Redas re-elects Chia Ngiang Hong for another two-year term as president
The Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) said its management committee has unanimously re-elected City Developments’ group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong as its president for a second term spanning 2021-2022. In a press statement on Friday, Mr Chia thanked the committee for their commitment during their term of office, and expressed gratitude for their support.
Singapore Real Estate
High demand for Bidadari, Kallang/Whampoa flats
All Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in the Toa Payoh (Bidadari) and Kallang/Whampoa mature estates have been oversubscribed just a day into their one-week launch for sale. Seniors wanting to live in Singapore’s first assisted living public housing in Bukit Batok will also face stiff competition as there are nearly twice as many applicants as available units.
Reits (Feb 06-07, 2020)
Retail sales plunge 15.3% in 2020, in worst year on record: economists react
Singapore’s retail sales fell for the 23rd straight month in December 2020 by 3.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), bringing the full-year contraction in retail spending to 15.3 per cent y-o-y. This is Singapore retail’s worst performing year on record since data was made available in 1985, said economists, underperforming even their bearish forecasts.
Profits come before growth in a post-pandemic economy
It should be a great year for economic growth. The mass distribution of vaccines combined with multiple rounds of fiscal stimulus and pent-up demand for in-person activity provide plenty of reason for optimism in 2021. But if you’re looking for a potential stumbling block for the economy, consider the container shipping market, where prices have surged in response to rising US consumer demand for imported goods.
ESG approved S$18b in loans to 21,000 enterprises last year amid pandemic
Last year, on top of supporting 15,300 Singapore firms to transform, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) worked with financial institutions to approve some 32,000 loans worth S$18 billion for 21,000 enterprises, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Of these recipients under the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and enhanced SME Working Capital Loans, 87 per cent were micro and small enterprises, mostly from the wholesale trade, construction, manufacturing, professional services, and retail sectors, ESG said in its year-in-review on Friday.
Organisers of major events unfazed by WEF decision
The decision by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to postpone its leadership summit in Singapore has not deterred those planning other major events here, such as the Shangri-La Dialogue in June. Yesterday, several organisers of upcoming high-profile meetings, conferences and exhibitions told The Straits Times they would press ahead.
Frasers Property reports lower RevPAR in Q1 for hospitality portfolio
Real estate developer and manager Frasers Property reported lower revenue per average room (RevPAR) for the first quarter across its hospitality properties globally. Its hotel operating performance across Asia-Pacific, Europe and UK in November 2020 were “significantly below pre-Covid levels”, it said. In a business update on Friday, it noted that in North Asia, RevPAR declined 24.9 per cent from a year earlier to S$67.4.
Broker’s take: DBS raises AIMS Apac Reit TP to S$1.50, sees strong earnings rebound
DBS Group Research has raised its target price for AIMS Apac Reit (AA Reit) to S$1.50 from S$1.40 with an unchanged “buy” recommendation, as it projects a strong rebound for the Reit’s earnings in FY2022. In a report on Friday, the research house opined that the market has largely ignored AA Reit’s “attractive valuations on all fronts” when compared to its five-year historical average.
Views, Reviews, Forum & Others
Health, safety the focus of TraceTogether
Parliament has approved legislation which restricts the use of personal contact tracing data in criminal investigations to only serious crimes, such as murder and terrorism, with assurances of safeguards to protect people’s data. This occurred after a public outcry when it was revealed that the police could use TraceTogether data for criminal investigations as well as for contact tracing.
There’s a new role for family offices in driving impact innovation
Family offices around the world have become increasingly active and sophisticated in their investments into innovations over the years. Various fascinating themes have surfaced, but two, in particular, are clear and will be evidently at in play in 2021 and beyond. One is impact and sustainability innovation – which is an increasingly interesting and necessary area of focus for entrepreneurs, although the pace of change is to some extent being hampered by the source of capital.
Singapore Budget 2021
Questions for Budget 2021: Will Singapore need to dip into its reserves again?
Singapore – Singapore’s reserves were built up for a rainy day, which came when Covid-19 hit last year. Of the close to $100 billion spent in the biggest stimulus package in the country’s history, $52 billion came from past savings. Measures to keep companies afloat and save jobs seem to have paid off, with encouraging early signs of a strong recovery.
Budget priority is to help workers, businesses adapt: DPM
Helping workers and businesses to adapt, innovate, and grow will be a key priority for Budget 2021, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on Friday. The government will also continue to support workers and businesses, especially those in hard-hit sectors. But Singapore must press on with the economic transformation it started five years ago, he added.
Questions for Budget 2021: In the shift towards stronger social safety nets, what are the most pertinent gaps to address?
Singapore – The number of applications for two key Government financial aid schemes jumped by 26 per cent last year as Singapore was gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic. About 83,000 applications were received for the ComCare Short-To-Medium Term Assistance Scheme and the ComCare Long-Term Assistance Scheme last year (2020), up from about 66,000 in 2019, said a Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) spokesman.
Questions for Budget 2021: What will happen to lifelines, such as the JSS, and what sort of help do businesses and workers need?
Singapore – Labour leaders and bosses are putting a lot of faith in the upcoming Budget, given retrenchments and restructuring are likely to continue this year, especially with the end of the generous wage subsidies under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) next month. Their wish lists include an extension of salary support, a top-up of the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit to accelerate business transformation and backing for worker reskilling.
Budget 2021: President explains how the draw on reserves last year helped save jobs and livelihoods
Singapore – The Covid-19 crisis was not the first time the Government drew on the reserves, but it was the first time multiple and substantial draws had to be approved within a short period of time. In a video on her Facebook page this week, President Halimah Yacob outlined why last year, she approved the draw of up to $52 billion from past reserves to cushion the impact of the pandemic on businesses and workers.
Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
56-year-old import officer at Changi among two locally transmitted cases
[Singapore] An import officer at Changi Airport has tested positive for Covid-19 – one of two locally transmitted cases announced on Friday (Feb 5). The 56-year-old, works at Yusen Logistics and is based in Changi Cargo Megaplex 1, was diagnosed with coronavirus after going for tuberculosis screening because he had come into contact with a TB patient at work.
*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at www.moh.gov.sg and refer to go.gov.sg/mohupdates for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
US annual trade gap grows to biggest since financial crisis
US unemployment rate drops to 6.3% in January from 6.7%
US payrolls rise less than forecast, bolstering calls for more stimulus
White House unites around simple message: Spend now to save the economy
Pandemic could end in 7 years at current pace of vaccination
Air travel unlikely to rebound soon despite vaccine roll-out
Leaks, creaks, breaks: The downside to life in a super-tall condo tower
US mortgage giant UWM’s stock slumps despite 822% profit jump
January payrolls rise less than expected after bigger December drop
Property prices in Australia surge to record highs despite recession
China FedEx rival eyes investment in US$5b Kerry Logistics
Thai hotel operator Central Plaza plans to launch eight hotels this year
Myanmar risks stifling foreign investment