The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 7 April 2020 (Tue)


Singapore Real Estate

Reitas flags concerns over move to relieve tenants of rental obligations
The Reit Association of Singapore (Reitas) has cautioned against putting “significant strain” on landlords’ finances with a new Bill that may give businesses a reprieve from contractual obligations including rent payments, even as it acknowledged the importance of supporting tenants in the crisis.

Singapore hotel Reits not out of the woods yet
While valuations for Singapore’s hospitality Reits look attractive after the counters have been driven down in recent weeks, it may be too early for investors to take the plunge just yet. For one, with countries around the world slamming their borders shut, there is very little visibility as to when travel demand will return.

Real estate agencies rolling out commission advance packages
Real estate agencies are rolling out support packages to their salespeople to tide them over the mandated one-month stoppage due to Covid-19.The five largest property agencies which account for the lion’s share of the 30,000 agents in Singapore say their help includes commission advances, waiving fees as well as paying for professional courses agents have to attend to stay licensed.


Singapore Economy

Singapore building firms struggle as overall slow payments in Q1 hit high since 2016
Singapore firms have registered their worst payment performance since the third quarter of 2016, and the downtrend is expected to continue as firms are exposed to a higher risk of payment delinquency in the months to come, the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) said in a report on Monday.

Payment delays spike as local firms struggle with coronavirus crisis
Local firms are clearly struggling to meet bill payments, going by data out yesterday. Payment performance nosedived to a near three-year low in the first quarter amid the coronavirus impact. Slow or delayed payments surged by 9.21 percentage points – 36.59 per cent in the first quarter of last year to 45.8 per cent in the first three months of this year.

Singapore M&A deals shrink 22.4% in first quarter amid coronavirus outbreak
Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity here took a hammering in the first quarter in the wake of the turmoil unleashed in the corporate sector by the coronavirus crisis.The value of deals came in at US$10.2 billion (S$14.6 billion) in the three months to March 31, 22.4 per cent down from the US$13.1 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Coronavirus: MAS brings forward disclosure of forex interventions to April 9
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will disclose its first six-monthly report on its currency intervention operations on Thursday.The disclosure is being made earlier than previously scheduled, to provide more timely information to financial markets amid the coronavirus-induced turmoil.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand reopens all China malls, posts rise in residential sales
Property group CapitaLand has reopened all its malls in China that were previously shut due to the country’s coronavirus lockdown. The group’s four malls in Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – reopened on April 2 after receiving clearance from local authorities.

CDL retail tenants get full rental rebates in April, 50% in May
City Developments Limited (CDL), one of Singapore’s largest commercial landlords, on Monday said it is committing more than S$17 million in property tax and rental rebates to help its office and retail tenants tide over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

77 units of Kopar at Newton condo sold at launch
CEL Development, a fully-owned subsidiary of mainboard-listed Chip Eng Seng Corporation, has sold 77 units at the launch of its 378-unit Kopar At Newton condo project over the weekend. The 99-year leasehold project is located off Newton Circus. CEL executive director Michael Ng said the project average price is $2,350 per square foot (psf), as stated previously.

Mapletree syndicates US$1.8b pan US-European logistics fund
Mapletree Investments, which is owned by Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings, has said it has raised some US$1.8 billion in equity for its pan US-European logistics fund. The syndication of the fund, MUSEL Private Trust, was supported by institutional, corporate and high-net-worth investors.

Oxley sells 73% of Singapore projects, to recognise S$2.4b in revenue
Mainboard-Listed developer Oxley Holdings said on Monday that it has sold 73 per cent of its Singapore development portfolio, which comprises 3,923 units in total. The group is set to recognise S$2.4 billion in secured revenue from its Singapore projects. The sum will be recognised over the next two years.

Suntec City to waive rents for mall tenants for April
Suntec City said it is waiving the rents for mall tenants for a month, in line with the government’s call to boost support for businesses and protect jobs during the circuit-breaker period. The waiver of rent from April 1 to April 30, 2020 will be funded entirely by the landlord.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

An exceptional help package – again – that boosts confidence
Three mammoth budgets in the space of just seven weeks. It’s never been done before in Singapore’s history. Even so, there was still the assurance that more help could be on the way if the Covid-19 outbreak does not improve.

S’pore response to Covid-19 pandemic: The third stage in a long-haul battle
As the economy slides into what seems an inevitable recession, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also Finance Minister, has produced his third Budget in less than two months. Another $5.1 billion will be spent, bringing the total amount earmarked to contain the economic devastation caused by Covid-19 to almost $60 billion, equivalent to a record 12 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Targeted relief for those most in need
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced a set of protective measures last week under which individuals can apply to their banks and insurers to defer payment of property loans and premium payments for life and health insurance plans.

Employers should think long-term – and try and hang on to your workers
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the job market hard, to put it mildly. Having had their working hours cut, thousands of workers from every industry across the world have either suffered pay cuts or forced to go on no-pay leave, or laid off altogether. As the crisis rolls on, the numbers keep rising.

Why climate change cannot be deprioritised, despite Covid-19 crisis
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that climate change cannot be deprioritised by world policymakers – despite the novel coronavirus crisis. This comes only days after the UK government announced that this year’s UN climate summit is being postponed till 2021, raising concerns that global warming might be put to the political back burner.


Singapore Budget 2020

$60b help to fight Covid-19
Tee Zhuo summarises how the $60 billion is being used to help families, workers and businesses, with the latest sum targeted at managing the fallout from safe distancing measures to curb virus transmission

Third support package will require further draw of $4b from reserves
The third set of support measures announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday will cost $5.1 billion, and necessitate a further draw of $4 billion from the national reserves.

Another S$5.1b to ease pressure on firms, households, and to save jobs
A supplementary S$5.1 billion Solidarity Budget was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Monday, to support households and businesses through the four-week circuit breaker period to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revised FY2020 deficit soars to record S$44.3b
With Monday’s round of support measures against the novel coronavirus outbreak, Singapore’s overall budget deficit for FY2020 is on track to become the largest deficit since its independence. The revised overall budget deficit is expected to be S$44.3 billion or 8.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), more than four times the deficit of S$10.9 billion estimated in February.

Firms given more aid to retain workers amid shutdown
Companies will get additional wage support for local employees in April, while their operations are set to slow down or grind to a halt amid a month-long shutdown starting Tuesday. This is to encourage companies to hold on to their workers amid the “circuit breaker” period.

Relief for businesses is limited by design
The latest relief measures on foreign worker levies and rents are meant as a targeted buffer during enforced business closures this month, analysts told The Business Times. But even with April’s “circuit breaker” set to expire on May 4, some called for aid to be extended as companies struggle with the financial fallout from a deadly viral pandemic.

Employers urged to use levy rebate wisely and support their workers
Employers have to support their workers – both local and foreign – even as they adjust to the closure of most workplaces for four weeks, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told Parliament yesterday. She urged employers to communicate clearly with their workers on work and pay arrangements as measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus take effect today.

SMEs wait for banks’ next move, with rise in government’s risk share for loans
The government will further raise its risk-share of several enterprise loans, as it pulls out all the stops to enhance financing support so that “viable businesses” can continue to have access to credit, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday.

S$600 one-off payout for all adult Singaporeans
All adult Singaporeans will receive a one-off Solidarity Payment of S$600 in cash, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday, even as he urged those who do not need the cash to donate it to charities or directly share it with others.

Over 660 firms have taken working capital loans
A total of 662 companies have taken working capital loans from participating financial institutions as of the end of last month. Almost 90 per cent, or 575 companies, are micro and small enterprises, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat in Parliament yesterday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

Circuit breaker’ may be extended if coronavirus not controlled
“Circuit breaker” measures that take effect from this week may be extended beyond May 4 if the spread of the coronavirus is not controlled over the next month, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday. He stressed that the success of Covid-19 containment measures depends heavily on Singaporeans.

Biolidics’ Covid-19 rapid test kit allowed to be sold in EU
Singapore-based cancer diagnos-tics company Biolidics on Monday said its rapid test kit for Covid-19 is allowed for sale in the European Union (EU). This was after the test kit obtained confirmation for CE marking, a notification process to the relevant authority which allows the company to market and sell the kit in the EU.

Coronavirus: Dorm standards should be raised, says Josephine Teo
There is no question that standards at foreign worker dormitories should be raised, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo last night, following reports of crowded conditions at one such dormitory. But she urged Singaporeans to let her team focus on the “enormity of the task at hand” – containing the transmission of Covid-19 among some 200,000 workers spread across 43 dormitories.

Coronavirus: MOM working with dorm operators to resolve issues
Premises are being cleaned and food and meal times sorted at the two foreign worker dormitories that were gazetted as isolation areas on Sunday. Giving an update last night, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it is working with the dormitory operators to resolve issues.

Coronavirus: S’pore, please, just stay home – the circuit breaker works only if we all do
It feels like ages ago but it was just over 10 weeks ago that Singapore confirmed its first Covid-19 infection on Jan 23. A 66-year-old Chinese tourist from Wuhan had tested positive. About a week later, the first Singaporean – a 47-year-old woman who had travelled to China – was confirmed to have the coronavirus.
*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

Many see urgent need for international meet to discuss ways to handle epidemics

Mortgage crisis prompts US to weigh harder line with borrowers

Construction in New York limps forward despite shutdown order

UK building activity for March sees fastest fall since 2009

Dangerous tide of disinflation on the rise: Economists

Positive signs may lead some countries to ease curbs

SEB’s Swedish housing sentiment indicator plunges in April to -20 points

Yen slides as Japan heads towards state of emergency

Abe unveils massive coronavirus stimulus equal to 20% of GDP

Malaysia pumps in $3.3b more stimulus after grumbles from firms

Dubai’s Emaar suspends construction projects


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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