Capitaland on lookout for distressed assets in China, Japan

Capitaland on lookout for distressed assets in China, Japan


Southeast Asia’s biggest developer, Capitaland, is looking for distressed assets in Japan and China to help its expansion in the two markets.


CEO Liew Mun Leong told Bloomberg News that Capitaland is always on the lookout.


He added that there will be developers with land banks which need money and are under stress.


Capitaland is seeking distressed assets as rising energy and commodity prices and a slowing global economy add to financial stress on companies and stoke defaults worldwide.


It’s looking at China for such assets as the country raised reserve requirements for banks for the 5th time this year.


The developer already runs 7 funds in China, and developed office and retail complexes under the Raffles City brand in Shanghai and Beijing.


It also runs two property funds in Japan and teamed up with Mitsubishi Estate in a Tokyo project worth as much as 1.5 billion US dollars.


Source: 938Live

St Regis to make debut in Kuala Lumpur by ’14

St Regis to make debut in Kuala Lumpur by ’14


THE St Regis brand is set to make its debut in Kuala Lumpur in 2014 following the signing of an agreement between its parent Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and ONE IFC.


Owned by ONE IFC, the St Regis Kuala Lumpur will be built at the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Precinct (KL Sentral). It will have 200 guest rooms and 200 whole-ownership St Regis branded residences.


ONE IFC is a joint venture controlled by former stockbroker Chua Ma Yu, who holds a 60 per cent stake through CMY Capital. Government-linked Malaysian Resources Corporation (MRCB) holds 30 per cent and Jitra Perkasa – an investment holding company owned by foreign and local investors – the remaining 10 per cent.


At the signing ceremony yesterday, ONE IFC chief executive Carmen Chua – Mr Chua’s daughter – said that it is too early to talk about costs or sales.


But the six-star St Regis Hotel will add to the increasing attraction of KL Sentral, which is already popular with businesses because of its proximity to the KL Express Rail and Light Rail Transit hubs.


Many property players see the area as Kuala Lumpur’s next central business district.


MRCB owns most of the land there and has said that the total built-up area will be 20 million square feet by 2015 when the various parcels are developed. The total gross development value (GDV) is estimated at RM8.3 billion (S$3.49 billion). About RM2.8 billion has been completed and another RM5 billion is in progress. St Regis is CMY Capital’s second project. It is also building One KL, opposite the Petronas Twin Towers. The 94-unit apartment block which comes with its own individual pools plus a larger common pool has been sold off the plan, mainly to Mr Chua’s business associates and friends.


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has been engaged as architect for the St Regis project. Given that the firm’s portfolio includes buildings such as New York’s Freedom Tower and UAE’s Burj Dubai, the St Regis KL is expected to be the new benchmark.


Ms Chua said that construction will start in 2010 and completion is expected in 2014. ONE IFC has received approval for 1.4 million sq ft of development space on the 0.89-hectare site. Besides the hotel and residences, there are intentions to develop office space on the plot.


KL Sentral land prices have been appreciating as various developments have come up. For example, Singapore’s CapitaLand is teaming up with MRCB to build high-end residential apartments there. And the number of office workers in the area is expected to double to 50,000 in seven years.


ONE IFC acquired the St Regis plot from MRCB for an average price of RM1,400 psf last year. Ms Chua is confident that by 2015, KL Sentral real estate prices will mirror those around the Petronas Twin Towers area.


St Regis Kuala Lumpur ‘represents one of the largest private sector-driven initiatives, which will complement the government’s efforts in stimulating continuous economic growth’, she said. According to her, the St Regis will mean more jobs for Malaysians, as 95 per cent of the staff will be Malaysians.


Starwood’s Asia-Pacific president Miguel Ko said that St Regis Singapore was launched five months ago and ‘St Regis KL fits nicely in our expansion plans for South-east Asia’.


Source: Business Times

Avaya sets up Asian logistics hub here

Avaya sets up Asian logistics hub here


COMMUNICATIONS technology specialist Avaya is ringing in a new logistics gameplan for its Asian operations from Singapore.


The New Jersey-headquartered company has established its first Asian supply chain management hub in Singapore, to improve its finished goods distribution operations in Asia-Pacific.


The new warehousing facility at the Airport Logistics Park of Singapore (ALPS) will be managed by logistics services giant DB Schenker, a subsidiary of German national railway operator Deutsche Bahn.


Mark Leigh, president of Avaya Asia-Pacific, said yesterday the company’s growing manufacturing activities in the region precipitated its first distribution centre in Asia.


Establishing a logistics operation within Asia means faster delivery and lower freight charges when it comes to distributing Avaya products that are made in Asia-Pacific to other regional destinations, he said.


Specifically, the lead times for delivering goods within most parts of Asia can be slashed from 14 days to two. As well, the associated costs will be lowered by 80 per cent, Mr Leigh said. This is savings on mostly freight costs. And Avaya intends to pass on ‘most of the savings to our customers’.


He added: ‘We want to be more competitive in the market, and the more we move things to Asia and localise them, the better it will be for the customers and that gives us a competitive advantage.’


Mr Leigh said the company expects over 500 tonnes of IT equipment, worth over US$100 million, to pass through the Singapore facilities over the next 12 months.


Avaya manufactures business telephony equipment and specialises in communications and call centre solutions.


The company’s manufacturing facilities in China, Thailand and Indonesia serve its regional markets, which include Australia, China, India, Korea, Japan, and South-east Asia.


Elsewhere, Avaya’s other logistics hubs are located in the US, Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil and Canada.


For its fiscal year 2007, Avaya posted a turnover of US$442 million in Asia-Pacific. The company’s global turnover in the same year was US$5.28 billion.


Mr Leigh said Singapore was chosen over a shortlist of Asian countries, which included Hong Kong and Malaysia, because of the nation’s close proximity to regional customers, good infrastructure and the free trade zone status of the Airport Logistics Park of Singapore. ‘No other location came close,’ he added.


Singapore is also Avaya’s regional headquarters, which has 250 staff.


At yesterday’s announcement, Linda Sein, executive director for infocomms and media of the Economic Development Board (EDB), noted that Singapore is now home to more than two-thirds of the world’s most established third-party logistics players.


Singapore‘s strategic location and good business connectivity are reasons why network equipment providers such as Avaya, Cisco Systems and Harris Stratex have set up their headquarters here to manage their regional operations and supply chains, she added.


Source: Business Times

Pan-United sells 24th storey of The Octagon

Pan-United sells 24th storey of The Octagon


PAN-UNITED Corporation said David Shih Min Jen yesterday exercised the option to buy the 24th storey of The Octagon and has paid the company $990,240.00, which is 10 per cent of the sale price, as deposit.


The sale of the premises is scheduled for completion on Aug 21. Pan-United said earlier that the Cecil Street premises was acquired in 1993 for investment purpose.


‘As the sale will result in a gain of approximately $3.1 million over the book value, the board is of the view that the disposal is in the best interest of the company,’ it said.


Source: Business Times

Moody’s rates MI-Reit as ‘developing’

Moody’s rates MI-Reit as ‘developing’


CREDIT rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, yesterday changed Macarthurcook Industrial Reit’s (MI-Reit) Baa3 rating outlook to developing from stable.


The change came after the announcement that AMP Capital Investors made a proposal to acquire the entire capital of MacarthurCook for A$1.35 per share.


MacarthurCook owns 92.5 per cent of the manager of MI-Reit, MacarthurCook Investment Managers (Asia), and has direct and indirect interest of about 13 per cent in MI-Reit.


The conditions of the proposal have not been revealed.


AMP became a substantial shareholder in MacarthurCook through the entry into a pre-bid acceptance agreement with Ascalon Capital Managers in respect to their 18.4 per cent shareholding in Macarthurcook. AMP is one of the principal operating subsidiaries of AMP Group Holdings of Australia.


Moody’s said it expects a resolution of the developing outlook would occur once it becomes clear if the takeover is going to proceed and whether this will result in changes in respect of the strategic direction and medium-term operating and financial outlook for MI-Reit.


MI-Reit reported total assets of $569 million and revenues of $32 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008.


Source: Business Times