The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 1, 2, & 3 May 2021 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Flexible workspace demand rises amid recovering economy in Singapore
Singapore – Demand for co-working spaces in Singapore has increased markedly in recent months with signs of economic rebound and more people back at work in the office.

Emergency legislation in the pipeline for battered construction sector
Emergency legislation to address the severe disruption to the construction sector arising from curbs on the entry of migrant workers is in the works, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. It will be aimed at making the burden more fairly shared between the different parties – the contractors, the developers and the buyers, he said, adding that the Government hopes to introduce the legislation when Parliament next sits on May 10.

Ripples from India
The frightening surge in Covid-19 cases in India has had repercussions around the world, and Singapore has not been spared, with delays and disruptions across the economy. Much of the impact stems from a ruling that has barred all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have travelled to India within the last 14 days from entering or transiting through Singapore since April 24.


Singapore Economy

Singapore’s outlook brighter this year, global recession less protracted than initially feared: PM Lee
Singapore’s outlook has brightened considerably compared to a year ago, with the global recession turning out to be less protracted than initially feared, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday. External trends support the Republic’s economic recovery and justify confidence in its prospects, he noted in his May Day message to workers.

Industry Transformation Maps to be refreshed and strengthened
To seize new opportunities in a post-Covid-19 world, Singapore’s 23 Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) will be refreshed as part of a new plan over the next five years. Dubbed ITM 2025, it will be strengthened by three new thrusts: incorporating the recommendations of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce; closer integration with research and innovation; and greater focus on jobs and skills.

SBF seeks to build ecosystem that grows stronger via more partnerships
Even as the country’s main business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) cannot do everything alone, said chief executive officer (CEO) Lam Yi Young. “Partnership is something I believe very strongly in, that we need to do a lot more,” he said – not just the SBF itself working with partners, but also encouraging firms to work together.

Optimism rising in Singapore’s manufacturing, services sectors
Business optimism in Singapore’s manufacturing and services sectors has continued to rise, with more firms seeing better conditions in the six months ahead, showed quarterly surveys released on Friday. In manufacturing, a net weighted balance of 38 per cent of firms expect favourable business conditions for the six-month period from April to September…

SingapoRediscovers Vouchers scheme to be extended to Dec 31
Singaporeans will have until Dec 31 this year to make use of their SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV), with the scheme extended by six months from its original end date, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced on Friday.


Companies’ Brief

Tuan Sing unit to sell 13% stake in printed circuit board maker for 435m yuan
Tuan Sing Holdings’ 44.5 per cent-owned associated company Gultech China has agreed to sell 13 per cent of the shares it holds in a printed circuit board (PCB) supplier, which is evaluating a possible listing in China. The transaction price of 435 million yuan (S$89 million) implies a valuation of about 3.35 billion yuan for the PCB firm, Gultech (Jiangsu) Electronics (GJE), Tuan Sing: T24 +8% said in a filing released on Sunday.

Cementing a path for new opportunities
“Concrete is not just a grey slab,” May Ng says more than once. The chief executive of Pan-United Corporation (Pan-United) is keen to highlight the complexities involved in producing the building material. It has to perform consistently and in many different ways, she says, highlighting the different functionalities – from being fireproof to radiation shielding. A lot of work is necessary to perfect this “grey slab”.

Sizing up the latest privatisation offers
The offers for Sin Ghee Huat and Top Global seem to undervalue both companies, but minorities of the former have more reason to hold out

14 S-Reit DPUs up average 31% year on year
Entering the earnings season the first quarter of 2021, 14 S-Reits had reported their distributions per unit (DPUs) as at end April, averaging a 31 per cent increase year on year (yoy). Another 10 S-Reits are expected to announce quarterly business updates or financial results in May.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Battling Covid: The Tokyo conundrum
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

With over 15,000 athletes training hard and looking expectantly to participate in the Olympics and Japan having put in enormous efforts and resources, we can fully empathise with their predicament. This year’s Olympics will probably have to be scaled down in terms of grandeur and spectatorship. Notwithstanding this, a safe conclusion of the event will re-ignite the values of sportsmanship and the universality of Olympism as well as demonstrate the determination of all countries to come together in unity to overcome the pandemic and the strength of the human spirit over our fears and challenges.

Redouble efforts to keep clusters in check
Singapore’s first Covid-19 hospital cluster has led to the locking down of several wards of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). This means that there are strict restrictions on entry into the wards, and further patients will not be admitted.

Work-life balance a winning arrangement
Achieving work-life balance is a recurring issue, which is why the recent launch of a new tripartite standard is welcome. Among the recommendations to employers are flexible work arrangements, employee-support schemes such as family days and health screenings, as well as flexible arrangements for employees who also have care-giving responsibilities.

Press on amid challenges of pandemic
This May Day, the second that the world is observing after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, is a sombre reminder of the travails and yet resilience of labour in extraordinary times. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), labour markets around the world were disrupted on a historically unprecedented scale last year. Working-hour losses in 2020 were approximately four times greater than during the global financial crisis in 2009.

Smart offices get smarter with rise of hybrid work
At Schneider Electric’s regional headquarters in Kallang, over a thousand sensors across nine floors track the occupancy of workstations and meeting rooms in real-time. This helps the company plan its office layout according to usage patterns. As safety measures kicked in during the pandemic, Schneider Electric used this technology to track the number of occupants within the premises to ensure safe distancing.

Work amid the pandemic: Hybrid may be the way to go in S’pore
Singapore – Working from home has been the norm for the past year but firms are now figuring out a new game plan in the light of rules allowing 75 per cent of staff to return to the office. Hybrid arrangements, with workers spending some time at the office and other days at home, seem to be the way to go, companies and experts told The Straits Times.

Investment opportunities in the energy transition process
Net zero is now a global imperative, as we wake up to the reality of climate change and the risks it poses. Central banks across the world have warned that global GDP could fall 25 per cent below the expected level by 2100, largely due to extreme weather events caused by current levels of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Singapore firms with India operations tackling business survival, employees’ well-being
Singapore – A Singapore software solutions company that has the bulk of its key staff in India is beefing up recruitment to ensure it has enough manpower in case the South Asian country’s surging infection rate hits its workforce.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Singapore tightens Covid-19 curbs as community cases rise
Singapore is tightening rules on social interactions in a bid to tackle the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the community. This means stricter limits on the number of people who can be present in malls, attractions and large standalone stores, with residents urged to have no more than two social gatherings a day.

Govt taking steps to avoid a second lockdown: PM
Singapore has to tighten measures against Covid-19 promptly where necessary to clamp down on the spread of new clusters, and avoid going into a second circuit breaker, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. Speaking at the May Day Rally, he said he hoped Singaporeans would work together with the Government against the virus, and not let down their guard.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Covid-19 cluster grows to 27 cases
Singapore confirmed 39 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking its total to 61,218. The Republic has also delayed plans to relax restrictions on the movements of migrant workers. Among the latest cases, 14 are from the community, including 11 that have been linked to a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and were detected from the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) testing of patients, visitors and staff at the hospital.

Five discharged patients part of TTSH cluster
Five patients, now part of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Covid-19 cluster, had already been discharged and sent home, but were later found to have the virus. They had been placed on quarantine and tested as part of aggressive efforts to ring-fence the hospital outbreak.

No clear link between ICA officer’s wife and TTSH cluster
Three key questions were addressed at the multi-ministry task force’s press conference yesterday following the rise in community cases and emergence of two clusters involving Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and an immigration officer at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1.

Places visited by TTSH cluster cases to close for cleaning
All public places visited by people with Covid-19 in the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster while they were infectious will be closed for two days for deep cleaning. And individuals who had been at those places at the same time should get tested for the virus, which will be free for them, said the authorities yesterday.

Fresh curbs on social gatherings a blow to hopes of consumer rebound
Fresh restrictions on social activities are a blow to hopes for a strong consumer rebound, although business leaders acknowledged that restrictions are needed as a fresh domestic Covid-19 outbreak leaves policymakers “particularly concerned”. Members of the public have been urged by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to avoid crowds, and to stay home where possible.

Worst community outbreak in nearly a year a reminder to stay vigilant: Experts
Singapore is experiencing its worst spate of Covid-19 community infections in close to a year, in a painful reminder of how the virus situation can flare up without warning. But if contact tracing, testing, and quarantine protocols are as effective as before, and people do not let their guard down…

Most recovered workers in dorm who tested positive for Covid-19 unlikely to have reinfections
Singapore – Most of the 27 recovered workers in Westlite Woodlands dormitory who have tested positive for Covid-19 are unlikely to be cases of reinfections, the Ministry of Health has found. In an update on Friday (April 30), it said that 20 positive cases from the dormitory have been assessed or preliminarily assessed to be shedding virus fragments of old infections, while two cases have been determined to be negative for Covid-19 after a retest.

Plans to ease movement curbs on migrant workers on hold
Plans to relax restrictions on the movement of migrant workers have been put on hold, given the recent dormitory cluster and surge in infections in some of the workers’ home countries, Second Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said yesterday.

Stepped-up checks at F&B outlets, parks and malls from today
Government agencies will step up enforcement checks at all premises, including food and beverage (F&B) outlets, parks, malls and other hot spots starting this weekend, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) announced yesterday.

S’pore, KL to allow cross-border travel on compassionate grounds
Travel on compassionate grounds between Singapore and Malaysia will be allowed from May 17, amid Covid-19 restrictions that ban the bulk of cross-border movement, the two countries announced yesterday. But given the escalating Covid-19 situation in both countries…

No entry for travellers from 4 more countries
All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last two weeks will no longer be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore, Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced yesterday.

*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

Jobs are coming back, but it’s still a long road for some

Prices of UK rural homes surge as more move out of the city 

Tax cut drives biggest jump in UK house prices since 2004

Warren Buffett: US economy’s unexpected strength benefitting Berkshire Hathaway

US builders produce record number of homes

US personal incomes soar by most on record with fiscal stimulus

Building the Googleplex of the future

San Francisco feels a tax-base chill with first drop in 25 years

9 New Zealand Customs workers sacked for refusing vaccine

Pfizer, BioNTech seek EU approval for use of vaccine in young teens

Australia home prices continue to climb, pace slows a touch in April

Japan juggles concerns over health, livelihoods in emergency

South Korea extends tighter Covid-19 curbs in Seoul by 3 weeks

HK locks down apartment block due to variant Covid-19 case

Malaysia sees first case of highly infectious variant spotted in India

India’s state is failing its Covid test

More aid arrives in India as it struggles with Covid

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