RECALLING: December 17 2007

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Koh Bros wins $78.9 million contract

Koh Brothers Group Ltd announced last week that its building and construction arm has secured a $78.9 million project from the Ministry of Education to build the River Valley High School and Hostel development at Boon Lay Avenue. The entire complex includes eight low-rise blocks that will house administration, a library, classrooms, laboratories, an 850-seat auditorium; hostel blocks with 246 dormitory units; and a 400m running track with spectator gallery. Work is expected to commence soon and be completed by August 2009.

Lakeside attracts only two bids

Only two bids have been received at the close of URA’s tender for the residential Lakeside site. The 236,813 sq ft site property at Boon Lay Way-Lakeside Drive was offered on a 99-year lease. The top bid is from Frasers Centrepoint at $205.6 million, or $248 psf per plot ratio (ppr). CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) comments that, at this price, the break-even will be around $600 psf for the future condominium. It is likely units will sell between $700 psf to $800 psf. Demand is likely to come from HDB residents looking to upgrade and people who work in the western part of Singapore. First Capital Holdings has bid $191 million, or $230 psf ppr. The site, near Lakeside MRT station, has a maximum gross floor area of 828,880 sq ft.

DBS Bank signs on for new Marina Bay headquarters

DBS Bank will move its headquarters from Shenton Way to the Marina Bay Financial Centre (right) from 2012. The bank has signed an agreement to lease 700,000 sq ft of office space across 22 storeys for 12 years — the largest lease deal to date in Singapore. The new headquarters would allow the bank to consolidate its various customer-facing units, trading operations and its corporate headquarters into one building, said DBS CEO Jackson Tai. DBS will also relocate various units to a purpose-built nine-storey building at Changi Business Park, near the Expo MRT station. Also, in October, the bank signed a lease with Swire Properties in Hong Kong for more than 220,000 sq ft of office space from early next year at One Island East, a 70-storey building. Tai said the new operations hub at Changi Business Park and the new office in Hong Kong would enable the bank to meet expansion needs as DBS grew its customer franchise in Asia.

Source: BBS PR

UOA launches secondary listing

Malaysia-based property developer United Overseas Australia (UOA) has launched its secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange Mainboard. The offer is 55 million new shares at 38 cents each. Of this total, 53 million are placement shares to institutional investors. The offer represents around 6.7% of the group’s enlarged share capital of 818.5 million shares. The listing is expected to raise around $19 million, which will be used to fund land buying and to meet general working capital requirements. Established in 1987, UOA focuses on middle to high-end residential and commercial property development and investment projects. The group is one of the leading office building landlords in Kuala Lumpur.

Fairmont Singapore signals Asia expansion

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury hotel leader, has announced the opening of its first property in Asia — Fairmont Singapore (above), formerly Raffles The Plaza. The hotel’s two 26-storey towers have 769 guestrooms and suites, including those in the North Tower, which have recently been renovated. Fairmont Singapore also has more than 70,000 sq ft of meeting space in the Raffles City Convention Centre on level four of the hotel. The company says Fairmont Singapore is the forerunner of major developments in the region, including in China -- Fairmont Beijing, Fairmont Peace Hotel, and a development on Macau’s Cotai Strip.

Source: Fairmont Singapore

Apollo Centre fetches $205 million

Knight Frank has sold Apollo Centre (above) for $205 million to US real estate fund manager AEW Capital Management. The sale is the most significant to date outside the prime Raffles Place business district and shows continued investor confidence in the Singapore commercial market, says Knight Frank. The price works out at $1,378 psf based on the existing lettable floor area of 148,719 sq ft. The seven-storey commercial building, off Havelock Road-Eu Tong Sen Street, is on a 99-year lease, with 75 years to run. The gross floor area is around 217,500 sq ft.

Source: Knight Frank

Citigroup downgrades K-REIT Asia

Citigroup analyst Ian Chua has downgraded K-REIT Asia to “sell”, from “buy”, and cut his target price by 24% to $2.17. Chua believes acquisitions by the Singapore-based real estate investment trust (REIT) will be constrained by limited debt headroom of around $100 million, owing to its relatively high gearing of 55%. This was following the announcement by K-REIT Asia that it had financed the acquisition of its one-third stake in One Raffles Quay with a bridging loan of $942 million last Monday, thereby bumping up its gearing ratio from 22% to 55%. (The Monetary Authority of Singapore has put a gearing limit of 60% for Singapore REITs). With the acquisition of its stake in One Raffles Quay, KREIT’s asset size will increase to $2.06 billion. The other four existing office buildings in its portfolio valued at US$677 million ($977.1 million) are Prudential Tower (44% of strata area), GE Towers, Keppel Towers and Bugis Junction Towers.

URA launches Choa Chu Kang Road residential site

URA has launched the Choa Chu Kang Road-Woodlands Road residential site for sale by public tender. The 1.56ha parcel is for an integrated commercial and residential development with the Ten Mile Junction LRT station. A three-storey podium block comprising commercial space at the first and second storeys and the Ten Mile Junction LRT station at the third storey is already built and in operation. The sale only includes the completed commercial development and the residential development to be built above the podium. There is 254,400 sq ft of gross floor area for residential use. The commercial development has a gross floor area of 121,194 sq ft and is tenanted. The tender will close at noon on April 3.

Investment sales hit a record high of $50.78 billion

The Singapore property investment sales market has had an unprecedented year and has recorded the highest volume of transactions in a decade. According to CBRE, total investment sales recorded to date for 2007 was $50.78 billion, 66% higher than last year, which itself was a record-high of $30.57 billion. The momentum was largely driven by active acquisitions of development sites by developers both in the private sector and government tenders. Private investment sales accounted for 78% or $39.63 billion of total transactions, while public sector land sales contributed to the remaining 22% or $11.5 billion.

Altogether, 36 government sites were bought by developers during the year, including three “white sites”, nine residential sites, eight commercial sites, six hotel sites and 10 industrial sites. Five residential sites at Sentosa Cove were also sold over the year for a total of $1.1 billion. 

OFFSHORE

E&O offers luxury villas on Penang Island

E&O Property Development Bhd has launched Villas By-The-Sea (right) within Seri Tanjung Pinang on Penang Island, Malaysia. There are three types of luxury villas on offer around the 6ha of freehold land facing the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca — Martinique, Abrezza and Skye. They are priced from RM2.75 million ($1.19 million) to RM7.5 million. It is scheduled for completion in mid-2009. Villas By- The-Sea is a joint venture between E&O Property with Al Salam Bank (of Bahrain) and CIMB-Mapletree Real Estate Fund 1 Sdn Bhd.

Source: Foreward Comms

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