 to 15, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday. His ministry is working with the Health Ministry on plans to inoculate this group when vaccines are available, and they have been given the green light, he added.

Singapore considers giving more people at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose
The Singapore government is considering giving as many people as possible at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the second phase of the nation’s vaccination exercise. Many international studies show that at least one dose can provide good protection from the virus without compromising efficacy, new Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a Covid-19 multi-ministry task force press conference on Sunday evening.

Public’s trust needed in order for TraceTogether to succeed: GovTech chief
The government agency behind the development of Singapore’s contact tracing mobile app TraceTogether did not intend to mislead the public on data privacy, said its chief executive Kok Ping Soon. He said the team of engineers and developers at GovTech, which functions like a “technology vendor” of the government, were focused on quickly building a means to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

Firms gear up for TraceTogether-only check-ins
Hair salon Tresses Studio in Ghim Moh and many other businesses are set for customers to check in using only TraceTogether when this becomes compulsory for contact tracing from tomorrow. The salon has already installed a SafeEntry Gateway Box at its entrance. The device allows visitors to check in by holding their TraceTogether tokens or phones with the TraceTogether app near it.

askST: Why is my arm sore after getting the Covid-19 vaccine?
Singapore – The most common side effect experienced among those who have received a Covid-19 vaccine has been soreness around the injection site. This was also more frequent among younger vaccine recipients, with 83 per cent of those between 18 and 55 reporting sore arms after receiving the first jab, noted a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine clinical trial.

How CT values and serology tests can tell if a person is still infectious
Serology tests and looking at CT values are ways to determine if a person is still infectious or has recovered from a past infection.

Tighter rules for tours, hotels, events and cruises: STB
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that tighter measures for tourism businesses will be in place from tomorrow to June 13. Operating capacity for attractions and cruises will be reduced to 25 per cent.

‘Covid Zero’ havens find reopening harder than taming virus
A smattering of places, mainly across the Asia-Pacific region, have seen breathtaking victories in the battle against Covid-19 by effectively wiping it out within their borders. Now they face a fresh test: rejoining the rest of the world, which is still awash in the pathogen.

*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

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Airbnb sees signs of rebound though loss widens on debt payment

Australia sticks to plan to reopen border in mid-2022 over Covid-19 fears

South-east Asia: A hotspot for Chinese enterprises in the post-pandemic era?

Japan declares emergency in three more prefectures

HK luxury house sets record monthly rent of $275,000

Hong Kong ‘Shop King’ dies at 88

Taiwan tightens curbs as infections hit new high

As confusion reigns, Malaysia still chasing effective Covid-19 response

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