Singapore Real Estate
Essential projects restart but most construction work to resume gradually
After an eight-week break, workers from a few essential infrastructure projects led by building solutions group ISOTeam will be returning to their work sites today. These projects have been given the go-ahead to restart on the first day after the circuit breaker, during which most works in the construction sector came to a halt.
Pandemic prompts manufacturers to rejig supply chains, operations
As business gradually resumes in the recovery phase of Singapore’s pandemic response, manufacturers here are making major changes to their supply chains and operations in facilities both locally and abroad. This is both to comply with regulations and to ensure they are well-prepared for similar crises in future, they told The Business Times.
A manufacturing renaissance can lift Singapore
Costs while important, will become secondary, as governments and companies focus on strategic and critical manufacturing in the coming years, putting Singapore in a position to further strengthen its manufacturing sector.
First Reit units tumble 21.5% after Lippo says it cannot sustain rental support
Units of First Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) were sold down on Monday, after its former parent company Lippo Karawaci (LPKR) announced plans to start discussions to restructure its leases as the Covid-19 pandemic renders its rental subsidies to the healthcare Reit “unsustainable”.
Keppel associate Floatel to review business plan
Keppel Corporation yesterday said associate company Floatel International will conduct an independent review of its business plan, which may include a review and update of the assumptions used in the impairment assessment of its vessels.
Reit perp holders risk drops in coupon rate if issuers reset
As analysts expect more Reit issuers of perpetual bonds to follow in Ascott Residence Trust’s (ART) footsteps, DBS Group Research on Monday flagged that perpetual holders could face a risk of a 1 to 1.8 percentage point drop in coupon rates if the issuers choose to skip their first calls.
Views, Reviews, Forum & Others
Infrastructure capability programme kicks off
Amid gloomy economic forecasts triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, infrastructure remains a bright spot that can increase business activity and employment, said Second Finance Minister Indranee Rajah on Monday. Growing economies need reliable infrastructure for carrying out essential functions when faced with external challenges, she said.
The future of infrastructure as an asset class
The infrastructure sector has strong correlations to economic growth and employment creation, both in developed and developing countries. While governments conceptualise and drive the infrastructure in a country, given the size of the challenge, private sector developers, multilateral agencies (MLAs), institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies have increasingly become important participants in the infrastructure growth story.
Expenses incurred from working at home qualify for tax deductions
Workers working from home can claim deduction against employment income for charges such as electricity and telecommunication expenses not reimbursed by employers. An Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) spokesperson told The Business Times: “Tax deduction against employment income is allowable for expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of employment income. “
Banks eye permanent telecommuting for some staff
Most bankers will not be flocking back to their offices as Singapore eases out of its partial lockdown this week, with major banks here looking to maintain their current work-from-home arrangements while cautiously reopening additional branches.
Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
Stay vigilant, PM Lee urges as circuit breaker period ends
Singapore has to remain cautious and vigilant after exiting the circuit breaker, as dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is “a marathon, not a sprint”, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. In a Facebook post, he urged Singaporeans to keep their guard up as the country lifts some circuit breaker measures today, by continuing to wear masks when outdoors and at work, and avoiding crowds and gatherings, among other things.
Face shields cannot be worn in place of masks
People will have to wear face masks instead of face shields when they leave home, following a review of an earlier policy in which either option had been allowed. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said yesterday that the task force combating the Covid-19 outbreak has decided that face shields are not as effective as masks in reducing the risk of virus transmission.
Transfers of migrant workers to other employers allowed
Migrant workers could be transferred to another employer via a system to help preserve their jobs, if their company can no longer keep them on due to the economic fallout from Covid-19. Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday that the system, an existing scheme the Ministry of Manpower and Singapore Business Federation have temporarily expanded during the crisis, allows employers with excess foreign workers to reach out to other employers who need manpower.
Foreign workers still needed in construction: Wong
While Singapore will continue to push for fewer foreign workers, it is not realistic to do without them entirely in the construction industry, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday, as he unveiled plans for new dormitories for workers.
Which workers can leave dorms for work? Find out with new app
A new app, SGWorkPass, will show which migrant workers can leave their dormitories for work. It is one of the new measures the inter-agency task force handling the Covid-19 situation in the dormitories is rolling out, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said at a virtual media conference yesterday.
Regional ‘travel bubbles’ likely in time, says Lawrence Wong
Discussions on special lanes to restart travel within Asean or even a broader bloc within Asia should take place in time to come, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said yesterday.vBut bilateral agreements, which are being discussed with various countries, will have to be worked out first to enable the broader regional arrangements.
OCBC, StanChart to cut savings rates
Amid a weakening interest rate environment and the challenging macro climate, Standard Chartered will cut rates on several savings accounts, while OCBC will likewise cut interest rates on its flagship deposit account. These take effect from July 1.
*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at www.moh.gov.sg and refer to go.gov.sg/mohupdates for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation
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