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Blackstone, 11 others vie for Link assets; Future Land privatization blocked

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Blackstone, 11 others vie for Link assets; Future Land privatization blocked

* Approximately 12 bidders are believed to be in the running to become the next owner of Link Real Estate Investment Trust's portfolio of 17 shopping centers in Hong Kong, which could fetch an estimated HK$20 billion. Among the competitors for the retail assets in Hong Kong's New Territories are Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co. LP, CITIC and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

* Shareholders of Future Land Development Holdings Ltd. rejected a roughly HK$5.12 billion offer of privatization by the company's controlling shareholder, Wealth Zone Hong Kong Investments Ltd., during a court meeting held Oct. 17. The developer's shares resume trading on the Hong Kong bourse Oct. 18.

* Lendlease Corp. Ltd. is forming a joint venture with SoftBank Group Corp. with aims of developing and owning at least US$5 billion worth of telecom infrastructure assets in the U.S. Under the joint venture, the partners will each invest US$200 million for the funding of identified seed assets comprising roughly 8,000 rooftops and other telecom sites.

Lendlease also said it divested a 25% stake in its A$1.7 billion retirement village portfolio to APG Asset Management NV for an undisclosed amount.

* Hong Kong topped Swiss private bank Julius Baer Group's annual ranking of the most expensive metropolises in Asia, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The administrative region, one of the world's most expensive property markets, leads Shanghai and Singapore in the ranking.

Hong Kong and China

* Beijing-based condominium manager China Young Professionals Apartment Management Ltd.'s proposed US$270 million offering of asset-backed securities to retail investors was given the go-ahead by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal reported. It is the first housing rental quasi-real estate investment trust to be approved in China.

* Listed developers CK Asset Holdings Ltd. and Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. are on track for record-breaking residential property sales having sold a combined HK$70.6 billion of properties in the first nine months of 2017, already surpassing the HK$53.1 billion recorded in 2016 and the HK$74.5 billion logged in 2010, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Centaline Property Agency.

Centaline also found, according to the publication, that new-home sales in Hong Kong are expected to shatter records, poised to reach an all-time high of HK$250 billion in full-year 2017. In the nine months ended September, 14,299 new flats worth an estimated HK$185.69 billion have been snapped up in the administrative region, marking the best sales figure to have been recorded since 2004.

* Swire Properties Ltd. is planning to relaunch its co-working space blueprint at Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, which offers six months of free workspace and mentorship support to 10 eligible startups. The (Hong Kong) Standard reported that the blueprint, devised in 2015, is part of the company's HK$15 billion redevelopment project.

* Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. signed agreements with various banks and financial institutions for four-year, dual-tranche transferable term loan facilities amounting to about HK$2.45 billion and US$935 million.

* Hangzhou Binjiang Real Estate Group Co. Ltd. agreed to acquire a 50% interest in a 1.5 billion-yuan development site, Reuters reported, citing a Chinese release.

* Hopson Development Holdings Ltd.'s contracted sales for the nine months ended Sept. 30 amounted to nearly 6.03 billion yuan, down 19.9% from the roughly 7.52 billion yuan recorded in the year-ago period.

* Fitch Ratings placed its B+ long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating and senior unsecured rating for LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Co. Ltd. on rating watch with negative implications. The action, which comes on the back of a HK$9 billion property transaction, is based on a forecast that the company's leverage will increase by more than 45% from 2018 if nothing is changed in LVGEM's business plan.

* Meanwhile, Moody's said its B2 corporate family rating on LVGEM is unaffected by its Gemstones International Ltd. subsidiary's proposed tap bond offering to an existing US$225 million of senior notes due 2020.

The rating agency recently changed its outlook on the company to negative from stable.

Singapore

* Global Logistic Properties Ltd. issued 1.0 billion yuan in 4.99% five-year term bonds on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and China's interbank market, with proceeds earmarked for the repayment of the company's existing debt and for its expansion in China.

* Singaporean developer Chip Eng Seng is buying the freehold Changi Garden residential and retail complex in Singapore for S$248.8 million, representing a 27% premium to the site's S$196 million asking price.

* Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority announced plans to build approximately 19,000 housing units in the burgeoning neighborhoods of Kampong Bugis, Holland Plain and Bayshore. According to The (Singapore) Business Times, the agency is also requesting public feedback on the plans, which will feature a comprehensive network of walkways and cycling paths, in line with its car-lite vision.

Australia

* Stockland CEO Mark Steinert was quoted by The Australian as expressing support for the recently announced plans of the Australian federal government to tackle housing affordability problems. He pointed out, though, that even with a "very effective funding mechanism" in place, Australia is still facing land supply shortage.

Steinert also talked about the growing build-to-rent sector in Australia, noting that the company, unlike peers Mirvac Group and Grocon Pty. Ltd., will not be diving into the sector due to low returns.

* Nissan Australia sold for roughly A$35 million its 11.4-hectare headquarters in Melbourne's southeast to a syndicate of local investors, The Australian Financial Review reported. In light of the sale, the car manufacturer will transfer its spare parts business to new facilities being developed by Frasers Centrepoint Ltd.'s local unit, Frasers Property Australia Pty. Ltd.

Japan

* Daiwa House Industry Co. Ltd. will set up a new subsidiary that will operate rental housing properties to earn rental income on behalf of owners under trust contracts, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

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The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific, Real Estate edition is updated by 6:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription. Articles and links are correct as of publication time.

Cam Nones, Emily Lai and Jaekwon Lim contributed to this report.

As of Oct. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 6.62 Chinese yuan and S$1.36.