Cute retailers and scary debts lead Asia’s real estate headlines today as Chinese novelty retailer Miniso files for a $100 million IPO on the US stock exchange.
Also in the news, China Evergrande saw its securities punished for a second straight day on Friday, after news accounts indicated that it had reported serious risks of defaulting on its debts, and Korea’s largest pension fund is betting on student housing down under.
Chinese Budget Retailer Miniso Files for $100M US IPO
Miniso Group, a Chinese discount retailer of lifestyle and household goods, filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, hoping to raise $100 million.
The funds will be used to increase the number of the Guangzhou-based firm’s outlets overseas, upgrade its warehousing and logistics networks and further improve its digitized operating systems, the retailer said. Read more>>
Korea’s NPS to Invest $300M in Australian Student Housing Fund
South Korea’s state pension fund will invest US$300 million in an Australian student housing fund as it seeks diversification and profitability in its portfolios, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.
The National Pension Service (NPS) will join AXA General Insurance, Allianz and APG, the largest pension provider in the Netherlands, as the anchor investors in the Scape Core Fund operated by student accommodation provider Scape Australia, he said. Read more>>
Evergrande Bonds Halted, Shares Pummeled
China Evergrande Group’s EGRNF 94.63% bonds and shares came under a second day of heavy selling pressure on Friday, as investor concerns grew about the large property developer’s financial health despite its attempt to calm such worries.
The company’s shares tumbled to a fresh four-month low and its dollar bonds sank to distressed levels, after a major credit-rating firm cut its outlook on Evergrande and unverified documents about the company were circulated online. Read more>>
Li Ka-shing and Son Buy $490M Worth of CK Asset, CK Hutchison
Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, is known to his admirers as “superman” for his knack for picking assets on the cheap. But that magic touch has not been working on his own companies lately.
Li and his elder son Victor Li Tsar-kuoi – who now runs the ports-to-property empire – have spent about HK$3.8 billion (US$490 million) since August last year to buy the flagging shares of CK Asset Holdings and CK Hutchison Holdings. Despite the series of purchases, CK Asset’s stock is sinking towards last March’s record low, while CK Hutchison is approaching its lowest level since a group revamp in 2015. Read more>>
Proptech Startup Kasa Korea Attracts $7.8M in Series B Funding
Kasa Korea, a property technology startup, said on Sept. 24 it has raised some 9.2 billion won ($7.8 million) in a series B funding round. The latest funding was led by the state-run Korea Development Bank.
Silicon Valley venture capitals and domestic investment firms, including Northern Light Venture Capital, and Kona I Partners, participated in the fundraising round as financial investors and interior firm Kukbo Design was involved as a strategic partner. Read more>>
Developer China Poly Cutting Jobs in Australia
Chinese state developer Poly Developments and Holdings will cut jobs at its Australian real estate arm as it moves to slow capital investments in Australia amid a coronavirus pandemic-led downturn and souring relations between the two countries.
On Thursday afternoon, Poly Australia told more than 100 employees across its offices in Sydney and Melbourne that a “substantial” number of staff will be cut by the end of the year as the company restructures to cope with the impact of Covid-19 and Australia’s first recession in nearly 30 years, according to people briefed on the decision. Read more>>
Korean Lenders Struggle with New York Hotel-Retail Project
Major South Korean lenders’ decision to invest some $100 million in a hotel and retail project at 20 Times Square in New York in 2018 has come back to bite them two years later, with the property’s foreclosure last year continuing to wreak havoc, local reports said on Sept. 24.
In 2018, French Bank Natixis syndicated to local banks KB Kookmin, Hana and NH Nonghyup – three of the five major lenders here – and other Korean institutional investors. Some combined $100 million that the three lenders offered became part of a $2 billion loan package extended to private US real estate company Maefield Development for its hotel and retail and project at 20 Times Square in New York. Read more>>
Malaysian Co-Working Space WORQ Bags $2.4M Despite Headwinds
“The delayed WeWork IPO and the COVID-19 pandemic have definitely made funding a little harder to raise than in previous rounds,” Stephanie Ping, WORQ CEO and co-founder told Vulcan Post. “Investors are much more discerning in this environment, demand solid numbers and conduct heavy due diligence on our business model.”
So, what does she attribute the success of WORQ’s MYR 10 million (USD 2.4 million) funding round to? Ping boiled it down to 4 things: WORQ’s solid financials and profitability, its sustainable business model with controlled risk, the huge market of MYR 4.4 billion (USD 1.06 billion) in Malaysia alone, and a formula for the co-working space market that finally works. Read more>>
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