All property stakeholders urged to avoid stoking sentiment
All participants in the property market have a role to play in not stoking exuberant sentiments. Making this call on Tuesday, Second Minister for National Development, Indranee Rajah, said: “We all have a part to play by continuing to be professional, responsible and prudent… In the long run, a stable property market will benefit all stakeholders.” Speaking at the spring festival celebration of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore at The Fullerton Hotel…
Singapore Real Estate
HDB rooftops to get more urban farms
Singapore’s skyline is set to become a little greener. Yesterday, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) launched seven urban farming sites on the rooftops of Housing Board multi-storey carparks by way of public tender. The sites are located in the heartland areas of Bukit Panjang, Woodlands and Sembawang.
Monetary policy won’t change in April, despite headline inflation uptick: Analysts
Headline inflation returned to positive territory for the first time in nearly a year, as all-items consumer prices rose year on year in January. But with core inflation still underwater, economists do not expect the central bank to tweak monetary policy at its next review in April. The headline return to growth “signals a good start to the year in terms of spending”, said Prakash Sakpal, senior Asia economist at ING, as the all-items consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.2 per cent year on year on higher car prices and housing costs.
Consumer price index positive for first time in a year
Singapore’s overall inflation turned positive for the first time in nearly a year, owing to a smaller decline in the cost of services as well as higher car prices and housing rents. All-items inflation came in at 0.2 per cent last month on a year-on-year basis, up from 0 per cent the month before. This is the first time overall inflation has risen above zero since last February.
Progressive wage model for retail sector under study
Singapore – Low-wage workers in retail may see their earnings rise if a study to implement the progressive wage model (PWM) in the sector bears fruit. Salespeople and cashiers in supermarkets, convenience stores and fashion outlets can benefit from the move to extend the PWM to the retail sector, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said on Tuesday (Feb 23)..
CapitaLand sinks into the red with S$1.67b H2 loss on revaluation losses, impairments
CapitaLand has sunk into the red with a net loss of S$1.67 billion for the second half ended Dec 31, 2020, from a net profit of S$1.26 billion a year ago. This was mainly due to the revaluation of investment properties, and a S$2.49 billion impairment of projects and equity investments which are non-cash in nature, the property giant said on Wednesday in a bourse filing.
Frasers Property’s rights issue not a clear win for all
Frasers Property’s latest rights issue will provide much needed cash to the listed entity, but its value to shareholders, existing and potential, is questionable. The company’s non-underwritten 37-for-100 rights issue aimed at raising net proceeds of up to S$1.28 billion is also lacking in specifics. The fundraising exercise may be unsurprising given the group’s gearing of 0.99 time at end-December, although the ratio would fall with the divestment of its 63.1 per cent stake in Asia RetailFund to Frasers Centrepoint Trust.
Keppel Corp chairman Lee Boon Yang to retire on April 23
Keppel Corporation on Wednesday announced that Lee Boon Yang, 73, will retire as its non-executive chairman and director with effect from April 23, 2021 after the group’s upcoming annual general meeting on the same date. He remains as chairman of Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Business Times. Dr Lee will be immediately succeeded as non-executive chairman by Danny Teoh, 65, who chairs Keppel Corp’s audit committee and is a member of the remuneration and board risk committees. Mr Teoh is also chairman of M1 Limited.
OUELH explores recapitalisation to repay loans to OUE
OUE Lippo Healthcare (OUELH) on Tuesday announced a recapitalisation plan backed by its major shareholders to convert its S$189.6 million of shareholder loans from OUE to perpetual bonds. These 4 per cent convertible perps can be converted into ordinary shares at seven cents each. This came the same evening it announced a staggering net loss of S$97.5 million in its second half ended Dec 31, 2020, a reversal from a profit of S$3 million a year ago. Revenue was flat at S$10.1 million for the six months.
PropNex Q4 profit falls 8.9% to S$7.5m
Real estate agency PropNex reported a fall in net profit to S$7.5 million for the fourth quarter of FY2020, 8.9 per cent lower from S$8.2 million for the same period a year ago. However, revenue for the fourth quarter rose 18.8 per cent to S$155.6 million from S$131 million last year on the back of a recovery in the private residential market from both the property cooling measures in July 2018 and “circuit-breaker” measures in the second quarter.
UIC posts 85% drop in full-year earnings to S$90.2m
Developer United Industrial Corp (UIC) reported an 85 per cent slump in net profit for the full year ended Dec 31, 2020 to S$90.23 million. The group was weighed down by a fair value loss on investment properties of S$125.8 million in FY2020, compared to a fair value gain of S$148.5 million previously. Its results for FY19 were also boosted by a one-off gain of S$210.3 million from the acquisition of additional interest in Aquamarina Hotel.
EC World Reit reports 5.5% decline in Q4 DPU
EC World Reit’s (ECW) distribution per unit (DPU) for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 fell 5.5 per cent to 1.427 Singapore cents, from 1.51 cents a year ago. However, gross revenue rose 14.2 per cent year-on-year to S$29.53 million, while net property income (NPI) was up 11.1 per cent at S$27.2 million. Gross revenue and NPI were bolstered by the acquisition of e-commerce logistics asset Fuzhou E-commerce, organic rental escalations and the appreciation of the yuan against the Singapore dollar, it said.
Cromwell E-Reit cuts H2 DPU by 14.6% to 1.744 euro cents
Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Cromwell E-Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) fell by 14.6 per cent to 1.744 euro cents (2.79 Singapore cents) for the second half ended Dec 31, 2020, from 2.04 euro cents a year ago. On a like-for-like basis, assuming FY2019 management fees were paid in cash, H2 2020 DPU is 1.3 per cent below H2 2019’s DPU of 1.767 euro cents.
Views, Reviews, Forum & Others
Time for Singapore’s SMEs to prioritise sustainability
As Singapore’s economy mends and green shoots emerge across industries, the time is ripe for Singapore’s small businesses to gear up for the green economy. The measures announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat as part of Budget 2021 on Feb 16 underscore the role businesses have in Singapore’s ambitious Green Plan 2030 roadmap towards an environmentally sustainable future.
In pursuit of economic, social and environmental sustainability
The 2021 Singapore Budget shows that pursuing a sustainability policy agenda is not only about “doing good”, but is a basis for “doing well” and pursuing economic excellence. The Budget, delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Feb 16, positions Singapore well to address the threats and opportunities presented by climate change, even as the country tackles the immediate challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asean and BRI: Opportunity amid adversity
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has already reshaped the international geostrategic and economic context. Countries in general and Asean in particular have sought to recalibrate their postures and policies as a function of the BRI’s ongoing evolution. Such calculations are further complicated by competing initiatives, such as the US Build Act, which also seeks to support infrastructure opportunities in the region as part of the US Indo-Pacific strategy.
With new chief at last, WTO must press on with reform efforts
History was made last week when the World Trade Organization (WTO) appointed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become its new director-general, making her the first woman and first African to occupy the top job at the Geneva-based global trade body. After a rocky selection process that lasted nine months, the WTO’s 164 members – including Singapore – formally selected by consensus the former Nigerian finance minister to serve a four-year term until Aug 31, 2025. She has described her appointment as the WTO’s new leader as both “groundbreaking and positive”.
Singapore firms hang on as Myanmar unrest escalates
Singaporean firms are doing their best to continue operating as usual, even as protests in Myanmar over the military’s coup have escalated into a general strike. Despite issues like intermittent communications and potentially slower port clearance, they have no intention to exit the country yet, as they still see opportunities in the long term and hope that the unrest will be temporary.
Singapore Budget 2021
Marathon debate on Budget 2021 starts today
Parliament will sit for eight days starting today to debate the Budget 2021 statement for the new financial year, as Singapore continues to deal with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government’s proposed extension of various aid schemes, which will taper off as Singapore recovers, and its plans for stepping up sustainability and innovation initiatives will be among the topics for discussion and scrutiny during the annual marathon debate.
Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
Bangladeshi worker is sole locally transmitted case here
A 35-year-old Bangladeshi man who works as a delivery assistant at Chng Woodworking was the sole locally transmitted case confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) last night. He does not interact directly with clients at the building materials store in Kranji and his job entails loading and unloading goods. He stays in a dormitory in Kranji Way and his infection was detected after he was tested as part of the routine rostered testing for migrant workers in dorms.
Free reusable masks, hand sanitiser for each household from March, April
Each Singapore household will soon be able to collect reusable masks and an alcohol-free hand sanitiser from next month and April respectively, in yet another nationwide distribution by Temasek Foundation. Some mask vending machines across the island have been restocked with a new navy-blue mask by Swiss hygiene company Livinguard, and Singapore residents can collect it from March 1, said Temasek chief executive Ho Ching in a Facebook post last Friday.
PM Lee urges international cooperation to ensure vaccines for all countries
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called for international cooperation to make sure all countries, including developing ones, have access to proven Covid-19 vaccines. In a pre-recorded video message to a global conference broadcast live on YouTube today, Mr Lee said that Singapore is also discussing vaccine certification with interested countries as a way to resume the possibility of travel.
Eligible individuals who refuse Covid-19 vaccine endanger themselves and others
Singapore – Singapore has purchased enough vaccines for everyone here so that all who are eligible can get vaccinated. Once the vast majority of the population is protected against Covid-19, Singapore should be able to fully open its borders, and life can start returning to normal. But that can happen only if everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated.
Patients advised not to go for mammograms too soon after Covid-19 jab
Patients who have recently taken the Covid-19 vaccine are advised to reschedule their yearly mammogram screenings, as the presence of swollen lymph nodes – one of the known side effects of the jab – could be mistakenly identified as a sign of breast cancer. Doctors have advised patients to move their mammogram screenings to either before the Covid-19 jab or a few weeks after the second dose of the vaccine, to avoid confusion.
*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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