The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 17 Jun 2020 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Showflat reopening a relief for developers, but new launches unlikely till July
Developers will get some reprieve this week after getting the green light to reopen sales galleries for residential projects starting Friday, although new launches aren’t expected to make their debut just yet. Launches are more likely to take place from July as developers will need time to roll out marketing activities while others may take a wait-and-see approach given the weak economic climate, consultants say.

Building design standards could be changed post-Covid: BCA
Design standards for new buildings could change as the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) looks into whether rules on air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation need to be revised in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Singapore Economy

Singapore retains top spot in global competitiveness ranking
Singapore has once again come up tops as the most competitive among 63 global economies. According to the 2020 Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking, Singapore’s win came on the back of its strong economic performance.

Singapore remains one of the easiest places to do business in: TMF Group report
Singapore – The Republic is second in Asia in terms of the ease of doing business here, according to a report by professional services firm TMF Group released on Wednesday (June 17). The Global Business Complexity Index studied 77 jurisdictions across the world, based on indicators such as legislation, accounting procedures, tax regimes and human resources rules.

Singapore NODX falls 4.5% in May on decline in non-electronics exports
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in Singapore finally succumbed to the Covid-19 pandemic to post a 4.5 per cent drop year on year in May, after four straight months of growth. The fall, following a 9.7 per cent rise in April, was due mainly to a decline in non-electronics exports.

Asian business sentiment plunges to record low on virus effect: poll
[Singapore] Business sentiment of Asian companies sank to an 11-year low in the second quarter, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey found, with some two-thirds of the firms polled flagging a worsening Covid-19 pandemic as the biggest risk over the next six months.


Companies’ Brief

Ascott secures contracts for 25 new properties, to expand reach into 4 major cities
In the first five months of 2020, CapitaLand’s lodging business unit The Ascott Limited secured contracts for 25 new properties. The contracts cover 5,400 units across 19 cities, the property giant said on Wednesday. This is the largest number of new properties clinched in the first five months of any year…

Bukit Sembawang Estates blames pandemic for serviced-apartment impairment loss
Bukit Sembawang Estates recently booked a much higher impairment loss on its serviced apartments because of market uncertainty in this segment, the board said on Tuesday. In a board filing, it pointed the finger at the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which it said has led to uncertainty and affected the market for serviced apartments.

Hong Leong Asia raises Tasek stake to 92.4%, secures acceptances for offer of 4%
Concrete supplier Hong Leong Asia now controls over 90 per cent of Tasek following the acquisition of shares in the cement maker by its wholly-owned subsidiary Ridge Star, it said in a bourse filing on Tuesday. Ridge Star acquired 30,700 Tasek shares at Tuesday’s closing price of RM5.79 per share for a total sum of RM177,753 (S$57,964).

Impairment for Keppel unit Floatel clouds fate of Temasek’s offer
It will be months before Keppel Corp shareholders can celebrate Temasek Holdings’ proposed partial bid for control over the infrastructure and property conglomerate. Meanwhile, two recent developments ought to wake the market up from its reverie that this is a come-rain-or-shine offer.

OUE in talks with potential buyer for US Bank Tower
Mainboard-listed property group OUE is in talks for a potential sale of US Bank Tower in Los Angeles, the board disclosed in a bourse filing late on Tuesday. OUE is now in “non-binding exploratory discussions” with a possible institutional buyer, said the update. Marketing of the property (primarily in the United States) started in January 2019.

SLB acquires 20% stake in UK fund management business for £90,000
Property developer SLB Development on Tuesday said it has exercised its option to subscribe for a 20 per cent stake in Pinnacle Investment Management Limited (PIML) for £90,000 (S$158,385). PIML, which aims to build funds focused on the private rented sector (PRS) across the UK, is the fund management subsidiary of UK-based Pinnacle Investments (Holdings) and Pinnacle Group.

Suntec Reit expects better performance in second half of year
The manager of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Suntec Reit) 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.

KKR, Temasek consortium invests 15.1t dong in Vietnam’s Vinhomes
A consortium led by US private equity giant KKR has acquired a minority stake in Vinhomes for a total consideration of 15.1 trillion Vietnamese dong (S$904.3 million). The consortium, which includes Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, on Tuesday completed the deal; this translates to an equity stake of about 6 per cent in the integrated real estate developer, which is listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Phase two: Avoid second surge of virus
The start of phase two of reopening the economy, on Friday, will be welcomed by all, particularly by business. The difference with the preceding phase is a significant one. In phase one, the default setting was that many activities remained prohibited, with only certain sectors being selectively allowed to reopen in order to manage the risk. In phase two, the default will be that most things will be allowed.

It’s time to come up with new answers to old questions
BUSINESSES have all woken up to a new reality. The lockdowns, social distancing and loss of critical manpower due to illnesses or on public duty have meant that for long periods of time, the brick and mortar business has had to switch to online and virtual modes. Coping with these challenges is the defensive mindset.

The more we TraceTogether, the safer we will be
As Singapore prepares to lift the circuit breaker against the coronavirus pandemic, and new contact-tracing apps are rolled out, there are fears that these apps will invade privacy and there are at least two petitions against their use.

Building of Changi T5 put on hold for at least two years
THE construction of Changi Airport’s Terminal 5 will be paused for at least two years as the government studies how Covid-19 will change the aviation sector, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Tuesday. While optimistic about the recovery of aviation, he noted that big questions remain about what the future of air travel will look like, which could affect the design of the terminal.


Singapore Budget 2020

President gives nod for $33b in relief measures
President Halimah Yacob yesterday gave her assent to a second Supplementary Supply Bill, which will fund Covid-19 support measures totalling $33 billion.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Average number of new daily Covid-19 cases continues to fall
The number of new daily coronavirus patients here and the average number of new cases in the community each day have both come down in recent days, ahead of the further reopening of Singapore’s economy from Friday.

52 fines issued to employers for flouting safe management measures
A total of 52 composition fines of $1,000 each have been issued to employers for flouting safe management measures, as the Manpower Ministry (MOM) continues to stress the importance of such practices.

Companies to maintain status quo on working from home for now
Companies said they will continue with work-from-home arrangements throughout phase two. Split-team arrangements and other precautions will also continue to be taken when offices allow staff back.

Phase 2 reopening: How safe an activity is depends on various factors, say experts
With phase two of reopening due to start in two days, a range of restrictions will be eased, and the new default approach is for most activities to be allowed to resume. But this comes with some risks. The risk of any activity is tied to how it is conducted, experts say.

Retail outlets must adhere to strict safety measures
Retail establishments, which are being allowed to open physical stores on Friday, will have to adhere to strict safety measures including occupancy limits, frequent cleaning of common areas, and implementation of the Government’s visitor check-in system SafeEntry.

All workers in dorms must activate contact tracing app by Friday
All workers staying in dormitories will have to download and activate the national contact tracing app TraceTogether by Friday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday. The requirement also applies to work permit and S Pass holders in the construction, marine and process sectors.

Sports facilities enhancing measures to boost safety, hygiene
These venues, which include stadiums, swimming complexes, sports halls, hard courts, gyms, fitness studios and bowling centres, were on Monday given the green light to reopen. This also applies to such facilities located in condominiums, golf and country clubs.

Seats, tables at hawker centres to be marked for different sized groups
Seating arrangements at hawker centres will be changed to accommodate the new safe distancing measures for dining in during phase two, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.
*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 economic recovery hinges on Covid-19 coming under control: Powell

US retail sales post record resurgence in May

Trump eyes US$1t of infrastructure to spur economy

Fed gives credit market new lease of life just as rally falters

2 mall landlords, Authentic Brands in talks to buy JC Penney

Airbnb agrees to give host data to New York City in settlement

UK eyes billion pound boost from Australia, New Zealand trade deals

Japan’s exports fall most since 2009 as virus hits US shipments

South Korea to tighten mortgage rules to tackle metropolitan area property price surge


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article


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