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Hongkong Land profit drops; WeWork China gets US$500M; KBS mulls US$1B REIT IPO

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Hongkong Land profit drops; WeWork China gets US$500M; KBS mulls US$1B REIT IPO

* Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd.'s underlying profit attributable to shareholders for the six months ended June 30 decreased 3% on an annual basis to US$455.0 million from US$470.0 million. The developer attributed the decline to the timing of sales completions in mainland China.

* WeWork Cos. secured US$500 million from investors led by Trustbridge Partners, Temasek, SoftBank Group Corp., SoftBank Vision Fund and Hony Capital for the expansion of its local arm in China.

SoftBank and Hony were also part of the group that invested US$500 million to launch WeWork China in July 2017.

* KBS Realty Advisors LLC is said to be considering a US$1 billion IPO in what could be its second real estate investment trust listing in Singapore. At least 15 commercial properties in the city-state will reportedly be seeded to the REIT if the U.S.-based private equity firm pursues the plan.

* Keppel Corp. Ltd.'s asset management arm, Keppel Capital Holdings Pte. Ltd., and MindChamps PreSchool Ltd. are planning to establish an education real estate fund with a S$200 million initial target. Upon its formation, the planned Keppel MindChamps Education Real Estate Fund will invest in preschool and early-learning real estate properties in the Asia-Pacific region that will be on long-term leases to MindChamps or its affiliates.

Hong Kong and China

* Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd.'s Perennial HC Holdings Pte. Ltd. won the tender for a 2.7 billion-yuan integrated development in China. The US$1.2 billion vehicle will pay 718 million yuan for the project that will include hospitals, elderly care facilities, as well as hospitality and retail components.

* China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. will start accepting tenders for six mansions in its development project at 62 Begonia Road, Sing Tao Daily reported. The four- to five-bed mansions are of 3,273 square feet to 4,414 square feet. The developer will launch another site in the Kowloon Peak later in the year.

* Gemdale Properties and Investment Corp. Ltd. is expecting its profit attributable to owners of the company to grow by at least 40% for the first six months of 2018. The significant increase in the sales of Gemdale's properties and the impact of Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standard 15 were credited for the positive profit forecast.

* Victor Li Tsar-kuoi, chairman of CK Infrastructure Holdings Ltd., was cited by The (Hong Kong) Standard as saying that the company is considering a pipeline of potential purchases, including of a large-scale project in Australia. The disclosure comes after the Hong Kong-listed company reported a 5% year-over-year hike in its net profit for the first half of 2018 to HK$5.94 billion.

* China Aoyuan Property Group Ltd. is planning to issue US$175.0 million of 6.35% senior notes due Jan. 11, 2020. The notes will be consolidated with the company's US$250.0 million offering in the same note series from Jan. 11, 2017.

* Pansy Ho Chiu-king, daughter of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho, is understood to have paid HK$900 million for a mansion in Hong Kong's The Peak, the South China Morning Post reported. The acquired 5,579-square-foot property includes a private pool and a garden that spans 7,489 square feet, the paper added, citing property records.


* Blackstone Group LP and Embassy Group reportedly tapped Bank of America Corp., Morgan Stanley, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Axis Bank Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC and JM Financial Ltd. for the planned US$1 billion IPO of Embassy Office Parks.

Embassy Office is aiming to become India's first real estate investment trust and will list while owning a portfolio that counts Microsoft Corp. and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC as tenants.


* Japan Retail Fund Investment Corp. entered into a ¥13.50 billion agreement with an unnamed buyer for the sale of the Ito-Yokado Kawasaki office and retail building in Kanagawa. Completion of the transaction is expected by Aug. 1.

* MCUBS MidCity Investment Corp. is borrowing ¥15.30 billion from a syndicate of lenders to repay debt of the same amount that will mature July 31.

* Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. launched a new high-end apartment brand called Park Wellstate, targeting wealthy senior citizens, the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported.


* Dexus CEO Darren Steinberg said the growth of Australian office markets, particularly in Sydney, will likely continue through the next two years, buoyed by heavy demand from investors and rising rents, The Australian reported.

Steinberg added that a replay of the global financial crisis strife is unlikely because of how capitalized listed groups are and considering "that there are some deep-pocketed unlisted investors" looking to enter the market, as evidenced by Blackstone's A$3.14 billion takeover of Investa Office Fund.

* Lantern Hotel Group has completed its termination of Lantern Real Estate Trust, which was one of the entities it resolved to wind down as part of a strategy to simplify its operations.


* CapitaLand Ltd.'s The Ascott Ltd. is boosting its presence in the Philippines through an agreement with Cebu Landmasters Inc. that will give it management control over 1,600 serviced residence units across the country by 2022.

Separately, The Ascott signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Finance Corp. to pilot a green building certification for serviced residences as part of the latter's Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies system. Under the deal, the co-signees will jointly source properties that will be developed to the system's standards.

Other real estate news

* Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust is buying 12 logistics properties in the U.K. for about £207.3 million to mark its first purchase in Europe. The targeted portfolio comprises freehold and 999-year leasehold sites across the country and spans a total gross internal area of 242,633 square meters.

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Rollen Catorce, Emily Lai and Jaekwon Lim contributed to this report.

As of July 26, US$1 was equivalent to 6.79 yuan, ¥111.08 and S$1.36.