A troubled co-working company leads the way in Mingtiandi’s roundup of Asia real estate headlines today with the loss-making firm, which has burned through billions of dollars worth of investment from Softbank and other backers without turning a profit, is said to be offering layoff packages to all staff, just two months after naming a new country head.
In other news around the region, a pair of mainland Chinese tech giants are expanding in Hong Kong, while Asia’s biggest real estate investment trust has secured a $129 million sustainability loan.
Elsewhere, the wife of convicted fugitive Joseph Lau has taken control of a Hong Kong-listed developer.
WeWork last week was reported to be offering layoff packages to all staff in Korea, just two months after the company named a new country head. Local media in Seoul reported, citing unnamed sources, that WeWork had offered voluntary termination packages to all staff in the country, with one source indicating that the co-working giant would be shutting down its Korean operation.
The move comes two months after WeWork named Chun Chung-joo (Patricia) as the new general manager of its South Korean office, taking top responsibility for the flexible office provider’s operations in the country.
In a statement to Mingtiandi, a company spokesperson said, “WeWork remains committed to our business in Korea and is dedicated to provide our space and services to our members in Korea.” The source added that all of the company’s locations in the country remain operational. Read more>>
Chinese tech firms are expanding their footprint in Hong Kong even as the pandemic prompts some banks to consider scaling back in the world’s most expensive office market.
TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have signed leases to add office space in Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. Read more>>
Link Real Estate Investment Trust has secured a 1 billion Hong Kong dollar (US$129 million) sustainability loan from OCBC Bank, its second such loan this year.
The Hong Kong-listed trust said Thursday it will use the five-year loan for working capital and general corporate purposes. Read more>>
Zara owner Inditex said it is permanently closing as many as 1,200 stores – 16 per cent of its outlets worldwide – as the world’s largest fashion retailer moves to boost online sales after posting its first-ever loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closures are expected to be concentrated in Asia and Europe, and affect mainly smaller stores and Inditex brands other than Zara, such as Pull&Bear, Oysho and Stradivarius, the Spanish company said on Wednesday. The aim is to transfer their profit contributions to bigger shops or online. Read more>>
Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust (Starhill Global Reit) on Thursday said its upcoming distribution to unitholders for the six months leading up to June 30 (H2 FY2019/20) is expected to be below 90 per cent of its taxable income this year.
The group intends to use the Singapore government’s tax transparency extension to “prudently manage cash flow and maintain financial flexibility” in the interest of unitholders amid the COVID-19 crisis, it said in a statement. Read more>>
Wing Tai Properties (0369) has collected more than HK$1.64 billion after selling 60 percent, or 302 flats, at Oma by the Sea in Tuen Mun and executive director Chung Chi-lam said the group is considering reducing discounts after June.
He said the national security law would not impact the market, adding that prices may fluctuate by about 10 percent due to supply shortage. He said emigrants may not sell their properties as yet for fear of missing out on returns from rising prices. Read more>>
More real estate firms from the Chinese mainland are planning to list their property management businesses in Hong Kong this year to ease financial strains.
Since the start of this year, three property management enterprises have been successfully listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, raising HK$2.5 billion(about $322.6 million) in total. Read more>>
Chan Hoi-wan, executive director of Chinese Estates Holdings and wife of convicted fugitive Joseph Lau Luen-hung, is now the de facto controller of the Hong Kong-listed developer, after her stepson Lau Ming-wai transferred his entire stake in the company to her three children.
Lau Ming-wai, 39, chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings, transferred 476.4 million shares or 24.97 per cent stake to his half siblings, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange after the market close on Thursday. Read more>>
Note: this story has been updated to correct the date that WeWork introduced its new head of Korea and to include a statement from the company regarding the layoff reports.