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China Resources closes Vanke stake sale; Cheung Kong buys back shares

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China Resources closes Vanke stake sale; Cheung Kong buys back shares

* China Vanke Co. Ltd. said China Resources Co. Ltd. and China Resources Trade Co. Ltd completed the transfer of their roughly 15.31% stake in the company to Shenzhen Metro Group Co. Ltd. through an approximately 37.17 billion-Chinese-yuan deal. China Vanke added that it still does not have a controlling shareholder or de facto controller following the share transfer.

Fitch Ratings said the transaction will not affect the developer's BBB+ rating with a stable outlook.

* Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd., year-to-date, has bought back approximately HK$1.22 billion worth of its shares in Hong Kong. The repurchases are expected to continue after the March release of the company's full-year 2016 earnings results, The (Hong Kong) Standard reported, citing analysts.

* CBRE Group Inc. expects investments in commercial real estate in the Asia-Pacific region to remain strong in 2017, due to low interest rates and favorable regional macroeconomic fundamentals over a long-term period.

* Aside from having the most expensive residential market in the world, Hong Kong is also the priciest city in Asia for expatriates to rent high-end apartments for the fifth year in a row, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an ECA International survey. Tokyo, Seoul, Yokohama in Japan, Shanghai and Beijing rounded up the top six costliest cities in the survey of more than 230 places in the world.

Hong Kong and China

* China Evergrande Group said the Hong Kong bourse granted in-principle approval for the proposed spin-off entity from its asset injection in a Shenzhen-based developer. The plan has been considered as the company's way to a backdoor listing in Shenzhen.

* Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on Wharf (Holdings) Ltd. to positive from stable, reflecting the company's improved financial profile and more stable portfolio in China.

* Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. Ltd. said Caifu Holdings Ltd. completed the redemption of US$600.0 million in 8.75% senior notes due 2020 for a total redemption price of around US$652.5 million, including accrued and unpaid interest.

* Fantasia Holdings Group Co. Ltd. completed the redemption of the outstanding balance of its US$300.0 million in 10.625% senior notes due January 2019.

* Shui On Land Ltd. said it will invest roughly 1.41 billion Chinese yuan in Hua Xia Rising (Hong Kong) Ltd., its 50/50 joint venture company with CITIC Ltd. The company plans to make the investment after Hua Xia Rising won the tender for a land parcel in Wuhan, China.

* Sunac China Holdings Ltd. increased its stake in Jinke Property Group Co. Ltd. to approximately 23.15% after it acquired 329,862,211 shares at the open market between Nov. 11, 2016, and Jan. 24 for 1.72 billion yuan.

* Luxury-home sales in first-tier Chinese cities reached nearly 20,000 units in 2016, up 44% from the year before, according to data from China E-house R&D Institute, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Australia

* The advisers for Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group, Charter Hall Retail REIT and Charter Hall Group are believed to be preparing for a speculated merger between Shopping Centres Australasia and Charter Hall Retail REIT after the release of interim results in February, The Australian reported. Analysts are divided on the viability of a business combination between the two companies, which would create a A$4.2 billion portfolio.

* Brookfield Property Partners LP is selling a 25% stake in its A$1.8 billion Wynyard Station office and retail development in Sydney, The Australian Financial Review reported. The stake may be sold for up to A$500 million.

Japan

* Mori Trust Hotel REIT Inc. will be listed Feb. 7, as planned. It is the second listing for Mori Trust Group following MORI TRUST Sogo Reit Inc. The new hotel J-REIT will hold four properties, including the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, Zaikei Shimbun reported.

Indonesia

* Frasers Centrepoint Ltd.'s Frasers Hospitality Group plans to have a portfolio of nine hotels in Jakarta by 2019. The hospitality division will launch Fraser Suites Kuningan in 2017 as its fourth property in the city with five more properties in its pipeline.

Other real estate news

* Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. is believed to be drafting an IPO plan for its education unit, Country Garden Education Group, in 2017 either in Hong Kong or the U.S., The Standard reported, citing a source privy to the company's plan. The company aims to raise approximately US$200 million under the plan.

* Fitch Ratings said Cheung Kong Property's involvement in the joint-venture acquisition of Australia-based Duet Group aligns with its plan to diversify and search for investment opportunities outside Hong Kong. The transaction will not immediately affect its A- rating with a positive outlook, according to the rating agency.

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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.

Cam Nones, John Chan and Julie Zhu contributed to this report.