* Blackstone Group LP's property team in Australia has started negotiations with local and offshore banks to secure a A$2.8 billion financing package that will support its A$3.14 billion takeover offer for Investa Office Fund, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. A team of in-house specialists is believed to be handling the talks with banks that have longstanding relationships with the private equity giant.
* Alphabet Inc.'s Google Inc. wrapped up a roughly A$170 million deal with Chinese-backed developer Aqualand for the purchase of Channel Seven's headquarters and car park in Sydney's Pyrmont suburb, The Australian reported.
The CBRE-brokered deal for the properties at 6 Darling Island Road and 34-38 Pirrama Road was signed in June and is part of the technology company's plan to establish a stronghold in the city's Darling Island precinct.
Hong Kong and China
* Longfor Properties Co. Ltd. is now Longfor Group Holdings Ltd. In light of the implemented name change, the company's stock short name on the Hong Kong stock exchange will also be altered to LONGFOR GROUP from LONGFOR PPT beginning July 9.
* Meanwhile, Longfor's Chongqing Longhu Development Co. Ltd. subsidiary secured approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to conduct an offering of up to 5 billion yuan of domestic corporate bonds within 24 months after June 28.
* Lai Fung Holdings Ltd. and eSun Holdings Ltd. will not proceed with its plan to develop and operate an auto experience-themed center in the Chinese island of Hengqin for Porsche AG. The center would have been the first of its kind in the world and was slated to be launched as part of the second phase of an integrated development in Zhuhai.
* China Evergrande Group's contracted sales grew on an annual basis in the first half of 2018 to an estimated 304.18 billion yuan from 244.09 billion yuan. The increase was observed despite a year-over-year decrease in the developer's June contracted sales of 50.08 billion yuan from 61.12 billion yuan.
* Also in June, Central China Real Estate Ltd., Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. Ltd., KWG Property Holding Ltd. and Logan Property Holdings Co. Ltd. all saw year-over-year jumps in their respective contracted sales to about 12.16 billion yuan, 13.49 billion yuan, 6.81 billion yuan and 6.65 billion yuan.
* The Hong Kong government is planning to market five residential plots with a combined estimated value of HK$28 billion within the third quarter of 2018, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Development Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun. The sites to be offered are in the Hong Kong areas of The Peak, Kai Tak, Tuen Mun and Cheung Sha.
* A subsidiary of Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust agreed to sell its industrial property at 80 Hartley St. in Sydney to The Trust Co. (Australia) Ltd. for A$90.5 million. The asset includes a regional distribution facility and 2,033 square meters of office accommodation, among other features.
* EG Funds Management sold a fully leased B-grade office building in Melbourne to KHI Holdings Group for nearly A$93.9 million, reflecting a 4.65% yield, the AFR reported. The selling real estate fund manager was expecting over A$80 million when it put the 12-story 277 William Street property on the market in April.
* Knight Frank's Multihousing Tenant & Investor Survey 2018 found that the build-to-rent sector has the potential to develop and thrive as an alternative sector for accommodations in Australia.
The AFR, citing the survey of over 1,500 tenants across the country, reported that a professionally owned and operated build-to-rent or multihousing sector held by investors with access to long-term capital can provide security of tenure for the renting public.
* In a separate AFR report, Australia's tax landscape is preventing the sector from fully taking off, despite having the support of developers such as Mirvac Group and Lendlease Corp. Ltd. and even state governments.
* Malcom Tyson, managing director for industrial at Colliers International Group Inc., said landlords should prepare for a surge in demand for logistics properties that is expected to come with the anticipated boom in Australia's e-commerce sector, the AFR reported. The impending arrival of Amazon.com Inc. in the country was identified as a contributing factor to the industry's expected growth.
* A real estate investment trust sponsored by NH Investment & Securities Co. Ltd. emerged as the preferred buyer of Samsung C&T Corp.'s 32-story office tower in Seoul after it placed an approximately 740 billion-won winning bid. The South Korean REIT outbid Blackstone and Mapletree Investments Pte. Ltd. to reportedly secure a deal for the property.
* As planned, Nippon REIT Investment Corp. completed on July 3 its ¥40.20 billion acquisition of 21 residential, office and retail properties across Japan from multiple vendors.
* Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. commenced the renovation of the Otemachi office building in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, aiming to attract technology departments of large corporations as tenants, Sankei Digital Inc. reported.
In the same building, the company and Sap Japan Co. Ltd. are planning to open a business innovation space tentatively called TechLab, according to Mynavi Corp.
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Rollen Catorce and John Chan contributed to this report.
As of July 3, US$1 was equivalent to 6.64 yuan, ¥110.59 and 1,114.63 won.