The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 20 & 21 July 2021 (Tue & Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore property players can still score from student housing in overseas markets
It is not only residents of the United Kingdom and the United States who are cheering the speed at which populations in these countries are being vaccinated and the ensuing relaxation of Covid-19 related restrictions.

How AI and digitalisation are changing the real estate sector in Singapore
Singapore – How many workers does it take to inspect a building for defects? With the increasing use of emerging technologies like drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, the answer could soon be close to zero.


Singapore Economy

Return to May’s restrictions a setback to Singapore’s recovery: economists
Singapore’s return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) has thrown a spanner in the works on the short-term outlook of its economy, with watchers concerned that third-quarter growth and business confidence could be dented by the extended restrictions.


Companies’ Brief

Ascott sees over 40% unit growth y-o-y, boosted by record signings in Vietnam
The Ascott has secured over 8,300 units across more than 30 properties in the first seven months of 2021, marking a 40 per cent growth compared to the same period a year ago, the company announced in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

CapitaLand Investment to bank on multiple engines for growth
CapitaLand Investment (CLI) will look at creating new products as it aims to achieve S$100 billion in funds under management (FUM) by 2024 and grow its lodging business to 160,000 units under management by 2023.

Ex-CapitaLand China president Lucas Loh named co-president at Hopson Development
Lucas Loh, the former chief executive officer and president of CapitaLand China, has been appointed the co-president of Hong Kong-listed property group Hopson Development Holdings, effective July 1, the group said in a bourse filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday.

PropertyGuru nearing US$1.8b merger with Richard Li, Peter Thiel-backed SPAC
Singapore’s online real estate firm PropertyGuru Pte is nearing a deal to go public through a merger with Bridgetown 2 Holdings, the blank-cheque company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Operating revenue of SPH’s media business falls for first 9 months of FY21
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) on Monday reported that its media business continues to face a secular decline in the ad sector, with the segment’s operating revenue declining in the first nine months of its FY2021.

What’s next for Stamford Land if it pivots away from hotels?
Singapore-listed property players have been busy actively managing their portfolios, by exiting or reducing exposure to certain asset classes and geographies while expanding in segments and markets where returns may be better.

Alset to inject first rental home assets into American Home Reit
Alset International on Tuesday announced that its 99.99 per cent-owned indirect subsidiary Alset EHome will kick off the seeding process of American Home Reit (AHR) by transferring over 20 single-family rental homes into the real estate investment trust (Reit).

MLT’s Q1 DPU rises 5.7% amid higher gross revenue
The distribution per unit (DPU) of Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) for the first quarter ended June 30 grew 5.7 per cent to 2.161 Singapore cents amid higher gross revenue during the period. In an exchange filing on Monday, the manager said gross revenue for the first quarter climbed 23.7 per cent year on year to S$163.7

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Apec meets but its consensus approach is creaking
The Asia Pacific Economic Council (Apec) held last Friday an extraordinary meeting of leaders – including US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – as the region recovers from the pandemic after its biggest economic and political shock since World War II.

Advancing the growth strategy of Asia-Pacific
Over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic that sank Asia-Pacific into a recession, many economies in the region have weathered what they hope is the worst of the storm. Although most economies are tipped to rebound to pre-pandemic levels this year…

ST says: Using land to better reflect shared space
The consultative approach being taken to the development of Singapore’s long-term land use plans reflects the aim of the authorities here to engage citizens and look ahead amid the current economic storm created by globalisation, digitalisation, decarbonisation, and the coronavirus-induced importance placed on health, well-being and safety.

Use time as an urban design tool to reimagine our cities
(Nytimes) For decades, a stretch of Memorial Drive here that runs along the Charles River has been closed to cars on Sundays for the warmer half of the year. In the absence of cars on a four-lane thoroughfare beside the water, all kinds of other street uses blossom: skateboards, bicycles, hoverboards, strollers…

Reverse mergers went bust; will SPACs follow?
Despite current exuberance, the signs don’t augur well for “blank cheque” companies. “Be fearful when others are greedy,” wrote Warren Buffett in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders. “And greedy only when others are fearful.”

Healthcare for migrant workers: More than just easy access to medical centres
It was reported last month that a new primary healthcare system will be set up for Singapore’s migrant workers, who will be able to get healthcare services from six medical centres across the island. Migrant workers have long been neglected by Singapore’s healthcare system, and this is a step in the right direction in ensuring that migrant workers have adequate access to essential health services.

Necessary or not, booster shots are probably coming
(Nytimes) The drugmaker Pfizer recently announced that vaccinated people are likely to need a booster shot to be effectively protected against new variants of the coronavirus and that the company would apply for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorisation for the shot.

Shaky recovery in South-east Asia
The economic recovery of South-east Asia is being hobbled by new lockdowns, as the highly-infectious Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus now ravages the region. In Indonesia, the daily average number of new
infections is now highest in the world, with more than 44,000 new infections reported daily.

A year after Covid-19, capital markets are in uncharted waters
With the Covid-19 crisis, capital markets have entered uncharted waters. Indeed, the role of finance in society could be materially changing. CFA Institute conducted a survey of its global membership to analyse the effects of the Covid-induced economic crisis on financial markets and the investment industry.

Singapore firms eye opportunities in the Philippines despite Covid-19
A few years ago, when SteraMist Asia CEO Wee Ah Kee introduced his company’s disinfection and decontamination products to hospital administrators in the Philippines, they were unwilling to upgrade their disinfection protocols due to entrenched practices and limited budgets.

Singapore still first in tech innovation hub global ranking: KPMG survey
For the second year running, Singapore has clinched the top spot in KPMG’s global ranking of leading technology innovation hubs outside of Silicon Valley/San Francisco. Pulling ahead of other cities like New York, Tel Aviv and Beijing, the city-state’s image as a top innovation hub is “part of the country’s vision”…

Central banks can sit on their hands, but we can’t afford to
Many of the major central banks have repeatedly refused to raise interest rates in the face of rising inflation. The Federal Reserve, for instance, has acknowledged that inflation has increased notably. But it reckons that the price rises are only transient. So, it is not hiking rates.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

2 more markets to be closed as S’pore sees 182 local cases
Two more markets and food centres will be closed as Covid-19 cases have been detected among people who worked at or visited those places. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it detected 25 cases at Haig Road Market and Food Centre, and 10 at Chong Pang Market.

Dining-in banned, gatherings capped at 2 pax as Singapore returns to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from July 22 to Aug 18
Dining-in at food and beverage (F&B) outlets will once again be banned for four weeks – from July 22 to Aug 18 – as Singapore moves to reintroduce tighter restrictions amid several growing clusters, the government’s multi-ministry taskforce on Covid-19 said on Tuesday.

Singapore faces ‘roadblock’ along endemic roadmap, reintroduces restrictions as cases surge
A surge in Covid-19 cases across Singapore’s main fishery port as well as various wet markets and hawker centres has led the Singapore government to significantly tighten restrictions, citing concerns that the current wave of infection affects a wide spectrum of the population, including unvaccinated seniors.

Spike in Covid-19 cases raises disturbing questions, but also carries lessons for Singapore
Singapore – There is an ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases, with 480 people getting infected over the past week. This exceeds the total number of infections reported over the previous month. Most of the new cases can be traced either to the cluster linked to KTV lounges, or to the one at Jurong Fishery Port. The two clusters are linked, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in a Facebook post on Monday (July 19).

KTV and Jurong Fishery Port Covid-19 clusters linked: Ong Ye Kung
Singapore – Two of Singapore’s largest active Covid-19 clusters – at KTVs and the Jurong Fishery Port – are linked, and studies are ongoing to establish their relationship, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday (July 19).

Lax mask wearing fuelled virus spread: Fishmongers
Links to a large cluster at KTV lounges and a lack of attention paid to mask wearing turned Singapore’s main fishery port into a hotbed of Covid-19 infection, said those who work there. It is understood that a KTV hostess who recently tested positive for the virus had worked at the port. Some workers there are also patrons of KTV lounges.

30 fishmongers, assistants tested positive for Covid-19: Ong Ye Kung
Singapore – Out of 1,120 fishmongers and assistants who were tested over the weekend, 30 were found to be Covid-19 positive, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Tuesday (July 20). At a virtual press conference by the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, Mr Ong said that 28 markets and food centres have been linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster so far.

Cluster cases likely spread from fishing boats; fish here still safe to eat
Fish in Singapore is still safe for consumption, although it is likely that the Jurong Fishery Port cluster cases came from Indonesian or other fishing boats and via multiple points, said Singapore’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak yesterday.

Higher vaccination rates behind faster reopening in other countries
Several countries have eased Covid-19 restrictions faster than Singapore because of higher vaccination rates in the population and also on account of the number of people who developed immunity after they were infected, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday.

S’pore still on track to live with Covid-19, but must deal with obstacles: Gan
The nation is still en route to living with endemic Covid-19, but must be prepared to make adjustments along the way as impediments may arise, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said at a virtual press conference yesterday.

Singapore government to provide targeted support to affected businesses; no need to draw on reserves
In view of the latest tightened safe management measures from Jul 22 to Aug 18, 2021, the Singapore government will provide targeted support measures to affected businesses and workers. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force and Finance Minister, Lawrence Wong, said: “I can assure you the government will provide a support package to all affected businesses and workers.

Hong Kong, Singapore to review air travel bubble in late August
Singapore – The long-anticipated quarantine free travel corridor plan between Hong Kong and Singapore will not be taking off any time soon. Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau have jointly agreed to resume discussions on the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) only when the Covid-19 situation allows.

*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

Calling US inflation ‘temporary’, Biden pushes for more spending

US had two-month recession in 2020: researchers

50,000 phone numbers worldwide on list linked to Israeli spyware: reports

Mixed signals on UK’s ‘Freedom Day’ hint at slow return to the office

UK homeowners count gains after boom fuelled by tax cut

UK shopper numbers to jump a fifth after Covid rules lifted

Hotel guests find damp towels, piles of trash amid staff shortage

Confusion instead of concerted policy as England limps out of lockdown

London staff want big pay rises to return to office: survey

Australia inquiry urged to strip Crown Resorts of licence for main casino

Urbanisation could help solve China’s shrinking workforce

China’s luxury retirement homes drawing millions from investors

Japan’s core inflation hits 15-month high on energy costs

Evergrande sinks to lowest since 2017 after project sales halt

Zoom to buy cloud-based call centre operator for US$14.7b to boost post-Covid growth

Bitcoin slides below US$30,000 for first time in a month

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