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SPH Reit commits to fully pass on property tax rebate to tenants

IN a bid to alleviate Covid-19's impact on businesses, SPH Reit (real estate investment trust) said on Thursday that it will fully pass on its property tax rebate to its tenants "in a targeted manner".

This comes as Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Thursday that qualifying commercial properties will pay no property tax in 2020, and businesses in other non-residential properties will get a rebate of 30 per cent. 

"SPH Reit will pass on fully the property tax rebate received from the Singapore government for its Singapore assets to qualifying tenants adversely impacted by Covid-19," it said in its statement.

SPH Reit manager's board of directors will be taking a 10 per cent cut of directors' fees. Chief executive officer of SPH Reit Susan Leng will also take a pay cut of 10 per cent; other senior staff will take pay cuts of 5 per cent. The cuts will be effective from next month and be reviewed at the end of the year.

The manager of SPH Reit is wholly owned by Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Business Times.

SPH Reit aims to finalise the details of the the enhanced tenants rebate scheme by April and to proactively engage the tenants after that. 

It also said that it may consider granting further rental rebates as retail and F&B businesses at malls are expected to be further hit by the stricter measures being rolled out, such as the closure of bars and entertainment venues. 

Said Ms Leng: “The evolution of Covid-19 and the impact across the globe is unprecedented. The priority is for each of us to play our role to fight the spike in Covid-19. As we endeavour to manage and operate our malls in a safe environment, we ask that each of us, in our respective capacity, exercise consideration and respect for the community.”