The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 27 May 2020 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Mandatory rent waiver raises risks for private landlords: property consultants
The government’s move to bolster rental support will extend another lifeline to tenants, many of whom are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry players have said. But they add that legislating that landlords also contribute may put these landlords in a more difficult position. A cash grant to offset rent for SME tenants, amounting to S$2 billion in total, was announced on Tuesday.

Levy waiver extended for some firms
Businesses that are not allowed to resume operations on-site immediately after the circuit breaker ends on June 1 will have their foreign worker levy waived for up to two more months. Levy rebates for them will also be extended for up to two more months, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told Parliament yesterday. This is part of a fourth round of budget measures to help firms manage costs amid the pandemic…

Suspended home renovation jobs to be given priority ahead of new works
Home-owners whose renovation works were disrupted will be given priority to restart in Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong told Parliament on Tuesday, but noted that the government would consider allowing new home renovation projects to proceed earlier if contractors can show that the appropriate measures are in place.


Singapore Economy

Singapore’s headline inflation turns negative in April
Lower oil prices, the softening labour market and deteriorating consumer demand are likely to keep a cap on domestic prices, said economists following official inflation data released on Tuesday. Singapore saw headline inflation turning negative in April at -0.7 per cent, easing further from a zero figure seen in March and under the median contraction of 0.5 per cent predicted by private-sector economists in a Bloomberg poll.

Pharma lifts Q1 but Q2 will be painful; full-year GDP to dip up to 7%
The economic hit from the deadly novel coronavirus will likely be at its worst in the second quarter, according to forecasts from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Tuesday. But even a “very gradual” recovery in the second half could be marked by negative year-on-year prints, policymakers warned at a briefing, as they downgraded Singapore’s recession outlook deeper into the red.

Non-oil domestic exports tipped to fall 1 to 4 per cent for 2020
With Covid-19 morphing into a full blown global pandemic in March that prompted governments to impose a near-freeze on movements and economic activities to tame the spread of the novel coronavirus, hopes for a recovery in Singapore’s exports this year appear to have been dashed.

Factory output up 13% in April, biomedical manufacturing doubles
Singapore’s manufacturing output in April increased for a second consecutive month on a surge in biomedical manufacturing amid the Covid-19 crisis, preliminary figures from the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Tuesday showed.

Covid-19 supply chain shifts could present opportunities: Chan
The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating shifts in the global supply chain, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said yesterday, but he added that the changes could present opportunities to Singapore and countries in the region. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Chan said that while there is no telling how supply chains will eventually be configured…


Companies’ Brief

Keppel group’s green efforts saved it $60m last year
Companies can do well by doing good, as Keppel Corp has shown. It saw its green efforts bear fruit in the form of some $60 million in savings last year, thanks to sustainable initiatives across the group. It published its sustainability report yesterday, which laid out its results in going green and its goals going forward.

Warburg Pincus to own 48.7% of ARA
US Private equity firm Warburg Pincus is set to own nearly half of ARA Asset Management, following the impending exit of AVIC Trust as a shareholder in the real estate fund manager. ARA on Tuesday announced that AVIC Trust, the investment arm of Shanghai-listed AVIC Capital, will dispose of its 20.48 per cent stake.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Fiscal firepower notwithstanding, soft landing will still be a challenge
In April, the Singapore government implemented stringent social distancing measures to stem the transmission of the Covid-19 among residents. The bid to flatten the curve, instead of letting the virus rampage through the city-state, has succeeded in bringing down new infections, relieving some of the pressure on public health workers and hospitals.

Fortifying businesses in a Covid-19 economy
Covid-19 continues to plague the global economy with many analysts already stating that this pandemic has brought the greatest financial crisis for this generation. For Singapore, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has cut its gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections for 2020 yet again, with the economy bracing itself for the worst recession in its history.

A Budget for Singapore to emerge stronger
Close on the heels of the Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets, the Government announced a fourth yesterday, the Fortitude Budget. These names are of more than semantic interest. They signify the increasing degree of national resolve necessary to meet the gravest economic threat to Singapore’s existence since its independence.

Supporting digital payments is the way to inclusive growth
In these Covid-19 times, with movement restrictions in place, digital services have become a lifeline to millions across South-east Asia, helping consumers continue accessing essentials like groceries and medication while keeping the lights on for many businesses.

Drones might provide the solution to the next crisis
The Covid-19 outbreak has demonstrated that we need to be prepared for extreme and unusual scenarios – “black swan” events. The adoption of new technologies (for instance, digital solutions) has and will further help societies to prepare for future crises of an asymmetrical nature. Such a key emerging technological solution is the adoption of drones (or formally, “unmanned aerial vehicles”, UAVs).


Singapore Budget 2020

Singapore’s fiscal position strong amid further deficit, reserve draw
As Singapore incurs a deficit of an unprecedented size and a second draw on its past reserves this financial year, they are necessary to pave the way for recovery and for the economy to emerge stronger. While the amounts are huge, the country’s fiscal position is not threatened given its massive reserves, analysts say.

President Halimah backs further draw on reserves: DPM Heng Swee Keat
Singapore will draw another $31 billion from its reserves to fund a fourth package of measures to cushion people and the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.The second draw in the span of two months reflects the impact Covid-19 has had on Singapore’s open economy as businesses grind to a halt all over the world. It brings to $52 billion the amount of past savings tapped this financial year.

Singaporeans must continue to stand together as nation recovers: Heng Swee Keat
Singaporeans need to continue to stand together as the country recovers from the coronavirus crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat told Parliament yesterday as he unveiled Singapore’s fourth Budget for the year.

S$33b more to help firms, households, and to save, create jobs
To support firms, save jobs, and create opportunities for workers, a S$33 billion supplementary Budget was presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Tuesday, drawing a further S$31 billion from past reserves for the fourth Budget this year.

Largest Budget deficit; $13b set aside for contingency
Amid increased spending and a record four Budgets totalling some $92.9 billion announced this year, Singapore expects to record its biggest deficit since the country’s independence in 1965. Announcing the Fortitude Budget in Parliament yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said the deficit of $74.3 billion will amount to 15.4 per cent of gross domestic product.

Jobs Support Scheme gets S$2.9 billion boost
To help companies with cash flow, the government is making three enhancements to the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) that will cost S$2.9 billion in total. Although the latest move may not stave off retrenchments entirely, it is aimed at mitigating them as much as possible, economists and business associations said.

SMEs get over S$500 million funding boost to go digital – starting with F&B and retail
The Fortitude Budget’s measures to support digital transformation may be able to give small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) that final push to digitalise, but experts say proper change management will be needed to ensure the firms can stay the course on digitalisation.

Companies need to be proactive in digital revolution
To say that Covid-19 has brought about many unwelcome changes is a gross understatement. But it would be foolhardy to ignore the valuable lessons that this crisis is revealing. And one of the most pertinent lessons for many businesses is the need for digital transformation.

$2b jobs and training package to create nearly 100,000 opportunities
A new $2 billion jobs and training package will create close to 100,000 opportunities for workers affected by the Covid-19 economic slowdown, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday. He told Parliament in his speech on the fourth Budget this year that the support, dubbed the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, would include 40,000 jobs, 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training opportunities.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

MOH names two more Jurong sites visited by infectious Covid-19 patients
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has named the wet market at Block 963 Jurong West Street 91 and FairPrice Xtra in Jurong Point as public places visited by people with Covid-19 for more than 30 minutes when they were infectious.

Safe Management Measures at the workplace
Singapore formally exits the eight-week Circuit Breaker period when it ends on June 1, with the country beginning a three-phase approach to resume activities safely. In Phase One, Singapore will gradually reopen economic activities that do not pose a high risk of Covid-19 transmission. In the first of a three-part series, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) answer some common questions by employers on how to ensure Safe Management Measures at the workplace before they can resume business on June 2.

Daily Covid-19 cases in dorms likely to fall below 100 in three to four weeks’ time
The number of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases in dormitories is likely to fall below 100 in three to four weeks’ time, Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said yesterday. At the peak of the coronavirus outbreak on April 20, Singapore had a total of 1,426 new cases, of which 1,369 were migrant workers staying in dormitories.
*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

US, Europe to fall behind Asia if stagflation grips the West

Billionaire Reuben brothers to develop houses, hotel near Madrid

Wealthy Chinese buyers snapping up luxury homes again

HK leader says proposed national security law not a threat to freedoms

Speculators target Hong Kong’s currency on outflow fears


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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