The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 21 Jan 2021 (Thu)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore top Asean pick for Asia-Pacific investors: survey
Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City are the top Asean cities in which AsiaPacific-based property investors are interested, CBRE’S 2021 Asia-Pacific Investor Intentions Survey has found. The survey findings, released on Wednesday, had Singapore in second place, and Ho Chi Minh City in fifth; this is the first time the Vietnamese city has entered the top 10. Desmond Sim, head of research for South-east Asia in CBRE, said: “Singapore remains an important hub for foreign corporations looking to access South-east Asia.”

Year’s first public property auction in Singapore includes remnant land
A curious piece of remnant land in Sixth Avenue surrounded by state land is up for sale. The owner cannot develop it on its own, and the state land must first be sold, before the plot can be combined.  And yet, this 6,042 square foot freehold remnant land with a guide price of S$3 million has invited more than 100 enquiries. It is listed among 2021’s first public property auction, and is the first such sale that senior auctioneer Joy Tan has come across.

Semi-detached unit sees fierce bidding in year’s first property auction
A semi-detached house in the Siglap area attracted an unusually high number of bids – 33 – at the year’s first public property auction on Wednesday, an event that also stood out for its high number of mortgagee listings. The five-bedroom, 21/2-storey house along Aida Street in District 15 had a guide price of S$3.4 million. Bidding opened at S$3.25 million, with the proceedings pushing the price up until the bank-sale property was sold for S$3.89 million.

Singapore boutique hotels tap on buoyant market to offload
Boutique hotel owners are perking up at active property buying in Singapore, as the Covid-19 pandemic crushed the tourism sector but not the will of the well-heeled in scooping up assets. A few such boutique properties have been put on the market in the last six months, with owners vying for attention from funds and family offices circling for deals to ride their projected tourism recovery in two years or so.


Singapore Economy

Singapore bags S$17.2b in fixed asset investment commitments in 2020
Singapore secured S$17.2 billion in fixed asset investment (FAI) in 2020, far above the Singapore Economic Development Board’s (EDB) medium to long-term investment commitment annual goal of S$8 billion to S$10 billion, the EDB said at its year-in-review on Wednesday. “We had a very good momentum coming into 2020 from 2019,” said EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin. In 2021, the EDB does not expect to achieve a similarly high figure, but is “cautiously confident” of achieving its medium-term goals, he added. The 2020 FAI was the highest since 2008 and 2007, two exceptional years with mega petrochemical projects.

S$30m fund launched to speed up 5G adoption and commercialisation
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Wednesday launched a S$30 million fund to accelerate the adoption and commercialisation of 5G solutions. The fund, part of IMDA’s 5G Innovation Programme, will support efforts by enterprises to adopt 5G solutions that address sector challenges or enterprise-level needs. It will also help solutions-providers and technology-developers commercialise 5G solutions to make 5G benefits more accessible to companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, IMDA said in a statement.

Support green finance, cash-strapped businesses; greater food security: KPMG
More grants and subsidies can help Singapore maximise its potential as a green finance hub in Asean, said KPMG in its proposal for Budget 2021. Food security and support for cash-strapped businesses were also on KPMG’s Budget 2021 wishlist, which was released on Wednesday. Ajay Kumar Sanganeria, partner and head of tax at KPMG in Singapore, said Singapore can become a green finance hub by facilitating sustainable finance deals in line with international standards and regulations.

Passenger traffic at Changi Airport fell 82.8% last year
Changi Airport saw an 82.8 per cent drop in passenger traffic last year, according to statistics published yesterday on the airport group’s website. Passenger traffic dropped from 68.3 million passenger movements through the airport in 2019 to 11.8 million in 2020. The airport was hit hardest during the circuit breaker months of April and May. During that period, there was a 99.5 per cent drop in passenger traffic, compared with the same period in 2019. The situation is improving slightly, however, with the drop decreasing in severity towards the end of the year when traffic dropped by 97.6 per cent in December.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust posts Q4 DPU of 2.63 S cents
CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT) on Thursday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.63 Singapore cents for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, down 15.4 per cent from 3.11 cents a year ago. Of this amount, a clean-up distribution of 0.89 cent for the period from Oct 1 to 20 was paid to CapitaLand Mall Trust’s (CMT) unitholders on Nov 19. As such, the remaining DPU of 1.74 cents for the period Oct 21 to Dec 31 will be paid out on March 9, following book closure on Jan 29.

Cold storage a long-term play in alternative property investment: M&G
Asset manager M&G Real Estate expects cold storage to shine in the long run as investors, now flush with liquidity, hunt for alternatives in the Asia-Pacific property market. Life sciences and data centres are also likely to gain further prominence, although the investment manager advised discipline and caution before jumping into opportunities.

EHT confirms Chapter 11 filing, to start marketing process to sell some hotels
Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) on Wednesday confirmed that 27 of the trust’s entities have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States in order to stay claims against its various US-based entities and provide the “necessary protection for the benefit of all stakeholders”. The Business Times had reported on Tuesday night that multiple entities within the EHT stable had filed for bankruptcy protection.

ESR-Reit DPU falls 16% to 0.84 Singapore cent for Q4
ESR-Reit’s distribution per unit (DPU) dropped 16 per cent to 0.84 Singapore cent for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, from one cent the previous year. The DPU of 0.84 cent includes part of the remaining distributable income of 0.099 cent, which was previously retained in the first quarter of 2020. “Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, our core DPU has shown signs of operational stability and registered steady growth from quarter to quarter throughout FY2020,” said Adrian Chui, chief executive officer and executive director of the manager.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Food security: How S’pore, Israel can ‘feed’ off innovations
As the world grows smaller due to the acceleration of globalisation, a single event on a major scale can disrupt this finely tuned system. And that event has come in the form of Covid-19. As the pandemic gripped the world, nations turned off the tap on agricultural exports, prompting the World Bank to urge that the flow of food be kept going. The Covid-19 crisis is demonstrating that it is now vital to understand the fragility of global food supply chains, the vulnerability of food security to different sources of disturbance – and to increase domestic food production on a large scale.

Employees should also take charge of their own reskilling and upgrading
In a newly published survey by NTUC LearningHub, employees lamented that employers are not doing enough to upskill them to full potential and asked for more to be done. Only one third of employees, some 32 per cent, agree or strongly agree that their company provides them with the right training opportunities to enhance work performance. Almost half, about 47 per cent, are not confident that their current job will be able to support them in their career growth.

ESG investing beyond boom and bust
Assets allocated to ESG investments have accelerated in recent years. But reading headlines about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and performance can give you pause, if not whiplash. One day it’s “Better stock selection boosted ESG funds”. The next day, it’s “ESG investing looks like just another stock bubble”

Firms must prime for growth as 2021 offers opportunities and risks
While many welcomed 2021 on the basis that it wasn’t 2020, a rebound in activity is coming and businesses need to prepare or risk losing out. With Covid-19 infection rates at all time highs in many places and vaccine advances being matched with more contagious variants, optimism might seem misplaced. That is too short-term. Businesses that remain clear-eyed and healthy will find plenty to be excited about in the coming year.

Beware of anti-vaccine scaremongering
Unverified information, unfounded fears and misleading warnings being spread on chat groups and social media about the dangers of Covid-19 vaccinations can have a very real effect of influencing personal decisions about the need for inoculation, including in Singapore, where vaccination is not compulsory. Many of these shared messages appear induced to cast doubt and undermine the effectiveness of the vaccines. They include stories about doctors, other health workers and members of the public who died after receiving jabs.

MNCs eye local market hires, instead of expat pool, to drive strategic growth in S-E Asia
More multinational corporations (MNCs) are increasingly turning to the local market, instead of the top expatriate talent pool, to find that special leader to drive their strategic growth in South-east Asia, and this is putting a premium on top talent in the rapidly growing region.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Third cluster emerges amid rise in community cases
The number of new cases in the community increased to 18 in the past week, from four in the week before, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement last night. The ministry also reported a new local coronavirus cluster – the third discovered in recent weeks – after three of the four community cases were linked to a previous case. The three cases were linked to the case of a 39-year-old permanent resident who works in sales at BS Industrial and Construction Supply in Kallang. He tested positive for the virus on Monday.

SIA, SilkAir passengers can book pre-departure tests online
Passengers of Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir flying out of Singapore, Jakarta and Medan will now be able to book pre-departure Covid-19 tests and receive their results via a one-stop online portal. The pilot programme launched yesterday is the SIA Group’s latest effort to restore confidence in international travel, which has been decimated by the pandemic. If proven successful, the portal will be expanded to more cities in SIA and SilkAir’s network over the next few months, the airline said in a statement.

Heng gets vaccine, says it’s safe for even stroke survivors
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) yesterday. “The vaccine is safe and effective, even for former stroke patients like myself,” Mr Heng said in a Facebook post in the evening. He had collapsed during a Cabinet meeting in May 2016, after suffering a sudden stroke caused by a ruptured aneurysm. He returned to work in August that year.
*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 homebuilder confidence fell to a four-month low in January

US-China dialogue under Biden may be more reasoned: top economist

‘Act big’ on Covid relief spending, Yellen tells US lawmakers

Biden’s huge economic relief plan aims to tackle poverty, inequality head-on

On Day One, Biden moves swiftly to undo Trump’s legacy

Alibaba’s Jack Ma resurfaces after three months, sparking stock rally

Stores close in Tokyo’s high-end mall amid travel bans

Japan’s Dentsu considering sale of HQ building, said to be worth US$2.9b

Japan exports post first annual gain in two years in December

South Korea January 1-20 exports expand 10.6%, sharper than in December

Malaysian businesses downbeat on prospects despite aid package

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