Most of the region takes a day off on Friday but Asia’s real estate deal makers have been logging long hours before the holiday with those bright sparks at Blackstone putting the current crisis to good use by picking up a slice of James Packer’s Crown Resorts from Sydney Ho’s Melco as casinos around the region remain shuttered.
In the bond markets, Wharf REIC became the first Hong Kong issuer to float new paper since COVID-19 began threatening to throttle the city, and further north, lines for the lift at mainland office buildings are getting a bit shorter as workplace vacancy rises to an average of 15 percent across the country’s first tier cities. Read on for all these stories and more.
Private equity company Blackstone Group Inc bought a near 10% stake in Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd from Macau’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd, sending Crown shares soaring amid hopes of a buyout.
The deal accomplishes Melco’s plan to exit its Crown holdings as casino companies around the world rein in spending to cope with a shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Crown disclosed the deal in a market filing on Wednesday.
Blackstone’s purchase makes the private equity investor the second-largest holder in Crown after the company’s billionaire founder James Packer. Read more>>
Wharf Real Estate Investment Company (Wharf REIC), rated A2 (stable) by Moody’s, received strong demand for a US$750m dual-tranche Reg S bond offering with final books of over US$7.6bn, leading the charge in the reopening of the bond market for Hong Kong issuers.
The deal was the first from a Hong Kong company since the Asian bond market largely shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The previous transaction was Hysan Development’s US$850m perpetual on February 25. Read more>>
Office rents continue to be battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and vacancy rates are on the rise in mainland China. A record number of offices have been left empty in the country’s four largest commercial hubs, while rents have declined for six consecutive quarters.
Office vacancy rates in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen rose to 15 per cent on average – the highest level on record – in the first quarter, according to data from the China Real Estate Information Corporation (CRIC). Read more>>
The Covid-19 outbreak has thrown a spanner in the works of Hong Kong’s property industry. The delivery of at least 1,900 homes to buyers will be delayed, while some developers risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars in booking sales, as the pandemic disrupts construction activity in the city due to supply shocks and a slow down in government approvals.
The completion date for Wheelock Properties’ Malibu project in Lohas Park, Emperor International’s Seaside Castle in Tuen Mun and a joint venture development between Chevalier Group and Urban Renewal Authority in Kowloon, have been postponed between two and six months. Read more>>
Cache Logistics Trust has been renamed as ARA Logos Logistics Trust (Alog), with the change in trading name being implemented from 30 April. The real estate investment trust’s moniker on the Singapore bourse will be switched from Cache Log Trust to ARA Logos Log Tr at 9am. Its K2LU stock code remains unchanged.
The rebranding also involves the manager, ARA Trust Management (Cache), being renamed ARA Logos Logistics Trust Management. Last month, ARA Asset Management announced that it had completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Logos. Read more>>
JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) has been ranked as the top foreign fund manager in China, overtaking Swiss and US competitors, UBS and Invesco.European firms accounted for the 47% of the top 25 rankings, compiled by Z-Ben Adivsors, with the US taking 42% of the share.
Three Asian firms feature in the top 25. They include Korea’s Mirae Asset and Japan’s Nomura, which marks its debut on the list. Hong Kong’s Value Partners is the only Asian firm to feature in the top 10. Read more>>
Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust (FLT) has been renamed Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust (FLCT), following the S$1.58 billion merger between Frasers’ logistics and commercial real estate investment trusts (Reits).
The new name is in line with its broadened investment mandate that comprises logistics, industrial, commercial and business park properties, its manager said in a press statement on Wednesday. Read More>>
China Vanke Co Ltd posted double-digit profit growth despite a moderate decrease in revenue during the first quarter amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Shenzhen and Hong Kong dual-listed real estate giant, which is positioning itself as a city and town developer and service provider, said revenue fell 1.2 percent between January and March from same period a year earlier to 47.77 billion yuan (US$6.73 billion). Net profit attributable to equity shareholders, however, amounted to 1.25 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 11.5 percent, according to a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange late Monday. Read More>>