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, 18 & 19 Oct 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore retail rents stabilising at suburban malls; may bottom out by early 2021
The increased activity in Singapore’s retail sector hints at a bottoming out of rents by the end of 2020 or early 2021, Knight Frank’s research team said in a report published on Friday. Overall retail rents are expected to fall by 10 per cent to 15 per cent for the whole of this year due to recessionary pressures and safe-distancing restrictions, said the real estate consultancy.

Dysons sell Wallich Residence triplex penthouse for S$62m
The Dysons behind the eponymous British consumer electronics company are selling their triplex penthouse at Wallich Residence in Tanjong Pagar for S$62 million or close to S$3,000 per square foot on the strata area of 21,108 sq ft, BT understands.

Asia-Pacific’s office market on the mend
The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted commercial real estate in a number of ways. Some are cut and dry, while others are not so simple. One of the most widely discussed and fiercely debated topics is the future of office real estate, the role it will play, and how occupier strategies will evolve in a post-pandemic world.

Tencent chooses co-working space for its first Singapore office
Tencent Holdings has chosen a co-working space for its first office in Singapore, joining other Chinese technology giants in using the city state as a launching pad into the rest of Asia. The WeChat owner – which said last month it would open an office in Singapore – will have almost 200 seats at JustCo’s co-working space in OCBC Centre East at Raffles Place.

Reits (October 17-18, 2020)


Singapore Economy

Prospects for Singapore semiconductor industry very bright, says Chan Chun Sing
Singapore – Singapore’s electronics sector in general and the semiconductor industry in particular have outperformed other segments of the economy and they are likely to continue to offer more job opportunities.

Singapore key exports tipped to cool towards year-end
Singapore’s key exports look set to cool down towards the end of the year – although the headline figure is still expected to keep its head above water, with the help of cyclical recovery in the linchpin electronics sector.

FTAs can open doors as firms seek global opportunities
In these challenging times, businesses with existing international operations, or are planning to internationalise, have been forced to re-evaluate their operating models and global supply chains. Some of the common questions by businesses both big and small are: How do I continue to generate sales revenues now that my existing customers are dwindling?

Cut pay only if needed to minimise retrenchments: NWC
With the overriding goal of saving jobs and helping businesses to emerge stronger from the current crisis, the National Wages Council (NWC) has given the green light and set out six principles in its supplementary guidelines for temporary wage cuts.

Firms in S’pore told to be responsible, sensitive if retrenching staff
A day after the National Wages Council issued fresh guidelines on pay, tripartite partners followed up with an updated framework for retrenchments signalling that the job situation ahead remains grim. Employers must ensure objective criteria, such as ability, experience and skills, are used should they need to retrench workers.

Temporary pay reduction better than having no job, say job seekers
For Mr Nur Fazli, 33, who was laid off in June, taking a six-month pay cut would have been better than losing his job. The former store supervisor said he was taken by surprise when his employer delivered the news, as he had believed his logistics job was secure.

Latest wage guidelines a help, but may be tough for smaller firms
While the latest National Wages Council (NWC) guidelines give employers some flexibility to manage wage costs, their implementation may prove tricky, say business associations. This is especially so for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are more likely to lack the resources needed to adhere to the guidelines.

More manufacturers adopting digital solutions amid pandemic
Workers had to fillet fish by hand at food manufacturer Hai Sia Seafood, but this laborious job has been vastly improved as the company transforms digitally. A new fish filleting machine has increased capacity fivefold after staff moved from manual labour to learning to operate the equipment.

Iras collects S$53.5b in tax revenues for FY2019/20
Revenue from corporate taxes and personal income taxes saw the biggest rise among all tax categories, as Singapore’s tax authority reported a 2.1 per cent increase in overall takings for financial year 2019/2020. Overall, Iras collected S$53.5 billion in tax revenue.


Companies’ Brief

ARA unit awarded £3b affordable housing guarantee scheme in UK
ARA Asset Management on Sunday said that its subsidiary, ARA Venn, has been appointed the exclusive manager of a new £3 billion (S$5.26 billion) Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme by the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Major hedge fund D.E. Shaw set to open office in Singapore
D.E. Shaw & Co will open an office in Singapore next year, joining other hedge funds expanding in the city state to extend their reach in Asia. The firm, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds with more than US$50 billion (S$68 billion) in investment capital, has applied for a fund management licence from the Singapore central bank…

Several real estate directors raise their company stakes
For the five local trading sessions that spanned Oct 9 to 15, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.8 per cent, with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.4 per cent gain. This has brought the STI’s decline in total return for the 2020 year to Oct 15 to 18.8 per cent.

Air travel bubble may lift aviation, hospitality, property stocks
Aviation, hospitality and property stocks listed in Singapore and Hong Kong could see a boost from a proposed two-way air travel bubble between the two Asian financial hubs. But there are risks that investors have to take into account.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

The big breakup conversation
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

With e-commerce growing at an exponential rate and technologies playing a crucial role in keeping our society functional and moving during the Covid-19, this sector has a profound effect on businesses and the global economy. Innumerable communities now rely on online communication platforms on a daily basis.

Opting for hybrid work arrangements
Work from home became a must for most businesses during the circuit breaker period that began in April. The measures are being eased as Singapore reopens in phases. However, even as more employees can return to the workplace, some employers continue to allow their staff to work from home and return to the office only when needed.

To reopen borders, global health could look to banking’s Swift model
Until a Covid-19 vaccine is available, the world needs a health information system to restart free and safe international travel. What might this Covid-19-free travel infrastructure look like, what lessons can we learn from the Swift financial messaging system, and how to and who should implement such a global health system?

Global IPO value at 20-year high in Q3; Asean shows quarter-on-quarter rebound: EY
IPO activity bucked a “traditionally slow” third quarter to record the most activity in the last 20 years by proceeds, according to a quarterly IPO trends report by professional services firm EY. There have been 872 IPOs this year, raising US$165.3 billion in proceeds. Of these, 445 deals happened in Q3 raising US$95 billion.

Swab tests for that overseas trip could cost more than the return plane ticket
Those planning a round trip to approved regional destinations will have to contend with Covid test costs that could exceed the price of an air ticket. The International Air Transport Association (Iata) supports the use of swab testing before departure in place of quarantine in order to re-establish global air connectivity.

Is Big Tech a bubble?
A long-standing doctrine in successful investing was to buy stocks that were trading cheaply based on an objective metric (price versus book value/earnings/sales), giving you a margin of safety, and then sit back and wait for the market to realise they were undervalued. Once stocks reached ‘fair value’, they would be sold, realising a gain that historically outperformed markets.

Singapore-HK airfares soar a day after news of travel bubble
The cost of air tickets between Singapore and Hong Kong soared yesterday, just a day after plans for a travel bubble between the two places were announced. The cheapest price on the Singapore Airlines website for a return economy ticket was $558 last night for flights up to the end of December, up from around $400 on Thursday. Travellers to either destination will not have to serve a quarantine as long as they test negative for Covid-19.


Singapore Budget 2020

Over S$5.5b in Jobs Support Scheme payouts to be disbursed from Oct 29
Over S$5.5 billion in payouts under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will be disbursed to more than 140,000 employers from Oct 29, to subsidise the June to August wages of about 1.9 million local employees.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Coronavirus: Only 3 community care facilities remain in S’pore – with 36 patients
Just three Covid-19 community care facilities continue to operate and there were only 36 patients in all as of yesterday, down from as many as more than 17,000 in May. In line with the falling numbers, some of the country’s biggest facilities that isolated and treated thousands of patients just months ago are downsizing and going back to their original purpose.

Seven new coronavirus cases; two locally transmitted
There were two new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 infection reported in Singapore yesterday, including one unlinked community case and one in a workers’ dormitory, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were also five imported cases, who had all been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in the country. These seven new cases take Singapore’s total number of Covid-19 infections to 57,911.

Singapore using real-time data to speed up Covid-19 vaccine trials
Covid-19 vaccine trials are being expedited in Singapore in a way that could halve the time it would normally take to have a new vaccine approved. The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) told The Straits Times that this is to ensure “Singapore has continued access to critical health products to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Failure to get workers tested: Two firms’ work pass rights suspended
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has suspended the work pass privileges of two employers for failing to arrange for their workers to undergo rostered routine testing for Covid-19. This means they will no longer be able to continue employing the two workers, and cannot hire any new workers through the work pass system until the suspension is lifted.

Hostel ordered shut for 30 days after flouting safety rules
In one of the toughest penalties to date, a hostel has been ordered to suspend operations for 30 days for flouting Covid-19 safe management measures. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) ordered Hawaii Hostel in Bencoolen Street to suspend operations from Oct 11 to Nov 9 after investigations revealed the hostel had permitted more than 260 guests to check in for leisure purposes since Sept 17.

Over 450,000 workers to get contact-tracing devices
More than 450,000 workers living or working in dormitories or the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors will receive contact-tracing devices in phases from today to early next month, said the Government on Friday.
*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

Renting a luxury room brings respite for home workers (and hotels)

From peak city to ghost town: the urban centres hit hardest by Covid-19

Firms in London CBD quietly starting to rent large offices again

Madison Avenue rent plunges as Manhattan retail takes a hit

Traders trickling back to Wall Street even as coronavirus threat remains

China’s economy accelerates in Q3, broadening recovery from pandemic

China’s Sept industrial output rises 6.9% y-o-y; retail sales up 3.3%

China’s Jan-Sept property investment rises 5.6% y-o-y

China gives Shenzhen greater autonomy to attract investment

China’s three red lines for home developers

Evergrande says it may buy back dollar bonds to boost confidence

Japan export decline slows dramatically as US-bound car shipments jump

Coronavirus: Travel bubbles to put bounce back into Hong Kong tourism

Is Vietnam the next ‘Asian miracle’?

No quick fix in sight for anaemic Thai economy

Lockdowns in Malaysia ‘will affect sentiment more than business’

Economists lower growth forecasts despite Jakarta reopening

Batam gets ready to welcome essential travellers from S’pore

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