The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30 & 31 Jul, 1 Aug 2022 (Sat, Sun & Mon)


Orchard Road evolving into lifestyle destination: Experts
The Orchard Road shopping belt has not lost its lustre despite the impending exit of OG Orchard Point, experts have said.

Policies to spur wider use of digital tech a key to unlocking smart cities’ potential: Desmond Lee
In Singapore, smart technologies that can adjust lighting and district cooling systems to optimise energy use and reduce the carbon footprint in Punggol Digital District have been implemented.

Singapore, New York lead global rent hikes in H1
If you’re renting in Singapore and New York, bad news: You’re living in the 2 cities where prices have skyrocketed the most. Rent in those 2 cities, located at opposite ends of the world, surged by 8.5 per cent in the first half of this year, according to a report by Savills published on Friday (Jul 29).

Retail rents in S’pore expected to rise with suburban malls leading the way
Retail rentals have probably hit bottom and will start to rise again, with suburban areas poised to lead the market recovery. Mr Alan Cheong, Savills Singapore’s executive director, noted that past rental highs may not be sustainable as the retail landscape has changed since the pandemic and tourist arrivals have yet to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Ongoing BTO projects affected by Covid-19 to be ready in 2 to 3 years
The Housing Board expects to complete all Build-To-Order (BTO) projects that were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic in two to three years. Giving an update on such projects on Saturday (July 30), HDB said more than 7,200 flats were completed in the first half of this year, up from the previous two years.



Singapore to set aside another S$66 million for studies into ageing infrastructure and other urban challenges
An additional S$66 million will be allocated to the Cities of Tomorrow research and development programme over the next five years, announced Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Monday (Aug 1).

Cities like Singapore should continue to stay open to investments and talent, key to progress: Teo Chee Hean
Cities like Singapore should continue to stay open to investments and talent from around the world, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Monday (Aug 1). Speaking at this year’s World Cities Summit, Mr Teo said: “This is key to creating progress, keeping their economies innovative and vibrant, and thereby providing good jobs and better opportunities for their citizens.”

Singapore employment grows by 64,400 in Q2 on return of non-resident workers
Singapore’s employment levels recovered close to that seen before the pandemic in Q2, with non-resident employment rebounding strongly due to the relaxation of border restrictions, according to the latest data from Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Manufacturing expectations turn pessimistic but services sector still upbeat: surveys
After more than a year of optimism, Singapore’s manufacturers have turned negative about business conditions in the next 6 months – but services firms remain positive, according to separate quarterly surveys on Friday (Jul 29).

Changi Airport hits 50% of pre-pandemic passenger numbers ahead of year-end target
The number of passengers that passed through Changi Airport in June exceeded half of pre-pandemic figures for the first time, meeting the 50 per cent year-end target that had been set for the industry earlier this year.

Businesses optimistic as passenger volume grows at Changi Airport
Some businesses at Changi Airport are optimistic about retail and food and beverage sales picking up as passenger traffic recovers, but concerns about whether they have the manpower to maintain the momentum remain.

New opportunities in fintech, sustainable finance
The newly emerging areas of fintech and sustainable finance offer promising new opportunities for fruitful collaboration between Switzerland and Singapore, says the new Swiss Ambassador to the Republic, Frank Grutter.

Credit Bureau Asia aims for ‘multiplier effect’ with digital banks
Credit Bureau Asia (CBA), which runs the largest consumer credit bureau in Singapore, is eager for the local digital banks to finally launch. CBA’s growth is linked to the growth of its member network.

Surging USD a sign of market pessimism, but isn’t necessarily a challenge for companies
After a first-half fear fest, investors have moved on to the next concern: a surging US dollar (USD), which many fear will spark an Asian market exodus. The greenback is up 8.4 per cent this year against a trade-weighted global currency basket, and 15.5 per cent since last June.

Most recent workplace deaths in S’pore were experienced workers: Tan See Leng
Most workers who died at the workplace in the last few months were experienced staff. “One would have intuitively thought it’s because of new workers, young, inexperienced workers coming in to fill up these jobs, that is contributing to the spate of accidents,” said Dr Tan See Leng, Minister of Manpower…



Far East H-Trust H1 DPS climbs 40% on divestment gains
Far East Hospitality Trust declared a distribution of S$30.6 million to stapled securityholders for its H1 2022 on Friday (Jul 29) — which translates to a 40 per cent gain in distribution per stapled security (DPS) to S$0.0154 compared S$0.011 in H1 2021.

ESR-Logos Reit to divest Pandan Logistics Hub above valuation
ESR-Logos Reit has announced that it will divest Pandan Logistics Hub for S$43.5 million, a 15.1 per cent premium to valuation, to ST Logistics. The property, located in the west of Singapore, is 5-storey ramp-up warehouse with a total gross floor area of 30,576 square metres.

Mapletree Commercial Trust reports improved Q1 FY2022/23 results on easing Covid-19 measures
Mapletree Commercial Trust reported a 8.8 per cent increase in revenue for Q1 FY2022/23 ending Jun 30 to S$135 million from S$124.1 million a year prior. Net property income for the period also rose in tandem, up 10.1 per cent to S$106.7 million from S$96.9 million a year ago.

Starhill Global Reit sees strong recovery in sales and shopper traffic
In the current earnings season to-date, 23 S-Reits and property trusts have released their financial results or business updates for period ending Jun 30. Another 15 trusts are expected to announce between Aug 1 to Aug 12.

UOB’s Q2 earnings up 11% to S$1.1b; CEO Wee expects Asean economies to stay resilient
Fears may be brewing over possible recessions in the United States and Europe, but UOB expects the Asean economies to be relatively resilient — especially the markets where the Singapore bank has a footprint.



Readers hated my take on bank phishing scams, but here’s what they are missing
This column received a lot of negative feedback after it said on Jul 11 that Singapore banks ought to bear the losses from phishing scams. The notion that depositors should get their money back after giving away their bank credentials to unknown persons did not sit well with many readers.

ESG excellence doesn’t yet pay off for companies, but public policy can help change that
With the ESG label slapped on an endless array of financial products, and the tools for quantifying sustainability risks in financial markets limited at best, it’s no wonder ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) investing has suffered heightened scrutiny recently.

Has the shine come off ESG investments?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting spike in energy prices have not been favourable to environmental, social and governance or ESG-conscious investors – with the conflict leading to the underperformance of ESG portfolios, says Pictet Asset Management.

Flexi-work becoming more common in S’pore despite shift to living with Covid-19
Flexible work arrangements have become more common among organisations in Singapore despite the country’s transition to living with Covid-19. Many employers have chosen to continue riding the work-from-home momentum, allowing staff to operate remotely for part of the week.



US labour costs rise strongly in Q2

US consumer spending beats expectations in June; inflation accelerates

UK’s pandemic loans for businesses lost £421b so far

World’s biggest bond markets back in vogue as recession fears mount

Sydney’s home prices slide for 6th month with no relief seen

New Zealand’s borders fully open after long pandemic closure

China’s home sales slump further during mortgage boycotts

China banks may face 2.4t yuan in losses from property crisis

Dubai real estate sales surge 60% as investors, Russians snap up property

Rising rates intensify Asean’s debt burdens, but financial crisis remains unlikely: analysts

IMF downgrades Asia-Pacific forecast as shocks keep rolling

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