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 April 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Construction firms prepare for prolonged manpower crunch
Firms in the built-environment sector are bemoaning a protracted manpower crunch with the news on Monday that travellers from India – a key source of labour – will face tighter border measures. The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that Singapore will tighten border measures for travellers from India by reducing entry approvals for non-Singapore Citizens/ Permanent Residents. In addition, all travellers arriving from India, including those with travel history to India in the last 14 days, will, from 11.59pm on April 22, serve an additional seven-day Stay Home Notice (SHN) at their place of residence after their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities.

Blackstone eyes more Singapore property after buying Sandcrawler for $176 million
Singapore (Bloomberg) – Blackstone Group is seeking to invest in more properties in Singapore to capitalise on rising demand for office space among technology firms expanding in the city-state. The plans come after the US private equity firm announced on Wednesday (April 21) that it is purchasing Lucasfilm’s state-of-the art facility, The Sandcrawler, for $176 million, confirming a Bloomberg report in January. Blackstone is seeking to make long-term investments in high-quality assets that provide strong returns, Alan Miyasaki, head of Asia real estate acquisitions, said in an interview.


Singapore Economy

Singapore hub status intact as remote work sees smaller but more HQs
With the Covid-19 pandemic having brought about a wider acceptance of remote working, Singapore must keep up efforts to remain a vibrant regional hub, observers told The Business Times. While the regional hub model has not lost its relevance, further economic reopening is critical in helping the Republic maintain its status as one, they said. Amid the pandemic, working from home was the default for most companies for months.

Singapore is tops in Asia on WEF’s energy transition index
The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Singapore ahead of all Asian countries in its Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2021 that reflects the progress towards a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure energy system. The index that benchmarks 115 countries also assesses their readiness for energy transition and the current performance of energy systems across the three dimensions of the energy triangle: economic development and growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security and access indicators.


Companies’ Brief

LHN expects at least S$17m in H1 net profit before tax
Real estate management services provider LHN expects a higher net profit before tax of “no less than approximately S$17 million” for H1 2021, an estimated 4.5 times increase from the year-ago period, the company said on Tuesday in a preliminary update on the group’s unaudited financial results. The growth comes on the back of gains from subleases, lower fair-value loss on investment properties, short-term contracts for the management of dormitories expected to end in the second half of the financial year, as well as a reduction in rental costs due to rental rebates received for the carpark division.

Far East Hospitality signs Indonesia agreement, sets sights on regional expansion
Far East Hospitality has inked a new partnership in Indonesia as part of a larger plan to increase its footprint within the region. The group on Tuesday announced that it has teamed up with ARTOTEL Group, an Indonesian boutique hospitality and lifestyle group, in a strategic alliance agreement. Under the terms of the partnership, both sides will collaborate across operations, branding, and training, as well as support business growth across markets.

Keppel DC Reit Q1 DPU up 18.1% to 2.462 Singapore cents
Keppel Data Centre (DC) Reit on Tuesday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.462 Singapore cents for the first quarter, up 18.1 per cent from the first quarter of last year, buoyed by accretive acquisitions and asset enhancements in 2020. Distributable income went up 17.5 per cent year on year to S$42.03 million, it said in an operational update. Meanwhile, net property income rose 10 per cent to S$60.99 million and gross revenue rose 10.6 per cent to S$66.69 million.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Risk management opportunities: climate change and Covid-19
The prospect of a natural disaster and subsequent recovery is always a difficult endeavour for even the best prepared countries. In 2020, the volume of natural disaster events, including several that had impacts across multiple states and countries, led to above-average disaster and recovery costs. It forced governments to tap into already depleted emergency funding to account for the many billions of dollars in non-insured damage and recovery aid.

When social influence gets monetised into crypto exchange
Singapore – Earlier this month, a Facebook post and tweet by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made waves among investors and social media influencers. He had asked for his name and photograph to be removed from BitClout – a social crypto-exchange where users trade tokens based on people’s reputations – as it had used his profile without his knowledge. The platform complied with his request a day after his post.

Charting the future of green finance in Asia
As sustainable finance continues to gain traction across Asia, will 2021 become synonymous with ESG (environmental, social and governance) and the greening of the region’s financial ecosystem? Sustainable financing has gained significant momentum in 2020 and regulators across Asia have stepped up efforts to promote the development of green finance and support the region’s transition to a sustainable future. For instance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced in March that it will soon begin placing US$2 billion with selected asset managers that are committed to deepening green finance activities out of Singapore, as part of its wider efforts to attract green funds and sustainability-focused asset managers.

Economic Affairs: Time to raise ambitions for a greener world
Tomorrow, United States President Joe Biden will gather 40 national leaders for a two-day virtual climate summit. This landmark event is supposed to prepare the ground for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow scheduled for November. The idea is to speed up global efforts to contain greenhouse gas emissions and thereby keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 deg C from pre-industrial levels by 2100, a key goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Singapore banks may bid for parts of Citi’s Asia consumer business as giant makes exits
Eyes are now on whether Singapore banks will snap up Citi’s assets in markets that the local trio already play in, as the Wall Street giant sheds several of its consumer banking businesses across Asia. Reuters on Tuesday reported that banks including DBS Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), OCBC and Standard Chartered are set to bid for parts of Citigroup’s consumer business in Asia. The report cited people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Three reasons to stay invested in Asia this year
Despite recent turmoil, Asia remains a bright spot for investments. In retrospect, the first quarter of 2021 has been a wild ride for investors. Set off by a surge in the US 10-year Treasury bond yield (to above 1.7 per cent), global capital markets tumbled by mid-February, placing a wet blanket on investors’ red-hot optimism at the start of the year.  This is perhaps even more so for investors in Asia ex-Japan equities, having to contend with the drastic drawdown of more than 10 per cent after Chinese New Year, erasing almost all year-to-date gains.

India’s Covid-19 surge may hit some Singapore-listed firms with exposure there
As India grapples with its worst wave of Covid-19 yet, Singapore-listed stocks and trusts that have exposure to the country could see operations affected by the surge in cases and resulting lockdowns. On Tuesday, India reported nearly 260,000 new Covid-19 infections – the sixth straight day where cases exceeded 200,000 – and over 1,700 deaths in the country. The country’s capital Delhi entered a lockdown for a week beginning on Monday night as the authorities sought to control the raging coronavirus outbreak, with hospitals running out of beds.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Dorm resident is sole locally transmitted case
The sole locally transmitted case of Covid-19 reported yesterday was a 35-year-old male Bangladeshi national who had received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccination. He showed symptoms despite having received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on March 12, then the second dose on April 13. He is employed as a construction supervisor by Prosper Environmental & Engineering and works at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard in the Admiralty area, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Pandemic can be brought under control in months: WHO chief
Geneva • The world can bring the global Covid-19 pandemic under control in the coming months provided it distributes the necessary resources fairly, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) told a news briefing on Monday. Global climate change activist Greta Thunberg, joining the briefing as a virtual guest from Sweden, took a swipe at “vaccine nationalism” and said it was unethical that rich countries were prioritising their younger citizens for vaccination ahead of vulnerable groups in developing countries.

Travel links with India cut amid fears over mutant strain
More countries are snapping travel connections with India as it records a devastating spike in new coronavirus infections. The United States and Britain placed restrictions on Monday, with Washington advising people against heading to the Asian country even if they are fully vaccinated. Hong Kong has banned flights from India for two weeks, beginning on Tuesday. New Zealand has an ongoing suspension of entry of travellers from India, including its own citizens, until next Wednesday.

New SafeEntry system now in use at more than 2,700 places here
The introduction of SafeEntry Gateway devices was made compulsory for places with large numbers of visitors from Monday. Malls, cinemas, supermarkets and hospitals are among the more than 2,700 locations that are equipped with the new SafeEntry system. Visitors to these places can now hold their TraceTogether tokens, or phones with the TraceTogether app, near the devices to register their visits.

*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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Thailand approves handouts for 2.4m people, plans more over new virus wave

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