The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 26 Feb 2021 (Fri)

Companies’ Brief

CDL in the red with S$1.92b H2 loss on Sincere Property, hotel impairments
City Developments Limited (CDL) has sunk into the red with a net loss of S$1.92 billion for its second half ended Dec 31, 2020, from a net profit of S$202.6 million a year ago. This was largely due to the property developer’s S$1.78 billion investment in and loans to joint venture investment Sincere Property, which distorted the group’s second-half and full-year results for fiscal 2020, it said in a bourse filing on Friday.

Far East Orchard’s full-year profit down 94%
Far East Orchard’s net profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 plunged about 94 per cent year-on-year to S$1.54 million as the pandemic impacted its hospitality business. Revenue was 28.1 per cent lower at S$112.21 million while earnings per share worked out to 0.35 Singapore cent, down from 5.95 cents a year ago. The decrease in revenue from its hospitality business was partly offset by higher revenue from the student accommodation properties in the United Kingdom, arising from full-year contributions from five purpose built student accommodation properties that were acquired in 2019.

The Straits Trading Co chalks up higher H2 profit lifted by fair value gains
Conglomerate The Straits Trading Company reported a net profit of about S$46 million for the six months ended Dec 31, 2020, up nearly 10 per cent year-on-year on the back of fair value gains from its real estate segment. Revenue was 18.1 per cent higher at S$173.88 million with increased revenue contributions from both its tin mining and smelting as well as its property segments.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Predicting the unpredictable future of ESG
For the first time since World War II, the world is experiencing a shift in which climate and the environment have now become the priority of governments and their citizens, as opposed to growth. The recent Singapore Budget 2021 proves just that, focusing largely on sustainability and placing much emphasis on the country increasing its green efforts, beginning with the issuance of green bonds by the government.

Growing the green plan
There’s much to like in the inter-ministerial Green Plan unveiled earlier this month. The Singapore Green Plan 2030, to give it its full name, is to be praised for what it sets out to do, despite the pressures on the Budget to contain, manage and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, as economists like to say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. And so the Singapore Green Plan 2030 will entail massive expenditure while also accepting trade-offs such as forgone development opportunities where there is a preference for conservation.

Let’s talk about inter-generational equity in drawdown of financial and nature reserves
It says much of the psyche and financial security of Singaporeans that the drawdown of our natural reserves – forests and woodland – attracted so much heat and attention, while the drawdown of our financial reserves for the second year in a row went largely unremarked. And yet there are similarities in both these sets of actions that should attract attention.

Tech expansion in Singapore fans tussle for talent
The tussle for talent is intensifying among tech firms, with several announcing big hiring plans just two months into the new year. Job creation to the tune of more than 1,500 positions in Singapore have collectively been announced by Grab, Razer, Dell Technologies and TransferWise (which recently rebranded to Wise).

Singapore banks see improved asset quality in 2021 with recovery ahead
Singapore banks are easing their worst outlooks on bad debt, as loan relief is scaled back amid growing optimism on economic recovery this year. With increased clarity on asset quality, banks are guiding for lower credit costs in 2021 as the bulk of provisions have already been taken, setting the stage for a pickup after a year that saw businesses and economies hard-hit by the pandemic.

SHNs: More options for different budgets being considered
The Ministry of National Development is studying ways to provide more options for stay-home notice (SHN) facilities to meet travellers’ different preferences and budgets. As it does so, it will not compromise on the safety of travellers, operational staff and the general community, Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How said yesterday.


Singapore Budget 2021

Businesses should seek opportunities across all industries: Chan Chun Sing
As Singapore emerges from the Covid-19 crisis, there are opportunities to be sought not just in emerging sectors but across all industries, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at The Business Times Budget Dialogue 2021, presented by OCBC Bank. There are downside risks that remain – around the pandemic’s course and global vaccination efforts; big power geopolitics; and domestic challenges facing some countries in South-east Asia, he said.

Turning the Covid crisis into an opportunity of a generation
Beyond short-term aid, Budget 2021 placed a clear focus on how Singapore must emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis. In The Business Times Budget Dialogue 2021, presented by OCBC Bank, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing discusses these future opportunities with OCBC Bank’s head of global commercial banking Linus Goh. Here are edited excerpts from the hour-long event that was conducted on Tuesday.

Growing focus on sustainability gives Singapore an edge in green economy
The sustainability agenda presents “green shoots” of opportunities for businesses, particularly those that have “raced ahead” to make this their basis of differentiation, now that there is a high awareness of the climate crisis in Singapore, said Linus Goh, the head of global commercial banking at OCBC Bank. “In the initial years, there was an awareness, but there was some passive resistance because issues of the day took precedence,” he said during The Business Times Budget Dialogue 2021, presented by OCBC Bank.

Support battered construction sector by providing more subsidies, urges MP
More help is needed for the construction sector, which was greatly affected by the pandemic last year, said Mr Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang). He told Parliament yesterday that while the Jobs Support Scheme has been extended for hard-hit industries – including the built environment sector which will receive the wage subsidies until June – more support is needed for construction firms.

MPs debate Singapore’s borrowing and expenditures
With Singapore dipping into past reserves for the second consecutive year and planning to issue up to S$90 billion in new government bonds, Members of Parliament (MPs) are raising more questions on the Republic’s long-term fiscal approach. On Thursday’s debate on Budget 2021, MP Jamus Lim (Sengkang GRC) suggested the government’s upcoming Significant Infrastructure Government Loan Act (SINGA) bonds could also be used to fund expenditures in areas such as research and development, pre-tertiary education, jobs and skills initiatives, and unemployment insurance.

MPs clash over dipping into ‘cookie jar’ of reserves
MPs across the aisle clashed yesterday over the use of Singapore’s reserves, with Mr Alex Yam (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC) likening suggestions made by opposition members to them helping themselves to a “cookie jar” with little regard for costs. In response, Workers’ Party MP Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC) noted the Government in 2008 amended the rules governing the use of the reserves to create the Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC) framework. In 2015, the rules were amended again to add Temasek to the framework.

Ideas to turn S’pore into a more innovation-driven economy
A greater nudge is required for Singapore to become a more innovation-driven economy, MPs said yesterday. On the second day of the Budget debate, they highlighted the importance of innovation efforts for Singapore’s firms to be competitive in the global economy. Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC) said pursuing an innovation-driven economy may be the only way to reap the benefits of technology developments and enable firms to scale up to access overseas markets.

Ministers spar with NCMP Leong Mun Wai over suggestion of Employment Pass levy
A blanket levy on Employment Pass (EP) holders is a signal to foreign investors that Singapore doesn’t welcome them bringing in their own talent said Member of Parliament Gan Siow Huang on Thursday. Ms Gan, who is also Minister of State for Manpower, was taking issue with Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai’s suggestion to impose a S$1,200 monthly levy on all EP holders.

MPs debate immediate roll-out of basic wage floor in more sectors
A Workers’ Party MP yesterday suggested applying a basic wage floor of $1,300 to many sectors at once so that the progressive wage model (PWM) can be rolled out more quickly, instead of sector by sector. This “fundamental re-ordering” of the framework will help to hasten the pace of reaching the Government’s goal of having progressive wages in every sector, said Mr Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC).


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Tuition centre teacher one of two cases in community
A 27-year-old teacher at the Yishun branch of Berries World of Learning School, a Chinese-language enrichment centre, has tested positive for Covid-19. The Singapore permanent resident developed a runny nose on Tuesday after work and went to a general practitioner the next day, where she was tested for the coronavirus, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Singapore not expected to move out of Phase 3 ‘any time soon’: Janil Puthucheary
Singapore is not expected to move out of Phase 3 “any time soon” said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Thursday. He cited three milestones that must be hit: that there is evidence on vaccine effectiveness in preventing future outbreaks; that a substantial proportion of the population is vaccinated; and the rest of the world has the virus under control.
*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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Travel quarantines: Enduring the mundane, one day at a time

NY hit by new virus variant

City of London approves third new skyscraper within a month

London high rises are investors’ fix for ghostly shopping malls

Pfizer-BioNTech testing booster of their Covid-19 vaccine in new trial

Growth concerns may temper China’s pledge on green focus

China approves two more domestic Covid-19 vaccines, increasing number to four

Hongkongers snapping up more homes in UK to lease out

Li Ka-shing planning to raise funds by listing SPAC in US

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