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 Sep 2020 (Wed)

Top Story

Redas calls for ABSD deferment for first-time HDB upgraders to private property
The head of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore has urged the government to urgently consider allowing first-time upgraders from an HDB flat to a private property to defer payment of the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) till six months after the completion of the private property.

Sector must be more prepared for future ‘black swan’ events
The construction and built environment sector has to be more integrated and resilient to take on future “black swan” events as evidenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said yesterday.


Singapore Real Estate

New platform launched to trial innovative built-environment solutions
The Built Environment Living Lab Framework (BE LLF) was launched on Tuesday, with the aim of enabling firms to trial new, innovative technologies. Through the BE LLF, companies in the built environment and technology sectors will be able to test out solutions that could benefit the built environment. These will be test-bedded in urban spaces, such as at Punggol Town and Jurong Lake Gardens, it was announced at International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2020.

Yio Chu Kang Road childcare centre put on market with S$14.8m guide price
A second childcare-related property is up for sale this week, with consultancies describing this kind of asset as “rare”. The centre at 331 Yio Chu Kang Road is for sale via expression of interest (EOI), with exclusive marketing agent Knight Frank expecting offers in excess of S$14.8 million for the property.

MinLaw to curb number of owners a proxy can represent at meetings on enbloc sales
The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) will restrict the number of owners that a proxy can represent at general meetings for en bloc sales, starting next year, to “minimise the risk of proxy abuse”. MinLaw will do so by amending the Second Schedule of the Land Titles (Strata) Act (LTSA), it said in a statement on Tuesday.

ERA bags exclusive listing rights for Singapore properties on
ERA Singapore has inked an exclusive deal to list Singapore properties on, upping the ante on capturing a bigger share of the lucrative China market as Chinese clients are the second-largest buyers of homes here.

HDB upgraders likely to sustain strong condo sales: DBS
HDB upgraders recycling their flats into private homes will likely continue to buttress private residential projects, based on recent strong sales at the latter, notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic. Sales volumes at private residential projects continued to be driven by Singaporeans as the key buyers, DBS Group Research wrote on Tuesday while dubbing the Singapore property market “a bed of roses”.

Reits may have higher yields but Reit perps’ payout more certain
Why would investors buy perpetual bonds (perps) issued by real estate investment trusts (Reits), when the Reits themselves would deliver higher yields? Case in point: Earlier this month Ascendas Reit, which is currently yielding 4-plus to 5 per cent, priced and sold its S$300 million green subordinated perpetual securities at an initial annual distribution rate of 3 per cent.


Singapore Economy

Phase 3 reopening will not see big jump in business: economists
Economists and firms remain cautious about the economic promise of the third and final phase of Singapore’s reopening amid the Covid-19 pandemic, given global uncertainty and the necessarily uneven nature of any recovery.

New Asean regional centre to tackle future of work
Singapore has launched a new regional centre to help Asean member-states prepare for the future of work. The Regional Centre for the Future of Work (RCFW) will have three focus areas: embracing technology for inclusive growth; workplace safety and health for sustainable work; and tripartism.

Trust between tripartite partners, quick pivots the way for Singapore to tackle Covid-19
Trust between tripartite partners has been key to mitigating some of the impact of Covid-19, said Ministry of Manpower Permanent Secretary Aubeck Kam on Tuesday, even as he acknowledged that despite this, the measures put in place have not blunted the worst of the impact on employment numbers in Singapore.

Singapore to explore reinstating essential travel to Sichuan
The Republic will explore ways to facilitate essential business and official travel to Sichuan province in south-western China, Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Manpower Tan See Leng said on Tuesday. Dr Tan said at the 21st Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee Meeting, where he was a co-chair, that there is strong interest in resuming travel between Singapore and Sichuan.

Ex-prisons chief to take over role of commissioner of charities at MCCY
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has announced a change in senior leadership. On Nov 1, Mr Desmond Chin will be taking over from Dr Ang Hak Seng as commissioner of charities (COC) and executive director of the Registry of Co-operative Societies and Mutual Benefit Organisations (RCS).


Companies’ Brief

CMT and CCT unitholders vote in favour of proposed merger
Unitholders of CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) and CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) on Tuesday voted in favour of the proposed merger of CMT and CCT to form a new real estate investment trust (Reit), though CCT unitholders had lower percentage approvals than CMT unitholders.

Citi to open its largest wealth hub globally in Singapore in December
Citi will open its largest wealth hub globally in Singapore in December, tapping into growing wealth with a safely-distanced personal touch. The new wealth hub at 268 Orchard can house more than 300 relationship managers and product specialists, and features built-in facilities to host tailored lifestyle events for clients, as well as investment seminars.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s preferential offering priced at S$2.34
Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) has priced its upcoming preferential offering at the bottom end of the range, at S$2.34 per new unit. This issue price is at a 7 per cent discount to the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of S$2.5171 based on all trades in FCT units on Sept 25 up to the time the underwriting agreement was signed on Sept 28.

Keppel identifies S$17.5b of assets that can be monetised over time
Keppel Corporation has identified assets valued at S$17.5 billion that can be “monetised over time and channelled towards growth initiatives”. It will seek to unlock value for S$3-5 billion worth of these assets over the next three years.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Fighting ‘missing trader’ GST fraud in Singapore
Missing Trader Fraud (MTF) is a problem that has plagued tax authorities around the world. It is a form of fraud by which syndicates make use of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to defraud tax authorities. There are essentially two broad aspects of the GST regime that should be noted when one seeks to understand how MTF takes place.

Governments should not let Covid-19 fallout hurt fight against climate change
The world’s decarbonisation agenda to protect the planet could be facing one of its toughest challenges, as the wreckage from the Covid-19 pandemic keeps governments caught up tackling the more immediate health and economic crisis.

Change is the only constant, Singapore understands
The year 2020 has been dubbed the year of change. Even though this year saw the pandemic paralyse travel and sink economies, it is also being regarded as the year of reckoning for people and the use of technology around the world.

The role of tax policies in shaping work trends
In July and August this year, KPMG surveyed 315 chief executives across the globe, including 25 in Singapore, on how their business outlook over the next three years has been impacted by Covid-19. All respondents have annual revenue over US$500 million and a third of the companies surveyed have more than US$10 billion in annual revenue.

IMDA, mobile network operators to hire, reskill 1,000 professionals for 5G
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has partnered mobile network operators (MNOs) in Singapore to hire and reskill 1,000 professionals to support the Republic’s 5G rollout. Of these, 30 per cent are new roles, while the rest are telecom professionals who will be upskilled in the areas of 5G networks, cybersecurity and solution engineering to future-proof their jobs, IMDA said on Tuesday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

27 new patients, with nine imported
Ngee Ann City in Orchard Road, Orchis Food Court in Changi Airport Terminal 1 and Alexandra Village Food Centre are among new places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were infectious, said the Health Ministry yesterday. Between Sept 15 and 25, the Orchis Food Court was visited at six different time slots, while the Alexandra Village Food Centre was visited at four separate time slots.

Rapid test kits not used in swabbing exercises in Singapore as they are not sensitive enough
Test kits that can determine if a person has Covid-19 in minutes are not being used in national swabbing exercises in Singapore as they are not sensitive enough to detect every infection. Associate Professor Raymond Lin, director of the National Public Health Laboratory at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), told The Straits Times earlier this month that this was because rapid tests can give false negative results, missing true cases.

Diners fined, eateries ordered to close
Thirty-two diners will be fined $300 each for breaching Covid-19 measures at food and beverage outlets. They were taken to task for not wearing a mask promptly after eating or drinking, sitting in groups of more than five and mingling with diners at other tables.
*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 

China’s factory activity expands at a faster pace in Sept: official PMI

Japan’s factory output rises for third month in August

Some of Hong Kong’s poor finally feel at home – in 290 sq ft flats

HKEX chief to step down at end of 2020, ahead of schedule

Thailand to slowly restart tourism with flight from China

Indonesian Parliament approves 2021 budget, aims for 5% growth

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