The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 07 April 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Taiwanese family wants them all in S$293m Draycott deal
The Tsai family of Taiwan behind snack food giant Want Want China Holdings is the party that has bought all 20 units at the completed freehold luxe development, Eden, at 2 Draycott Park.  The S$293 million transaction involves three tranches, The Business Times (BT) understands.  The Hong Kong-listed group’s chairman, Tsai Eng-Meng, is purchasing one apartment.

Digital Realty’s third data centre offers blueprint for future data centres in Singapore
Digital Realty on Tuesday officially opened its third data centre in Singapore – one that offers a way forward on how data centres in Singapore could be built in a sustainable and productive fashion.  In the construction of the multi-storey, 50 MW facility, design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) technology was used. DfMA is a method of construction which involves construction being designed for manufacturing offsite in a controlled environment, before being assembled onsite.

SP Group building South-east Asia’s first large-scale underground substation
SP Group is constructing South-east Asia’s first large-scale underground substation, a move that will free up three hectares of prime land space as it seeks to optimise space in Singapore.  The land freed up will make way for a 34-storey development. Located in Labrador, the 230 kV substation will serve the electricity needs of nearby towns such as Alexandra, Clementi, Keppel, Pasir Panjang and the Science Park district, when it is in service.

Construction of 4 stations on Jurong line set to begin
Construction of four more Jurong Region Line (JRL) MRT stations that will serve Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the JTC Corporation industrial area is set to begin this quarter.  The Land Transport Authority (LTA) awarded two civil contracts valued at $263 million each for this yesterday. The contracts are for the design and construction of the four stations and associated viaducts.

No award of tender for Plot 7 Jalan Papan industrial site: JTC
JTC announced on Tuesday that the tender for an industrial site at Jalan Papan, Plot 7, will not be awarded because the highest bid was below the reserve price.  The tender for the site was launched on Dec 29, 2020 and closed on Feb 23, 2021. Two bids were received but both were not accepted.  Plot 7 was the last of three confirmed list sites under the second half of Singapore’s 2020 industrial government land sales programme. Confirmed list sites are launched according to schedule regardless of demand.  Spanning almost 0.9 hectare, the site has a gross plot ratio of 1.4 and comes with a 20-year tenure. It is zoned B2 for heavy industrial use.

Lazada pop-up store at Raffles City takes over space occupied by Robinsons
The space formerly occupied by Robinsons on the third level of Raffles City Shopping Centre has now been taken over by online retailer Lazada.  Over the next two weeks, Lazada will be showcasing home furnishings and smart home products at its 10,000 sq ft pop-up store.  It is the latest online retailer to go physical, albeit for a short period of time. This is a move experts say can attract more shoppers to malls and offer more choices to consumers.

Hmlet: a hard lesson in hubris
Reality has set in for co-living operator Hmlet. An overly rapid expansion, a cash crunch and a management exodus have forced the company to rethink its lofty ambitions. Its US-listed, China-based peers, which have experienced similar falls from grace, also offer some hard lessons in hubris.

Singapore Economy

Singapore firms’ payment performance improves in Q1: SCCB
Payment performance of local firms improved in Q1 2021 albeit marginally, the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) said on Tuesday.  Occurrences of prompt payment in Q1 rose 1.21 percentage points to 42.50 per cent, from 41.29 per cent the quarter before. Year on year, prompt payment decreased 0.70 percentage point to 42.50 per cent.  On the other hand, occurrences of slow payment increased by 0.50 percentage point to 43.08 per cent in Q1, up from 42.6 per cent last year, but showed a small 0.07 percentage point dip from 43.15 per cent in the previous quarter.

US push for minimum corporate tax globally may impact investment hubs
The United States’ proposed global minimum corporate tax rate would hit investment hubs around the world including Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland – if it comes to pass.  But broad international support for the concept – as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is trying to achieve – does not imply acceptance of the US’ specific proposal of a 21 per cent rate for multinationals, said tax analysts.

Companies’ Brief

Part of Mapletree’s first European office fund offered in digital tokens
DIGITAL securities platform iSTOX has, for the first time, tokenised a private real estate investment trust (Reit) from property giant Mapletree Investments, reducing the investment ticket into the fund for 50 accredited investors.  The latest tokenisation is for Mapletree’s latest European office fund, the Mapletree Europe Income Trust (MERIT).

Iron ore rush turns two SGX plays red hot
Two iron ore plays on the Singapore Exchange, both Malaysian-based, have been quite the rage as steel mills make good money and inventories shrink on higher demand. As prices of the sought-after reddish metal trended higher, so have the shares of those that mine and sell it.  Catalist-listed Fortress Minerals, for instance, enjoyed record sales volume in the nine months to November last year (the company has a February year-end). Its net profit for Q3 FY2021 was nearly double that for FY2020, and the counter has gained 25 per cent this year to close at 37.5 Singapore cents on April 6.

Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Decisive cooling measures needed to maintain stable property market
I urge the Government to institute decisive private property cooling measures before it is too late (Sharp rise in prices for HDB resale flats, private homes, April 2).  The nominal median income for residents fell by 0.6 per cent over the year to last June, the first decline since 2004. Meanwhile, private home prices increased by 2.2 per cent last year.  In the first quarter of this year, private home prices rose 2.9 per cent, the steepest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2018.

Investors build up residential property portfolio in Q1 2021
With positive news from Covid-19 distributions, controlled easing of travel restrictions and workers’ returns to their workplaces, investment sales activity picked up in the first quarter of the year, with the residential sector leading the string of deals.  Overall investment sales amounted to some S$3.8 billion, up 26.7 per cent year-on-year (yoy) from Q1 2020’s S$3 billion.  This is according to Knight Frank’s Q1 market update, which defined investment sales as transactions totalling S$10 million and more, and institutional transfers that represent a change of legal ownership.

S-Reits’ growth lies in foreign asset acquisitions: Aprea
Despite the absence of new Singapore real estate investment trust (S-Reit) listings of late, John Lim, chairman of the Asia Pacific Real Assets Association (Aprea), is not worried. He believes that the answer to growing the S-Reit sector is not by amassing more Reits, but by relaxing taxes and regulations to allow the big boys to make overseas acquisitions more easily.

Supporting a strong, inclusive, and sustainable recovery in Asean
Two issues will be critically important for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members to shape their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic: Strengthening regional cooperation and improving domestic resource mobilisation.
First is the need to leverage stronger regional cooperation to enhance regional financial safety nets, deepen regional trade and supply chains, and build regional health security.

The case for a 9% GST
Indranee Rajah, Singapore’s Second Minister for Finance, was spot-on when she observed in Parliament on Monday that the government’s cash surpluses from 2011 to 2019 do not reduce the need for the planned increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST).  A prudent government should pay for today’s expenses using today’s receipts. It reflects a healthy operating dynamic and preserves inter-generational equity for future generations of Singaporeans. As a matter of principle, we should be allowed to additionally dip into our reserves only in exceptional situations like the present Covid-19 crisis and only as far as necessary.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

A problem money alone couldn’t solve
It was a problem that having money alone could not solve.  Rather, time was of the essence for Surbana Jurong (SJ), the consultancy firm given the mammoth task of converting the cavernous event halls at the Singapore Expo into healthcare facilities at the height of the coronavirus pandemic towards the end of March 2020.

Over 2,000 RWS staff put skills to good use
Managing facilities with a total of 11,000 beds was not too daunting a task for Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), whose duties as the managing agent for two community care facilities (CCFs) covered everything from admission and housekeeping, to manning the operations command centre around the clock.

FairPrice backs national efforts to help community
A massive order of household objects, with some items required in quantities of up to 5,000 pieces. Less than 48 hours to deliver them all. And on top of that, nationwide Covid-19 measures which meant that most businesses were closed.  That was the difficult situation faced by supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice in early April 2020, when the community care facilities (CCFs) were being set up.

At NCS, thinking out of the box to deploy tech solutions
Although NCS was approached to help with computing needs, its role at the Singapore Expo’s community care facility (CCF) involved not just technology, but everyday resourcefulness too – in the form of Ikea tables with added wheels.  As NCS healthcare sector lead Jim Lim put it: “Innovation need not be high-tech all the time.”

One year after circuit breaker, people in S’pore socialising less, working more; mental well-being has declined
People here have been socialising less and working more since the circuit breaker last year, a survey has found.  It noted that 61 per cent of the 1,000 respondents said they now socialise less frequently with those outside their immediate family than before the restrictions were put in place in April last year.

24 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
There were 24 new Covid-19 cases confirmed at noon on Tuesday (April 6), taking Singapore’s total to 60,519.  They were all imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).  There were no community cases and none from migrant workers’ dormitories.

Pandemic turbocharged use of existing tech: Vivian
There are silver linings in the global Covid-19 pandemic, such as how it has boosted the use of existing technologies, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday.  In Singapore, this has helped the Government trace the close contacts of coronavirus patients faster and allowed most government transactions to be done online, said Dr Balakrishnan, who is also Foreign Minister.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China asks banks to curtail loan growth for rest of the year

China’s services sector recovery accelerates in March: survey

Oil gains 1% on strong US, China economic data

BP hits US$35b net debt target well ahead of schedule

Gold hits over one-week high as dollar, yields slip

S Korea property woes could turn tide against Moon in by-elections

MUFG Bank to rebuild Tokyo headquarters for post-pandemic work

IMF boosts global growth forecast, warns of divergence in rebound

US dollar rebounds amid growing optimism

Australia-NZ ‘travel bubble’ to begin April 19 in pandemic milestone


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