Daily property news: PropertyGuru eyeing $378m IPO in Australia, Raffles City Chongqing launched with 95 per cent committed occupancy, South-east Asia is on the brink of a new retail revolution


PropertyGuru eyeing $378m IPO in Australia: Sources
PropertyGuru Group is targeting an Australian initial public offering, which could raise up to A$400m (S$378.4m) this year. This comes as four directors – including company co-founder Jani Rautiainen, who continues to be a shareholder – retire from the board. Mr Lim is chairman of Certis Cisco and Frasers Property Australia. He serves on the board of directors of DBS Bank, and on the board of trustees of Singapore Management University, among others. Previously, he was chairman of property group Australand.

Singapore economy shows some signs of hope as trade war drags on
It may not be all doom and gloom for Singapore’s economy. Recent data and anecdotal evidence suggest gross domestic product will probably grow in Q3 after shrinking in the previous 3 months, according to economists including Chua Hak Bin at Maybank Kim Eng Research and Barnabas Gan at United Overseas Bank. Economists have slashed their 2019 growth forecasts for the export-reliant economy as the US-China trade war intensifies. Singapore’s government is projecting growth of 0 to 1% for the year.

Condo resale prices flat between July and August
Singapore resale condominium and apartment prices remain unchanged for the month of Aug, while volume of sales fell from the previous month, going by monthly figures from real estate portal SRX Property on Tue. There had been a 0.5% drop in Jul from Jun, which in turn saw a drop from the figure in May. Y-o-y, overall prices edged up 0.2% from Aug 2018. Sales volume fell 13.6%, with 751 units transacted in Aug, compared with 869 units resold in Jul.

ISPT bulks up industrial landbank
Funds management giant ISPT has bulked up its Melbourne industrial landbank, paying A$23.1m for a 40 ha site in Truganina in the city’s outer west. The 744 Boundary Road site, which was acquired from the Mifsud family. The 744 Boundary Road site, which was acquired from the Mifsud family is the second large industrial parcel bought by ISPT this year. The site is just down the road from where Frasers Property Australia paid A$27.5m for a 43ha site at 917 Boundary Road Tarneit, which it is seeking to subdivide into a new industrial estate.

Owner seeking at least S$155m for Killiney Rd freehold hotel site
A Killiney Road freehold hotel development site is up for sale via an expression of interest exercise, with the owner – private equity firm Lucrum Capital – seeking in excess of S$155m for it. Located in the Orchard Road precinct, the site has a land area of 13,148 sqft with a gross plot ratio of 2.8, and provisional permission has been obtained to rezone the site for hotel use. This means foreigners are eligible to purchase the site with no additional buyer’s stamp duty or seller’s stamp duty imposed.

Soilbuild gets maiden green loan of S$248m for Tai Seng project
Soilbuild Group Holdings has secured a S$248m green development club loan for the redevelopment of its upcoming Solaris @ Tai Seng project. The group’s first green loan will be used to build its third green mark platinum build-to-lease business space with a proposed gross floor area of 1.1 million sqft, slated for completion in 2022. Called Solaris @ Tai Seng, the business space is located within the Paya Lebar iPark precinct.

Lendlease’s new Europe boss to keep ship steady
Lendlease has taken the steady-as-she-goes option in its fast-growing business in Britain and Italy, elevating the Europe division’s chief operating officer, Neil Martin, to replace his boss Dan Labbad as the regional CEO. In picking Mr Martin, a lawyer by trade, the company has made continuity its watchword: he has been at Lendlease Europe for more than 20 years and has held a range of senior roles.

Lujiazui Group Pays RMB 9.1B for Site of Shanghai’s First Suburban Supertalls
Lujiazui Group, the largest state-owned developer in Shanghai’s Pudong district has agreed to pay RMB 9.1b (US$1.28b) to acquire a mixed-use site in the city’s Zhangjiang High Tech Park, according to an announcement last week by the Shanghai Land Exchange. Shanghai Dongyi Real Estate, a unit of Lujiazui Group, was the sole bidder for the 89,900 sqm (967,675 sqft) site at a government land sale last week, agreeing to pay the equivalent of RMB 17,829 psm of gross floor area for its latest Pudong prize.

KE Group builds partnership with Plug and Play with eye on smart cities project
Thai property firm KE Group has announced a strategic partnership with Plug and Play, a global innovation platform, as the group aims to climb aboard the new smart cities programme in Thailand. Through the partnership, KE Group intends to leverage Plug and Play’s global ecosystem to identify the latest cutting-edge technologies to drive innovation across its business units.

Australia records highest score in 2019 GRESB assessment
Australia has maintained its top ranking in the 2019 GRESB Real Estate Assessment for the 9th year running, while also achieving the highest score to date to set a new world record. Frasers Property Australia was named the overall global sector leader and received additional commendations across the retail, office and diversified portfolio categories. Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust was also the global sector leader for Industrial – Listed.

Keppel Land and BDO’s mixed-use project opens in Manila
Singapore President Halimah Yacob, who is currently on her first state visit to the Philippines, on Tue attended a ceremony to mark the opening of The Podium, an office and retail mixed-use development in Manila. Keppel Land CEO Tan Swee Yiow, who was at the event together with Keppel Corporation chairman Lee Boon Yang and CEO Loh Chin Hua, described The Podium as a “landmark eco-icon” in the Ortigas central business district.

Bangkok 86th in most expensive prime office rents: CBRE report
Bangkok ranked 86th in terms of the most expensive prime office rents at 1,208 psm per month. The race to attract talent by securing the most desirable work environments also remains intense. Due to limited supply and moderate construction in most cities, prime office occupancy costs have risen to new highs.

Raffles City Chongqing launched with 95 per cent committed occupancy
CapitaLand announced on Mon that its shopping mall Raffles City Chongqing in China saw over 900,000 visitors during its opening weekend, following its launch on Sep 6. The 235,000 sqm shopping mall, with 95% committed occupancy, is the first component of the integrated Raffles City development which spans 1.12 million sqm altogether. It is slated as the largest mall to open in Chongqing this year, with about 40% of its over 400 international and local brands considered new-to-market brands, flagships or new concepts.

Q2 sees record low condo sales rate
The sales rate for new condos launched in Bangkok in the second quarter fell to historic lows as loan-to-value (LTV) limits, a weak economy and stronger baht dampened demand, according to property consultant Knight Frank Thailand. According to Knight Frank’s market research, Bangkok hit a decade-long record for new condos entering the market, with 65,000 new units launched throughout 2018, up 11% from 2017, the highest since 2009.

Provide more five-star services if you want to survive, condo developers told
Property developers must provide more amenities in new condominium projects to meet consumers’ demands, said Frank Khan, executive director and head of residential projects at Knight Frank Thailand. He advised developers launching new projects to pay heed to real customers’ voiced preferences and develop their condominiums accordingly if they want to maintain their competitive advantage. “Providing special alternative units and lifestyle functions will turn buyers’ attention to the condominium market,” he said. Khan also added that some developers are also starting new trends by providing more sports facilities, common spaces, services and technology.

SGX August securities daily value up 12% to $1.2 bil on heightened volatility
The month of Aug saw 24.4% increase in total derivatives traded volume, according to Singapore Exchange monthly release of market statistics. Global REIT indices generated gains amid the lower interest rates, and Singapore was no exception. 2 REITS have been rewarded with key index inclusion from 23 Sep – Mapletree Commercial Trust will join the STI, while Frasers Centrepoint Trust will be part of the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate Index Series (Global Developed Index).

Aman, Nai Lert team up to develop luxury hotel, residences
Real estate and hospitality firm Nai Lert Group is making an entry into the ultra-luxury segment with its upcoming “mixed-use” project Aman Nai Lert Bangkok, the company announced in a statement on Tue. Hotel and resort brand Aman has signed a long-term partnership with Nai Lert to manage a hotel and branded residences under a long-term leasehold ownership. This will be Aman’s first resort and residences in Bangkok, and its second in Thailand after Amanpuri in Phuket.

Head of OCBC’s China unit resigns to join CapitaLand
The head of OCBC’s China unit Kng Hwee Tin has resigned after more than 3 decades with the bank to join CapitaLand as chief executive officer, finance and corporate services, China, effective Oct 1. In her new post, Ms Kng will be based in Shanghai and report to Andrew Lim, group chief financial officer, as well as Lucas Loh, president, CapitaLand (China).

Sri panwa takes hotels to Hainan
Sri panwa Management is expanding to Hainan to capitalise on Chinese tourists. Managing director of Sri panwa Management, said Chinese tourists the next 2 years will not travel abroad as the escalating trade war with the US is dampening their purchasing power because the yuan has lost value.

Shopping mall landlords feel the cooling winds of rent decline
Shopping centre owners are under increasing pressure from falling rents as they grapple with the slow retail sales and the need to offer higher incentives to attract popular and internet-proof tenants. The 21st survey was conducted in Jul 2019 across 74 JLL-managed shopping centres nationally. The fall in rental growth is affecting major landlords, including Scentre, the owner and manager of Westfield malls, and Vicinity.

South-east Asia is on the brink of a new retail revolution
Tech industry stakeholders like to harp on the percentage of all retail sales that e-commerce accounts for year-on-year. Unless referring to the United States, where the Census Bureau says it’s around 11%, or China, where eMarketer believes it’s now a whopping 35.3%, this is usually a low single-digit number. South-east Asia is no exception. E-commerce accounted for 8% of total retail sales in Indonesia in 2018. The shift is being powered by the changing behaviour of tech-savvy shoppers who are now willing to spend more for convenience, according to a recent study by Morgan Stanley.

Mt Elizabeth serviced apartment block for sale
A freehold serviced apartment block at No 2 Mount Elizabeth Link has been put up for sale via tender with an indicative price of S$230m. The 22-storey tower block comprises 72 apartment units with sizes ranging from 760 sqft to 7,135 sqft. It sits on a regular plot with a land area of about 35,385 sqft and has a total GFA of about 104,375 sqft. This translates to a plot ratio of 2.95, which exceeds the plot ratio of 2.8 designated under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014. It is currently leased and operating as Fraser Residence Singapore, one of the brands under global hospitality operator Frasers Hospitality Pte Ltd.

Decathlon moving into old Metro store at Singapore’s The Centrepoint
After 5 years at The Centrepoint, Metro Department Store will shutter its flagship next month. However, Frasers Property has since confirmed that sports-goods retailer Decathlon will take over at least part of the Metro space, scheduled to open in the first part of next year once fitout is complete.

‘No complacency’: Australia leads GRESB sustainable property rankings The Australian property industry has vowed to double down on sustainability, as companies such as Lendlease and Frasers dominate the world’s leading environmental, social, and governance benchmark. “We’re not resting on our laurels. Our ambition to be zero carbon in development and operation by 2028 requires ongoing commitment, innovation and powerful partnerships,” she said. Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust was also the global sector leader for Industrial – Listed.

China Yuanbang eyes property deals with loans to firms worth 172m yuan
China Yuanbang Property Holdings said it had loaned a combined 172.1m yuan (S$33.3m) to two companies at 16% per annum interest in order to eventually participate in their property development projects. China Yuanbang’s directors said the loan to Jiadi Xindu was within the group’s ordinary course of business and does not require shareholders’ approval.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust raises stake in Waterway Point to 40%
Frasers Centrepoint Trust, the developer-sponsored retail REIT, has raised its stake in Waterway Point, the suburban retail mall located at 83 Punggol Central, to 40% from 33⅓%. This comes after Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management last Friday signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement with vendor Sekisui House to acquire a further 6⅔% of Sapphire Star Trust which currently holds the retail units in the retail mall.

Condo buyers go for pricier, larger units in Q2
Big ticket private homes seemed to be gaining popularity, with the proportion of both new and resale units priced above S$3m seeing increases. For Q2, new sales were up 30.6% at 2,246 units, from 1,720 units a year ago. The proportion of new units priced above S$3m rose to 5% with 112 units sold, up from 3% in Q1with 52 units sold.

SGReit goes shopping for Isetan’s share of Wisma Atria
YTL’s Starhill Global Reit (SGReit) has made a direct overture to acquire Isetan Singapore’s share of Wisma Atria, a prime leasehold property smack in the heart of Orchard Road, says a source. As it stands, SGReit owns about 74% of the Wisma Atria property’s total share value of strata lots, with the remaining owned by Isetan Singapore, which is also listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Ascott Business Trust established, following proposed combination of Ascott Residence Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust
Ascott Reit Manager announced the establishment of Ascott Business Trust (Ascott BT), in a filing to the Singapore Exchange late on Mon. This follows an earlier announcement in Jul on the proposed combination of Ascott Residence Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTRUST) by way of a trust scheme of arrangement for an aggregate consideration of S$1.0868 for each A-HTRUST stapled unit, comprising S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT stapled units.

Lendlease joins forces with sovereign fund to sell Brisbane tower
One of Brisbane’s landmark towers, 66 Eagle Street, is now on the market in its entirety after Lendlease followed the lead of its co-owner, one of the world’s largest sovereign funds, in deciding to offload its 50% stake. In Jun, The Australian Financial Review revealed the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) had decided to sell its half stake in 66 Eagle Street – formerly Central Plaza 2 – a 30-floor building with a net lettable area of 35,000 sqm. But the Financial Review can reveal that Lendlease’s high-performance office fund, the Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial, has now joined ADIA in moving to sell its half stake in the building.

Mirvac, Stockland and Frasers eye Maribyrnong defence site
Housing and development heavyweights Mirvac, Stockland and Frasers Property Australia have emerged as 3 of the 8 shortlisted groups contesting for the purchase of the massive Maribyrnong Defence Site in Melbourne, according to market sources. The groups were called into a briefing last week by the appointed consultants overseeing the sale. It is understood there will be changes to the masterplan that will be released by the end of Oct.

‘People don’t want to live in a studio on their own’: Co-living goes mainstream in Sydney
Co-living – residing in small studios with large shared community facilities – is about to hit the mainstream, with a major Australian developer announcing plans to build their first major block of homes. Other developers are now thought to be also looking at the proposition, to see if it’s something they too would be interested in pursuing. At Frasers Property Australia, it’s thought that co-living is also being evaluated to see if there are any opportunities for that kind of product.

Lendlease excites over urban renewal
Lendlease shares jumped 11% on the day last month that Australia’s best-known developer called an end to the housing downturn. Since then, they’ve gained a further 13% to A$16.91, lifting the company that also builds and invests in buildings within cooee of the A$19.50 they traded at a year ago. In contrast to the half-year results in Feb that revealed a A$1b slump in revenue and a two-third cut in dividend, Lendlease’s latest public disclosures were much more comforting.

Marriott International to debut its first hotel in Australia’s capital city this fall
Marriott International announced it has signed an agreement with Iconic Hotels to open its first-ever hotel in Canberra, Australia’s capital city and home to leading museums and universities. Midnight Hotel, part of Geocon’s US$200m residential and commercial development in Braddon, central Canberra, will open in September as an Autograph Collection hotel.

SPH records revaluation gain of £22.8m on UK accommodation portfolio
Singaproe Press Holdings (SPH) has recorded a revaluation gain of 6.7% or 22.8m pounds (S$38.4m) on its purpose-built student accommodation portfolio in the UK. On the back of further investments, the portfolio grew to 338.4m pounds, comprising 5,059 beds across 10 cities in the UK. As at Aug 31, real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield has valued the portfolio at 361.2m pounds, giving rise to a revaluation gain of 22.8m pounds.

UK GDP grows in July, suggesting economy will avoid recession for now
Britain’s economy expanded in Jul at the fastest pace since Jan, easing recession fears, although the longer-term trend remained weak. GDP grew 0.3%, beating economists’ forecasts for a 0.1% rise, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. However, in the 3 months to Jul, economic output was flat. Economists welcomed the monthly rise, saying Britain will probably avoid a recession after a surprise economic contraction in 2Q.

Fortunes diverge for property stocks
The latest reporting season has revealed sharp differences across the listed property sector with fund managers enjoying strong conditions even as the outlook deteriorates for retail landlords, according to Citi. The property stocks with funds management businesses surprised on the upside – Charter Hall, Goodman, Lendlease and Dexus – City analysts wrote in a note to clients summing up the Aug reporting season.

Thai-Chinese property joins hands with Aplan Properties in the launch of Radisson Phuket Mai Khao Beach
Thai-Chinese Property Holdings joins hands with Aplan Properties in the launch of an upscale property Radisson Phuket Mai Khao Beach, located on one of Phuket’s most sensational beaches, Mai Khao Beach. Under the Radisson brand, this property will introduce a world-class property into this dynamic destination, delivering world-class service, and enabling travellers as well as investors to benefit from the group’s global distribution reach.

Singapore firms can tap EU expertise in urban sustainability
Keppel Corporation unit Keppel Seghers houses its engineering centre in a cosy former brewery in Belgium, while its Singapore team oversees operations and project management aspects of the company’s waste-to-energy, water reuse, desalination, and wastewater treatment projects. Moves such as the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) could facilitate other Singapore firms who are looking at opportunities in Europe, said Keppel Seghers.