The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 3 Feb 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore property firms face setback as workers stay at home
Singapore (Bloomberg) – Singapore’s battered property firms are hitting a snag in their recovery after rising coronavirus infections led to an extension of remote work in the city-state. Shares of commercial developers and real estate investment trusts (Reits) have fallen since authorities announced last month that working from home will remain the default arrangement.

Retailers seeking avenues to renegotiate leases
Ahead of this year’s Budget on Feb 16, retail tenants are hoping for measures to help them renegotiate lease terms with landlords, as fair tenancy talks make slow progress and some landlords seek higher rents. A new fair tenancy framework has been in the works since last year, after a long tussle over rental rebates brought what retail tenants see as a long-standing inequality between tenants and landlords to the fore.

$900m in grants given to landlords under relief framework
As the pandemic swept through Singapore and many distressed tenants found themselves struggling to cope with their rentals, a relief framework put in place last year kept many businesses afloat while propping up their landlords. About $900 million in cash grants was given out to eligible property owners under the rental relief framework last year.

Online shopping should give ARA Logos a lift
With warehouse leasing demand strengthening as consumers increasingly let their fingers do the shopping, ARA Logos Logistics Trust (ALOG) is well positioned to ride on the growth in e-commerce. Warehouses were one of the more resilient performers last year among the industrial real estate segments. According to JTC’s latest quarterly market report, rents for warehouses in Singapore climbed 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q4 2020, with CBRE Research pointing to strong leasing demand for storage space driven by third-party logistics, food logistics and e-commerce players.

Yield-hungry investors chase industrial investments in Asia to record high
While the office remains the preferred asset class among commercial properties in Asia, yield-hungry investors are chasing industrial and logistics investments to a record high, spurred by the e-commerce acceleration during the pandemic. Property experts told The Business Times that in a generally challenging year for Asia property investments, where numbers and values have fallen compared to 2019, the industrial and logistics sector has been an exception, standing out as an area of relative stability and opportunity.


Singapore Economy

Singapore PMI continues its rise in January to 50.7
Singapore’s manufacturing sentiment continued to improve in January, up from December and marking the seventh month of implied expansion, according to the latest Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) release on Tuesday. Sentiment in the key electronics sector also remained expansionary for the sixth straight month, though easing from the month before.

Expansionary Budget 2021 to smooth out rough patches on road to recovery
Singapore – Even as optimism bubbles for a sustained economic rebound, government support will be needed to smooth out the rough patches along the road to a full recovery. There is not much of a choice when it comes to aviation, tourism and hospitality businesses that continue to suffer from travel curbs. But some of the fiscal support is likely to be redirected to repositioning and rebuilding the economy for a post-Covid-19 world. With Budget 2021 due on Feb 16, wish lists have started to trickle in.

SMEs not upbeat about 2021 prospects: Poll
Stormy skies will loom over their businesses, despite the sun peeking out from behind the clouds this year, if you ask small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Many are counting on the Government to shield them from the rain. While they feel an increased positivity towards the economic climate this year, SME owners said in a survey by insurance company QBE that their own businesses are likely to remain a little under the weather.

Singapore factory activity expands for 7th straight month
Singapore’s manufacturing sector has continued its uptrend, as factory activity expanded for the seventh straight month last month. Experts said the sector, while not expected to grow as rapidly as it did last year, is likely to see a modest increase this year. The Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – a key measure of factory activity – went up to 50.7 last month, up 0.2 point from December, according to data released yesterday.


Companies’ Brief

Keppel launches China logistics property fund with 1.4b yuan initial commitment
Keppel Corporation’s asset-management arm has launched a China logistics property fund together with a global institutional investor, with an initial total equity commitment of around 1.4 billion yuan (S$288.8 million). According to the exchange filing on Tuesday, the fund, which will invest in “developing high-quality logistics assets in key logistics hubs in China”, will have an option to upsize by a similar amount by the end of this year.

Ascendas Reit expects low single-digit rent reversions in FY21
The manager of Ascendas Reit has signalled a continued flattish to low positive single-digit rent reversion for its portfolio in Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and United States in FY21. For FY20, the industrial landlord’s portfolio recorded positive average rental reversion of 3.8 per cent for leases that were renewed, in line with its earlier guidance.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Rethinking Singapore’s workforce balance in a post-Covid-19 world
The social capital that holds a young country like Singapore together provides opportunities for every person to move ahead. However, this has been challenged in recent years as a result of globalisation and the country’s open-economy model. While high-skilled professionals have benefited from globalisation and technology advancement to extend their network and increase their desirability in the job market, the widening income gap between higher and lower skilled workers has evolved into a global issue impacting every society.

Adoption of UNCITRAL model law heralds a quiet revolution in digital trade
Successful digital transformation is the outcome of three elements: sound policy objectives, robust technical infrastructure, and an enabling legal environment. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core body in the UN system for the harmonisation and modernisation of international commercial law. As part of its mandate, UNCITRAL plays a central and coordinating role within the UN system in addressing legal issues related to the digital economy and has conducted pioneer work in the field of electronic transactions since the 1980s.

Singapore leading the way in promoting digital trade
BY updating its Electronic Transactions Act, Singapore has set a shining example for countries still stuck in a paper-based past. Singapore has been at the forefront of digital trade for more than two decades. From the world-first 1998 adoption of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Commerce via the Electronic Transactions Act, to the recent creation of digital economy agreements, Singapore has crafted a powerful digital ecosystem that maximises the benefits of trade for all.

The challenge of staying employable
It comes as relief to Singaporeans to know that, in spite of the dire challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s resident employment continued to rise while its unemployment rate fell. Retrenchments, too, dipped in the fourth quarter of last year, after rising for five straight quarters. Much of the credit goes to the Government’s economic stimulus that sought to protect Singaporeans’ jobs through initiatives such as the Jobs Support Scheme, and SGUnited jobs and traineeships.

Singapore to move ahead with Sora transition by year-end
Singapore will press ahead with its industry transition to the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (Sora) as the new interest rate benchmark by the end of this year, even as the discontinuation of a key global benchmark – the scandal-tainted London Inter-bank Offered Rate (Libor) – could be pushed to mid-2023. The cessation of the widely-referenced USD Libor was earlier slated to be end-2021, but administrator ICE Benchmark Administration recently proposed to delay its discontinuation.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

19 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
Three children aged between one and three years old were among the 19 coronavirus cases here – all imported – that were confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) last night. This takes the total number of Covid-19 cases here to 59,584. The imported cases included five Singaporeans and three permanent residents who returned from Canada, India, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States.
*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

UK landlords want banks to share rent burden

UK house prices decline for first time since June

UAE’s Adnoc gets US$900m investment in property unit

US housing market immune to pandemic, say analysts

China’s services sector grows at slowest pace in nine months: Caixin PMI

Japan extends virus emergency, months before delayed Olympics

Glimmer of hope in Japan with decline in cases

Hong Kong posts largest retail sales slump on record in 2020

Malaysia extends MCO by two weeks to Feb 18

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