It may be Thanksgiving in the US today, but some of those in the real estate industry outside of America won’t be giving thanks on this Thursday. James Packer is reeling after Chinese authorities arrested three of his employees while smaller developers in mainland China could soon be feeling the pinch and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group has had to turn some of its stores in China into logistics hubs. Keep reading for today’s headlines.
The Chinese authorities have formally arrested three Australian employees of the casino operator Crown Resorts who had been detained in mid-October in an investigation into the promotion of gambling in China.
The three, who were not named in a short news release on Wednesday by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, were detained along with 15 other Crown Resorts employees after police raids in China on Oct. 13 and 14. In China, the police can hold people in custody without placing them under arrest or filing charges. Read more>>
The increasingly draconian land acquisition rules being applied in mainland China’s largest cities are pushing most small developers out of business and driving larger ones to acquire land via alternative channels, say industry experts. After many Chinese developers turned their back on the oversupplied lower-tier cities they pinned their hopes on first and second-tier cities but found that the going got surprisingly tough.
Last week’s land sales in Beijing was a case in point – competition was so intense that of the four parcels put up for sale, only one found a winning bidder. Developers were so desperate to acquire land in the nation’s capital that they promised to hold all of the land indefinitely for rent only, in violation of their basic “build fast, sell fast” business model. Read more>>
The Chinese government’s successive cooling measures since the end of September are likely to put an end to the phenomenal sales growth of property developers, while refinancing risks will escalate from 2018 onwards, S&P Global Ratings said.
In a report titled “The party may be over for developers”, the global credit rating agency expects contracted sales value to slide by 5 to 10 per cent in 2017, a reversal from 20 per cent growth it forecasts for 2016, as government measures will likely curb investment and home upgrader demand, and lead to fewer transactions. However, it does not expect home prices to fall next year. Read more>>
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, one of the largest publicly listed jewelry chain in the world, has found a new way to make better use of its struggling stores in China at a time of dwindling foot traffic: turning them into logistics hubs for handling e-commerce orders.
The Hong Kong-listed jeweler said on Tuesday it was collaborating with popular e-commerce channels, including Tmall operated by Alibaba Group Holding, to receive online orders so that some 2,100 of its physical stores across mainland China could become logistics points to facilitate delivery. Read more>>
With Britain trying to hammer out the terms of its exit from the European Union and banks considering their options on the continent, is this the best time to start building a new financial district in London? China thinks so.
Four of the country’s biggest banks this month agreed to finance the first stage of a 1.7 billion-pound ($2.12 billion) transformation of an old East End dock into a hub for Asian businesses. To the west of the site near London City Airport, the towers of Canary Wharf stand as a reminder of how ambitious projects in the U.K. capital can remain white elephants for years before turning into cash cows. Read more>>
Walt Disney Co. is turning to “Frozen” and “The Avengers” to revive its Hong Kong Disneyland theme park. The company on Tuesday unveiled plans for a US$1.4 billion expansion plan for the park–its smallest. New attractions are set to open nearly each year from 2018 to 2023, including “Frozen” and Marvel Comics-themed areas, a larger, remodeled castle and a new entertainment venue.
The total number of attractions would rise to more than 130 from 110 once the upgrade is complete. Disney will put up US$657 million for the expansion project, while the Hong Kong government, which has a 53% stake in the park, will contribute US$747 million in the form of cash equity injection. Read more>>
Tune in again tomorrow for more news, and be sure to follow @Mingtiandi on Twitter for headlines as they happen.