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Daiwa House plans ¥66B China project; Indian bank, IFC target $800M for housing

* Japanese company Daiwa House Industry Co. Ltd., fresh from reporting a 23.4% year-over-year increase in its nine-month attributable income, unveiled a ¥66 billion plan to develop 1,700 condominium units in Nantong, China, under a joint venture agreement with Chinese construction company Baoye Group Co. Ltd., the Nikkei Asian Review reported. Middle-class and wealthy buyers are the target customers of the project, which is slated for an early 2021 completion.

* PNB Housing Finance Ltd., the residential arm of Punjab National Bank, is aiming to raise US$800 million for the development of green and affordable housing across India under a partnership with World Bank Group's International Finance Corp., or IFC, Livemint.com reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The source added that IFC is eyeing another US$150 million from two other housing finance firms and real estate developers to support the Indian government's housing initiative.

* In a separate report, PNB is said to be mulling the sale of its real estate assets in a bid to raise as much as 80 billion Indian rupees to cover the liability that resulted from US$1.77 billion of fraudulent transactions in one of its branches in Mumbai. Among the assets reportedly considered for sale is a roughly 50 billion-Indian-rupee office property in New Delhi.

Australia

* Scentre Group CEO Peter Allen said Unibail-Rodamco SE's US$15.68 billion acquisition of Westfield Corp. will not affect the listed landlord for 39 shopping centers of Westfield's A$47 billion portfolio in Australia and New Zealand.

Allen, speaking ahead of a meeting with Unibail-Rodamco CEO Christophe Cuvillier, was also reported by The Australian as saying that the Lowy family, who controls Westfield, committed to retaining a stake in Scentre amid Westfield's merger with the French retail giant.

* Diversified portfolio manager Barana Group Pty. Ltd. took to market a hotel development site in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda with a A$100 million price tag, The Australian Financial Review reported. The site is home to the eight-level Novotel St Kilda, which was acquired by the Sydney-based group in 2012 from Tourism Asset Holdings Ltd. for A$55 million.

* Charter Hall Retail REIT slightly changed its earnings guidance for fiscal year 2018, expecting its operating earnings to be between 30.40 Australian cents and 30.60 cents per unit.

Japan

* Diversified real estate investment trust MCUBS MidCity Investment Corp. completed its purchase of two of the four properties in Tokyo that it agreed to buy under a roughly ¥23.21 billion agreement that it signed in January. Officially acquired, as planned, are the USC Building in Koto-ku and the Yoshiyasu Kanda Building in Chiyoda-ku, following the Japanese company's payment of ¥5.80 billion and ¥4.00 billion, respectively.

The acquisition settlement for the two remaining commercial assets under the deal is scheduled March 1, the company said earlier.

* ORIX Asset Management Corp., the manager of ORIX JREIT Inc. extended the company's ¥5.0 billion commitment line with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. until Feb. 24, 2020, from its original maturation date of Feb. 24, 2019.

* In a separate news release, ORIX JREIT announced that it is borrowing ¥2.00 billion from The Hiroshima Bank Ltd. for the repayment of long-term loans of the same amount that will expire Feb. 21.

India

* DLF Ltd. is looking to sell 150.00 billion rupees of ready-to-move-in housing units over the next three to four years. India's Mint reported that achieving the target sales figure is part of the developer's strategy to sell properties that are completed or already in an advanced stage of completion instead of straight from a plan.

* Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. is turning its back on a strategy that will see it exit its sub-brands such as Vivanta in favor of its luxury brand Taj, India's Mint reported, citing the hospitality company's CEO, Puneet Chhatwal. Chhatwal was cited by the publication as disclosing that the company is still planning to exit its Gateway and President brands but formulated a different game plan that focuses on the growth of its Taj, Vivanta and Ginger brands.

Hong Kong and China

* Thomas Lam Tat-man, general manager of the Number One sales department at Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd. subsidiary Henderson Property Agency Ltd., warned that home prices in Hong Kong could rise by another 10% in 2018 following a 14% gain observed in the prior year, the South China Morning Post reported. Lam is basing his prediction on the increase in land prices as observed in the sale of government land tenders more than 20 months ago.

* China's Ministry of Commerce said foreign investment in the country amounted to 69.51 billion yuan in January, marking an increase for the third straight month, Sina News reported.

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 Feb. 16, US$1 was equivalent to 64.34 Indian rupees and ¥106.01.