Tuan Sing Holdings is making one of Singapore’s largest commercial real estate sales this year after signing a S$500 million ($371 million) sale and purchase agreement with a BVI-registered buyer for the firm’s Robinson Point office building.
In a statement released Tuesday, the SGX-listed property developer said it had received a deposit of S$45 million for the property in the city’s central business district, after entering negotiations with the buyer in August.
At that time, the S$500 million price represented a 34 percent premium to the property’s book value. With the buyer having made an initial deposit of S$5 million when talks began the remaining S$450 million consideration is to be received on completion of the transaction, Tuan Sing said.
Market sources said the buyer of the 21-storey building at 39 Robinson Road was a company in the British Virgin Islands controlled by an investor from Vietnam.
Above Market Deal Amidst a Slump
Tuan Sing CEO William Liem hailed the progress on the sale as “a clear demonstration of Tuan Sing’s expertise” and reflective of a successful strategy of proactive asset management. “The team has worked extremely hard to reach this milestone,” he said, “notwithstanding the challenges posed by the COVID-19 restrictions and the difficult macroeconomic environment.”
Located near Raffles Place in the heart of Singapore’s financial district, Robinson Point features an unusual 999-year leasehold term, which gives it virtual freehold status. Based on the selling price and the building’s net lettable area of 133,830 square feet (12,433 square metres), the building is being sold at S$3,736 per square foot, according to Mingtiandi’s calculations.
The agreed price amounts to a 45 percent premium to the S$2,570 per square foot paid by ARA Asset Management for the nearby Robinson Centre when it purchased that leasehold property last December for S$340 million.
Although Robinson Point and the Robinson Centre are within three minutes’ walk of each other along Robinson Road, a primary commercial street linking Raffles Place to the Tanjong Pagar area, market observers regard the latter property as a less attractive prize because of its 99-year leasehold term with about 76 years remaining.
City-State Stays Hot
A CBD incentive scheme aimed at transforming Singapore’s ageing districts and promoting residential development in the urban core has helped revive deal-making in office properties after commercial property transactions stalled at the beginning of the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Office investment transactions in the Southeast Asian financial hub had plunged 87 percent to $136 million in the first quarter of the year compared with the previous three months, according to CBRE.