The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 20 April 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Basement-level KTV unit at The Adelphi up for sale via expression of interest
A 999-year leasehold strata retail unit approved for KTV use at The Adelphi is up for sale via expression of interest, exclusive marketing agent CBRE said on Monday. Fully leased to a KTV tenant, the commercial unit has a strata area of 4,090 square feet and was previously approved for restaurant use. It is located next to an escalator, which facilitates high visibility and footfall, CBRE said.  The marketing agent said the past five years saw only a handful of transactions for basement units at The Adelphi, which were transacted within the range of S$2,685 to S$3,573 per square foot.

E-commerce giants bulk up on logistics, but it’s not endgame for 3rd-party players
Bright orange vans, with “Shopee Xpress” emblazoned across in white font, have become a common sight on Singapore’s roads. This reflects a growing trend across South-east Asia: e-commerce marketplaces bulking up on in-house logistics.  Third-party logistics (3PL) startups The Business Times spoke are aware of the trend, but they say they will complement, rather than compete with, their e-commerce clients.



Singapore Economy

Singa to fund Deep Tunnel Sewerage System
A major project that aims to free up space on land by moving facilities for treating used water underground is well under way, with about a quarter of a 100km-long conveyance system for central and western Singapore completed so far.  The S$10 billion Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS), which is scheduled for completion by 2025, will be one of the nationally significant infrastructure that the government intends to pay for through borrowing – something that has not been done since the 1990s.



Companies’ Brief

Abercrombie & Fitch to close sole Singapore outlet in May
American fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch will be closing its only outlet in Singapore on May 2, it said in an Instagram post on Monday.  The post directed shoppers to download the mobile app to continue shopping.  No reason was given for the closure, but Abercrombie & Fitch announced last November that it would be closing several flagship stores. The locations given at the time were Dusseldorf, London, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Madrid and Fukuoka.

Lasseters International proposes to dispose of Australian assets for A$105m
Integrated resort operator Lasseters International Holdings on Tuesday proposed to dispose of its Australian assets and business for A$105 million (S$108.5 million), an amount nearly six times that of the group’s market capitalisation of S$19 million.  The group’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Ford Dynasty and Lasseters Health Club on Monday entered into various agreements with companies under Sydney-based Iris Capital, an integrated development and hospitality group.

Takeover offer for Neo Group turns unconditional; public float lost
The offer for Catalist-listed Neo Group has turned unconditional, the food caterer said in an exchange filing on Monday.  Neo Group recorded receiving valid acceptances of the offer amounting to about 91.2 per cent of the total number of issued shares. Management shareholders Neo Kah Kiat, who is Neo Group’s founder, chief executive officer and chairman, and executive director Liew Oi Peng, both tendered about 82.3 per cent of the shares, pursuant to their irrevocable undertakings. Other concert parties of the offeror apart from the management shareholders tendered the remaining 1.4 per cent of the total number of issued shares.

Corporate digest



Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

MOM to step up worksite safety inspections
From May to June, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will carry out 400 worksite safety inspections targeting high-risk sectors such as construction and manufacturing.  Called Operation Ibis, these inspections will be on top of routine checks.  Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said yesterday that his ministry is paying closer attention to the manufacturing sector as it saw six fatalities last year, compared with four in 2019.

Leveraging current momentum to go green post-Covid-19
Much has been discussed about the positive impact that Covid-19 has brought to the environment due to decreased economic activities and emissions. While it is true to a certain extent, these short-term effects alone will not reverse climate change overnight.  According to estimates by the United Nations, more than 110 countries have committed to carbon neutrality. Yet, at the same time, the latest report by UN Climate Change has determined that many signatories, including some of the biggest polluting economies, are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals by 2050 based on current projections.

Have dedicated charging points, parking spots for electric vehicles in housing estates and workplaces
Most electric vehicles (EVs) have a shorter range on a full charge, compared with internal combustion engine vehicles on a full tank of petrol.  This means that EV owners not only need to charge their cars more frequently, but also need to spend more time on charging.  The time taken to charge a car using a typical AC-powered charger installed in homes or shopping centres from empty to full can vary from four hours to 21 hours, depending on the car model.



Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Restaurant manager is sole community case; 19 imported
A 44-year-old restaurant manager has tested positive for Covid-19, the only community case reported yesterday.  The permanent resident, who manages Spice Grill Restaurant in Tanjong Pagar and Rangoon Bar & Bistro in Serangoon, was last at work last Thursday.  He is the husband of the 41-year-old accountant at OM Universal who tested positive last Friday.

Coronavirus: co-existence or eradication?
As the Covid-19 outbreak turned into a global pandemic, a dominant opinion among experts and policy makers emerged that the coronavirus had become so well established that human society will have to adapt, coping with it as it does with yearly bouts of colds and influenza. A certain level of loss of life would have to be anticipated – and, implicitly, accepted – in return for a resumption of life as it was before for society at large. From this point of view, seeking to eradicate the disease is simply unrealistic.

Covid-19 breathalysers could be used on large scale in Singapore soon
Singapore – Mass deployment of Covid-19 breathalysers that produce results on the spot may soon happen here. This will facilitate safe travel arrangements and screenings at large-scale events.  The Straits Times has learnt that local medtech firm Silver Factory Technology is working with the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Changi Airport and security firm Certis to develop the breathalysers.

WHO says against proof of vaccination for travel
[Geneva] The World Health Organization’s emergency committee said Monday it was against international travellers being required to have proof of vaccination, partly on grounds such a measure would deepen inequities.  “Do not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, given the limited (although growing) evidence about the performance of vaccines in reducing transmission and the persistent inequity in the global vaccine distribution,” the committee said in a statement summarising its April 15 meeting, the results of which were only published on Monday.

Families reunite as Australia-New Zealand travel bubble begins after almost 400 days of border closure
Families were reunited in emotional scenes on Monday as Australia and New Zealand launched a quarantine-free travel bubble that opened the border almost 400 days after its pandemic-enforced closure.
There were group hugs and enthusiastic welcomes at airport terminals on both sides of the Tasman Sea as the long-awaited bubble sparked joy and relief.

Australia-New Zealand travel bubble launches with lopsided demand
[Sydney] A testing and quarantine free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand launched with lopsided demand, according to airlines and data firms, with an unusually high number of the travellers departing from Australia.  The initial results from Asia’s first restriction-free travel bubble since the pandemic hit, which opened on Monday, showed that travel patterns can depart from their norms after such a long closure and may take time to return to normal.

British scientists studying if people can get reinfected
London • British scientists yesterday launched a trial which will deliberately expose participants who have already had Covid-19 to the coronavirus again to examine immune responses and see if people get reinfected.  In February, Britain became the first country in the world to give the go-ahead for so-called “challenge trials” in humans, in which volunteers are deliberately exposed to Covid-19 to advance research into the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Cambodia uses wedding halls for patients as cases spike
Phnom Penh • Cambodia began setting up thousands of hospital beds in two wedding party halls on Sunday to cope with an influx of Covid-19 patients in a country that up till recently had largely managed to contain infections.  Cambodia also reported a daily record 618 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, its health ministry said, in a spike in infections following an outbreak first detected in late February. The new numbers took the overall tally to 6,389.

Hong Kong bans flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines after mutant Covid-19 strain detected
Hong Kong (Reuters, Bloomberg) – Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from April 20 for two weeks after the N501Y mutant Covid-19 strain was detected in the Asian financial hub for the first time, authorities said in a statement late on Sunday (April 18).

India locks capital to battle Covid-19 as all US adults eligible for vaccine
[New Delhi] India locked down its capital New Delhi for a week beginning Monday night seeking to control a raging coronavirus outbreak, as the hard-hit United States made all adults eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
There was good news from Australia and New Zealand as well, as the neighbours opened a travel bubble that will allow people to move between the countries without a mandatory quarantine.

J&J Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing halted at US plant
[Baltimore] Production of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine at a US manufacturing plant was halted by the US Food and Drug Administration while the agency investigates an error that led to millions of doses being ruined last month.  Emergent BioSolutions, the company that owns and runs the Baltimore plant that had been making the J&J vaccine, said in a regulatory filing that the FDA requested a pause on April 16 in production of new drug substance for the shot pending completion of the inspection.

Malaysia begins phase 2 of vaccine drive amid worry over its slow pace
Malaysia kicked off the second phase of its Covid-19 vaccination programme yesterday, as government leaders tried to allay concerns about the pace of inoculations.  The programme is seen as not being fast enough, with coronavirus infections showing signs of surging again.

Philippines lifts halt on AstraZeneca jab for under 60s
Manila • The Philippines will resume the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for people aged below 60, health officials said yesterday, ending a temporary suspension of the shot over reports of rare blood clots in younger recipients overseas.  “The benefit outweighs the risk. Only a small percentage of the population had these adverse effects for AstraZeneca,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a regular news conference, referring to the countries where blood clots had been reported.

Thai infection numbers ease after run of daily record highs
Bangkok • Thailand reported 1,390 new coronavirus cases yesterday, slowing slightly after a run of record daily highs, amid a new wave of infections that has seen a third of the country’s cases recorded this month alone.  The new infections were down by a fifth from Sunday’s record 1,767 cases. The coronavirus task force said this was due to measures to control the spread and requests for people to avoid travel and gatherings.

Virus surge raises prospect of new emergency in Tokyo, Osaka
Tokyo • The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have opened the door to declaring another coronavirus emergency in Japan’s biggest metropolitan areas as infections surge, adding to the challenges facing the Olympics that are less than 100 days away in the capital.  Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said late on Sunday that she has instructed officials to consider a state of emergency as an option to contain infection numbers that rose over the weekend to the highest in more than two months, when the last declaration was in effect in the capital.

UK adds India to Covid travel ‘red list’ as PM cancels trip
[London] Britain on Monday imposed its strictest travel curbs on India after an explosion of coronavirus cases there, hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off a trip to New Delhi. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that effective from 0300 GMT on Friday, India was being added to Britain’s “red list” of countries, banning all arrivals from India except for UK or Irish nationals.

*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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Malacca unveils plan to draw RM100b to new economic zone as tourism falters

Microsoft to invest US$1b in Malaysia to set up data centres

UK home prices hit new peak in buying frenzy on tax break, low interest rates

Covid-19 exposes ‘grim reality’ of private renters, says UK housing charity

Crypto-rich investors snap up virtual real estate

How a legendary New York hotel became a battleground

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