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Blackstone fund tops $5B target; Singapore en bloc sale fetches S$830M


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Blackstone fund tops $5B target; Singapore en bloc sale fetches S$830M

* Blackstone Group LP's second Asian real estate-focused opportunistic fund pulled in more than its US$5 billion target at the closing of its first funding round.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia II, with a six-year investment period and a US$7 billion hard cap, attracted capital from investors including the South Dakota Investment Council, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois and the Texas Permanent School Fund, among other inverstors.

* Behind the S$906.7 million record sale of the Amber Park development, the en bloc sale of the Normanton Park development in Singapore fetched S$830.1 million when the property was snapped up by Kingsford Huray Development, The (Singapore) Business Times reported.

The transaction price is higher than the S$800 million minimum asking price for the 660,999-square-foot residential property when it was taken to the market for the second time.


* A number of analysts gave their stamp of approval to Cromwell Property Group's move to cut its shareholding ties with Investa Office Fund through a A$276 million stake sale, The Australian reported.

Citigroup Inc. and CLSA analysts agreed that the transaction is more beneficial for Cromwell, with the former noting that the stake sale was "likely less positive for IOF's shares than if the stake had been purchased by another strategic holder." Macquarie analysts, meanwhile, pointed out that even though the sale would remove some of the doubts surrounding Cromwell, there are still uncertainties around the listing of Cromwell's European real estate investment trust in Singapore.

* Fresh from undergoing a A$68 million redevelopment, the Wollongong Central mall in the Illawarra region of New South Wales was launched by GPT Group Oct. 5. Wollongong Central mall now features the refurbished Gateway Building, which includes a new format David Jones store, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Property developer Paul Little is planning to build a A$220 million apartment project in the city of Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. The Australian reported that plans for the 35-story tower include 263 units, a lap pool, a gym, shops and off-street parking.

* Oil and gas giant Chevron Corp. is scouting the Perth market for 40,000 square meters of space for its new office. The AFR reported that the Australian arm of the company, Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd., sought the help of Savills (L&P) Ltd. as it seeks a developer with whom it can sign a 25-year term leasing contract for a new build-to-suit tower.

* TH Real Estate, the real estate arm of TIAA Global Asset Management, hired CBRE Capital Advisors Inc.'s former senior director for Asia Pacific, Martin Priestley, to head a real estate debt investment business that it recently established Down Under, IPE Real Assets reported.


* Frasers Centrepoint Ltd. subsidiary FCL Treasury Pte. Ltd. is advancing its plans to redeem its 3.70% notes due 2019 and 3.80% notes due 2022, which were issued at an aggregate amount of S$75.0 million and S$50.0 million, respectively, and drawn down from its S$3.00 billion multicurrency debt program.

It comes after the company secured noteholders' approval for the extraordinary resolution concerning the redemption during the company's Oct. 4 meetings.

* Meanwhile, also joining in the city-state's en bloc sale fever are the owners of the 18-story, 61-unit Cairnhill Mansions in the prime district 9. A collective sale for the freehold development, with an asking price of S$362 million, will launch in the next few weeks, The Business Times reported.

Hong Kong and China

* Link Real Estate Investment Trust is in hot water after it allegedly rented 14,500 parking spaces to non-residents without a temporary waiver from the administrative region's Housing Authority, The (Hong Kong) Standard reported. The publication, citing FactWire, added that the action lost the authority HK$163 million in revenue.

* Hysan Development Co. Ltd. Chairman Irene Lee told Bloomberg News that Mandarin Oriental International Ltd.'s decision to call off the sale of The Excelsior hotel in Hong Kong might have been a sign that the administrative region is "having a mild reality check." Lee also said that developers needed to avoid getting "carried away," disclosing that she expects an "adjustment" or a "normalization" for Hong Kong's "quite hot" property market.

* Land Registry data cited by The Standard showed a 20.7% year-over-year fall in the number of sales and purchase deals for all building units in September. During the reporting month, residential transactions dropped by 28.1% to 5,629 compared with figures from the year prior.


* Beijing-based startup is aiming to increase its listings in Japan to 100,000 by 2019, 10x more than its current 10,000 units, Bloomberg reported. The vacation rental platform, dubbed as China's response to Airbnb, is banking on the tourism boom in Japan and the passage of a law in the country that allows homeowners to rent out space to paying guests.

* Hoshino Resort Inc. said it will launch a new brand of urban-type tourist hotel in the spring of 2018. Dubbed as Omo, it will be the company's fourth brand in the country's hotel market, Nikkei reported.


* Construction works have started on Filinvest Land Inc.'s 450-unit Studio City Tower 5 condominium development in Alabang City, Muntinlupa. The Manila Times reported that Studio City will form part of the condominium complex that the Filipino developer is building in the city.


* Chinese company OPPO Electronics Corp. is planning to construct 550 service centers across India by 2017-end.

It follows the Indian government's approval of the company's application to open retail stores in the country. The stores will offer only Oppo products. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the waiver granted to the Chinese company could also open doors for peers, including U.S.-based technology giant Apple Inc., which also has plans to set up shop in India.

* Housing sales decreased in eight major Indian cities in the quarter ended Sept. 30 to 22,699 units, down by 35% compared with the previous quarter, the Press Trust of India reported, citing PropEquity.

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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.

Rollen Catorce and John Chan contributed to this report.

As of Oct. 5, US$1 was equivalent to S$1.36.