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Ucommune taps Benchmark for US IPO; Oyo Hotels trims China, India workforce

* Ucommune Group Holdings Ltd. appointed Benchmark Co. LLC to be one of the underwriters for its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange following the exit of Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG due to disagreements over an achievable valuation for the Chinese co-working space provider, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The New York-based brokerage joins a syndicate of Chinese brokers for the offering after WeWork Cos. Inc.'s Beijing-based rival decided it could not pursue the offering without a U.S. investment bank.

* Oyo Hotels & Homes let go 5% of its 12,000 employees in China, while dismissing 12% of 10,000 staff in India, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Chinese employees are believed to have been let go partly because of nonperformance, while plans to shed another 1,200 staff are in place for the company's India operations over the next three to four months, one of the sources said.

The Philippines

* The Department of Finance approved the draft implementing rules and regulations for the Real Estate Investment Trust Act in the Philippines, The Philippine Star reported, citing unnamed industry sources. The country's Securities and Exchange Commission is expected issue the new rules soon, further clearing the hurdles for property companies' IPO of REIT businesses and potential investments to the sector.

* SM Prime Holdings Inc. filed an application with the Philippines' securities regulator for the potential sale of 100 billion pesos of debt securities. The developer intends to issue the first tranche of bonds under the program in February, with the offering having a principal amount of 15 billion pesos and an overallotment option of up to 5 billion pesos.

* Filinvest Development Corp.'s board approved the company's plan to issue 8 billion pesos of fixed-rate retail bonds, with an oversubscription option of up to 7 billion pesos of the same bonds. The Philippine Star reported that proceeds from the issuance will be used for the company's general corporate expenditures.

Greater China

* Sunac China Holdings Ltd. expects to raise HK$7.96 billion from its offering of 186,920,000 shares priced at HK$42.80 apiece. Through the offering, the Chinese developer aims to further enlarge its shareholders' equity base and improve its capital structure, while using the anticipated proceeds for general corporate purposes.

* Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. is offering three land parcels spanning 400,000 square feet for the construction of 2,000 homes in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported, citing the company's executive director, Adam Kwok. Kwok also denied that the land contribution were motivated by criticisms during the height of the city's social unrest that the largest developers were not doing enough to help ease the housing crisis.

* Jiayuan International Group Ltd.'s contracted sales for December 2019 increased year over year by about 63% to about 3.50 billion yuan, reflecting a contracted gross floor sales area of approximately 252,978 square meters.

* Central China Real Estate Ltd. plans to issue US$200 million of 7.25% senior notes due July 16, 2024. The proceeds from the issuance will be used to refinance existing medium- to long-term debt.

* Meanwhile, Cifi Holdings (Group) Co. Ltd. expects to net US$166.0 million from its planned issuance of US$167 million of 6.0% senior notes due July 16, 2025. Anticipated proceeds from the follow-on offering to the company's earlier issuance of US$400 million in the same note series will be used to refinance its existing debt.

Other real estate news

* The private family office of Cheung Chung Kiu, founder and chairman of C C Land Holdings Ltd., struck a £210 million agreement for the purchase of the 45-room home at 2-8a Rutland Gate in London. If pursued, the deal will set a new record for the largest-ever acquisition of a U.K. house.

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