Leading today’s news roundup, the head of co-working provider Ucommune wants to take things to the next level, revealing that an IPO or buyout of China’s top flexible office firm could be on the horizon. Also in the headlines, Switzerland’s $38 billion pension fund is planning to ramp up its exposure to Asian real estate, and global asset managers Nuveen and PGIM are said to be readying their own real estate funds in the region. And a landmark warehouse asset in western Singapore is up for grabs, so keep reading to learn more.
Mao Daqing, founder and CEO of China’s most valuable co-working space start-up Ucommune, said he would consider an IPO for the firm in two or three years, with Hong Kong being a strong possibility after the city amended its listing rules to welcome more “new economy” businesses.
Mao said he has talked with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the Listing Committee of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), but did not discuss an IPO plan with them. “I want Ucommune to be independent, so IPO is certainly is an option,” he said. “But I am not against the idea of being acquired.” Read more>>
Switzerland’s largest pension fund is seeking managers for core Asian real estate mandates via IPE Quest. Publica, which runs CHF 38 billion ($38 billion) for Swiss public sector workers, plans to allocate 4% – roughly CHF 1.5 billion – of its portfolio to international real estate assets.
Within this, the pension fund plans to commit 20% to pan-Asian mandates, equivalent to roughly CHF300 million ($300.7 million). It wants to invest approximately CHF 70-100 million per investment. Publica wants to invest in multi-sector pooled funds investing across developed Asian markets. Its focus is on retail, office, residential and industrial assets, with other assets limited to 10 percent of the fund. Read more>>
US asset managers Nuveen and PGIM are developing open-ended funds focused on Asian real estate to tap rising global investor demand for core property in the region, with the former firm poised to launch its strategy any day now. Nuveen’s upcoming Asia Pacific Cities Fund (APCF) will be run by Louise Kavanagh, who joined last November as Asia-Pacific real estate head of funds management
In another indication of this rising trend, BlackRock would not rule out launching its own open-ended vehicle, said John Saunders, the US-based fund giant’s Asia-Pacific head of real estate. The firm already runs mandates and closed-ended property strategies in the region, where it has a 50-strong real estate team. Read more>>
The receivers and managers for the owner of Big Box have put up the warehouse retail mall for sale. The landmark eight-storey building in Jurong East Regional Centre is owned by Big Box Pte Ltd, a 51 percent subsidiary of struggling mainboard-listed consumer electronics retailer TT International.
Cushman & Wakefield, the exclusive marketing agent for the sale, noted that the warehouse retail scheme under which Big Box operated has expired. “With a gross floor area (GFA) of over 1.4 million square feet, Big Box is probably the largest ramp-up warehouse asset to be offered for sale in recent years,” said Mr Shaun Poh, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive director of capital markets. Read more>>
Architectural firm Hassell has won a competition to design a 1.6-kilometer elevated walkway that would transform Shenzhen’s Qianhai business district.
Dubbed the Silk Road Corridor, the winning design proposes connecting buildings and city streets in the area with a multi-level green corridor that would feature a jogging and cycling path, as well as outdoor dining areas and events venues. It would be the new “social heart” of the district — a “mixed cultural, recreational and education precinct” within a large park setting, says Dennis Ho, principal and project leader at Hassell’s office in Hong Kong. Read more>>
Nigeria has awarded a $6.68 billion contract to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for work on a major segment of a railway linking the country’s commercial hub Lagos, in the southwest, and Kano in the north, Xinhua reported.
“The signing of the … segment contract agreement today (Tuesday) concludes all outstanding segments of the Lagos-Kano rail line,” the Chinese state news agency quoted Nigeria’s transport ministry as saying. The work is expected to take two or three years. Read more>>