In today’s roundup of regional news headlines, Swiss private bank Julius Baer makes plans to move from its base in Hong Kong’s Central to Quarry Bay, China’s SF Holdings launches the $340 million IPO of its spinoff REIT, and renewed COVID curbs threaten Singapore’s retail and office REITs.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer will move into Swire Properties’ new 41-floor skyscraper, Two Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay, in what Colliers described as the largest “decentralisation deal” in more than two years in Hong Kong.
The bank, currently based in Central, said it has leased four floors of the office building, which is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2022. Read more>>
SF REIT, a spinoff of Chinese courier giant SF Holdings, launched its Hong Kong IPO on Wednesday to raise up to HK$2.68 billion ($340 million).
The trust is issuing 520 million units at an indicative price range of between HK$4.68 and HK$5.16 each. The minimum investment is HK$5,212 per 1,000 units. Trading on the main board is scheduled to start on 17 May. Read more>>
At least 100 “ageing” office buildings in Hong Kong need to be refurbished to unlock their rental potential as the COVID-19 pandemic changes market dynamics and tenant expectations, according to JLL.
More than half of the city’s Grade A and B buildings are considered ageing, as they were built more than 20 years ago, with rents 10 percent to 40 percent lower than well-maintained and newer buildings, the property consultancy said. Read more>>
OUE Commercial REIT on Tuesday posted a 1.6 percent drop in its first-quarter net property income to S$61.1 million ($45.8 million), due to provision for rental rebates to some retail tenants, partially offset by lower property operating expenses.
Lower interest expense pushed up its amount available for distribution by 2.7 percent to S$37.1 million. For the three months ended 31 March 2021, revenue fell 3.9 percent to S$74.7 million. The REIT did not announce its distribution per unit for the quarter. Read more>>
With tighter curbs on gathering sizes, employee caps in workplaces and smaller allowable event sizes in response to Singapore’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases, analysts believe that downtown retail REITs and office REITs could be affected once again in the near term.
RHB analyst Vijay Natarajan expects interest to rotate to industrial REITs, as landlords of downtown malls and retail areas in office districts face lower footfall from smaller office crowds and see their short-lived recovery reverse. Read more>>
Chinese administrators are starting to crack down on the unregulated use of facial recognition technology, especially in the commercial sector. The Administration for Market Regulation for the city of Ningbo has hit three land developers with RMB 250,000 ($38,500) in fines for gathering the facial information of customers without the proper consent.
The three offenders were local subsidiaries of China Poly Group, Sunac China Holdings and Greenland Holdings. The fines were issued shortly after China’s annual Consumer Protection Gala, which placed a strong focus on the abuse of facial recognition tech. Read more>>
Authorities in Jeju have confirmed the recovery of KRW 13.4 billion ($12 million) in cash said to have been stolen from a safe at Jeju Shinhwa World’s Landing Casino, but there is still no guarantee that Landing will see any of its missing money again.
According to a report by Seoul’s Hankook Ilbo, the cash in question remains deposited in a bank designated by the National Police Agency, but authorities are having trouble confirming the identity of its owner. Read more>>
There’s rarely been a better time to be apartment hunting in Hong Kong than right now.
Rents in one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets dropped to HK$33.60 ($4.32) per square foot in the first quarter, the lowest since the end of 2016, data from Centaline Property Agency shows. So a typical two-bedroom apartment in Soho now rents for about $3,500 a month, down from $4,200 two years ago, according to Spacious.hk online rentals. Read more>>