A pair of Softbank ventures at different stages of the venture-fueled business arc lead Mingtiandi’s collection of real estate headlines today, as the FT reports that WeWork now has more than 15,000 empty desks in Shanghai alone. That struggle in the world of shared offices has not given pause to an India-based hotel chain backed by Softbank, however, as it opens 100 new hospitality venues in Japan.
In other news around the region, a US private equity firm has exited from a debt investment in China’s Guizhou provine, while developers in Hong Kong race to put new homes on the market, hoping to cash in on a relaxation of mortgage rules in Hong Kong.
Elsewhere, a Chinese billionaire being chased down by Australian authorities over unpaid taxes has been ordered to disclose all of his assets.
China has emerged as one of WeWork’s worst performing markets as a local operation once seen as critical to the office provider’s global growth suffers from ultra-low occupancy rates and is “bleeding cash”, said people with direct knowledge of the business.
Occupancy figures recently reviewed by the Financial Times underlined the poor performance in several key cities in the country. WeWork locations in Shanghai, where it has installed 43,600 desks, had a vacancy rate of 35.7 per cent in October. In Shenzhen, where the company has 8,000 desks, 65.3 per cent were vacant, while 22.1 per cent of the group’s 8,900 desks in Hong Kong sat unfilled. The company was also expanding in central China, with multiple offices in Xian. There, it suffered a vacancy rate of 78.5 per cent. Read more>>
Indian hospitality unicorn Oyo’s Japanese arm has launched operations in over 100 hotels across the East Asian nation in a joint venture with majority investor SoftBank Group Corp, as the company looks for a path to profitability.
Softbank has been struggling to raise money for a second investment fund after the failed public offering of office-rental company WeWork – one of its marquee investments – and due to questions about the profitability of others such as Oyo and taxi aggregator Uber. Read more>>
Century Bridge closed on its investment in the $178 million, middle-income residential project in September 2018.
The joint venture encompassed the final three residential phases of an established existing project in Renhuai, China. Century Bridge has also invested in a $77 million middle-income, residential project in Xishui, China. Both investments are joint ventures with Guizhou Chuangmeng Real Estate. Read more>>
Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), a mixed-used development by Lendlease, was officially launched on Thursday.
The opening ceremony was graced by guest of honour Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, and Bruce Gosper, the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore. Read more>>
Hong Kong and mainland Chinese property developers are hoping to piggyback on strong activity in the city’s secondary market and will release more than 1,000 units in the coming weeks.
The sales of lived-in homes jumped more than threefold on the first weekend after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced a relaxation in mortgage rules on 16 October. Read more>>
Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo has been ordered to declare all of his assets – everywhere in the world – to the federal court as the Australian tax office continues to pursue him over an alleged A$140m tax bill.
In court on Thursday, Justice Jayne Jagot ordered Huang – exiled from Australia after his permanent residency was torn up by the government last year – disclose all of his assets, both in Australia and worldwide, by 11 November. Read more>>
Sasseur REIT on Thursday said that following legal proceedings and negotiations between Hefei Sasseur Commercial Management Co (Sasseur Hefei), Zhongjian Sanju No 2 Construction Engineering (ZS2) and their lawyers, the parties have reached a voluntary settlement of RMB 55 million ($8 million), which Sasseur Hefei will pay to ZS2.
Sasseur Hefei is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sasseur REIT. Read more>>