The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 08 April 2021 (Thur)

Singapore Real Estate

Maxwell House reserve price lowered to S$268m in second bid at collective sale
Maxwell House is up for collective sale via a second public tender at a lower reserve price of S$268 million, from S$295 million in the first launch, appointed property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said on Wednesday. Located at 20 Maxwell Road, the 13-storey commercial building sits on a trapezoidal island plot spanning 41,799 square feet (sq ft), with views from all four sides of the building.

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 in Singapore 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.

85% of all ongoing BTO projects delayed; 43,000 households affected
[Singapore] Around 43,000 households will get the keys to their Build-To-Order (BTO) flats late due to construction delays owing to manpower shortages and supply chain disruptions. Of the 89 ongoing BTO projects, about 85 per cent are about six to nine months behind schedule, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) in a written parliamentary reply on Monday (April 5). Of the 43,000 affected households as at the end of February, the Housing Board has assisted around 240 households with interim rental housing flats.

Will office assets continue to pique investor interest?
THE slump in office prices in the Central Area outpaced the decline in rents last year, likely due to the pandemic-linked uncertainties plaguing the office market. While prices and rents for offices have moved in the same direction over the past two decades, rents have typically proven to be more sensitive to market shocks. The National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS) said that the office price index for the Central Area shrank 10.8 per cent year on year in Q4 2020, more than the 9 per cent contraction in the office rental index for the Central Area.

SLA and SportSG launch tender for 102 Ulu Pandan Road for sports use
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and Sport Singapore (SportSG) have launched a tender for the state property at 102 Ulu Pandan Road on Wednesday. The property will be used to meet sports and recreational needs of residents in the area, as well as the general public, the two entities said in a joint statement. This marks the first collaborative effort by SLA and SportSG for a joint tender to convert a state property for sports use.


Singapore Economy

Singapore’s GDP expected to shrink slightly in Q1: Poll
Singapore’s economy is expected to shrink only slightly in the first quarter of this year as activity continues to recover from a pandemic-induced shock, a Reuters poll showed, with the central bank expected to stay pat at its policy review next week. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract 0.2 per cent in the January-to-March period from the same period a year earlier, according to the median forecast of 10 economists.

Right time for tourism fund boost, as Singapore gears up for global rebound, say watchers
Wellness, sustainability, technology and the rise of remote work: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has set its sights on these trends as it moves to revive the beleaguered tourism sector’s fortunes in the long run. And it has an enlarged war chest for this effort: a fresh injection of S$68.5 million has been put into the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), taking the size of its ongoing five-year tranche to S$848.5 million.

Singapore unemployment rates fall for fourth straight month in February
Singapore’s unemployment rates fell for the fourth straight month in February, though Manpower Minister Josephine Teo cautioned that further declines would become harder to achieve. The overall unemployment rate fell to 3 per cent, from 3.2 per cent in January. Resident unemployment declined to 4.1 per cent from 4.3 per cent previously, while citizen unemployment declined to 4.3 per cent, from 4.5 per cent before.

Companies’ Brief

Chip Eng Seng unit to sell 2 shophouses in Tanjong Pagar for S$10.7m
A subsidiary of property developer Chip Eng Seng Corporation is set to sell two conservation shophouses along Tanjong Pagar Road and three units of shophouses along Geylang Road, the company said in an exchange filing on Wednesday. CES Capital Holdings entered into a sale and purchase agreement to sell its properties at 84/A/B and 86/A/B Tanjong Pagar Road occupying an aggregate land area of about 1,653 square feet (sq ft), the company said. The purchase price is nearly S$10.7 million.

Hong Leong Asia shareholders may benefit from secondary listing of diesel engine unit
Hong Leong Asia (HLA)’s shares have risen almost 20 per cent this year, and the counter touched a new 52-week intraday high of S$0.92 on Wednesday. But at least one analyst thinks shareholders are still getting a bargain. CGS-CIMB has initiated coverage on the conglomerate with an “add” call and a target price of S$1.18. At current levels, the brokerage said, investors are paying for HLA’s diesel engine segment while getting its building materials segment for free.

Lendlease appoints new Asia chief executive based in Singapore
Sydney-based Lendlease, which manages Singapore-listed Lendlease Global Commercial Reit, has appointed Justin Gabbani as its Asia chief executive, effective June 1. Based in Singapore, Mr Gabbani will take over from Tony Lombardo, who was appointed group chief executive officer (CEO) designate in February this year, the property and infrastructure group said on Thursday. Outgoing group CEO Steve McCann will retire from Lendlease’s board on May 31, after a 16-year career with the group, including more than 12 years as group CEO and managing director.

Part of Mapletree’s European fund offered in digital tokens
Digital securities platform iSTOX has tokenised a private real estate investment trust (Reit) from property giant Mapletree Investments. The move for Mapletree’s latest European office fund, the Mapletree Europe Income Trust (Merit), has reduced the investment ticket into the fund for 50 accredited investors. iSTOX declined to disclose the size of its minimum investment ticket and how large a part of the fund it has tokenised, but said yesterday that “a part of the fund has been made available in tokenised form and in smaller units”.

Samsung, LG expect 40% jump in Q1 operating profit
South Korea’s two biggest electronics firms both forecast jumps of around 40 per cent in their first-quarter operating profits yesterday, with coronavirus-driven working from home fuelling global demand for semiconductors and home appliances. Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics said in an earnings estimate that it expected operating profit of 9.3 trillion won (S$11.1 billion) for January to March, up 44.2 per cent from a year earlier, largely driven by robust sales of smartphones and the launch of its flagship Galaxy S21 series.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

M&A, in the midst of a crisis, can be deployed to boost growth
Measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in significant operational disruptions for many companies. Staff under quarantine, interruptions in supply chains around the globe, and a sudden fall in demand from customers have created unanticipated pressure on working capital lines and liquidity. Against this backdrop, companies have scrambled to cut costs and to try and salvage their existing businesses, as opposed to considering mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

Will the cyclical recovery boom last?
For much of the past year, I have argued that a cyclical economic recovery from the Covid-19 disruption would be stronger than most people expected. In offering that outlook, my emphasis was on the cyclical (rather than structural) nature of the crisis: the lockdowns were always going to be only temporary; safe and effective vaccines have been brought to market with unprecedented speed; and governments have duly responded to the shock with massive levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus.

Looking ahead after an abnormal year
What a difference a year has made. This time last year, residents here were hunkering down to a bewildering new situation – the circuit breaker – as the number of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases spiked. Most had to work or take school lessons from home, and eating out, a favourite pastime, was no longer an option – indeed, they could not leave their homes except for essentials such as to buy food and groceries.

Why world faces greater political risk in post-crisis era
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank hold this week their annual Spring meetings amid the most extraordinary economic and political contexts in at least a generation. IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva previewed these sessions last week saying that the fund expects a complex, “multi-speed” recovery from the pandemic because economic fortunes are diverging with differential vaccine rates around the world.

Global value chains still here, but region must integrate
Global value chains (GVCs) are not going to be reconfigured away from Asia anytime soon despite the intensifying debate about major reconfigurations, said market watchers on Wednesday, even as they stressed the importance of Asean becoming more integrated. “Many have been anticipating this enormous wave of supply chain reshuffling,” said Deborah Elms, founder and executive director of the Asian Trade Centre. “But the reality is that firms are not moving as quickly as people had originally expected.”

New certification standard for large Mice events
Singapore has launched a new certification programme for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) sector for large-scale events to be conducted in a safe manner. Event organisers, venue owners and suppliers who uphold the best practices in areas such as hygiene and sanitisation, safe distancing and emergency management will be able to display a mark of assurance that they meet Singapore government standards, which can serve to assure conference attendees.

Tourism’s next big moves in tech, holistic wellness, sustainable travel
Instead of waiting for world borders to reopen, Singapore needs to disrupt the status quo. For the tourism industry here, the next big moves lie in sustainable travel solutions, technological innovation and holistic wellness. This was highlighted by speakers at the opening of the Tourism Industry Conference yesterday. Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said the tourism sector here faced disruption even before the Covid-19 pandemic.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

New community case tested negative during SHN
The sole new community Covid-19 case reported yesterday is a foreign domestic worker who tested negative during her stay-home notice (SHN). The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the 40-year-old female Myanmar national arrived from Myanmar on Nov 13 last year and served her SHN at a dedicated facility. Her test taken on Nov 23 during the SHN was negative.

DPM: Countries must deal with structural challenges accelerated by pandemic
While massive fiscal and monetary support has helped to stabilise the global economy, countries also have to deal with longer-term structural challenges that have been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said. Speaking at the meeting of Group of 20 (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors yesterday, Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, said that curbing the spread of the virus takes top priority.

*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

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BOJ may deploy new tool to stimulate economy

Osaka badly hit as fourth wave looms

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