The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 19 May 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Brisk sales in shophouse market this year
Transaction activity in the Singapore shophouse market has been brisk this year, with strong demand amid the low interest rate environment – from both local and foreign buyers who see it as a property segment that generally holds its value, as it did last year despite the Covid-19 crisis.

Two four-storey freehold buildings at Kim Keat Road for sale with S$15.7m guide price
Two four-storey-plus-attic buildings at 16 and 18 Kim Keat Road have been put up for sale via expression of interest with a collective guide price of S$15.7 million, announced exclusive marketing agent SRI Capital Market on Tuesday.

Construction site visitors must undergo routine Covid-19 tests
All visitors to construction sites in Singapore – including delivery personnel, government inspectors and representatives from developers and consultants – must now undergo routine Covid-19 testing before they will be allowed entry, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said yesterday.


Singapore Economy

100,000 fewer workers in construction and services sectors had borders been shut to migrant workers: MOM
Had migrant workers been barred from entering Singapore after last year’s “circuit-breaker” period, there would now be 30,000 fewer construction workers in the Republic working on key infrastructure and building projects, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a statement on Tuesday.

Should Singapore further tighten border controls on new Covid wave?
There have been renewed calls for Singapore to completely shut its borders to high-risk countries, as the Republic battles a more infectious wave of Covid-19, but economists say the net costs and benefits may not be that clear-cut.

Singapore remains attractive MICE destination despite WEF setback
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) cancellation of its Special Annual Meeting that was to be held here in August is a “massive setback” to the recovery of the global meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry.

Decision to reopen borders, ease curbs cannot be based on vaccination rates: Ong Ye Kung
The reopening of borders and easing of restrictions cannot be timed with the rate of vaccination in the Republic, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at a press conference called by the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on Tuesday.

Singapore joins global network for partnerships, joint innovation projects
Singapore has officially joined 47 other countries across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia as a member of a network to explore partnerships and joint innovation projects. Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, together with Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schrambock, signed an agreement on Tuesday at the Global Innovation Summit.

‘Leadership, technology, commitment key to sustainability efforts’
Strong leadership, harnessing technology and establishing a commitment to finding long-term solutions are key areas in which businesses can contribute to Singapore’s journey towards sustainability, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Tuesday.


Companies’ Brief

CDL rolls out support for tenants amid heightened alert
City Developments Limited (CDL) will be rolling out support initiatives for its tenants in light of the recently heightened Phase 2 restrictions. This includes providing more flexibility in rental payments for tenants facing severe cash flow issues, the real estate company announced on Tuesday.

PropNex expands to Cambodia, its fourth overseas market
Real estate agency PropNex has expanded to Cambodia, its fourth overseas market. It has also collaborated with developers for two projects in the market. The expansion brings PropNex’s salesforce to over 12,000 across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

First Reit restructures master lease agreements effective Jan 1, 2021
First Reit’s manager announced on Tuesday after trading hours that it has restructured its master lease agreements (MLAs) effective from Jan 1, 2021 to provide for a more sustainable long-term master lease structure.

Prime US Reit Q1 net property income down 2% to US$23m
Prime US Reit posted net property income of US$23.0 million (S$30.6 million) for the first fiscal quarter ended March, down 2 per cent from US$23.5 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Gross revenue for the quarter rose 2.5 per cent to US$35.9 million from US$35.1 million, said the Reit in its key business and operational update on Tuesday.

Singapore companies get better at sustainability reporting: review
Singapore-listed companies are said to have improved their sustainability disclosures in the past year – a not-inconsiderable achievement during such challenging times, and a notable one in an era where such information has become more consequential.

Singapore firms may soon be able to trade carbon credits in the race to net zero
Singapore firms may soon look to trade carbon credits as a means to commit to greening their businesses. Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Economic Development Board, on Tuesday said there are platforms emerging to allow firms to participate in carbon-credit trading here.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Rebuilding the economy beyond Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic has created something close to a perfect storm in the global economy. The disease and its unfolding mutations have also “infected” the laws of supply and demand that existed before its advent. As an open and globalised economy, Singapore is caught in the cross hairs of this epidemiological disruption to world order.

Can employers mandate vaccination in workplaces?
Covid-19 vaccination is abuzz the world over, with some countries mandating requirements in various forms. New Zealand, for example, issued the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 to prohibit employers from allowing certain employees to work at certain places (for example quarantine facilities, airports, ports, and so on) unless they are vaccinated.

Not all SPACs are created equal; not all deals will work out
2020 was a boom year for Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) listings. An annual total of US$83 billion was raised, accounting for 46 per cent of US IPO proceeds and 55 per cent of total number of IPOs. The momentum has continued into 2021 with a record-breaking US$100 billion raised as at April.

Proof of SPACs will be in their buying
The phrase “blank cheque” conjures up the image of a recipient who is granted carte blanche to do as he wishes, often in a capricious manner that ends badly for all. So should investors be wary when it comes to investing in a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is also known as “blank cheque” company?

Worried about inflation? Keep calm and carry on
Inflation may be rearing its ugly head but there is no reason to panic yet. Bond investors should remain invested and keep a lookout for sell-off opportunities among high yield short duration bonds. Last week, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that compared to a year ago, US consumer prices have surged 4.2 per cent, marking the largest year-on-year (yoy) increase since September 2008.

Vietnam woos Singapore investors to Da Nang
Vietnam is wooing Singapore investors to play a bigger role in the transformation of Da Nang city beyond a tourist hotspot to a city of innovation and an economic powerhouse in Vietnam and South-east Asia. Singaporean investors and businesses with financial and technological expertise were told by Vietnamese officials on May 12 to seek opportunities in the coastal city,

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

People who visited Jem or Westgate between May 10 and 14 urged to take free PCR test
People who visited Jem or Westgate in Jurong East between May 10 and 14 are strongly encouraged to be tested for Covid-19. The free tests are being offered to the public as coronavirus-positive patients were at the malls during that period, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on its website.

Singapore approves Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12 to 15
The green light has been given for those aged 12 to 15 to get vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday. At a virtual press conference, Mr Ong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has extended its authorisation for those in the age group to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a decision supported by the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccines here.

DBS investment banker, 2-year-old boy among 27 new Covid-19 cases in the community
An investment banker at DBS and a two-year-old boy at My First Skool in Westgate were among 27 community cases reported on Tuesday. Also infected were a woman who works at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), and an 18-year-old student at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central.

One pupil each from 3 primary schools infected from external sources
Pupils from three primary schools have tested positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. The schools are Yuhua Primary School, Catholic High School (Primary) and CHIJ (Katong) Primary. All three pupils were infected from external sources.

S’pore widens interval between vaccine shots to 6-8 weeks
Singapore has tweaked its vaccination strategy to protect more residents faster. Starting today, those who register for Covid-19 vaccination will have their second dose scheduled six to eight weeks after the first, instead of three to four weeks later.

Wear a mask with high filtration capability, not just any cloth mask: Lawrence Wong
Singapore – Masks with high filtration capabilities should be worn, especially when going to enclosed places with people in close proximity, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (May 18). These include surgical masks or one with a filtration insert, and not just any cloth mask…

No truth to Delhi official’s claims of new Singapore Covid-19 variant: Ministry of Health
Singapore – Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has rebutted claims by a politician in India, which were carried by several media outlets, of a new Covid-19 strain in Singapore. “There is no truth whatsoever in the assertions found within the reports. There is no ‘Singapore variant’,” an MOH spokesman said on Tuesday (May 18).

S’pore in critical period of fight against virus: Lawrence Wong
Singapore is in a critical period of its fight against Covid-19, and new cases will continue to be picked up before tapering off in about two weeks, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday. He added that the infections picked up now were likely seeded two weeks ago, and he was confident the latest round of measures would bring down the numbers.

Vaccine passports not free pass to travel: Ong Ye Kung
Having proof of vaccination, or so-called vaccine passports, will not give people a free pass to travel abroad easily, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a media conference yesterday. Ultimately, countries will have to come to an agreement to recognise the vaccine certificates issued by other countries before travel will be allowed, he said in response to a media query.

Delaying 2nd dose of shot won’t affect overall protection, says Health Minister
To vaccinate as many people against Covid-19 as possible – and to do this as soon as possible – Singapore has decided to delay the second dose of the vaccine by two to five weeks. This means that the interval between the first and second jabs will be extended to six to eight weeks, from the current three or four weeks.

TTSH strengthens defences after containing cluster
As Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) progressively reopened for admissions yesterday, it said it has strengthened defences but acknowledged that it will not be able to eliminate all risks. “The risks to our front-line healthcare workers continue to be real and present,” the hospital said in a Facebook post yesterday.

HSA still evaluating Sinovac shot, needs more data from manufacturer
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is still evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine and waiting for data from the manufacturer, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, director of medical services at the Ministry of Health, said yesterday.

MOM clarifies concerns raised about maid released from SHN
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has clarified concerns raised by an employer of a foreign domestic worker who had been released early from stay-home notice (SHN) despite carrying the Covid-19 virus. MOM said in a Facebook post on Monday that the Indonesian maid, who arrived on April 11 and cleared a Covid-19 test before her discharge from SHN two days later…

More than 7b additional doses needed to keep world pandemic-free: DHL
Estimating that a further seven to nine billion doses of vaccines are necessary annually from 2022 onwards to keep (re-)infection rates low, international courier DHL highlighted the need for global collaboration, calling for “free borders” in vaccine delivery.

*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 housing starts drop sharply; building permits rise modestly

Dollar slumps as expectations of flat rates grow

London’s ‘golden age’ as Europe’s financial capital is over, says NatWest chairman

Ireland hikes stamp duty, amends planning laws to end bulk buying of homes

Australia’s Q1 wage growth dragged by public sector

China close to kicking off long-awaited Reits market

Chinese firm GDS weighs buying GLP’s data centres: sources

Japan’s GDP shrinks 5.1% in Q1, raises fears of double-dip recession

Lessons in complacency from Taiwan’s Covid fight

Clobbered by Covid-19, Thailand’s jobless rate hits record

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