Singapore introduces 2 new tax frameworks for companies to strengthen tax compliance
Singapore has rolled out 2 new tax frameworks to help companies strengthen their tax compliance, said the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) on Friday (Mar 18). The new frameworks complement the existing Goods and Services Tax Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (GST ACAP)…
More construction firms set up than wound up despite pandemic
Despite pandemic-related challenges, more construction firms were formed in the last two years than were wound up, according to figures compiled by data platform Handshakes. Sectoral relief under the Covid-19 (Temporary) Measures Act (Cotma) might have helped firms hang on, said observers.
VTLs have boosted international visitor arrivals in Singapore, but number of tourists still low
Singapore – The number of international visitor arrivals is on the rise as Singapore readies to open up its borders to all vaccinated travellers. But industry players and observers are still waiting for a significant recovery in inbound tourism, with tourists currently a fraction of the travellers entering under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme.
More visitors since start of VTLs, but leisure travel has yet to see strong rebound
Singapore – While the vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) have largely benefited the tourism scene here, their spillover effects are not equally distributed yet. Some tourism players here are seeing a stronger rebound in business travel, while leisure travel is still slow to return.
F&B outlets starting to pass on costs from utilities bill spike
Even before the Ukraine crisis, electricity costs have risen by between 80 per cent and 300 per cent since late last year for food and beverage (F&B) operators to whom The Business Times spoke.
CLI, Frasers Hospitality don’t see big hit to their businesses in Shenzhen
CapitaLand Investment (CLI) and Frasers Hospitality don’t expect major impact to their businesses in Shenzhen after a spike in Covid-19 cases prompted the Chinese government to implement a lockdown of China’s tech hub.
Quarz seeks MAS intervention; says MNACT manager has fiduciary duty to seek better price
Activist fund manager Quarz Capital Management has sent a letter to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), asking the latter to ensure that the manager of Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) fulfils its fiduciary duty to unitholders of the real estate investment trust (Reit).
MCT, MNACT to offer all-cash option of S$1.1949 per unit in proposed merger
The managers of Mapletree Commercial Trust and Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust are now offering MNACT unitholders the option to receive the entire scheme consideration of their proposed merger, of S$1.1949 per unit, wholly in cash.
SMRT appoints ex-LTA chief Ngien Hoon Ping as new group CEO
SMRT is appointing Ngien Hoon Ping as its new group chief executive officer (CEO), with effect from Aug 1. Ngien will also join SMRT as a board director on May 1, the public transport services provider said in a statement on Friday (Mar 18).
Pure-play China S-Reits record strong 2021 growth
Listed on SGX are 4 S-Reits and 1 property trust with pure exposure to China. These trusts have assets across sub-sectors such as retail malls, logistics and industrial, and office and business parks based in China.
Views, Reviews, Forum and Others
What may be lost with restriction on strata subdivision for commercial properties
Landmark buildings completed in the 1970s and 1980s in Singapore such as Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road and International Plaza in Tanjong Pagar have multiple individual strata owners of their commercial spaces.
Stay alert amid rise in global Covid-19 cases
The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned this week that Covid-19 cases are rising globally once again despite testing levels having dropped significantly. This is a double whammy since more testing might well have revealed the existence of more cases than even the high numbers reported.
S’pore home owners to face higher interest rates for home loans
Singapore – Home owners will have to brace themselves for higher interest rates for home loans – whether floating or fixed – as rates in the United States go up. The US Federal Reserve raised rates by 25 basis points this week, and has signalled that there will be more hikes this year.
Rising rates support a long-term approach to cash management
As the world wrestles with geopolitical tensions, Covid-19, high inflation, rising interest rates and soaring energy prices, corporate treasurers must grapple with multiple uncertainties and prepare for rapid changes in the way they manage their business.
Prolonged lockdown in China will exacerbate already volatile supply chains
Potential price hikes and delays are on the cards for already-battered supply chains even as China keeps its ports open, eases lockdown rules and initiates bubbles to allow production to continue.
Travel is back – bigger and better than before
2021 was, by some metrics, a record year for Hilton’s Asia Pacific operations. The multinational hospitality company signed deals for 247 new hotels and opened 100 new hotels that year for this region alone.
South-east Asia’s tourist hubs easing travel restrictions
South-east Asia’s tourist havens from Bali to Bangkok are moving to further reopen, rolling back Covid-19 restrictions to attract more visitors and bolster growth in their tourism-reliant economies.
Asia hit by food security fears amid war in Ukraine
The surge in oil and agricultural prices caused by the war in Ukraine has sparked food security fears across the globe. Here’s a look at the situation in the region and what governments are doing to keep prices and supplies under control.
Russia’s war is creating corporate winners and losers
Most multinational companies can live without Russian customers. Living without Russian commodities would be much harder. On Mar 15, the European Commission announced new economic constraints on Russia, including a ban on exports of European luxury items and cars – the definition of an essential good is, after all, in the eye of the oligarch. But the announcement also included a ban on steel products from Russia.
Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
Singapore Covid-19 cases fall below 10,000 for third time in March, lowest since Feb 7
[Singapore] Daily Covid-19 cases fell below 10,000 for the third time in March, with 7,859 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday (Mar 20), down from 10,244 on Saturday. This is the lowest daily total since Feb 7, when 7,806 new cases were recorded.
Events, F&B, hospitality sectors applaud eased Covid-19 rules but say recovery is limited
Singapore – The events, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors – among the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic – applauded streamlined Covid-19 measures that kicked in on Tuesday (March 15).
Singapore expected to hold some of its largest Mice events since onset of Covid-19 pandemic
Singapore – The Republic is expecting to hold some of its largest meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) events this year since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, bolstered by vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) and the relaxation of safe management measures (SMMs).
Malaysia truck drivers must show negative Covid-19 test results from March 24 as on-arrival tests end
[Singapore] Singapore will from Thursday (Mar 24) stop conducting Covid-19 on-arrival tests at land checkpoints for cargo drivers coming in from Malaysia and those accompanying them. They will instead have to present a negative Covid-19 test result or prove that they have recently recovered from Covid-19 at the checkpoints, in Tuas and Woodlands, to be allowed entry into Singapore.
*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
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Rising mortgage rates won’t be enough to end US housing boom
US existing home sales plunge in February: NAR
Asking prices for UK houses see biggest March rise since 2004: Rightmove
UK’s sky-high house prices are still more affordable than rent
IEA urges ’emergency measures’ to cut oil use over supply fears
Turkey says Russia, Ukraine are ‘close to an agreement’
China’s local land sales plunge nearly 30% in first 2 months
China hikes fuel prices to highest levels in more than a decade
UBS sells Japan real-estate venture to KKR for 230 billion yen
China locks down millions more as Covid spreads
Hong Kong may unveil Covid policy review as cases appear to ease
Visitors to Malaysia will be issued with digital traveller’s cards as it reopens borders