The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 25 May 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Should you go for Singapore-listed US office Reits?
The US economy is bouncing back. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett said at the group’s recent annual general meeting that the US economy has been “resurrected in an extraordinarily effective way” by monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and fiscal stimulus from the US Congress.

In weighing HDB ‘lottery effect’, Singapore mulls raising subsidies, imposing clawbacks
Singapore is maintaining its stance on building public housing – including rental housing – in very prime locations, like the city centre and the Greater Southern Waterfront, that speaks to efforts to keep society “egalitarian and inclusive” on the housing front, said the country’s housing minister.

HDB-only resales, shorter leases mooted for prime BTO flats
New flats with shorter leases and resale limited to only the Housing Board are some suggestions being looked at for future public housing projects in prime locations, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee yesterday. Another idea is to impose a longer minimum occupation period (MOP) before the units can be sold or rented out.


Singapore Economy

Firms call for help, but now’s not the time for fiscal firepower
Singapore pulled out all the stops with fiscal support when Covid-19 forced the economy into a two-month hibernation last year. But the raft of relief measures unleashed during the circuit breaker in 2020 may have raised – and now, dashed – hopes of a similar bazooka during the current Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period.

Singapore’s core, headline inflation continue positive trend in April
Singapore’s core inflation edged up to 0.6 per cent in April compared to the same period last year, a positive reading for the third consecutive month, the Department of Statistics’ consumer price index (CPI) figures showed on Monday.

Economists expect Singapore economy to grow 0.9% in Q1
Singapore’s economy is expected to have grown 0.9 per cent in the first quarter on a year-on-year basis, an improvement from earlier estimates, due to stronger-than-expected performance in the manufacturing sector, according to a Reuters poll of economists.


Companies’ Brief

Kwek Leng Beng warns of cooling measures if residential property prices continue to rise
Kwek Leng Beng, chairman of City Developments (CDL), cautioned that further cooling measures could be introduced by the government to control the prices of residential property if prices continue to rise. The property magnate’s warning came at the mainboard-listed property heavweight’s annual general meeting held by electronic means on April 30, minutes of which were filed with the Singapore Exchange on Monday.

Retail Reits facing a bump in the road – for now
The tougher safe-distancing measures announced earlier this month are a disappointing but possibly temporary setback for Singapore’s retail Reits, some of which have been touted as post-pandemic “reopening” plays over the last few months.

Aviva Singlife names DBS senior executive Pearlyn Phau as group CEO
Aviva Singlife has named Pearlyn Phau as its new executive director and group chief executive, following the S$3.2 billion merger between Singlife and Aviva Singapore last November. The appointment, which is subject to regulatory approval, will be effective on Aug 18.

Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Empathy, not just logic, helps build solidarity in a crisis
In the face of recent public unhappiness over the Covid-19 situation – or indeed, as its general modus operandi – the government has been quick to explain its decisions, armed with logical arguments and encouragement to consider the greater good.

Every citizen must play his part, no matter how small, to defeat the virus
Singapore is now into the third week since the country returned to Phase 2 of the economy’s reopening on May 8, with tightened rules in place for social gatherings, reduced capacities at certain venues and events, among other measures. The government later implemented a four-week Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period with even tougher curbs, to run from May 16 to June 13…

Vaccines versus variants: Will the world ever reach herd immunity?
(Financial Times) – In Ohio, anyone getting a Covid vaccine could win one of five lottery prizes of US$1 million (S$1.3 million). New Jersey residents getting the jab are offered free beer. One site in New York boasted an even more unlikely incentive: a courtesy marijuana joint.

Singapore should get ready with a carbon border tax
As the world’s most trade-dependent high-income economy, it is in Singapore’s interest to be a powerful voice for decarbonising the global economy. After all, the sustainability of globalised business as we know it depends on the success of the global economy in switching to low carbon energy and economic growth.

Commodity transfer pricing under extra scrutiny
Recent developments in the world of commodity trading and supply chains could lead to extra scrutiny on commodity transfer pricing from tax authorities around the world, with potential knock-on effects on the commodity trading industry in Singapore.

Rising digital workloads contributing to worker burnout in S’pore
Singapore – Workers in Singapore are feeling more burnt out compared with their peers globally, and this could be driven partly by their digital workloads rising amid the pandemic. About one in two workers, or 49 per cent, feels exhausted, while 58 per cent feel overworked, according to an online poll in January of more than 1,000 workers here.

India’s Covid-19 resurgence drags on Singapore companies
The second wave of Covid-19 infections in India is taking its toll on Singapore companies, whose contingency plans are wearing thin as the surge rages on. Some firms have managed to avoid supply disruptions by diversifying their sources, but others are struggling with shortages and payment delays despite implementing contingency plans.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

24 new Covid-19 cases in the community, two unlinked
[Singapore] There were 36 new coronavirus cases confirmed at noon on Monday, taking Singapore’s total to 61,860. There were 24 community cases, 22 of which have been linked to previous cases. Twelve had already been quarantined. There were no new cases from migrant workers’ dormitories.

Changi Airport T3 cluster began at arrival gates and baggage claim hall
The Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster began at the arrival gates and baggage claim hall, where airport staff worked in close proximity to arriving passengers, investigations by Changi Airport Group (CAG) have shown. About half of airport workers who tested positive for Covid-19 were found spread out in the arrival zone…

Terminal 3 cluster began at airport’s arrival area
The Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster began at the arrival gates and baggage claim hall, where airport staff worked in close proximity to arriving passengers, investigations by Changi Airport Group (CAG) have shown. About half of the airport workers who tested positive for Covid-19 were found spread out in the arrival zone…

Jem and Westgate cluster grows to 50; Pizza Hut staff among 24 community cases
Free Covid-19 testing will be extended to those who have visited Jem and Westgate from May 10 to May 22, after a cluster linked to the malls grew to 50 cases. Six new cases linked to the shopping malls cluster were among the 24 community cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday.

11 firms fined for not getting staff to work from home
Eleven companies have been fined for failing to get their employees to work from home. They were caught during inspections conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). More than 530 workplaces were inspected between May 8 and last Friday. Offenders will be fined $1,000, with the amount rising to $2,000 for repeat breaches.

S’pore to roll out Covid-19 breath test that provides fast results
A breath test that can accurately detect Covid-19 within a minute will be rolled out in Singapore, with a trial slated to begin at Tuas Checkpoint in the next few days. Developed by Breathonix, a spin-off from the National University of Singapore (NUS), this breath test system has received provisional authorisation from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) – the first such system to receive HSA’s provisional authorisation.

Changi Airport workers to be segregated into risk-based zones
The Changi Airport Group (CAG) has taken steps to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection, while still maintaining Singapore’s links with the rest of the world. It will segregate about 14,000 airport workers into three distinct zones, and impose stricter measures to ensure that the 4,400 workers in the highest-risk zone are protected from Covid-19 and isolated from other staff and the public.

*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

WHO sets new targets for vaccinating world’s poorest to end inequity

How some US baby boomers are ageing in place comfortably, stylishly and safely

Pandemic offers southern Italians chance to return home

Taiwan looking at extending second-highest alert amid surge in cases

Malaysia’s latest MCO curbs face indifference, confusion

Malaysia probes allegations of under-dosage of Covid-19 shots

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