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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


Lendlease's catch and release; fishing for Merlion money

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of Asia-Pacific real estate news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Lendlease's catch and release

* Lendlease Corp. Ltd. caught a wave to return to Australia's booming aged-care property market, securing a partnership with nonprofit operator Catholic Healthcare. It is also said that Lendlease has secured 756 out of the 9,911 residential places approved by the Australian government for aged-care villages.

Meanwhile, other sources said the multinational construction and property company is set to release a 50% stake in its retirement living portfolio at home in Australia. Suitors identified for the A$1 billion stake, with bidding to start June 20, are Blackstone Group LP's real estate arm, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Cindat Capital Management.

In February, Lendlease hired Morgan Stanley to advise on introducing capital partners into its A$1.5 billion business.

Fishing for Merlion money

* Singaporean heavyweight Global Logistic Properties Ltd. instructed the short-listed parties participating in its strategic review to finalize their proposals by June 30.

* The property arm of Aspial Corp. Ltd. priced an IPO of 136 million shares at 26 Singaporean cents apiece to raise S$35.4 million. World Class Global — which operates in the Australian cities of Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne, and in Penang in Malaysia — expects to debut on the city-state's bourse June 15.

* Singaporean investor Rockworth Capital Partners is looking to buy the tallest office building in Melbourne's St Kilda Road precinct for at least A$90 million.

* TrustCapital Advisors, a fund manager from the city-state, is tipped to be selling five of its six office buildings in Australia for about A$650 million.

Smooth sailing

* After some resistance from its target, which it appeased with a higher offer, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT closed its takeover of Generation Healthcare REIT June 8 at 7 p.m. Sydney time. NorthWest will now launch a mandatory acquisition of all the remaining shares it does not own in Generation Healthcare.

As of June 7, NorthWest held a 91.45% interest in the Australian healthcare trust.

* After pushback from several major cities with resistance coming from governments and accommodation providers, Airbnb has seen the light at the end of the tunnel in Japan. The country's upper house passed a legislative bill to allow private homeowners to rent out their living spaces to guests with one caveat — the limit is 180 nights annually. The allowance is significantly more generous than the limits cities like London and Amsterdam have in place, at 90 and 60 nights a year, respectively.

Elsewhere in the region, not everyone seems to be welcoming the accommodation arrangement website with such open arms. AccorHotels is forging on with its plan to compete with Airbnb, by opening an additional 200 lifestyle hotels globally. The traditional hotelier will be adding new services such as local guides and bicycle rentals for guests to avail, much like what its crowdsourcing competitor already offers.

Flowing in capital markets

* China Evergrande Group expects to clear all of its outstanding perpetual capital instruments by the end of June. It has so far this week redeemed 80.56 billion yuan, with 28.8 billion yuan more to go.

Later, it also launched an offering to exchange four standing series of senior unsecured notes with three new U.S. dollar-denominated senior notes due 2021, 2023 and 2025.

* On June 7, shares of China Vanke Co. Ltd. halted trading in the Hong Kong bourse after substantial shareholder Shenzhen Metro Group Co. Ltd. said it is considering buying more shares of the developer.

* In Japan, Nomura Real Estate Master Fund secured a ¥40 billion commitment line, while Activia Properties Inc. entered into agreements for ¥24 billion of loans with four banks, split equally between a commitment line and a non-committed credit line.

Testing the waters

* The real estate private equity arm of financial services company China Everbright Ltd. is testing market appetite for real estate in China with a new fund, with its sights set on US$2 billion for a single project.

* CapitaLand Ltd. will explore other property classes in Japan as it seeks to double its assets under management in the country to S$5 billion from S$2.5 billion.

Featured this week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Hires and Fires Asia-Pacific: Real Estate moves through June 6: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of recent significant management and board changes and personnel moves in the Asia-Pacific real estate industry.

Celestyn Wong contributed to this report.