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 Aug 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Enbloc activity in Geylang attracting smaller developers
Geylang, infamously known as Singapore’s red-light district, is generating a mini buzz of a different kind this year – enbloc activity. This month Yuen Sing Mansion, a freehold collective sale site along Lorong 13 Geylang, was sold via private treaty for S$15.2 million, lower than the original reserve price of S$17 million.

JTC to launch Gul Circle site for tender
JTC has accepted an application to put up an industrial site at 160, Gul Circle for sale by public tender. This was after it received an application with a committed bid price of not less than S$2 million for the land parcel.

BCA opening two ‘restart clinics’ to spur construction
Construction companies which need help with applying to restart work can now go to two help centres set up by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). The two centres, called “restart clinics”, will open on Monday and are housed at BCA’s premises in Braddell and Jurong East. They will operate on weekdays from 8.30am to 12.30pm, and 1.30pm to 5pm.

Firms modifying or doing away with office space in new normal
Some companies are modifying their office space in the light of the increasing prevalence of people having to work from home. Take creative agency DDB Group Singapore, whose office is in the Kallang area. The firm has removed old cupboards and closed off pantries to create areas for “pods”, or mini rooms.

Most seek relief from property lease, licence agreements
The vast majority of those who sought relief from their contractual obligations, under laws passed earlier this year, did so regarding property leasing and licensing agreements. According to figures released by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), as at Aug 5, 6,587 notices had been submitted online via FormSG by individuals and businesses seeking a six-month legal reprieve from their contractual obligations.

Forum: Rental relief unfair to landlords
As an individual landlord, I just received a notice from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) detailing the amount of rental relief I am required to pass on to my tenant. For an individual landlord to apply to an assessor to reduce the amount of relief payable, I have to meet a few conditions.


Singapore Economy

Don’t lose sight of big picture amid Covid-19: Halimah
Even as young people strive to overcome the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak, they must not lose sight of the big picture, said President Halimah Yacob yesterday. This includes the fact that Singapore’s economy is in the process of restructuring, and that new markets and opportunities will open up.

Singapore wins rights to host Lions Clubs convention in 2028
Singapore has won the rights to host the 110th Lions Clubs International Convention in 2028, an event expected to attract around 20,000 foreign delegates and generate over S$58 million in tourism receipts. This is after the 2020 edition of the service club organisation’s annual convention – which would have been the first time it was held in Singapore – was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Singapore non-oil exports up 6% in July
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) continued to rise in July, up 6 per cent year on year, according to data from trade agency Enterprise Singapore on Monday. This was slower than June’s 13.9 per cent expansion, revised down from the earlier 16.1 per cent figure, which had been driven by a low base in the year-ago period.

Updated NWC wage guidelines likely in September
With the jobs market having softened “considerably” and the softness likely to persist, the National Wages Council (NWC) will reconvene later this month to update its guidelines issued in March. This update is expected to be released in September, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday.

Safety requirements, new metrics to shape post-pandemic events landscape
When business events resume in Singapore, the landscape for meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) will be reshaped by not just physical restrictions on attendance and other safety measures, but also the advent of the “hybrid” event where digital and physical versions of an event are conducted simultaneously.

Event firms find digital capabilities crucial for business in new normal
“Hybrid” events comprising a small physical event and a larger online counterpart are set to be the new normal for the business events industry. Event organisers and service providers that spent the last several months pivoting towards digital events will find their new capabilities crucial.

SMEs in events industry face tough road ahead
The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that form a large part of Singapore’s event industry have had little choice but to adapt or fold as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the sector over the past six months.

Refreshed plan to speed up digitalisation in logistics sector amid virus outbreak
An industry digital plan launched three years ago for the Singapore logistics sector has been refreshed, as the coronavirus pandemic has hastened the need for businesses to digitalise and for the country’s supply chains to be beefed up.

Green lanes for leisure travel seen helping Changi Airport regain some traffic
Singapore may consider introducing reciprocal green lanes at Changi Airport for tourists from countries where the Covid-19 situation is similar to or better than that in Singapore. This means leisure travellers from such a country will be exempted from having to serve a 14-day quarantine on arrival, and vice-versa.


Companies’ Brief

Temasek buys $4.8b stake in BlackRock
Temasek has become one of the largest shareholders of BlackRock after it added a 3.9 per cent stake that is worth about US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion). BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm, with assets under management of almost US$7.4 trillion at the end of last year.

OCBC, CGS-CIMB lower targets for CDL, cut earnings estimates
OCBC Investment Research has lowered its fair value estimate of City Developments Ltd (CDL) to S$10.64 from S$10.74 previously, while CGS-CIMB has lowered its target price on the counter to S$10.10 from S$10.13. CDL shares closed at S$8.42 on Friday, down S$0.04 or 0.47 per cent.

Centurion’s non-executive director increases interest
For the four local trading sessions that spanned Aug 7 to 13, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 1.4 per cent, with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a five-day 1.3 per cent gain. This has brought the STI’s decline in total return for the 2020 year to Aug 13 to 17.1 per cent.

Temasek is right to abandon Keppel for deal with Sembcorp
There was a hint of sour grapes in Keppel Corp’s response to news this past week that Temasek Holdings had decided to back out of its partial offer for the company by invoking a “material adverse change” (MAC) pre-condition.

Cromwell E-Reit H1 DPU down 15% to 1.74 euro cents
Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust (Cromwell E-Reit) posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.74 euro cents for the half year to June, 14.7 per cent lower than a year ago.

Eagle Hospitality Trust posts US$38.9m Q2 loss
Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) has posted a loss of US$38.9 million for the second quarter ended June 30, mainly due to the impairment loss on trade receivables arising from the uncertainty on the master lessees’ ability to make rental payments and fulfil its obligations.

Seize the moves with Reit Index Futures
Since the first S-Reit listed on July 17, 2002, the sector’s popularity in Singapore has grown significantly, with the sector generally known for high yield and low volatility. However, when market risk has bumped the tempo of trading, the broad volatility of the S-Reit sector has been seen to have doubled in the space of weeks.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Responsible retrenchment
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Retrenchments should be considered only when all other available options prove unfeasible. As people are an organisation’s key asset, layoffs must be handled with utmost care and compassion to ensure transparency and fairness and managed with empathy, sensitivity and respect.

Race for a vaccine is not one of speed
An enormous amount of international prestige, to say nothing of profit, awaits the country that first develops a Covid-19 vaccine. This is natural. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a vaccine against the disease.

Singapore shouldn’t be too closed to foreign talent: SNEF chief
The focus on the Singaporean core should not be taken to the extreme, with Singapore becoming too closed to talent from beyond its shores, said Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) president Robert Yap.

World’s airports are catching Covid too
In surveys of the world’s best airports, Singapore’s Changi regularly ranks near the top. A leader among utilitarian transportation hubs that have been transformed into upscale shopping destinations, Changi Airport in 2019 added Jewel, a futuristic playland with 1.5 million square feet of stores and attractions including a rainforest, hedge maze and the world’s highest indoor waterfall.

Climate Action Week events aim to raise awareness of key challenges
A week-long series of ground-up initiatives to raise awareness of the long-term existential challenge posed by climate change is under way. Climate Action Week, organised by the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE), kicked off on Saturday with an online talk on urban farming by Ms Danielle Chan, an alumna of the National University of Singapore who co-founded the urban farming company Citiponics.

Go ‘live’ on stage at new MBS studio while abroad
Speakers who are overseas will be able to go “live” on stage in Singapore despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, after Marina Bay Sands (MBS) unveiled a new hybrid event broadcast studio with hologram functionalities yesterday.

Covid-19 should flush out zombie performance from pre-crisis times
The global pandemic was largely underestimated in the early days of the outbreak. Today, it has brought vast uncertainty, with the Singapore banks in recent times flagging current unknowns as relief measures mask the true damage of Covid-19.

Let’s face up to our own implicit bias on race
Cultural biases evolved to help human tribes distinguish between familiar kin and possible stranger foes, in split-second discrimination that aided survival. Today, such implicit bias can add up to structural obstacles for minority communities.


Singapore Budget 2020

Govt to ‘extend and taper’ Covid-19 support for firms and workers; details to come on Monday
Even as Singapore extends support for firms and workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, such support will “evolve and taper”, and details on this will come on Monday, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Coronavirus: Another technician who boarded affected vessel among two new community cases
Another technician who boarded a vessel that carried 10 earlier imported coronavirus cases was among the two new community cases reported yesterday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). The 47-year-old Malaysian work permit holder boarded the vessel on Aug 9 to carry out essential repair and maintenance work, a day after it arrived in Singapore from India for repair and refuelling.

MOH to contact visitors to Jewel Music Box KTV at HomeTeamNS Khatib after Covid-19 cases traced to premises
The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be contacting and facilitating tests for all visitors who went to Jewel Music Box KTV at HomeTeamNS Khatib on Aug 1 and 2 as a precaution, after investigations found that three coronavirus cases visited the place at the time.

Very low risk of coronavirus infection from chilled, frozen food: Experts
It is possible to get Covid-19 from contaminated imported chilled or frozen food, but the risk is very low, said experts. The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 remains viable for at least three weeks at 4 deg C, said Professor Dale Fisher, a senior consultant in the division of infectious diseases at the National University Hospital.

Dorms cleared of Covid-19 shifting out of crisis mode
After being cleared of Covid-19, dormitories housing foreign workers here will now be shifting their operations out of “crisis mode” and on to the next phase. Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced the move in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Consumer watchdog notes spike in travel, delivery complaints
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a spike in the number of complaints related to travel bookings, wedding contracts, medical products and food and grocery deliveries, figures from the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) show.

Singaporeans are adjusting to working from home, new poll shows
Singaporeans have learnt over time to better adjust to working from home, as new survey data shows that overall productivity among employees gradually increased from April to June. According to a survey by employee engagement platform EngageRocket that had 20,000 respondents from 127 companies across various sectors…

44% of people in Singapore tired of rules to limit Covid-19 spread: Survey
With seven in 10 Singaporeans saying the Covid-19 outbreak has lasted longer than they anticipated, people are becoming weary of the rules to limit the spread of the virus, according to a Sunday Times survey of 1,000 people. These rules include a ban on gatherings of more than five, and the need to mask up when outside.

Youth in Singapore more likely to meet others for socialising in phase 2 of Covid-19 reopening: Survey
When it comes to Covid-19, Mr Lim Chia Wei plays by the rules. He wears a mask, maintains safe distancing, washes his hands regularly and uses common serving utensils when sharing food. But the 24-year-old student also meets two to three different groups of friends a week – something not uncommon among people his age.
*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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Malaysia’s economy shrinks the most since 1998 Asian financial crisis

Indonesia president urges economic reboot, boost to healthcare

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