The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29, 30 & 31 Aug 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

How the pandemic is changing office space
The Covid-19 pandemic has radically disrupted work environments around the world. Work from home has prompted corporate occupiers to seek more flexible work arrangements, and technology is enabling companies to allow remote working. This is likely to result in companies changing their size needs, by requiring less space.


Singapore Economy

Singapore used 20 years of previous budget surpluses to combat Covid-19: DPM
Singapore has drawn on its reserves – equivalent to over 20 years of past Budget surpluses – to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday. “We have used a generation’s worth of savings to combat a crisis of a generation. We must therefore ensure that our fiscal balance is put back on a stable path when the economy recovers,” he wrote in his ministry’s addendum to the President’s Address.

Singapore seeks ‘quality’ labour in new foreign worker rules: Chan Chun Sing
Singapore will remain “open and connected” as a financial hub even as it tightens restrictions on foreign workers to protect local jobs amid the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.

New firms crop up in F&B sector during H1 despite Covid-19
The local food and beverage (F&B) sector continued to draw entrepreneurs in the first half of this year despite being buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Between January and June, there was a net increase of 96 active entities in F&B service activities…

Pandemic powering demand for Singapore’s pharma exports
Singapore’s focus on pharmaceuticals is paying dividends as demand for its exports is boosted by the global stockpiling of medicine and drug ingredients. The Republic’s exports and output of pharmaceutical products have surged, fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic, Fitch Solutions said in a report yesterday.


Companies’ Brief

CDLHT rides on staycation wave with W hotel acquisition
Last November, when CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) unveiled its plan to acquire the W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, its top brass could never have imagined the blow to international travel and tourism that was to come just a few months later with the outbreak of Covid-19.

Hongkong Land converts HK$1b DBS facility to sustainability-linked loan
Property developer and investment company Hongkong Land has reached an agreement with DBS to convert an existing HK$1 billion (S$175.8 million) five-year revolving credit facility into a sustainability-linked loan.

Keppel Corp ready to back KrisEnergy’s final proposal
Keppel Corporation, which owns a 40 per cent stake in upstream oil and gas company KrisEnergy, said it is prepared to support the final restructuring proposal of the debt-hit firm. In a bourse filing on Sunday, Keppel Corp said it has evaluated KrisEnergy’s debt workout plan, which it believes is a “deliverable plan”.

Keppel Reit looks to future-proof its commercial spaces
As far back as he can remember, the twin touchstones of real estate executive Paul Tham’s life have been wisdom and learning. Growing up, a familiar mantra was one from the Book of Proverbs: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

Oxley posts H2 S$296.3m net loss despite growth in gross profit
Property developer Oxley Holdings recorded a net loss of S$296.3 million for the second half of the financial year ended June 30, on the back of other losses incurred due to the Covid-10 pandemic, in its results release on Friday after the market close.

SingHaiyi’s Celine Tang continues to build stake
Between Aug 21 and 26, Haiyi Holdings (Haiyi) acquired 5,960,900 shares of SingHaiyi Group for a consideration of S$429,185 at 7.2 cents per share. The two married deals increased SingHaiyi Group managing director Celine Tang’s deemed stake in SingHaiyi Group from 64.33 per cent to 64.47 per cent.

Wing Tai Holdings posts S$16.8 million H2 loss
Mainboard-listed Wing Tai Holdings reported a net loss of S$16.8 million for the second half ended June 30, down from net profit of S$28.4 million in the year-ago period, in its results release on Friday after market close. This is despite revenue rising 46 per cent to S$187.5 million, from S$128.7 million previously.

Food caterer Neo Group to diversify into property business
Neo Group is looking to make its foray into property development, investment and management. This will mean expanding its existing core business of providing end-to-end food and catering solutions, the Catalist-listed firm announced on Friday.

Auditors give disclaimer of opinion on EHT finances
Independent auditors KPMG have issued a disclaimer of opinion in respect of the financial statements of Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT), which released the independent auditors’ report on Friday, after market closed. EHT is a stapled group comprising Eagle Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust (EH-Reit) and Eagle Hospitality Business Trust (EH-BT).

Eagle Hospitality Trust drops independent director
Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) said one of its independent directors, Carl Gabriel Florian Stubbe, was not re-elected by the Reit managers’ shareholder, Mandarin West Holdings. Mr Stubbe, who had offered himself for re-election and was “willing and desired” to continue his role as independent director, “laments the decision” by Mandarin West. He “feels strongly” that this decision is “to the detriment” of stapled security holders, said the managers in a bourse filing on Sunday.

Sabana-ESR merger: MAS says safeguards in place against conflicts of interest
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday clarified that its regulatory framework does not prohibit a shareholder group from owning substantial stakes in two real estate investment trust (Reit) managers managing Reits invested in the same property class.

Should Sabana Reit minorities ask board, senior personnel to resign if merger does not succeed?
Various parties involved in the proposed merger of ESR-Reit and Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) issued statements over the past week that clearly marked out their positions.

Reits (August 29-30, 2020)


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Opening up to fresh viewpoints
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

The complexities of present challenges require greater consultation and collaboration, consideration of diverse views and interests, and a more open and robust debate over policy choices than ever before. The big question is, how do we get to the desired outcomes and how does the government look at this feedback, though there are platforms and forums to discuss issues and policies?

Easing anxieties amid tough job market
The employment situation here is cause for concern. Nearly half the employees of the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre have been retrenched amid the dire straits which the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions sector finds itself in because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Are investment managers ready for Artificial Intelligence?
Only 10 per cent of fund managers or analysts have used AI or Machine Learning in the past year, according to a 2019 CFA Institute survey of the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the investment management industry.

Covid-19 forces rethink of operations and digitalisation
Boots on the Web is just as important as, if not more important than, having a presence on the ground, say consultants, as border closures and widespread movement control orders brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a rethink of operational expectations and norms.

Supply chain shifts and reshoring to have mixed credit impact on Asean: Moody’s
Shifting supply chains as countries reconfigure trade relationships following the Covid-19 pandemic will result in mixed credit implications for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said Moody’s Investors Service in a report.

Addendum to President’s Address: Inclusive platform for S’poreans to ‘reflect and re-imagine future’
A series of dialogues for Singaporeans to reflect on Covid-19 will give people the space to discuss “bread-and-butter and key societal issues” and work with the Government to translate these ideas into action. These Emerging Stronger Conversations will be an inclusive platform for Singaporeans to “reflect and re-imagine the future together”…

Opportunities to give views without being shouted down to be created: Edwin Tong
The national conversation on prickly topics such as race and religion needs to move away from the confrontational and focus on the common space, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

54 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 8 in the community
[Singapore] There were 54 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Sunday noon, taking Singapore’s total to 56,771.  They included eight community cases, comprising seven Singaporeans or permanent residents and one work pass holder, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Orchard Road malls, Geylang Serai market among new places visited by Covid-19 patients
Several malls in Orchard Road and Geylang Serai market were among the new places added yesterday to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were infectious. The malls included Ngee Ann City, Far East Shopping Centre, Far East Plaza, Paragon and The Heeren.

Five of eight new community cases part of a family cluster
Five of the eight new community cases of Covid-19 infection reported yesterday were part of a family cluster involving two households, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). In its daily update yesterday, the ministry added that these individuals had participated in family gatherings, and investigations were ongoing on whether any safe distancing rules were breached.

S’pore team studying why some hit by Covid-19 suffer heart damage
A team of doctors and researchers in Singapore has started a cardiac research programme to better understand why some patients who are hit hard by Covid-19 also suffer heart damage, and how to prevent this from happening.

Covid-19 swab booths on trial at 170 clinics
Swab booths are now located at 170 clinics islandwide to allow testing for those showing signs of Covid-19 infection, while guarding the safety of general practitioners, clinic staff and other patients. The move is in line with the national effort to ramp up Singapore’s testing capacity.

Flight to China goes smoothly on first day of tighter requirements
It was smooth sailing for the first batch of China-bound passengers leaving Changi Airport yesterday, after the Chinese Embassy in Singapore imposed stricter requirements on travellers flying to the country. All 47 travellers on Air China Flight CA 768 to Hangzhou at 4.18pm had the necessary paperwork and no one was turned away from boarding.
*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 real estate pain leaves foreign investors in the lurch

US pending home sales top forecasts, at highest since 2005

Over 200,000 job cuts globally in past few weeks herald economic pain ahead

US jobless claims ‘stubbornly high’ as layoffs persist

US consumer spending rises solidly in July

BP to sell London headquarters as work style shifts, says report

Potential economic ‘air pocket’ ahead could present opportunities

Virus lockdowns give major boost to e-commerce

Australia Q2 inventories, wages decline amid first recession in 30 years

Growth in China’s factory activity slows in August as floods disrupt production

For the second time, Japan’s Abe resigns due to health reasons

Japan’s July industrial output rises 8.0% m-o-m

Japan July retail sales fall 2.8% y-o-y: government

Coronavirus: Japan to lift foreigner re-entry ban on Sept 1

HK retail property transactions rise after mortgage rules eased

Coronavirus: Malaysia extends movement restrictions to year end

In South India, Amazon builds its largest office yet

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