Leading today’s roundup of regional news headlines, Hong Kong records its second land-sale flop of the year after a Kowloon East redevelopment site attracts a lone bid.
URA Withdraws Kwun Tong Land Sale That Drew Only One Bid
The Urban Renewal Authority rejected a tender for a plot of land in Kwun Tong — the second withdrawal of a land sale in Hong Kong this year — as developers’ appetite for new projects remains suppressed amid weak market sentiment.
Property market watchers had anticipated the withdrawal, given that the government received only one bid for the 25,595 square metre (275,502 square foot) site. Read more>>
Hong Kong’s Central Bank Raises Interest Rate After Fed Hike
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority raised its base rate charged through the overnight discount window by 25 basis points to 5 percent on Thursday, hours after the US Federal Reserve delivered a rate hike of the same margin.
Hong Kong’s monetary policy moves in lockstep with the United States, as the city’s currency is pegged to the greenback in a tight range of 7.75-7.85 per dollar. Read more>>
HK Borrowing Costs Keep Falling Even as Benchmark Rate Rises
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s 25-basis-point rate hike is likely to have little immediate impact on the real cost of borrowing, which has almost halved in the past two months.
Plentiful liquidity and still-weak demand for loans means banks aren’t under pressure to follow suit. The one-month Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate has fallen to 2.66 percent from a 15-year high of 5.08 percent in early December. HIBOR represents a daily average of what banks say they would charge to lend each other. Read more>>
Keppel Profit Slumps on China Lockdown, Real Estate Woes
Singapore’s Keppel Corp posted a steeper-than-expected drop in annual profit on Thursday, hurt by its urban development unit, but forecast that China’s easing market conditions and policy support to the real estate sector would boost market sentiment.
The conglomerate, which traces its roots to a small ship repair yard corporatised in 1968, said its urban development unit took a hit from slower home sales and lower contributions from its China trading projects, as well as lower fair value gains from investment properties. Read more>>
Foreign Investors Beat Challenge to Their Priority in Oceanwide L.A. Project
A group of foreign investors who poured $140 million into a now-stalled mega development in downtown Los Angeles beat an attempt by unpaid contractors on the project to get priority over their senior claim.
California Superior Court Judge William Highberger at a hearing Wednesday agreed with the investors that construction on the Oceanwide Plaza project hadn’t started yet on 20 July 2015 when they recorded the deed of trust for their loan. Read more>>
Realtors Expect High Profits as More Foreign Investors Flock to Vietnam
Vietnam’s Kinh Bac City Group owned by Dang Thanh Tam received good news at the beginning of the new year: it got a licence for Singaporean Ingrasys’s Fulian precision technology factory project in Quang Chau industrial zone in Bac Giang. This was the first project licensed in 2023 in the northern province.
Fulian, covering an area of 49.6 hectares (122.6 acres), will manufacture electronic components, computers and high-tech telecom equipment. Read more>>
Japan to Ease Requirements to Rent Out Private Lodging
The central government will soon make it easier for people to rent out “minpaku”, which are vacant apartments or rooms in houses, to travellers and vacationers.
It aims to relax the requirements to gain approval to run a private lodging business in the hopes that lowering the barrier to entry will help boost availability in rural areas. Read more>>
Allianz Quits Melbourne Central for Charter Hall-GIC JV
Charter Hall has secured another tenant at its premium-grade 555 Collins Street office, replacing Enterprize House.
Allianz has committed to five floors — levels 24 to 28 — comprising 6,500 square metres (69,965 square feet) or about 14 percent of the building. Read more>>
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