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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


Charter Hall lifts trading halt after investor's exit; AXA unit buys Eureka

* and havestarted trading on the Australian bourse again after a brief following the disclosure thatinvestor Gandel Group was selling its entire holdings in the companies to focuson Vicinity Centres.

Gandelhas completed the sale of 79,164,900 Charter Hall Group securities at A$5.00apiece and 22,938,133 Charter Hall Retail units at A$4.02per unit for a divestment of about A$488.0 million.

* 's AXAInvestment Managers - Real Assets acquired Sydney-based Eureka Funds Managementin a bid to expand its real estate debt platform into Australia, IPE Real Estate reported.

HONG KONG AND CHINA

* A unit strucka deal to buy an entity that holds a 49% stake in a development project inShanghai. The residential project has a total site area of 19,959.5 squaremeters and a planned gross floor area of 54,888.625 square meters.

* Several major Chineseproperty developers, including China Evergrande Group, andCountry Garden Holdings Co.Ltd., have been involved in the practice of deviating from theircore real estate business and growing their online finance businesses instead.The developers are offering loans and other financial products to retailinvestors as a means to make revenue, diversify their business or repay debt,Bloomberg News reported,citing a report from CreditSights Inc. analysts.

* A new reportreleased by Urban Land Institute indicated that the Chinese Mainland realestate market made a strong recovery in the past 12 months as a result of thegovernment's loose monetary policy and favorable housing policies.

* Fitch Ratings said in a notethat although the Chinese economy remains heavily dependent on credit expansionto meet its GDP growth targets, a bigger share of new credit is now going tothe country's household sector, especially in the form of mortgage lending.This indirectly pushes real estate prices up further, and corporates then useinflated property prices to secure borrowing of their own, Fitch added.

* Sales of luxury villas infirst-tier cities have quadrupled in the year to August compared with the sameperiod in 2015, accordingto China Securities Journal.

* Morgan Stanley forecasts a5% increase in residential and office real estate prices and rents, but a 5%decline for retail properties in 2017, the HongKong Economic Times reported.

AUSTRALIA

* Architecture firms BVN,Grimshaw and FJMT were shortlisted by Star Entertainment Group for the finaldesign of its new A$500 million tower at its Sydney casino, The Australian Financial Review reported.Far East Consortium InternationalLtd. and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd. will be joint venturepartners on the new tower, which will include a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

* identified an approximatelyA$2.09 billion developmentpipeline for its portfolio including residential and mixed-use projects atkey shopping centers.

* Separately, MacquarieResearch upgraded GPT Group's stock to a "neutral" from"underperform" and raised its forecasts for the company's funds fromoperations for fiscal 2017 and 2018 by as much as 1.9%, the AFR reported.

* said it expects itsproject commencements in 2017 to be in excessof A$1.0 billion.

JAPAN

* SumitomoForestry Co. Ltd. will start a renovate-and-rent business in October, targetingunoccupied wooden detached houses, Tokyo's TheNikkei reported.

* Toubu Juhan Co.Ltd. will beef up its business exposure to existing homes by adding unoccupiedhouses to its housing portfolio, TheNikkei reported.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* A joint venture between LumChang Holdings and a closed-end fund of LaSalle Investment Management Asiasigned a conditional share sale deal to proceed with the purchase of The Vergemall in Little India in Singapore for S$189.8 million, The (Singapore) Business Times reported.

* According to a report fromKnight Frank LLP, Malaysia offers the best value for money for real estateinvestors across the globe, as well as the highest yields and least volatilityin the market across the Asia-Pacific region, New Straits Times reported.

TheDaily Dose Asia-Pacific, Real Estate edition is updated by 6:30 a.m. Hong Kongtime. Some external links may require a subscription. Articles and links arecorrect as of publication time.

CamNones, Jaekwon Lim and SpencerSheehan contributed to this report.