CapitaLand senior management, board members to take pay cut amid coronavirus outbreak

A portion of the compensation for the group's managerial staff in Singapore will be paid in CapitaVouchers for use in CapitaLand malls. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Property giant CapitaLand on Wednesday (Feb 26) announced a pay cut for board members and senior management as "a show of togetherness and solidarity" with stakeholders amid the virus outbreak.

Board members and senior management will take a 5 per cent to 15 per cent reduction in their board fee and base salary, with effect from April 1.

In addition, the group has also imposed a wage freeze for all staff at managerial level and above.

These measures will be reviewed after six months, or when the group's position from the Covid-19 situation has stabilised, CapitaLand said in a media statement.

To support its retail partners, a portion of the compensation for the group's managerial staff in Singapore will be paid in CapitaVouchers for use in CapitaLand malls. Some $2 million worth of vouchers will be distributed in total.

CapitaLand group chief executive Lee Chee Koon said the sudden virus outbreak has "definitely" affected the group's businesses and those of its partners and tenants, especially in China and Singapore.

While ensuring the well-being of its staff, tenants and patrons, CapitaLand will proactively manage its business, Mr Lee added. This includes giving targeted relief measures to tenants and contributing to efforts to help the community and medical staff dealing with Covid-19.

"CapitaLand will fight and ride through this difficult period together with our stakeholders," he said.

Just one day ago, CapitaLand's majority shareholder Temasek said it will implement a firm-wide wage freeze and ask its management to take a voluntary pay cut for up to a year in its compensation exercise this April.

In its compensation exercise this April, Temasek will freeze all salaries and promotion increases and partially cut annual bonuses for the senior management team this year. It also asked senior management to voluntarily reduce their base salaries by up to 5 per cent.

Singapore Airlines (SIA), meanwhile, has frozen hiring and is considering other measures, including asking staff to go on voluntary no-pay leave, The Straits Times reported. Three rounds of flight cuts, meaning fewer flying hours, are believed to have left the airline with excess manpower of more than 500 cabin crew members and around 50 pilots.

Separately, CapitaLand on Wednesday morning reported that its fourth-quarter net profit almost doubled to $926.6 million. The company also announced that it has acquired a prime freehold business park in Britain for £126.7 million ($222.4 million).

As at 11.39am on Wednesday, CapitaLand shares were trading at $3.69, down $0.03 or 0.8 per cent.

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