Malay Village area set for a revamp under URA Draft Masterplan 2008

Malay Village area set for a revamp under URA Draft Masterplan 2008


SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan has unveiled some features of the Malay Village facelift under the URA Draft Master Plan 2008.


In outlining future plans for the Paya Lebar area in Parliament on Monday, the Minister said a substantial portion of the Malay Village site will be reserved for a new civic building.


It’ll house a variety of amenities, including a Community Club, the Community Development Council office, and possibly a Community Library.


There’ll also be an open plaza space that could be used for activities related to the Hari Raya celebrations.


To retain the ethnic character of the area, Mr Mah said a new pedestrian mall will be created along Geylang Road to accommodate more stalls during the annual Hari Raya bazaar.


Mr Mah was responding to Non-Constituency MP Sylvia Lim who wanted to know why the Malay Village, located in Geylang Serai, has not been able to thrive since its inception and how the new plans to revamp it will be an improvement from the past.


Mr Mah said since the village is a private development, the government cannot comment on its business performance. -CNA/vm


Source: Channel NewsAsia

URA closes tender bid for Choa Chu Kang site

URA closes tender bid for Choa Chu Kang site


SINGAPORE : The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore has closed the tender for a 53,200-square metre residential site at Choa Chu Kang Drive.


The highest offer for the site was for S$116 million, which translates to S$203 per square foot. The offer was submitted by Tian Hock Properties.


Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CBRE Research said given the top bid of S$203 per square foot and an estimated breakeven cost of S$580 to S$600 per square foot, the estimated selling price could be S$650 per square foot if the project is launched in a year.


The site at Choa Chu Kang Drive was launched for public tender in March 2008, and is on a 99-year lease.


URA said the winner will be selected after all bids have been evaluated. – CNA /ls


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Katong Mall up for collective sale by tender

Katong Mall up for collective sale by tender


SINGAPORE : Katong Mall is up for collective sale by tender.


Under the Master Plan, the 99-year leasehold 78,158 square foot commercial development site has a gross plot ratio of up to 3.6, with an allowable building height subject to evaluation.


It has the potential to be redeveloped into a commercial or retail development with a gross floor area (GFA) of up to 281,369 square feet, subject to relevant authorities’ approval.


To give developers more redevelopment options for the site, Outline Planning Permission has also been obtained for a mixed redevelopment of residential cum commercial development, with an approved plot ratio of up to 3.


This translates to a permissible GFA of up to 234,474 square feet, and could yield up to some 100 residential and 185 commercial/retail units with an average size of 1,200 square feet and 400 square feet respectively.


Sole marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle said the tender will close at 3pm on June 25. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

M Stanley sells Russian mortgage business

M Stanley sells Russian mortgage business


MOSCOW – The Russian subsidiary of Morgan Stanley said on Monday it plans to sell its mortgage lending unit.


Morgan Stanley bought the City Mortgages bank in 2006 in a deal valued at US$185 million, or 4.75 times the book value.


Russian business newspaper Vedomosti quoted a source close to the deal as saying Morgan Stanley is now seeking 2.5 times the book value.


City Mortgages has capital of 1.7 billion roubles (US$72.03 million) and is rated 142nd among Russian banks by assets.


Vedomosti said Morgan Stanley has started a due diligence process for City Mortgages and is taking offers.


The sale is part of a wider plan to scale back Morgan Stanley’s home-lending business, which was hit by the global credit crunch. Morgan Stanley plans to shut down its UK mortgage origination business in June. — REUTERS


Source: Business Times

KSH in JV to develop Mergui Rd site

KSH in JV to develop Mergui Rd site


Property-linked KSH Holdings Limited on Monday said it has entered a joint venture with Multi Wealth Singapore Pte Limited and LBH Pte Ltd to develop a freehold site at Mergui Road.


The 74,355 sq ft site with a plot ratio of 2.8 was bought by Mergui Develpment Pte Ltd — a unit of KSH — last November for $120 million.


Under the agreement, KSH will own 35 per cent stake in the JV, Multi Wealth 53 per cent and LBH 12 per cent.


Multi Wealth is a unit of Malaysian-listed IOI Properties Bhd. — BT newsroom


Source: Business Times

Indiabulls Trust plans US$287m in S’pore IPO: source

Indiabulls Trust plans US$287m in S’pore IPO: source


SINGAPORE – Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust plans to offer shares within a $1-$1.10 price range, to raise up to $389 million (US$287 million) in a Singapore listing, a source briefed on the deal said on Monday.


The projected yield for the trust, sponsored by India’s fourth-largest developer by market value Indiabulls Real Estates, is 4.66-5.12 per cent based on forecast income for the year ending March 2009, the source said.


The group will sell 353.5 million share in the initial public offering, which would be the first test of investors’ appetite for new listing of a real estate investment trust (Reit) since the market went cold in November.


Sources had told Reuters earlier this month that Indian developer DLF would revive and enlarge an IPO of its property trust in Singapore to raise over US$2 billion, likely in June, because it believes market conditions have improved.


However, ratings agency Moody’s only last week had issued a negative outlook rating for Singapore’s Reits over the next 12-18 months, citing weak market sentiment and tighter market liquidity that have impaired their access to capital markets.


Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch are handling the deal, which will see Indiabulls inject into the trust two projects with a total of 3.4 million square feet of space, said its prospectus filed earlier this month.


The Mumbai properties, One Indiabulls Centre and Elphinstone Mills, due to be ready by August, are designed for IT and financial firms and retail outlets, and has residential components.


The last two Reits to list in Singapore, Lippo-Mapletree Indonesia Retail Trust on Nov 19 and Saizen Reit on Nov 9, tanked on their debuts and are still trading as much as 31 per cent below their IPO price.


The poor market conditions sparked by the US sub-prime credit crisis had caused Indiabulls, and fellow Indian developers Unitech and DLF, to postpone their planned Singapore Reit IPOs in March.


Analysts say the credit turmoil may force Singapore’s once-booming Reit sector – which has 20 listed property trusts – to consolidate in coming months as financially weaker players sell assets or merge with their counterparts. — REUTERS


Source: Business Times

Indiabulls Properties price range at $1-$1.1

Indiabulls Properties price range at $1-$1.1 


Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust has set a price range of a dollar to a dollar ten cents per unit in its Singapore initial public offering that will raise up to 389 million dollars.


a person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires that the the IPO, which will fund the purchase and development of Indian real estate, is expected to price next week.


According to a listing prospectus, the trust will be managed by India-listed development firm Indiabulls Real Estate, which intends to hold a post-IPO stake of 42.8 percent.


The trust’s initial investments will include two commercial development properties in Mumbai, and future projects will focus on commercial office space.


Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are co-managers of the offering


Source: 938Live

Hersing in JV talks to buy up to $300m storage facilities

Hersing in JV talks to buy up to $300m storage facilities


Property-related Hersing Corporation on Monday said it is negotiating with a leading global real estate fund regarding a possible joint venture (JV) in the self-storage business.


The purpose of the proposed JV is to acquire and develop properties worth up to $300 million (US$221 million) in order to expand StorHub’s selfstorage facilities in Asia Pacific.


Hersing provides professional real estate brokerage, valuation, consultancy, property management, money transfer and storage facilities services through ERA, RIA, Coldwell Banker, Western Union and StorHub Self-Storage.


The proposed JV remains subject to, among other things, the fund’s satisfactory due diligence, the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements in relation to the proposed JV and the acquisition of new sites, other customary conditions precedent to completion and approval by Hersing’s shareholders.


The directors emphasized that no binding agreement in relation to the proposed JV has been entered into, and the proposed JV may or may not materialise. — BT newsroom


Source: Business Times

Mapletree to develop US$320m China project

Mapletree to develop US$320m China project


SINGAPORE – Mapletree, the real estate arm of Singapore investment firm Temasek, said on Monday that it will be developing a US$320 million property in China through a real estate fund.


The mixed development project will be funded by Mapletree’s private China-India fund, a spokesman said. — REUTERS


Source: Business Times

HK home owners brace for interest rate hikes

HK home owners brace for interest rate hikes


HONG KONG home owners are expecting interest rate hikes as banks in the city attempt to bolster earnings, ending a long run of cheap mortgage costs. But some market factors may militate against such a move.


Banks have been sounding the alarm bells as their margins feel the squeeze amid a succession of interest rate cuts. Last month, lenders failed to match a Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) interest rate cut, the first time since September that banks did not follow the de facto central bank.


Last week, senior bankers warned that an interest rate rise could be imminent. With competition for home financing fierce, no lender has yet to take the lead and raise interest rates.


Raymond Or, chief executive of Hang Seng Bank, spoke of the pressure facing lenders regarding raising interest rates.


Other bankers have cited an unfeasibly low interest rate for bankers to turn a profit, with home owners being loaned cash at between 2.5 and 2.8 per cent with cash rebates often thrown in. The Hong Kong interbank offered rate is, meanwhile, 1.7 per cent.


Meanwhile, record-high oil prices are unlikely to lead to a further cut in Federal Reserve key rates, from which the HKMA takes its cue as Hong Kong’s currency remains pegged to the greenback.


Banks have also not seen a huge uptake in mortgage financing as external factors bite into potential home owners’ appetites.


Despite low interest rates, property sales in the mass market have remained sluggish. This is partly because of a wait-and-see attitude buyers are taking amid global economic uncertainty.


According to the latest Land Registry figures, the total number of sale and purchase agreements in April was down 0.4 per cent from the previous month to 10,945. The total consideration for these deals was down 23.9 per cent from March, to HK$33.5 billion (S$5.8 billion).


Chief economist at Bank of East Asia Paul Tang, however, remains optimistic that home owners will not face a massive uptick in their financing costs in the next 12 months.


‘I think it really depends on the United States interest rate movements – and that’s a big uncertainty,’ he said.


‘There’s still a lot of room for it (interest rates) to go up and right now it’s at a very low level. The US economy will take one to two years before it recovers to a more healthy stage. Interest rates (in Hong Kong) should remain low despite inflationary pressure,’ he explained.


Developers likewise sounded a more bullish note, perhaps unsurprisingly as jitters about mortgage rate increases took a toll on their stocks last week.


On Thursday, shares in the main developers took a tumble as speculation that Hong Kong lenders would no longer slash interest rates began to spread.


Shares in Sun Hung Kai Properties, Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Hang Lung Properties all fell slightly on the rumours.


Tycoon Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings), said last week he expects the property market to remain steady amid low interest rates and relatively tight supply in the market.


Source: Business Times