Leading today’s roundup, urban planners have handed a victory to mobile phone addicts in the northern Chinese city of Xi’an, where a special lane has been opened for pedestrians to stroll while stroking their screens. Also in the headlines, US construction giant AECOM has inked a cooperation agreement with an arm of Shanghai-based developer Greenland Group, shortly after tying up with a unit of Fosun International on transit projects. And Mumbai-based developer Godrej Properties has successfully raised $148 million from an investment firm managed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, after announcing the deal last month, so keep reading for all the details.
Xi’an Opens Lane for Pedestrian Phone Addicts
Texting while walking could be an accident waiting to happen, but one Chinese city is embracing its phone-obsessed pedestrians. In northern China’s city of Xi’an, a pavement on Yanta Road has a 100-meter long, 80-centimeter wide lane dedicated to pedestrians using their phones. An image of a mobile phone is painted along the lane to indicate where phone users can stay.
A shopping mall had the specific lane in the works for a month, according to a report by Shaanxi Online News via BBC. It was to address the constant need of security personnel to remind motorists not to drive on the pavement which would have pedestrians fixed on their phones. Read more>>
Godrej Properties Closes on $148M Sale of Shares to GIC Affiliate
Real estate firm Godrej Properties Ltd on Friday said it had raised Rs 1,000 crore through issue of shares to Singapore-based GIC managed investment firm Gamnat Pte Ltd to fund its growth plans.
The Mumbai-based company said it had completed allotment of 12.77 million equity shares of Rs 5 each to Gamnat. “Through this preferential allotment, the issued, subscribed and paid-up capital of GPL stands increased to Rs 1,146,604,775 consisting of 229,320,955 equity shares of Rs 5 each,” the company said. In a filing to BSE on 4 May, the Godrej Group firm had announced that it entered into an investment agreement with Gamnat to issue shares on a preferential basis. Read more>>
AECOM Inks MoU with Shanghai Greenland Construction
Two construction industry giants have teamed up in order to deliver large scale projects in China and around the world. America’s AECOM has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Greenland Construction, a subsidiary of the $40bn-revenue Greenland Group, furthering cooperation between the two companies.
“Aligning our capabilities and resources more closely through the structure of the MOU we signed today enables us to provide a truly differentiated offering of integrated services, in a flexible and reliable manner,” commented Daniel McQuade, President of AECOM’s Construction Services group. AECOM and Greenland have so far worked together on five projects around the world, including a $1.2bn metropolis development in Los Angeles and the London Spire. Read more>>
Big Chinese Builders Shrug off Credit Squeeze
Analysts say different developers are being affected to a different extent by China’s tightening cash squeeze. Developers with efficient sales execution and strong cash-flow are seen as staying ahead of the curve, and they are certainly taking full advantage of the travails of smaller and not-so-smaller rivals to consolidate their standing.
“Large developers with more diversified funding channels are well positioned in the current conditions,” said Cindy Huang, an analyst of S&P Global Ratings. “For example, while Country Garden dropped its onshore bond application, it was still able to issue a RMB 1.7 billion ($280.86 million) quasi-Real Estate Investment Trust in February – China’s largest so far as the central government pushes for growth in the rented housing market – backed by its rented properties.” Read more>>
Swire Hotels Opens The Middle House in Shanghai
Swire Hotels has announced the official opening of The Middle House in Shanghai. Located in the mixed-use development HKRI Taikoo Hui on Nanjing West Road, The Middle House adopts an Italian vision blended with a local twist and modern aesthetic to standing elegantly above the city skyline.
The 111 modern studios range from 50 to 100 square metres, a gallery suite and a Penthouse – all influenced by celebrated architect Piero Lissoni’s interior design. “The Middle House is our fourth hotel in The House Collective, which welcomes world travellers who seek a luxurious yet unique and personalised experience during their stay,” said Brian Williams, Deputy Chairman of Swire Hotels. Read more>>
Myanmar Tycoon Strives to Revive Yangon Project
Construction tycoon U Khin Shwe has turned to his relative by marriage, former general and parliament speaker U Shwe Mann, for help to revive his stalled Mya Yeik Nyo property development in Myanmar.
A member of Shwe Mann’s parliamentary commission in Nay Pyi Taw confirmed to Frontier that Khin Shwe had submitted an appeal letter over a municipal decision that has halted work by his Zaykabar Co Ltd on a prime hill-top site in Yangon’s Bahan Township. The mixed-use project will reportedly comprise 12 high-rise buildings, each of 24 stories and ranging in height from 382 to 412 feet (116 to 125 metres), as well as a three-storey building, and will require investment of around $500 million. Read more>>
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