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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


Sun Hung Kai makes record land bid; Westfield buyout's day of 2 approvals

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of Asia-Pacific real estate news stories and more published throughout the week.

Money in real estate

* Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. reinforced its status as the biggest Hong Kong-based developer by market cap by winning the 50-year land grant for the most expensive land parcel in the city. It placed an estimated HK$25.16 billion offer for the roughly 16,556-square-meter site in Kowloon to the government, and now is planning a landmark residential and commercial scheme on the site.

* Distressed properties in China are getting relief from a US$1 billion fund that will be launched by Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. and Gaw Capital Partners.

* Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC made two partners this week: with Frasers Property Ltd., it is investing US$177 million on co-working space provider JustCo as it tries to expand in Asia; and with asset manager Nova, it is launching a roughly 4.30 billion-yuan rental apartment platform in China.

Merlion properties

* The red-hot collective sales fervor in Singapore, which has not only spilled over to prime areas from the suburbs but seems to have also come to Hong Kong, made several headlines this week, with more on the way.

According to The (Singapore) Business Times, 27 residential sites and one industrial site have been sold year-to-date through en-bloc sales. The S$8.7 billion worth of sales recorded has already surpassed the S$8.7 billion recorded in full-year 2017, with 2018 not even hitting the midway point yet.

* On top of this week's list of sold properties is Stirling Land Holdings Pte. Ltd.'s roughly S$1.21 billion winning bid for a mixed-use site along the city-state's Holland Road.

* Next is the approximately S$1.04 billion sale of another mixed-use land plot on Silat Avenue to a consortium of UOL Venture Investments Pte. Ltd., UIC Homes Pte. Ltd and Kheng Leong Co. (Pte.) Ltd.

* Finally, owners of the 136-apartment Chancery Court estate in the prime Dunearn Road area sold the property for about S$401.8 million, 6% more than its reserve price of S$390 million.

Mergers beyond borders

* Unibail-Rodamco SE on May 17 received the approval from its shareholders and the Australian stock exchange in relation to its near-closing US$15.68 billion takeover of Westfield Corp. If the ASX-listed's security holders follow the lead of the French company at a May 24 meeting, the buyout will create one of the world's biggest retail landlords with a €61.1 billion market cap and end Westfield's nearly six-decade stint as a listed company.

* In another cross border merger deal, French hotelier AccorHotels is a step closer to closing its acquisition of Australia's Mantra Group Ltd., as the latter's shareholders voted in favor of the A$3.96-per-share offer.

* A Frasers Property joint venture closed its tender offer for Ticon Industrial Connection PCL May 17 with an 89.46% stake in the target. The mandatory offer for the Thai company was launched in April and cost the Singaporean developer nearly 7.36 billion baht.

Featured this week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Analysts project bright prospects for Sun Hung Kai's HK$25B land acquisition

Celestyn Wong contributed to this report.

As of May 17, US$1 was equivalent to 6.37 yuan, S$1.34 and 32.12 baht.