The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 18, 19 & 20 Jul 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Covid-19 shines light on real estate transparency
Real estate markets across the Asia-Pacific are evolving rapidly in their functionality for people and as a core asset class for global investors. Increasingly, in geographies like South-east Asia and more established markets like Singapore, transparency is becoming a more important barometer of a real estate’s market performance and attractiveness.

Let’s get real with real estate
For decades, real estate in the financial hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore seemed infallible. Critics of such “conventional wisdom” gave the example of the recent financial crisis, but this was brushed aside as a “once-in-a-lifetime” event that could not happen again.

Singapore mall operators play key role to widen retailers’ online reach
As retailers forge ahead with efforts to go online, a move hastened by the Covid-19 pandemic, mall operators in Singapore should also align themselves with the trend to stay relevant – not just to consumers, but tenants as well, according to industry consultants.


Singapore Economy

Singapore’s June export rebound caps expansionary first half
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX), which rebounded in June after a surprise dip in May, are now on track to outshine the official forecast of a full-year contraction. But, despite an export boom in the powerhouse pharmaceuticals and electronics industries, watchers are mixed on how long the boost will last.

Singapore’s tourism receipts down 39% to S$4b in Q1
Singapore’s tourism receipts took a hit in the first quarter of this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, sinking 39 per cent from the year-ago period to S$4 billion, according to figures released on Friday in the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) quarterly report.

RWS, MBS must still invest S$9 billion or risk higher taxes: MTI
Singapore’s integrated resorts (IRs) remain committed to their investment plans, despite the knock-out blow that the novel coronavirus pandemic has landed on the industry.

Sustainable infrastructure to become even more vital post-Covid-19: Indranee
The pandemic has highlighted the crucial importance of infrastructure in areas like sanitation, but building projects will require more funding from non-governmental sources, said Ms Indranee Rajah yesterday.

Inclusive growth amid Covid-19 is key task post-GE2020: Business leaders
The bread-and-butter issues of job security and the cost of living remain pressing in the aftermath of Singapore’s General Election, C-suite executives told The Business Times. But they also flagged a greater focus on inclusive growth.


Companies’ Brief

BlackRock takes firm action on companies’ sustainability disclosures
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has taken a firm stance in its pivot towards sustainability. In the Asia-Pacific, it has written to 577 companies representing over 90 per cent of MSCI index constituents (excluding Japan and Australia), putting them on notice that it expects greater disclosures on sustainability.

OUE sells Los Angeles tower at below market value as pandemic hits tenants
Property developer OUE Ltd on Friday announced that it will sell US Bank Tower – known for its cameos in Hollywood movies and a sky-high outdoor glass slide – for US$430 million. The sale price is about two-thirds of the property’s US$650 million fair value as at Dec 31, 2019.

Raffles Hotel cuts 15% of staff to cope with Covid-19 fallout
Another hotel operator is trimming its workforce as tourist arrivals and receipts continue to take a hit from Covid-19.

Sembcorp posts S$131m net loss in H1
A bleeding marine segment on the back of an oil slump and substantial impairments of energy assets dragged Sembcorp Industries’ (SCI) first half showing into the red, with a net loss of S$131 million against profit of S$191 million a year earlier.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Growing new ideals of progress
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

With a younger electorate that grew up on social media and is more educated and widely-travelled, a shift to a more consultative and inclusive style of politics in which people participate more actively in economic and business policies is inevitable.

Singapore’s growing fintech sector displays resilience amid downturn
Fintech in Singapore has shown remarkable resilience even as the economy faces its worst downturn amid the coronavirus outbreak. The surge in digital services use during the Covid-19 crisis is expected to further entrench the Republic as a global fintech hub.

Digital focus key in retail’s recovery, adjustment to ‘new normal’
Singapore’s physical retail landscape is coming back to life as the shutters go up and consumers return to shopping malls in the second stage of the city state’s phased reopening. But while retailers are relieved at finally being able to resume “business as usual”, experts warn that it will take a long while for things to return to normal…

Preparing for a dramatically different future
That future will be dramatically different not only for governments and individuals, but also for big business and big finance. What Covid-19 has done is accelerate the disruption already heralded by the fourth industrial revolution and demographic trends, and underscore the urgency required to address systemic vulnerabilities.

Layoffs a sign of difficult times ahead
It is of concern that integrated resort operator Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is laying off a significant number of employees as it grapples with the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the tourism industry. It is understood that about 2,000 employees were laid off among the roughly 7,000 the firm had as of the end of last year.

‘Most Asia-Pac banks, insurers not prepped for pandemics’
Leaders of financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific were mostly caught unaware by the damaging effects of Covid-19, a recent study of the largest banks and insurance companies in the region has found. Only one out of 50 banks and three out of as many insurers had identified a pandemic as one of the key risks, with three of these being Japanese companies, said the study published by accounting body CPA Australia in July.

Necessity drives retail inventiveness
It was to be expected that the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, which necessitated the imposition of circuit breaker measures, would affect retailers. However, what is heartening is how they have sought to transform challenge into opportunity. Some of the more traditional retailers, too, accelerated their plans to go online and have even begun to ride on well-known e-commerce platforms.

Where are the jobs?
At Resorts World Singapore, one of the country’s largest employers, the axe fell hard and fast this week.

Would you like some free money?
We think of government spending in the same way as our own spending. If you take a loan today to buy a car, you are ‘pulling forward’ earnings from the future into the present, thus reducing your future spending power as you repay the loan with interest over time.


Singapore Budget 2020

140,000 employers to get S$4b in Jobs Support Scheme payouts from July 29
Over S$4 billion under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will be paid out to 140,000 employers from July 29 to help them retain their workers. This will help businesses to pay the wages of some 1.9 million local employees in total, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Sunday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

257 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 8 in the community
There are 257 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Sunday noon, taking Singapore’s total to 47,912. They include eight community cases, comprising two Singaporeans or permanent residents and six work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday.

Coronavirus: Just 2,700 people remain in four community care sites
Just 2,700 people are still being housed in four Covid-19 community care facilities (CCFs) as of July 12, with the virus’ spread in the community remaining low. This is down from about 10,600 individuals in such facilities as of June 3, more than six weeks back, and also much lower than the maximum capacity of the current facilities.

Tackling crisis comes first; political succession can be dealt with later
he main focus for the Government now is getting Singapore through the Covid-19 crisis, and the question of political succession will be dealt with at a later point, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Singapore must prepare for, and prevent, second wave of Covid-19: Gan Kim Yong
Singapore must be prepared for a second wave of Covid-19 infection, although that can be avoided as long as residents remain vigilant and continue to behave responsibly, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Friday.

Singapore can avoid coronavirus resurgence by learning from other nations: Gan Kim Yong
There has been a resurgence in the number of Covid-19 cases in countries such as Japan and Australia because safe management measures have not been adhered to. This includes people joining large gatherings or not wearing masks.

Coronavirus: Close watch on symptomatic unlinked cases in community
Since the lifting of the circuit breaker on June 2, the number of community cases has increased, although they continue to remain low with about an average of 12 per day in the past week, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said during a virtual press conference yesterday.

Coronavirus: Leisure travel may not be possible this year, says Lawrence Wong
Singaporeans are unlikely to be able to travel for leisure this year, though essential business travel will be possible. At a virtual press conference yesterday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said: “Our overall advisory, it remains for everyone in Singapore, is not to travel, to avoid all travel.”

Too early to say if Covid-19 cases will emerge from Polling Day queues: Lawrence Wong
The Elections Department (ELD) did its best to keep voters safe on Polling Day and it is too early to say if infections would occur as a result of voters having to wait in line for upwards of an hour in some places, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday.

Coronavirus: Positive cases among workers can be expected even after dorms cleared
As Singapore heads into the final stretch of testing and clearing all migrant workers in dormitories of the coronavirus by the middle of next month, the number of daily infections among this group can be expected to rise, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Hopes high for Singapore-Malaysia cross-border travel
For people stuck on either side of the Causeway, the possible resumption of cross-border travel between Singapore and Malaysia is cause for optimism. The authorities of both countries agreed last week to restart cross-border travel for essential business and official travellers and long-term pass holders through two schemes: the reciprocal green lane and the periodic commuting arrangement.

Coronavirus: When will it be safe to work out at gyms or go on vacation?
Opinions differ widely on when it is safe to restart activities like working out at the gym, or going on vacation. Senior Health Correspondent Joyce Teo susses out what 15 experts and healthcare workers think.
*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

EU recovery fund plan hangs in the balance at deadlocked summit

Coronavirus: EU leaders near accord for $1.2 trillion stimulus package

US housing starts jump 17.3% in June

Jobless recovery becoming a real risk for Europe’s economy

CEOs of US banks warn of tougher economic road after recent gains

What the pandemic did to condo sales in New York

China’s economy rebounds from coronavirus, but shares fall

China security law has limited impact on Hong Kong property market

Luxury developer’s stumble shows rising default risks in China

Floods in China hit global supply chains

Japan exports sink again in June, raises economic risks at home and overseas

Hong Kong’s yawning wealth gap grows wider amid coronavirus pandemic


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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