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Gaw Capital forms US$1B fund for distressed RE; China Resources inks HK$15B loan

* Private equity firm Gaw Capital confirmed with China Money Network that it and Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd.'s Shenzhen Paladin Asset Management subsidiary are forming a special situations funds. The US$1 billion platform will be used for investments in distressed property projects in the mainland.

* A syndicate of banks agreed to lend China Resources Land Ltd. HK$14.80 billion. The term loan has a five-year term that commences on the first drawdown on the facility.

Hong Kong and China

* Less than a month after it was launched, the HK$20 billion Victoria Dockside redevelopment project in Hong Kong set a record for the highest rent in the Kowloon area. Owners of the waterfront scheme secured two tenants to occupy over 10,000 square feet at the K11 Atelier grade A office building for HK$120 per square foot, according to a release.

New World Development Co. Ltd. Executive Vice Chairman and General Manager Adrian Cheng is the founder of K11.

* Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. logged a HK$1.1 billion payday by the end of May 12, thanks to the over 26x oversubscribed sales launch of 188 units at its Mount Regency residential development in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, CEO of Midland Realty's residential division, was quoted by the paper as saying that the high interest in the sold-out project is due to it having small flats and more affordable prices, among other reasons.

* China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development recently told tier-2 city officials to "bear 'political awareness' in mind" and refrain from easing property market controls in their respective jurisdictions, the SCMP reported, citing Xinhua News Agency. Some of the officials called in were from Chengdu, Taiyuan, Xian, Harbin, Kunming and Guiyang.

According to the SCMP, the meeting might be a sign that the central government is unsure of the effectiveness of current measures aimed at keeping home prices in China affordable.

* In Hong Kong, government economist Andrew Wu was reported by The (Hong Kong) Standard as saying that home prices in March topped the 1997 peak by 113%. The economist added that the housing affordability ratio fell to 71% in the first quarter, while home rents inched up 1% in the period.

* British property developer Select Property Group Ltd. is opening its first ever branch in Hong Kong to expand in the region and into mainland China, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported. The move is expected to answer local investors' demand for properties in the U.K.

Australia

* Charter Hall Group received a thumbs up from JPMorgan analysts, according to The Australian Financial Review, in light of the recent buzz that it is the preferred buyer of an A$850 million 50% interest in Westpac Place. The analysts raised their price target for the Australian developer to A$6.90 and retained its overweight rating.

The half-stake in the Sydney office building is being sold by Blackstone Group LP.

* Investors in the residential property market accounted for 34.1% of all loans secured in the country in March, the lowest level since January 2012 and a 9.0% decline on the month, according to government data. Economists cited by The Australian said investors' waning confidence in major markets like Sydney is to blame for what the paper says is an "alarming drop" in housing investors lending.

* Investa researchers expect vacancies in the central business districts of Sydney and Melbourne to be nearing cyclical lows, the AFR reported. Investa expects the vacancy rates in the office market in Melbourne to reach 4.4% by 2018-end and Sydney's to hit 3.5% at its lowest and to 3.75% in 2019.

Japan

* A Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. subsidiary started work on a two-level residential project in Kurihira, Asao Ward, Kawasaki City. Tokyu Homes Corp. is building the scheme that is expected to be completed by the end of August, Tokyo's Kentsu Shinbunsha reported.

Singapore

* Keppel REIT said Kang Leng Hui is replacing Kelvin Chow Chung Yip as CFO of its manager. The outgoing CFO of the office landlord's manager will vacate the post June 9.

* The 35-year-old Peak Court freehold residential site on Thomson Road was sold via an en-bloc sale to the TSRC Novena joint venture for nearly S$118.9 million, The (Singapore) Business Times reported. The 57,378-square-foot site has 20 maisonette units and could be redeveloped to house a 106-unit apartment complex.

* Speaking of collective sales, Colliers International found that 15 residential developments have been sold through the strategy, with the year-to-date total reaching S$4.44 billion in the core central region of the city-state, The Business Times reported. The number, expected to further increase, has already surpassed the 2017 total of S$1.05 billion.

Overall, residential collective sales in the country has reached at least S$8.2 billion, the report added.

Thailand

* WHA Corp. PCL said nine industrial estates have been certified by Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor management committee as special industrial zones, the Bangkok Post reported.

* Knight Frank Thailand Research, as cited by the Bangkok Post, found that the number of condominiums in the Thai capital increased 19% year over year in 2017 and that in the first quarter, about 55% of the 12,563 new condominiums launched in the market were sold. The real estate consultancy firm attributed the strong interest in the market to rail expansions and buyers' increasing focus on convenience.

India

* The New Delhi Municipal Council is auctioning off three premium hotels in Delhi, the Press Trust of India reported. The e-auction for Taj Mansingh, The Connaught and Hotel Asian International will run from May 15 to June 7.

* Ascendas India Trust is buying two buildings in the Aurum Platz IT Park mixed-use development in Navi Mumbai. The forward purchase agreement will be carried out by the Indian trust through a 5.01 billion-rupee debenture subscription in the co-developer of the properties and by later on buying the co-developer for 9.30 billion rupees, maximum.

* Colliers International data showed first-quarter office space demand in the country jumped 23% on the year, The Economic Times of India reported. Meanwhile, rents in 10 top micromarkets in the country also increased partly attributed to the limited supply of grade A office space.

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 and John Chan contributed to this report.

As of May 11, US$1 was equivalent to S$1.34 and 67.45 Indian rupees.