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, 26, 27 & 28 Dec 2020 (Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

For Singapore property investors, overseas lure will continue
With increasing optimism this quarter fuelled by abundant liquidity, Singapore real estate investors are set to continue expanding their global portfolio, with increasing interest outside Asia Pacific, though China remains key. And in the hunt for yield, GIC leads the pack.

Good to buy homes with the ‘wow’ factor
When someone asks for property buying tips, I always offer this bit of advice – buy one that will have no trouble finding buyers easily next time. This seems like a contradiction, especially if you are buying a home with the aim of living there for the long term. So why the need to consider the marketability of the home during your house hunting?

How to spot a best-selling condo in Singapore
Gold is no longer the only “safe haven” asset in a crisis. Judging from the way people around the world have been snapping up property, it seems that the recession has made some investors see real estate as another safe place to park their money. After all, this is an investment that you can enjoy by living in it.

Invest’s top 20 resale condos


Singapore Economy

Singapore factories set to end 2020 in the black
Singapore factory output surged in November, to take year-to-date growth to 6.5 per cent year on year, fresh Economic Development Board (EDB) data showed on Thursday. With the dual powerhouse industries of pharmaceuticals and electronics fuelling a rise of 17.9 per cent last month, manufacturing is expected to close the year on firm footing.

Watershed year for Singapore’s economy
Singapore’s economy saw its worst recession since independence this year, with global supply and demand battered by the coronavirus pandemic. While the Republic’s industries have seen some signs of recovery over the second half of the year, the economic indicators reflect the uncertainty of the global picture.

Domestic market a thin lifeline for tourism sector
Domestic tourism, business travel and government-to-government arrangements such as air travel bubbles will be three sources of demand for Singapore’s travel-related industries in the near to medium term. Keith Tan, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), named these market segments when asked about the agency’s plan to get the ailing sector back on its feet.

Pandemic decimates tourism arrivals, receipts in 2020
Singapore’s visitor numbers took a steep dive in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted travel. Arrivals lost 83 per cent on year, to 2.7 million in the first 10 months. In the first half of the year, tourism receipts shrank to S$3.3 billion, down by 67.6 per cent year on year, according to preliminary Singapore Tourism Board (STB) data. Most of the till takings were at the start of the year, before pandemic-related curbs kicked in.

No swift recovery in 2021, but labour market is on the mend
Hopes for a better 2021 are aplenty, but recovery for the labour market is likely to be protracted, experts say. Although the latest quarterly labour market data released earlier this month shows the employment situation for Singapore residents is on the mend, uncertainties still abound.


Companies’ Brief

Keppel Land to sell London office building
Keppel Land is divesting its 100 per cent stake in First King Properties, which owns a London office building, for £73.6 million (S$132.8 million) in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, Keppel Corp said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

AmBank upgrades Malaysia Reits to ‘overweight’
The worst could be over for real estate investment trusts (Reits) in Malaysia, according to AmInvestment Bank (AmBank), which has upgraded the sector to “overweight” from “neutral”. In a research report on Thursday, AmBank said that Reits under its coverage will broadly be on a recovery path in the next 12 to 18 months, as consumer spending and footfall recover.

BRC Asia still keen on China expansion
The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the construction sector, leading BRC Asia to put its internationalisation plans on the back burner. Nevertheless, the mainboard-listed steel dealer says it continues to have China and overseas expansion in its sights.

First Reit announces proposed rights issue at S$0.20 per unit to raise S$158.2m
The manager of First Real Estate Investment Trust (First Reit) has announced a proposed rights issue to raise gross proceeds of around S$158.2 million, which it said was “critical” for the Reit to meet its debt covenants, and avoid an imminent default of 39.8 per cent of total debt due on March 1 next year.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Fiscal support still needed in 2021
The renewed lockdowns in the United States and Europe in the wake of new waves of Covid-19, as well as the tightening of restrictions in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan, are a reminder that even after raging for more than a year, the pandemic is far from over. The roll-out of vaccines should help contain the spread, but that will be a prolonged process.

Leadership in the new normal must ensure employee well-being
Workplace mental health has taken a front seat this year. Already deemed a “highly stressed” nation of workers, Singapore saw the Covid-19 pandemic bring a perfect storm of stressors to our shores with work-from-home arrangements blurring the line between employees’ work and personal lives, social isolation as people stayed home while offices and shops were shut, fears about job security, and restrictions on travel.

You’d better watch out: ‘SantaNet’ could destroy the world
Within the next few decades, according to some experts, we may see the arrival of the next step in the development of artificial intelligence. So-called “artificial general intelligence”, or AGI, will have intellectual capabilities far beyond those of humans. AGI could transform human life for the better, but uncontrolled AGI could also lead to catastrophes up to and including the end of humanity itself.

Managing risk of rejecting valid transactions amid cybersecurity fight
In recent months, news on e-commerce fraud and payment scams have increasingly surfaced, a reflection of two things: the rigorous shift towards digital consumption amid Covid-19, and a new wave of malicious actors exploiting both weaknesses in online platforms and public fears over the pandemic.

In Singapore, open innovation comes of age
Enterprises that partner with problem-solvers with cross-industry expertise are fast-tracking innovation and creating new pathways to growth. Open innovation – a trend that has seen businesses adopting a more inclusive and collaborative approach – will undoubtedly help to ease the global economic dislocation experienced this year.

The digital developing economy: South-east Asia in five objects
This is the first article of a four-part series, The Edges of South-east Asia, that shines a light on the bright spots of creativity and innovation in the region. A joint project of Deloitte, the Singapore Economic Development Board and the US-Asean Business Council, the articles focus each week on a specific ‘edge’ or customer segment, geographic market or product that offers high growth potential opportunities in Asean. The exploration begins with the rapidly growing digital economy.

Strong leadership sees firms through Covid
Covid-19 has changed all facets of life, and while some sectors have continued to thrive, others have struggled to adapt to these new circumstances. It is undeniable that this black swan event has altered everything – from the way students are taught to the way businesses operate. Organisations have had to rethink operations, workforce capacities, working arrangements and on a deeper level, reassess their priorities and what they stand for.

Singapore digital banks face hard slog but incumbents can’t sit pretty either
Singapore’s first digital banks will need to focus on building trust and managing acquisition costs to succeed in the long run, analysts say. But although they are unlikely to pose a significant threat to the digitally-advanced incumbents in the near term, they could still put pressure on existing banks’ pricing and margins, they added.

Rollout of 5G to be closely watched for earnings potential
With 5G networks finally rolling out in the new year, how to make money off the new wireless technology will top the agenda for mobile network operators (MNOs) in 2021. But the incoming CEOs at mainboard-listed Singtel and StarHub, and counterparts at Keppel Corp-owned M1 and Australia’s TPG Telecom, have their work cut out for them.


Singapore Budget 2020

JSS: Enhanced wage subsidy scheme proves a lifeline for jobs market
The jobs market looked like it would go over a cliff when the pandemic struck, but a government initiative that has been fine-tuned and tweaked several times over the year has proved to be a lifeline. The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) is a wage subsidy programme that was set up in February to help employers pay a portion of their workers’ monthly salary.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Five new Covid-19 cases, all imported
Five new coronavirus cases were confirmed yesterday, of which all were imported. This brings Singapore’s total cases to 58,524. Among the five new cases is a 23-year-old female work permit holder from Malaysia who was on a stay-home notice (SHN) at Mandarin Orchard Singapore before she was transferred to another dedicated SHN facility on Dec 20.

Lebanese man possibly infected while on SHN
There were 10 new coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday, including a Lebanese national found to be infected with Covid-19 after he had completed part of his stay-home notice (SHN) at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel.

Attractions, eateries gear up for bigger crowd from today
As Singapore moves into the long-awaited third phase of its reopening today, attractions like Gardens by the Bay have put in place more measures to accommodate more visitors. The nature park has installed automated thermal scanners at the entrances to its cooled conservatories, which will sound an alarm if a visitor with a high temperature tries to enter.

5% of vaccine stocks to be set aside for those involved in critical work
About 5 per cent of available vaccine stocks at any point in time should be set aside for people working in areas critical to Singapore’s functioning, said a top-level committee on vaccines yesterday. Examples include those involved in ensuring the country’s water and utilities and other “nationally essential services” are not disrupted.

Healthcare workers of National Centre for Infectious Diseases first to get Covid-19 vaccine
Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination exercise kicks off on Wednesday, Dec 30 with healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). The vaccinations will be rolled out to more healthcare institutions in the subsequent weeks, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday in its announcement that the government has accepted in full the recommendations of the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination.

Little risk of Covid-19 infection from staying at hotels with guests on SHN: Experts
There will inevitably be more imported Covid-19 cases here, but experts say this will not be of great concern. They noted that more travellers are returning during the festive period, especially since the outbreak in some countries is worsening during winter.

Current measures in S’pore adequate against new Covid-19 strains, say experts
Amid growing concerns about a new strain of the coronavirus surfacing here, experts have said measures now in place, such as wearing masks and social distancing, are sufficient to combat its spread. Two new strains of the coronavirus have been discovered, in Britain and South Africa. Malaysia’s Health Ministry has also identified a new strain from samples taken in Sabah state.

New strains: More people may need to be vaccinated
With the discovery of new, more contagious strains of the Covid-19 virus in Britain and South Africa, it may now be important for more Singaporeans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, said a health expert here. Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, said yesterday: “This is the only way we can continue to ensure that the community as a whole is protected.”

Can we trust the speedy development of Covid-19 vaccines?
Singapore moves into phase three of reopening its economy today. For life to become more normal, and for businesses to get back on their feet, more people need to become immune to the virus. This can happen only through mass vaccination.

Nearly 1 in 4 here believes false claim on vaccine: Poll
Close to one in four residents in Singapore polled believes a false claim that Covid-19 vaccines alter DNA, according to a survey by Nanyang Technological University. Older respondents were also more likely to believe this falsehood circulated on social media, despite it being debunked on fact-checking websites, including The Straits Times, according to results from an ongoing survey commissioned by the university’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.

New restriction for all travellers from S Korea
Travellers from South Korea will have to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities from Dec 26 onwards , said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday. The new restriction comes into force for all travellers from South Korea entering Singapore from 11.59pm given “the sustained surge” in Covid-19 cases observed in the country, it said.

Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic: WHO chief
Geneva • The coronavirus crisis will not be the last pandemic, and attempts to improve human health are “doomed” without tackling climate change and animal welfare, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) chief said.
*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 new home sales dive 11% in November

Millions lose unemployment aid as Trump rejects relief Bill

For 2021, cautious optimism reigns in New York luxury real estate

New York City couples are delaying weddings and buying apartments instead

UK, EU politicians study Brexit compromise agreement

Britain faces new obstacles from Brexit trade deal

Brexit pact in place, Johnson sees major changes ahead for Britain

Brexit deal must spur UK to do more

More govts impose UK travel curbs as new strain spreads

EU countries begin coordinated vaccine rollout after clearing Pfizer shot

Severe allergy case linked to Moderna vaccine

A tumultuous year for the Fed, but its work to salvage stricken economy remains unfinished

House GOP poised to block Pelosi’s bid for US$2,000 relief cheques

Australia bans waste exports and aims to boost recycling

World’s top economy in 2028: China

China looks at cutting inequality in order to boost economy

China’s industrial profits grow robustly in November

Japan Nov factory output growth stalls after rising for five months

HK sells prime residential site for HK$12b to Wharf unit

Scrambling to save Asia’s modernist buildings

Box or gem? A scramble to save Asia’s modernist buildings

Malaysia, Israel identify new coronavirus strains

Surge in year-end hotel bookings after travel ban eased in Malaysia

Vietnam’s 2020 economic growth slips to 30-yr low

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