News of one of Hong Kong’s biggest landlords failing to pay his rent leads Mingtiandi’s roundup of Asia real estate headlines today with the news that the owner of a shopping centre in Holland has launched court proceedings against personal care retailer AS Watson, which is owned by property tycoon Li Ka-shing.
In other news around the region, a mainland developer’s first quarter sales tumbled despite a March rebound, while a real estate mogul has been put under investigation by Beijing after criticising its handling of the pandemic, and a major property agency predicts big trouble for , property prices in one Asia financial hub are expected to take a nosedive this year.
A shopping centre owner in the small Dutch city of Dordrecht is threatening to bankrupt AS Watson, the biggest health and beauty products retailer in the world, over an unpaid €9,000 ($9,772) rent bill.
Pieter van Loon, who owns around 30 shops in Dordrecht, has launched a case against the European arm of AS Watson, which also owns Superdrug and posted revenues of more than €10 billion in 2019. The company is a key asset in Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s global business empire. Mr van Loon has launched court proceedings to have the company declared bankrupt on the basis that its subsidiary, perfume shop ICI Paris XL, has withheld rent payments for April from 155 Dutch landlords. The total withheld from Mr van Loon is €9,474.72. Read more>>
WeWork is suing SoftBank for abandoning a $3 billion share buyout and accusing the Japanese company of inventing reasons to back out of the plan, as financial pressure mounts and the Covid-19 pandemic worsens.
The tender offer was part of a rescue package agreed to late last year, when WeWork’s botched IPO left it teetering on the edge of insolvency — until SoftBank stepped in with the bailout, worth roughly $10 billion at the time. Read more>>
Ren Zhiqiang, the former Chinese property tycoon and outspoken critic of the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, is under investigation for alleged “serious violations of law and discipline”, the Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog announced.
In a short statement released on Tuesday, the Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing said that Ren – a member of China’s ruling Communist Party and a former top executive of state-controlled property developer Huayuan Real Estate Group – was under investigation. Read more>>
Investment activity at Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be put on hold to conserve cash, while the interim dividend will also be cut in view of the challenging outlook caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The company made the announcements on Tuesday as it reported a 9.3 percent fall in half-year net profit. Read more>>
Since real estate group CapitaLand reopened its sales offices across China progressively in March, it has seen residential sales in the month exceed RMB 1.3 billion ($263 million), more than 5.5 times the sales value of January and February combined.
On March 24, CapitaLand launched its La Botanica township in Xi’an. All 288 units for sale were sold out within four days of the launch. The gross sales value of the launch was about RMB 405 million. Read more>>
Mainland developer China Overseas Land and Investment posted its first-quarter contracted sales fell 11.7 percent year-on-year to RMB 59.7 billion($7.7 billion) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The total gross floor area sold during the quarter fell 10.6 percent to 3.31 million square metres. In March, China Overseas’ contracted property sales rose 7 percent to RMB 26.8 billion, with corresponding GFA sold rising 11.8 percent to 1.5 million square metres. Read more>>
While many of the country’s largest property players have gone to ground given the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, a Japanese group is forging ahead with the acquisition of a Melbourne office building.
The property at 200 Victoria Street in Carlton has been offloaded by Australian Unity’s diversified property fund for A$72 million – a 20 per cent premium to its last book value – trading on a yield of just under 5 per cent. Read more>>