The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 27th Mar 2020 (Fri)


Singapore Real Estate

Neutral impact for Reit landlords if they pass on savings: analysts
The increase in property tax rebates, part of the Resilience Budget, is intended to help defray tenants’ operating costs. The impact on the retail, office and industrial Reits, if they pass on these savings, should be neutral.

Tenants sceptical that landlords will pass on rebates in Resilience Budget
Major landlords say they intend to pass on the expanded property tax rebates announced in Thursday’s Budget, but tenants remain sceptical, especially those still locked in negotiations over the earlier rebates.

Higher property tax rebates for non-residential properties
Owners of qualifying commercial properties that have been badly affected by the coronavirus outbreak will not need to pay property tax for 2020. Such properties include hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as he announced a $48 billion supplementary budget yesterday to combat the worsening pandemic.

Tax payments deferred to help with cash flow
Businesses and self-employed people will be granted a three-month deferment on income tax payments to ease their immediate cash flow concerns.All companies with corporate income tax payments due in April, May and June will have them deferred automatically for three months. Payments will be collected from July.



Singapore Economy

2020 deficit to rise to record S$39.2b, but Singapore’s fiscal position remains robust
Singapore’s overall budget deficit for financial year 2020 will rise to a record S$39.2 billion, or 7.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), as the government rolls out a massive support package to save the economy, but the country’s fiscal standing remains solid, say analysts.

Covid-19 impact pushes Singapore’s 2020 GDP forecast into negative turf
Singapore’s official growth forecast has hit negative territory for the first time in nearly a decade. This comes as the Republic braces itself for what is likely the worst economic contraction since independence. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday further downgraded Singapore’s official growth forecast to between -4 per cent and -1 per cent, from the -0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent…

Singapore factory output posts Feb drop of 1.1%: EDB
Singapore’s factory output fell in February after posting a surprise rise the month before, according to preliminary figures from the Economic Development Board (EDB) released on Thursday. On a year-on-year basis, manufacturing output fell 1.1 per cent due to a contraction in the Republic’s linchpin electronics cluster, even as other sectors posted increases.

Visitor arrivals halve in February
The number of visitors to Singapore fell by just over half last month compared with a year ago, as travel slowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. About 732,000 tourists came last month, a sharp decline from the 1.7 million visitors who were here in January, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said yesterday.


Companies’ Brief     

ARA completes acquisition of stake in Venn Partners
Real assets fund manager ARA Asset Management on Thursday said it has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Venn Partners, an investment manager in European real estate private debt. The acquisition, done via its subsidiary ARA UK Asset Management, was completed as part of a previously announced joint venture (JV), ARA Venn.

Chip Eng Seng unit bags S$433m contract
The Public Utilities Board (PUB) has awarded the  Tuas Water Reclamation Plant contract worth S$433 million to Sembcorp Design and Construction, a wholly-owned subsidiary of mainboard-listed real estate group, Chip Eng Seng.  The contract relates to building works to be undertaken at the Tuas Water Reclamation Plant as part of Phase 2 of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System project.

Mapletree commits S$18m rental relief for its tenants, offers payment deferment
Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) is committing an additional S$18 million of rental relief to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on its retail tenants, it said in a statement on Thursday. In addition, its tenants will also be offered a deferment of payment for the fixed rent for April 2020 “to further ease their cash flow”.

OUE to rebrand Mandarin Orchard hotel
Property group OUE and OUE Commercial Reit will spend about $90 million to rebrand Mandarin Orchard Singapore as Hilton Singapore Orchard, OUE said yesterday. It will be Hilton’s flagship hotel in Singapore and its largest in the Asia-Pacific. OUE is the master lessee of Mandarin Orchard, while the real estate investment trust (Reit) owns the hotel under its portfolio.

SPH Reit commits to fully pass on property tax rebate to tenants
In a bid to alleviate Covid-19’s impact on businesses, SPH Reit (real estate investment trust) said on Thursday that it will fully pass on its property tax rebate to its tenants “in a targeted manner”. This comes as Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Thursday that qualifying commercial properties will pay no property tax in 2020, and businesses in other non-residential properties will get a rebate of 30 per cent.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Saving lives and livelihoods while shaping up for the future
The dire need to safeguard lives – and livelihoods – as countries the world over battle the coronavirus is, as a McKinsey analysis puts it, the imperative of our time. Never in modern history have countries gone into lockdowns, with businesses being shuttered and entire populations told to stay at home.

Speedy, broad-based help for all
The Resilience Budget, a supplementary budget announced by Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat to support workers, stabilise businesses and build resilience is a landmark package never seen before. Tapping on our past and current reserves for over S$48 billion, it is a much-needed stimulus to Singapore’s economy, especially since the Republic’s small size and openness makes it susceptible to the impact of Covid-19.

Stamp out ageism in the Singapore workforce now
Ageism is alive and well everywhere, and very sadly so. That is part of the problem here in Singapore. The fact that ageism is so prevalent around the world is often the excuse for accepting it. “It’s like that” – people will say in acquiescence.

No more denying the importance of having deep reserves
If there were doubts as to why the Singapore Government squirrels away past reserves and does not tap them during good times, they were laid to rest yesterday. Amid the economic and social turmoil of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government pulled out all the stops in a second support package – just one month after announcing support measures to the tune of $6.4 billion in the Budget that had a record projected deficit of $10.95 billion.

Extraordinary budget for a critical time
The supplementary budget delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament yesterday is an extraordinary and timely effort to shore up Singapore’s defences against the medical, economic and social onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic. The $48.4 billion announced to support businesses, workers and families, on top of the $6.4 billion offered just weeks ago, signifies the gravity of the economic crisis precipitated by the pandemic.


Singapore Budget 2020

Rising above a crisis
The Singapore government on Thursday unveiled a record S$48.4 billion support package to rescue businesses and households affected by the escalating Covid-19 pandemic. Taken with the earlier S$6.4 billion Unity Budget in February, nearly S$55 billion (or 11 per cent of gross domestic product) has been set aside to tide over the crisis, sending Singapore’s overall budget deficit to a record S$39.2 billion for 2020.

S$48.4b more to fight pandemic, with up to S$17b from reserves
The government has committed a record S$48.4 billion in a supplementary budget unveiled on Thursday to help Singapore weather the Covid-19 crisis, with in-principle support gained to draw up to S$17 billion from past reserves, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Supplementary Budget will ‘flatten curve’ of economic pain
The S$48.4 billion “supplementary budget” unveiled by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday will not avert a long and tough recession. But it could shield Singapore from being overwhelmed by the second-round effects of the sudden halt in economic activity in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic – including bankruptcies, loan defaults, unemployment and a slump in domestic demand.

Firms to get wage subsidies of up to 75% for local workers
Firms will receive wage subsidies of between 25 per cent and 75 per cent for all local workers as the Government makes “bolder and more aggressive moves” to save jobs and keep locals employed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

More help for aviation industry, plus tourism, hotel, convention sectors
Hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, aviation firms are receiving an enhanced support package and wage offsets to retain employees, which should help to address the immediate challenges facing these businesses.

Resilience Budget: More support for firms to upgrade capabilities
Businesses preparing for recovery can benefit from enhancements to existing schemes that will help them digitalise, restructure and upgrade. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday announced enhancement packages to the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and the SME Go Digital Programme, as part of his Resilience Budget. These enhancements will last till the end of the year.

Enhanced financing schemes to help firms access credit
About $1.7 billion drawn from past reserves will be used to finance several enhanced schemes to provide businesses with access to credit amid the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary bridging loan programme, which Budget 2020 had set aside for the hard-hit tourism sector, will be available for enterprises across all sectors from April 1.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

Malls ordered to stop large group activities, implement crowd control
From this Friday until the end of April, malls and standalone stores – the like of furniture chains Ikea and Courts – will have to abide by stringent safe-distancing measures, which include suspending all events regardless of size, shutting all bars and entertainment venues, as well as closing communal facilities like playgrounds.

PM Lee calls for more cooperation during virtual G-20 summit
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong similarly stressed that a global solution was needed to the crisis. In a written statement shared with the G-20 leaders, PM Lee suggested collaboration in three areas: public health, the economic downturn, and science and research.

No truth to talk that Dorscon alert will turn to ‘red’
Rumours that the Government will raise the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) alert to “red”, the highest level, are false. “We are aware there has been false information purveyed on various platforms that we are going to declare Dorscon Red, that the Government is going to go into a lockdown mode, that we are going to scale back the MRT and bus services,” Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran told reporters at Parliament yesterday.

Failure to keep 1m apart could result in a fine, jail
From today, those who inten-tionally sit down less than 1m away from another person in a public place, on a fixed seat marked not to be occupied, or stand in a queue less than 1m away from another person, will be guilty of an offence.

Inbound travellers to get stay-home notices via e-mail
All travellers arriving in Singapore will receive notices of their stay-home requirements electronically from 9am today. They will also be warned in advance of the penalties for failing to follow them, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said yesterday.

Concern mounts that exporters will curb sales of food staples amid lockdowns
Global food security concerns are mounting with around a fifth of the world’s population already under lockdown to fight the widening coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 470,000 people across 200 countries and killed 21,000.
*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

Covid-19 pushes US jobless claims last week to record 3.3 million

US$ falls amid expected surge in US jobless claims

Big-name US hotels go empty while smaller owners are hurt

Virus-driven ‘work-from-home’ trend is WeWork’s new crisis

Famous chefs, NY restaurants to push landlords for rent breaks amid Covid-19

UK house sales set to plunge 60% on virus lockdown impact

Virus upends orthodox economics

China’s factories reopen to shuttered global trade

Japan real estate surges after Olympics delay


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article


Scroll to Top