RECALLING: August 20 2007

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Soilbuild’s 1H2007 net profit beats full-year FY2006

For the six months to June 30, boutique developer, Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd reported a record net profit of $28.7 million, compared with a y-o-y net loss of $2.3 million. The half-year earnings were a record high, beating the full-year earnings of the past decade. Meanwhile, its revenue increased by 14% to $44.9 million y-o-y.

The bulk of its income came from the sale of the four remaining apartments at One Tree Hill Residence, 18 units at Pioneer Lot Terrace Factories, the sale of 12 units and leases for three units at Senoko Food Connection terraced factories and rental income from Eightrium@Changi Business Park and Kranji Linc factory units.

Net profit rose mainly from the $28 million revaluation gain of Eightrium@Changi Business Park to $51.7 million following its completion in May. It also benefited from rental income from its Penjuru site prior to its demolition and property management services from the Furama Tower in Leonie Hill Road prior to its demolition. (Soilbuild had acquired Furama Tower for $76 million last year and it’s being redeveloped into Leonie PacView.)

Amara’s net profit rises to $2.6 million

Homegrown hospitality group Amara Holdings Ltd announced that profit after tax rose eight-fold to $2.6 million for the half year to June 30 compared with the same period last year. Revenue increased 25% to $47 million mainly due to higher room rates at its hotel properties, namely Amara Singapore and Amara Saigon, because of the strong domestic and regional tourism sector. The group also benefited from higher sales for units at The Linear condo in Upper Bukit Timah, and higher rental from its investment properties — the office units at the Amara Corporate Tower and the Amara Shopping Centre retail podium next to the Amara Singapore hotel in Tanjong Pagar. In early May, the group soft launched the luxury Amara Sanctuary Resort in Sentosa.

Hotel site at Bukit Merah opens for tender

URA has put up for sale a land parcel for hotel development located at the junction of Jalan Bukit Merah and Alexandra Road. The site is one of the four hotel sites on the reserve list of the Government Land Sales Programme for the second half of this year. The site has a land area of 85,035 sq ft and can be developed up to a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 239,488 sq ft.

Developers are likely to be boutique developers or hotel operators, such as Fragrance Land or Hotel 81, says Nicholas Mak, director of Knight Frank’s consultancy and research department, who expects bids to come in at $400 psf per plot ratio (ppr) to $420 psf ppr. He estimates that the site can be developed into a 600-room hotel.

Makeway View going for $168.4 million

The 32-unit Makeway View along Makeview Avenue, off Kampong Java and Bukit Timah, is up for collective sale. The apartment tower sits on a 41,583 sq ft freehold site. Owners with more than 80% of the total share value in the development have already signed the collective sale agreement. The site is zoned for residential purposes with a plot ratio of 2.8. This means that the successful developer can build a 100-unit condominium project, assuming an average size of 1,200 sq ft each. Together with an estimated development charge of $402,000, the price tag is $168.4 million, which works out to at least $1,450 psf ppr, estimates marketing agent Knight Frank. The tender will close on Sept 27.

Chancery Ville & Pulasan Road terraces sold

Last week, Chancery Ville at Chancery Lane was sold to a group of private investors for $27.3 million, while a row of terrace houses at Pulasan Road were sold to local developer Vicland Pte Ltd for $17.6 million, said marketing agent Newman & Goh in a press statement. Chancery Ville can be redeveloped into 12 detached cluster houses with facilities and basement car park. Each new home is expected to fetch at least $5 million, says Newman & Goh. Meanwhile, the site at Pulasan Road can be redeveloped into a 36-unit apartment project with new units averaging at 1,100 sq ft each and priced at an average of $1,100 psf.

Source: Fraser Centrepoint

Soleil@Sinaran 80% sold at private previews

Frasers Centrepoint Homes announced it has sold 80% of its latest residential condominium in the Newton-Novena area, the 417-unit Soleil@Sinaran, at private previews prior to its official launch last Friday. The average price was $1,500 psf. Units ranged from studios to loft apartments and penthouses. Amenities include a spa, which is managed by Aramsa Spas. “We want to go beyond just providing homeowners with a ‘shell’ to live in,” says Cheang Kok Kheong, chief operating officer of Frasers Centrepoint Homes.

Cassia View and The Globe for sale

Cassia View, a 68-unit residential development located at 320 Guillemard Road off Mountbatten Road, is up for collective sale with an indicative selling price of $80 million. The freehold residential site has a land area of 35,511 sq ft and a strata floor area of 89,361 sq ft.

Meanwhile, the 15-storey commercial building along Cecil Street, The Globe, is up for sale with a price tag of $100 million. The building sits on a 9,080 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site and has a total GFA of about 62,691 sq ft. The site is designated for commercial use with an allowable gross plot ratio of 11.2+, which can be redeveloped into a 30-storey office development. The successful buyer can apply for additional GFA incentive, capped at a maximum of 2% of total permissible GFA, and hence, increase it from 62,691 sq ft to 103,694 sq ft.

Both sites are being put up for tender by Colliers International, and the closing date is Sept 12.

Shophouses at Bencoolen St for sale

A row of leasehold, refurbished 2½-storey conserved shophouses along Bencoolen Street has been put up for sale by tender. The properties, occupying a total area of 19,999 sq ft, have a GFA of about 41,714 sq ft and 87 years remaining in its 99-year lease. According to marketing agent Tie Leung of DTZ Debenham, the indicative selling price for the shophouses is $35 million. The tender closes on Sept 5. — Compiled by Nova Theresianto.

OFFSHORE

CapitaLand acquires Malaysian shopping malls for $527 million

CapitaLand has entered into a JV in Malaysia to acquire Gurney Plaza, a retail mall in Penang, for RM770 million ($337 million). Located along the famous Gurney Drive promenade in Penang, the prime freehold site has a total net lettable area (NLA) of 700,000 sq ft. The Singapore player has also signed a put-and-call option to buy a four-storey retail extension at Gurney Plaza of over 130,000 sq ft NLA, which is under construction and expected to be completed by middle of next year.

Separately, CapitaLand also entered into a saleand- purchase agreement to buy Mines Shopping Fair, a prime shopping mall in the Mines Resort City in Selangor to the tune of RM435 million. Mines is located at the growth corridor in south Kuala Lumpur.

These two shopping malls form the seed assets for a proposed CapitaLand-sponsored Malaysian retail REIT, says Liew Mun Leong, president and CEO of CapitaLand, in a statement last Thursday.

Source: Capital Land

Global hotel transactions to hit record US$110 billion this year

Last week, hotel investment services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotels predicted a 52% increase in this year’s global hotel transactions to US$110 billion ($169 billion) versus last year’s US$72.5 billion. “Global hotel deal activity to June has already reached US$56 billion, higher than we initially predicted for this period,” says Arthur de Haast, global CEO of JLL Hotels.

The bulk of hotel deals are still in the US, where hotel REITs are being taken private, with private equity players buying up not just the real estate but the major hotel brands, as seen from Blackstone’s recent purchase of Hilton Hotels Corp. Asia-Pacific is expected to see a huge jump in hotel transactions by 52.5% to US$9 billion, including the US$2.36 billion acquisition of 13 All Nippon Airways hotels in Japan to a Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund in April. The sale was brokered by JLL Hotels.

CDL moves into South Korea

City Developments Ltd (CDL) and DC Chemical Company Ltd, South Korea’s top producers of carbon black, soda ash and pitch, have entered into a memorandum of understanding to develop a large-scale integrated commercial, hotel and residential project in Yong-Hyun/ Hak-ik, 1 Block site, Incheon, South Korea.

The 16.146 million sq ft site is primarily owned by DC Chemical and its affiliates. The centrepiece of the development is a large-scale, mixed-use complex that includes a five-star hotel, Grade-A office tower, serviced residences and a retail podium built on a 3.03 million sq ft site. Another four million sq ft will be allocated to residential development. Construction of the project will start in 2009 and is expected to be completed by 2012.

Mapletree Investments increases investments in China, Vietnam

Temasek’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, entered a JV with Tianjin Port Development Holdings Ltd to develop a 6.9 million sq ft logistic park in Dongjiang Bonded Harbour Area in Tianjin Port, China, last week.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, Mapletree also signed a letter of intent to acquire 7.5 million sq ft of land within the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park Bac Ninh from Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park Pte JV Co Ltd. Located near Hanoi, the site will be developed into a logistics park. “Both China and Vietnam are very important markets for us,” said Hiew Yoon Khong, CEO of Mapletree, in a statement. “The logistics sector in both countries is experiencing strong growth in tandem with their economic performances.” Including the latest sites, Mapletree has four logistics developments in China and three in Vietnam.

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