In today’s edition of our regional news roundup, Singapore real estate website PropertyGuru mulls a US listing via merger with a SPAC, private equity bigfoot Blackstone takes steps to reopen its regional office in Seoul, and regulatory filings show that Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman profited handsomely in 2020 despite the COVID-19 crisis.
PropertyGuru Weighs US Listing Via SPAC
PropertyGuru, the Singaporean online real estate firm backed by private equity players KKR and TPG Capital, is considering a US listing through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is working with a financial adviser on the potential deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. PropertyGuru’s management is holding preliminary talks with several SPACs and aims to strike a deal as early as this year, the people said. Read more>>
Korea’s KIC Linked to Reopening of Blackstone’s Seoul Office
Blackstone Group reportedly hired a law firm recently to start the procedure of reopening its Seoul office by the end of this year, according to a media report and sources.
This comes seven years after the US private equity firm closed its regional office in Seoul in 2014. Its local PR agency, Access Communications and Consulting, said Blackstone declined to comment on the matter. Read more>>
Blackstone CEO Schwarzman Took Home $610.5M in 2020
Blackstone Group chief executive Stephen Schwarzman pocketed at least $610.5 million in 2020 from dividends and compensation, more than any other private equity executive and up 20 percent from last year despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory filings showed.
The majority of the windfall stemmed from Schwarzman’s 19.3 percent stake in Blackstone. Its distributable earnings jumped 16 percent year-over-year in 2020 as the world’s largest manager of alternative assets such as real estate and private equity capitalised on the capital market’s rally after the Federal Reserve’s moves to support the US economy during the pandemic. Read more>>
Bain Capital Set for Further Expansion in Korea
Bain Capital is accelerating its investments in the Korean market with the aim of scaling up its Seoul office that opened two years ago in Cheongdam-dong, according to media reports and industry sources.
The world’s 10th-largest private equity firm, based in Boston, became the second-largest shareholder of Douzone Bizon recently by acquiring a 4.77 percent stake in the Korean software company for KRW 165 billion ($146 million). Read more>>
PE Firms Are Feasting on China’s $5.5B Logistics M&A
Deals targeting logistics companies in China have delivered the best start to the year on record, generating bumper profits for private equity firms.
About $5.5 billion worth of acquisitions of Chinese logistics firms have been announced so far this year, the strongest first quarter ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Warburg Pincus and MBK Partners are among the firms that have recently profited from selling their stakes in companies in the red-hot sector. Read more>>
China ‘Worried’ About Bubbles in Property, Foreign Markets
China’s top banking regulator said he’s “very worried” about risks emerging from bubbles in global financial markets and the nation’s property sector, sparking fresh concerns about further tightening in the world’s second-biggest economy. Stocks dropped across Asia.
Bubbles in US and European markets could burst because their rallies are heading in the opposite direction of their underlying economies and will have to face corrections “sooner or later”, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and Party secretary of the central bank, said at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. Read more>>
Hong Kong Could See More Tokenisation of Real Estate, Says DLA Piper
Hong Kong could see more instances of “tokenisation” in real estate transactions as the market embraces financial technology to make illiquid and expensive assets more accessible to a wider pool of investors.
Clients in the property development sector are looking at tokenising illiquid assets such as real estate as a form of fundraising, according to Susheela Rivers, head of Asia-Pacific real estate at global law firm DLA Piper. The efforts should materialise within the year, she said. Read more>>
Laos Could Be the ‘Next Cambodia’ as Housing Market Opens Up
With foreign homeownership rules being eased, Laos, one of the least developed countries in Southeast Asia, has the potential to become an investment hotspot and the “new Cambodia”, according to analysts.
In August, the government formally rolled out revisions to a new law allowing foreign ownership of flats for the first time in the country, giving foreigners a leasehold of up to 50 years. The legislation also opens the possibility for foreign companies to develop property projects, but as the law has yet to be fully fleshed out, ambiguities and risk remain for foreign investors. Read more>>
Tune in again soon for more real estate news and be sure to follow @Mingtiandi on Twitter, or bookmark Mingtiandi’s LinkedIn page for headlines as they happen.
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