The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30 March 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Commercial site in Little India back on market, at 22% lower asking price
A cluster of commercial properties in the Tekka/Race Course enclave of Little India are back on the market, but at 22 per cent below the asking price compared with their first foray in February 2019. Property advisory firm Showsuite Consultancy placed the guide price for the 25,865 sq ft Little India commercial site, which includes a two-storey conservation bungalow once owned by businessman Tan Teng Niah, at $55 million.

Six changes to expect with new code of conduct for fair tenancy
A new code of conduct for fairer lease negotiations between landlords and retail tenants in Singapore is headed for legislation, with the government to work towards it in the coming months. But in the meantime, major landlords and tenants have committed to adopting the new guidelines by June 1. Here are six key changes.

Singapore Economy

Suez Canal incident may worsen container shortage for S’pore firms
The shortage of shipping containers, which has hit Singapore manufacturers in recent months, may be exacerbated by the recent jam at the Suez Canal. Shipping container costs have already jumped from anywhere between 20 per cent and 200 per cent amid disruptions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, industry players told The Straits Times. Although the impact of the Suez Canal incident on local firms is not immediately clear, experts note that there will be implications on global trade, of which Singapore is a key part.

Companies’ Brief

Hong Fok says no privatisation or delisting of company planned
Property Group Hong Fok Corporation, whose shares have spiked on a bullish commentary in The Straits Times (ST), on Monday evening said that contrary to what was written in the article, there was no current intention by the board to explore or undertake any privatisation or delisting. It said that it has been making purchases of shares in the company through on-market trades on the Singapore Exchange, under the share purchase mandate approved by shareholders at last year’s annual general meeting.

Keppel, Facebook to develop undersea cable linking South-east Asia and America
Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) is partnering Facebook and Telkom Indonesia to jointly own and develop the Bifrost Cable System, a multiple fibre paired, high capacity submarine cable system, according to a joint statement on Monday. Expected to be completed in 2024 and spanning over 15,000 kilometres (km), the Bifrost Cable System will connect Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America.

Should investors bet on Hongkong Land going private?
With Jardine Matheson almost certain to succeed in swallowing up Jar-dine Strategic, some market watchers have begun speculating that other tightly-held units within the Jardine group might also soon be taken private. Jardine Strategic owns 50.4 per cent of Hongkong Land, 77.6 per cent of Dairy Farm, 79.5 per cent of Mandarin Oriental and 75 per cent of Jardine Cycle & Carriage, the majo-rity owner of Astra.

Far East Hospitality Trust secures maiden sustainability-linked loan of S$125m from OCBC
Far East Hospitality Trust (FEHT) has secured its first sustainability-linked loan facility worth S$125 million for a term of five years from OCBC Bank, which is the sole lender for this transaction. The loan will be used to refinance FEHT’s existing bank borrowings, with the loan’s interest margin tied to selected sustainability targets that were set together with OCBC Bank.

Australian mall recovery bolsters SPH Reit’s H1
Quicker recovery in its Australian malls has helped to boost SPH Reit’s first-half performance, as the trust reported a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.24 Singapore cents for its second quarter, culminating in a DPU of 2.44 Singapore cents for the first-half period. This is an improvement from the 1.68 Singapore cents paid out a year ago.

S-Reit investors need not fear rising rates
The rise in the US 10-year Treasury yield is giving equity investors in the high growth US technology stocks the jitters. The technology-heavy Nasdaq fell over 10 per cent in early March from a year’s high in mid-February. The rise in the bond yield stems from fears over inflation escalating as the economy recovers amid huge fiscal stimulus and ultra loose monetary policy.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Flexible work a key draw for talent
Companies that offer flexible work arrangements in a post-pandemic world could have an edge over their competitors in attracting talent, recruiters said. Other factors such as pay, culture and career progression are still key deciding factors for jobseekers, but observers note that a hybrid workplace is becoming increasingly attractive. Companies, forced to adopt remote working for a year, could now be at a crossroads as the world inches back to normalcy.

Small businesses in Singapore less affected by Covid-19 than Asia-Pac counterparts: CPA Australia
Small businesses in Singapore were less affected by the negative impact of Covid-19 as compared to their Asia-Pacific counterparts – all thanks to effective government measures that supported businesses during the pandemic. According to an annual survey on small businesses conducted by CPA Australia, only 55 per cent of Singaporean companies said the pandemic had affected their business adversely.

Malaysia compensates Singapore S$102.8m after HSR termination
Malaysia has paid Singapore S$102.8 million in compensation following the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, both governments said in a joint statement on Monday. This includes reimbursement for costs incurred for the project’s development, as well as payment in relation to the earlier extension of the project’s suspension.

Is it safe to invest in cryptocurrencies? And what are NFTs?
Cryptocurrencies have been making headlines again as bitcoin prices skyrocketed in the past year. Investors using online cryptocurrency trading platform Torque, run by a Singaporean businessman, are also claiming millions lost in cryptocurrencies. The Straits Times takes a look at the digital asset, as well as another digital asset, the non-fungible token (NFT).

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

One-year-old Singaporean girl among 21 new imported cases
A one-year-old Singaporean girl travelling from India was among the 21 new coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday, which took Singapore’s total tally to 60,321. All of the cases were imported and were serving stay-home notices or had been isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Among the new cases announced, 20 were asymptomatic, including the one-year-old, and detected through proactive screening and surveillance, while one had symptoms.

NTU team’s Covid-19 rapid test can pick up variants
A new Covid-19 rapid test that can detect variants of the virus has been developed in Singapore. It produces results within 30 minutes and can be used directly on patient samples. It is also about 10 times more accurate than antigen rapid tests currently in use in the country. The Variant Nucleotide Guard (VaNGuard) test is the first rapid test here to make use of a gene editing tool known as Crispr.

WHO experts say Covid-19 probably came to humans from animals
[Geneva] Covid-19 probably passed to humans from a bat via an intermediary animal, an international expert mission to China concluded in a report seen by AFP on Monday, while all but ruling out a laboratory leak. But the report, drafted by World Health Organization-appointed international experts and their Chinese counterparts, offers no definitive answers on how the new coronavirus jumped to humans.

HK suggests vaccination as criterion for travel bubble with S’pore
The Hong Kong government said travellers taking advantage of a planned travel bubble with Singapore should be vaccinated, as it resumes talks with the Lion City over the much-delayed proposal for quarantine-free travel. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said at a joint briefing yesterday that Hong Kong residents who take part in travel bubble arrangements would have to have two doses of a vaccine and wait at least 14 days after the second jab before taking a quarantine-free flight.

*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

Leaders of 23 countries back pandemic treaty idea for future emergencies

Britain’s stately homes struggling to survive

Stanchart to formalise its pandemic hybrid working model

UK consumers cut borrowing at record pace

Remote work is here to stay and Manhattan may never be the same

China Evergrande sells stake in online unit for HK$16.4b ahead of IPO

South Korea’s Moon sacks top economic aide for raising rent amid home price uproar

Hong Kong home prices rise 0.9% in Feb; fastest pace in nine months

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