In today’s roundup of regional news headlines, a creditor calls into question the solvency of Japanese hotel operator Unizo, Singapore home sales reach their highest level in more than two years, and the retreat of foreign banks from pricey Hong Kong office space threatens to depress rents.
Japan’s Unizo Called Insolvent by Creditor
Hong Kong-based Asia Research Capital, a creditor of Unizo Holdings, said the Japanese hotel operator is likely insolvent and that filing a bankruptcy protection would be an option to protect creditors. Unizo was not immediately available for comment.
US investor Lone Star last year beat out global buyout firms Blackstone Group and SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group to take control of Unizo. Read more>>
Singapore Home Sales Exceed Two-Year High as Curbs Loom
Singapore home sales rose to the highest in more than two years in January, with buyers rushing in amid speculation that the government may take steps to cool the market.
Sales of new private apartments soared to 1,609 last month from 1,217 in December, Urban Redevelopment Authority data showed Monday. That’s the most since July 2018, when 1,724 units were sold. Read more>>
Foreign Banks Lead Retreat from Hong Kong’s Pricey Office Market
International banks in Hong Kong are relinquishing space to bring down costs, threatening to suppress rents that are already dropping in the world’s most expensive office market.
Lenders including BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered recently decided to give up floors in their headquarters in the city. Read more>>
Hong Kong Brokerages, Developers Boost Agent Commissions for CNY
Hong Kong’s two biggest real estate agents, Midland Realty and Centaline Property Agency, are ready to hand out “lai see” money totalling HK$900,000 ($116,000) to their agents as an incentive to sell flats during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Meanwhile, Henderson Land Development will give away lai see of as much as HK$23,000 to each buyer at eight residential projects going on sale from now until the end of the month. Read more>>
China’s Tightening Measures Hurting Buyers
The runaway prices in China’s secondary home market are causing severe distress among property buyers. While authorities across all levels on the mainland have introduced stringent measures to cool the market and weed out speculators, genuine buyers say these policies are hurting them more than anyone else.
“The home prices are driving me mad,” said Franco Feng, 36, a Shanghai resident who is in the market for a three-bedroom flat. “The wild price surge has made it utterly difficult for me to own my home.” Read more>>
Hong Kong Buyers Expected to Jump on Portugal Golden Visa Deal
Portugal’s decision to extend its fast-track residency programme to include property investments in Lisbon and Porto by six months is expected to boost inquiries for homes from Hongkongers seeking permanent residency in the European country, say agents.
On Friday, Portugal pushed forward the deadline to exclude investments in Lisbon and Porto from its Golden Visa scheme from July 2021 to January 2022. The extension comes after the government in December had sought to disqualify home purchases in the two main cities and the resort region of Algarve under the scheme to cool down property prices and encourage investment in less-popular districts. Read more>>
Boss of China’s Troubled HNA Steps Down as Avolon Chairman
The chairman of Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant Avolon — HNA joint chief executive Adam Tan — has stepped down from the role to assist the reorganisation of the troubled Chinese conglomerate.
HNA is an indirect shareholder in Avolon. Bohai Leasing owns 70 percent of Avolon, while HNA owns just over 52 percent of Bohai. Read more>>
Indian Developer Three C Homes to Be Liquidated
Three C Homes Private Ltd, the Delhi-based real estate developer once sought after by multiple private equity investors, is headed for liquidation after the bankruptcy tribunal rejected a proposed resolution offer, which was less than 20 percent of the liquidation value.
The bankruptcy proceedings have been underway at the New Delhi bench of the National Company Law Tribunal since September 2019, on a plea by Arun Kumar Sinha, one of the homebuyers for the company’s Lotus City project in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. In 2011, the project was sold to over 512 homebuyers but failed to kick-start due to land disputes. Read more>>
Embassy REIT’s Net Profit Declined 15% Last Quarter
Embassy Office Park REIT on Friday reported that net profit fell 15 percent year-on-year at INR 215 crore ($29.6 million) for the October-December quarter. The firm also declared a distribution of INR 431.3 crore for the quarter.
But the company’s consolidated revenue rose to INR 596 crore in Q3 FY21 from INR 563 crore in Q2 FY21 and INR 568 crore in Q3 FY20. EBITDA was up 12 percent year-on-year to INR 508 crore in Q3 FY21. Read more>>
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