China’s outbound clampdown continues to dominate the headlines this week as the country’s top insurance regulator pours cold water on a recent report that it pressured Anbang Group to sell off its overseas assets. Meanwhile the government’s drive to curb overseas deal-making may have been driven in part by a study of Japan’s 1990s economic bust. In other news, Hong Kong’s Wheelock is getting ready to start selling apartments in Kai Tak, and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is in talks for a stake in the owner of India’s first Four Seasons hotel. Read on for all these stories and more.
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) denied Bloomberg’s report that it had pressed Anbang Group to dispose of its offshore assets including New York’s landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel to repatriate the sales proceeds. There was “no related demand, plan or arrangement” to do so, the regulator said during a Thursday press briefing in Beijing.
A day earlier, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) chimed in to say that it actively supports banks and companies engaged in “real and compliant” businesses to use their onshore assets as collateral for offshore loans, rebutting Bloomberg’s Tuesday report that quoted unnamed sources saying SAFE was scrutinising the borrowing practice. Read more>>
The government of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has emerged as the frontrunner and is in advanced talks to buy up to 50 per cent stake in Provenance Land, which owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel and an under-construction luxury development in Worli, said three persons familiar with the development.
GIC is set to enter into a binding agreement with Provenance Land over the next few days. Deal valuations and exact quantum will be negotiated over the next few weeks following this agreement. “The exact quantum of stake sale is yet to be negotiated but the promoter family (Jatias) may sell anywhere between 26 per cent and 49 per cent in Provenance Land. The deal is estimated to value the company at Rs 2,000 crore [$314.4 million],” said one of the persons mentioned above. Read more>>
President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser commissioned a study earlier this year to see how China could avoid the fate of Japan’s epic bust in the 1990s and decades of stagnation that followed.
The report covered a wide range of topics, from the Plaza Accord on currency to a real-estate bubble to demographics that made Japan the oldest population in Asia, according to a person familiar with the matter who has seen the report. While details are scarce, the person revealed one key recommendation that policy makers have since implemented: The need to curtail a global buying spree by some of the nation’s biggest private companies. Read more>>
Cheung Kong Property Holdings, controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, has reported a 14 per cent increase in core profits for the first half year, driven by strong property sales and gains from its newly acquired businesses in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
“The group has utilised HK$7 billion (US$895 million) in share buy-backs in the first half to reflect the underlying value of the company, which signifies its confidence in its long term growth prospects,” Li said in the company statement. Read more>>
RMZ, one of India’s largest office space developers, is in talks with Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and existing shareholder Qatar Investment Authority to raise about $1 billion to expand its asset portfolio through acquisitions.
The aggressive capital raising programme is key to the Bengaluru-headquartered group’s plans to increase its office rental business to 60 million sq ft in the next five years, from 21 million sq ft currently, RMZ MD (executive management) Thirumal Govindraj told TOI. While existing sovereign investor Qatar may be topping up its $600-million exposure, RMZ is in ongoing discussions to bring in CPPIB as a new investor. Read more>>
Wheelock & Co yesterday said that it expects to start selling flats at its 10 Muk Ling project in Kai Tak from the third quarter of this year. The company is currently awaiting approval of the pre-sale consent for the project which will provide 648 apartments.
Wheelock said that it will also launch by the end of the year the sale of flats in the fifth phase of Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O. It will provide about 1,600 one-bedroom to four-bedroom flats. The firm and Nan Fung Group have so far sold this year three houses at their joint venture Mount Nicholson project at the Peak. Read more>>
Mainland Chinese are snapping up more properties in Thailand for both personal and investment purposes, after being priced out of the market in big cities at home, developers in the Southeast Asian country said on Wednesday.
With its beaches, varied street food and ancient temples, Thailand has become a holiday favorite with Chinese visitors, who are expected to account for close to a third of an estimated record 35 million tourists this year. Read more>>