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Essential IR Insights Newsletter - February 2023

Mapletree in US$1.1B deal with Prologis; Thailand's biggest mall set to open

* Singapore's Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. was revealed as the buyer of a 16.5 million-square-foot logistics portfolio from industrial real estate investment trust Prologis Inc. in a US$1.1 billion deal. The properties are spread across the U.S. and Europe, in markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Paris, Warsaw and Germany, among other markets.

* Real estate developer Siam Piwat Co.Ltd. is expected to open Thailand's biggest shopping mall Iconsiam on Nov. 9 in Bangkok. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the developer's partners on the US$1.6 billion, 520,000-square-meter project, which will also feature high-rise condominiums, include Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd. and Magnolia Quality Development Corp., the publication noted.

Hong Kong and China

* China Aoyuan Property Group Ltd. logged accumulated unaudited contracted sales of about 61.04 billion yuan for January to September, a 137% year-over-year increase. For September, the company's unaudited contracted sales jumped 93% year-over-year to 7.88 billion yuan.

* Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd.'s shares have tumbled 46% from January, despite more than US$125 million in share buybacks, Bloomberg News reported. The slump follows China's efforts to rein in the country's property market, a slowdown in sales, and accidents at the real estate developer's project sites, the news outlet noted.

* China Vanke Co. Ltd.'s wholly owned unit Vanke Property (Hong Kong) is hoping to entice buyers of its LePont project in Tuen Mun with a lower mortgage rate, as Hong Kong developers try to attract investors amid increasing interest rates, trade tensions between the U.S. and China and stock market instability, the South China Morning Post reported.

According to the report, Kowloon Development Co. Ltd. is also mulling bigger mortgage loans for its planned residential development in Yau Tong, the One East Coast project.


* Australian REIT Dexus is looking to close on a stake purchase in specialist funds manager Heathley Ltd., as the company looks to expand its exposure in the healthcare property sector. Heathley is the external manager of Heathley Healthcare REIT, which plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange, with Dexus as cornerstone investor.

* AMP Capital Investors Ltd.'s Skytower, the largest building in Brisbane, is facing an exodus from buyers, as they look to offload their apartments at up to 10% discounts, The Australian Financial Review reported. The developer recently threatened legal action against valuation specialists after they valued apartments in the property at up to 25% lower than their original value.

* Dropping 27% from the national peak in April 2014, new home sales continued their slide, recording a 2.9% month-on-month drop in August, the AFR reported, citing a Housing Industry Association monthly report. According to the report, New South Wales was the worst-hit state with a 7.3% decline.


* Mitsubishi Jisho Residence Co. Ltd., Obayashi-Shinseiwa Real Estate Co. Ltd. and Tokyu Land Corp. are jointly developing a condominium called The Park House Shibuya Nanpeidai located in Shibuya ward, Tokyo, with a total of 100 units. The site area is about 3,352 square meters with 10 levels above ground and one level underground, R.E. Port reported.

* Overseas investment fueled the first land price increase in Japan in 27 years, with a 0.1% year-over-year climb logged in July, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. Foreign companies bought more than ¥1.3 trillion in Japanese real estate in 2017, beating the previous record of ¥1.2 trillion in 2014, the report added.

South Korea

* South Korean real estate fund manager IGIS Asset Management Co. Ltd. is looking to invest in local real estate opportunities and has set up a 400 billion won value-add fund. The IPO hopeful is eyeing investments in office, retail, mixed-use and logistics assets in the three business districts in Seoul, other Greater Seoul submarkets and other major metropolitan cities in South Korea.


* Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. subsidiary Oriental Hotels Ltd. received 1.2 billion rupees from the sale of the Taj Gateway Hotel on the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam to The Varun Group, The Hindu reported.

Other real estate news

* Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust closed its purchase of a portfolio of 26 logistics properties in the U.K. for about £253.3 million, subject to post-completion adjustments.

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.