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Chinese developer gears up for IPO; WeWork eyeing India biz stake in US$1B deal

* Chinese real estate developer Helenbergh China is looking to raise between US$500 million and US$700 million in a Hong Kong IPO, with plans to launch the pre-marketing of the public float as early as February.

* New York-headquartered coworking giant WeWork Cos. Inc. is in talks to buy back a stake of at least 51% in its Indian business in a potential US$1 billion deal.

WeWork and its co-founder, Adam Neumann, are set to meet with an Indian real estate tycoon and his team to discuss terms of a possible purchase in late January, as the company looks to purchase back the stake before the 2021 expiry of the licensing deal.


* Private investor Cheong Sim Lam purchased the 20-story Ascott Raffles Place Singapore at 2 Finlayson Green from Ascott Residence Trust for S$353.3 million.

* Flash estimates from real estate portal SRX Property reveal a 0.2% fall in rents for condominiums and private apartments month on month in December 2018, The (Singapore) Business Times reported. Rents in the month were off their January 2013 peak by 19.8%, although they did record a 0.1% climb from December 2017 on an annual basis.

China and Taiwan

* State-owned Gemdale Properties and Investment Corp. Ltd. reached a partnership with WeWork to build a developers' community in Shenzhen, China, Guandian reported. The hub is expected to launch in the second half of the year as WeWork's third coworking space in the city.

* China's Haikou city imposed new restrictions on home sales Jan. 9, weeks after three cities relaxed their housing policies in an effort to spur the local property market, the South China Morning Post reported. Residents who moved to the city after April 22, 2018, cannot purchase more than one home and companies are restricted from buying homes in the city, the report noted, citing Shanghai Securities News.

* JLL said office rents in Taipei could increase 3% on an annual basis in 2019, following a 2.9% hike in 2018, as robust demand from the technology and financial sectors is expected to remain strong, Taipei Times reported. Brian Liu, JLL associate market director, said the year could see just 4,000 ping of upscale offices added to the market, with rates expected to hit NT$2,800 per ping as vacancy rates drop to 4%.


* Indian conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd. said it will invest 12.00 billion rupees to build a housing project in Delhi, marking its entry into the market, The Economic Times of India reported. A US$200 million platform established by Shapoorji Pallonji, ADB, IFC, and Actis will develop the Joyville Gurugram project that will sit on 18 acres on Dwarka Expressway.

* Citing property consultant Knight Frank, Bloomberg News reported a 6.8% dip in Mumbai home prices in 2018, following a 5% decrease in 2017, as cautious buyers expecting future declines pushed down residential property prices in the financial capital of the country. The fall in Mumbai's residential prices for the year was the worst recorded among eight cities in the country.


* Germany-based Patrizia Immobilien AG purchased the operations of Kenzo Capital Corp., a Tokyo-based real estate advisory and asset management firm, in a bid to bring European investment opportunities to Japanese investors and vice-versa.

* Nomura Real Estate Development Co. Ltd. will purchase UHM Co. Ltd., the operator of Hotel Niwa Tokyo, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. UHM currently operates two hotels in Tokyo.

* Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. will discontinue the operation of IMS shopping mall in the city of Fukuoka in fiscal 2021 to build a new building as part of the city's Tenjin Big Bang urban redevelopment project in a downtown area. Construction will start in fiscal 2022 to replace the existing 14-story shopping mall, which opened in 1989.

Other real estate news

* The Birmingham City Council named Australia's LendLease Group as the preferred development partner for a £1.5 billion redevelopment project that is expected to include more than 2,000 homes.

The 17-hectare Birmingham Smithfield site overhaul is a part of the city's 2010 plan to grow the city center by more than 25% under a 25-year vision.

* China's HNA Group Co. Ltd. closed on its disposal of a 90% stake in 850 Third Ave. in Manhattan, N.Y., amid both domestic and U.S. pressure.

The 21-story property's proximity to Trump Tower heightened national security concerns. HNA and its partners paid $463 million for the asset in 2016.

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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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.

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