CapitaLand, CITIC Trust establish 500m renminbi China fund

CapitaLand, CITIC Trust establish 500m renminbi China fund

 

SINGAPORE : CapitaLand and CITIC Trust, China’s largest trust company, have launched the first renminbi-denominated real estate private equity fund in China.

 

The 500 million renminbi fund will invest in business parks in China. It will be jointly managed by CITIC Trust and CapitaLand.

 

CapitaLand has 50 per cent sponsor stake, while local Chinese investors – comprising corporate investors and high net worth individuals – have subscribed for the remaining interests.

 

The fund allows Chinese domestic investors to participate in the incubation of properties suitable for real estate investment trusts.

 

The fund will invest in CapitaLand’s business park in Beijing called the IBM China Centre.

 

The property is a Grade A, low-rise and campus-style development with a net lettable area of 19,272 square metres

 

The new venture is CapitaLand’s first business park fund in China and its seventh private equity fund in the country.

 

The combined equity committed for the seven funds in China amounts to US$2.7 billion. – CNA/ms

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Lian Beng wins construction contracts worth S$117m

Lian Beng wins construction contracts worth S$117m

 

SINGAPORE : Construction firm Lian Beng Group has won three new construction and civil engineering contracts worth a total of S$117 million.

 

Two of the deals are for construction projects in the private residential sector.

 

The first contract, worth some S$36 million, is awarded by Sing Holdings for the construction of Bellerive Condominium, a private residential development located at the junction of Keng Chin Road and Ewe Boon Road.

 

Lian Beng will build 51 apartment units within a 15-storey block and work is scheduled to be completed by July 2010.

 

A second deal, worth S$50.4 million, is from Lafe (Emerald Hill) Development to construct 33 private residential apartments at Emerald Hill Road, which is due to be finished around the fourth quarter of 2010.

 

The group has also secured a S$30 million civil engineering project, which was awarded by the national water agency PUB for a part of Singapore’s network of NEWater pipelines.

 

With these latest contracts, Lian Beng’s order book stands at about S$800 million. – CNA/ms

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Boustead S’pore wins S$60m contract to build Singapore Freeport

Boustead S’pore wins S$60m contract to build Singapore Freeport

 

SINGAPORE: Infrastructure company Boustead Singapore has won a turnkey contract worth S$60 million to build the first phase of the Singapore FreePort.

 

This is a dedicated ultra-high security space for the safe and secure storage, display and trade of the world’s finest collections and valuables.

 

The first phase of this special state-of-the-art facility is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of next year.

 

The FreePort will be directly connected to Changi Airport for the rapid and safe transfer of collections and valuables.

 

The facility, which is expected to be completed in 2011, has a gross floor area of some 22,500 square metres for Phase 1 and an additional 24,000 square metres for Phase 2.

 

Boustead said the contract is expected to have a positive material impact on its profitability and earnings per share in the current financial year ending 31 March 2009.

 

Source: Business Times

Asia property investment up 27% in 2007

Asia property investment up 27% in 2007

 

SINGAPORE – Property investment in Asia reached a record US$121 billion in 2007, according to consultants Jones Lang LaSalle, up 27 per cent from the previous year.

 

And while the credit crunch took its toll in Europe and North America in the second half of the year, pushing down global transaction value by 8 per cent from the second half of 2007, investment in Asia surged 22 per cent in the last six months.

 

Data from Jones Lang LaSalle shows transaction volumes globally in the first five months of 2008 were 40 per cent lower than in the same period last year, dragged down by weaker activity in Europe and the United States. — REUTERS

 

Source: Business Times

Boustead’s unit wins $60 mln deal to build FreePort

Boustead’s unit wins $60 mln deal to build FreePort

 

Boustead Singapore Limited on Monday said its 91.7 per cent-owned subsidiary, Boustead Projects Pte Ltd, has been awarded a $60 million turnkey contract to build Phase 1 of The Singapore FreePort, a state-of-the-art facility for The Singapore FreePort Real Estate Pte Ltd.

 

The FreePort, scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2009, is an ultra-high security space for the safe and secure storage, display and trade of the world’s finest collections and valuables including fine art, jewellery, watches, diamonds.

 

Phase 1 will have a gross floor area of 22,500 square metres and will comprise strong rooms, huge vaults, showrooms, workshops, photo studios and private offices.

 

The contract is expected to have a positive material impact on the profitability and earnings per share of the company in the current financial year ending 31 March 2009.

 

However, the contract is not expected to have a material impact on the net assetvalue per share in the current financial year. — BT Newsroom

 

Source: Business Times

Lian Beng wins $117 mln construction projects

Lian Beng wins $117 mln construction projects

 

Construction firm, Lian Beng Group Ltd, has won three new construction and civil engineering contracts worth a total of $117 million.

 

Among the contracts were two construction projects for the private residential sector.

 

The first of which was a $36.2 million contract awarded by Sing Holdings (Bellerive) Pte Ltd for the construction of Bellerive Condominium, a private residential development located at the junction of Keng Chin Road and Ewe Boon Road.

 

Work on Bellerive Condominium will involve the construction of 51 apartment units within a 15-storey block, and is scheduled to be complete by July 2010. The cost of constructing the Bellerive development works out to about $585 per sq ft.

 

Separately, the group won a $50.4 million contract from Lafe (Emerald Hill) Development Pte Ltd, to construct 33 private residential apartments at Emerald Hill Road.

 

The construction cost of the Emerald Hill development is estimated to be $668 per sq ft and work at this development is expected to be complete around the fourth quarter of 2010.

 

The group has also secured a $30 million civil engineering project, which was awarded by the Public Utilities Board, for a part of Singapore’s network of NEWater pipelines.

 

For this project, Lian Beng has teamed up with Ri Dong Corporation Pte Ltd in a 50-50 joint-venture.

 

The civil engineering project will involve the design and construction of a NEWater pipeline running from Changi NEWater Plant to Jurong, Tuas and Jurong Island.

 

Work on the NEWater pipeline project is expected to be complete in July 2009.

 

With these latest contract wins, Lian Beng’s orderbook stands at about $800 million. — BT Newsroom

 

Source: Business Times

Lian Beng wins $117 mil contracts

Lian Beng wins $117 mil contracts

 

Construction group Lian Beng has won three new construction and civil engineering contracts worth a total of 117 million dollars.

 

Two of the contracts are for the private residential sector.

 

The third contract is a 30 million dollar civil engineering project, which was awarded by PUB.

 

That PUB project will involve the design and construction of a NEWater pipeline running from Changi NEWater Plant to Jurong, Tuas and Jurong Island.

 

For this project, Lian Beng has teamed up with Ri Dong Corporation in a 50-50 joint-venture.

 

With these latest contract wins, Lian Beng’s orderbook stands at about 800 million dollars.

 

Source: 938Live

Green the new gold in offices?

Green the new gold in offices?

 

Green is apparently becoming the new gold in offices.

 

In this day and age of environmental actions, being aware of the massive environmental crisis is simply not enough.

 

Activists around the world have been campaigning to translate the growing awareness into actual practices, not only at homes but in offices.

 

Join the newsdesk to find out how successful businesses here are rising to the green challenge.

 

Picture a gaping wound on an imaginary globe.

 

A Gaia that’s bleeding out in the form of melting ice caps, mercurial weather and flora and fauna that are dying out.

 

The million dollar question beckons – how do we stop this?

 

Over the years, governments around the world have made pacts with green progressives to deliver environmental justice.

 

Locally, environmental groups like the Singapore Environment Council are advocating environmental responsibility and sustainability.

 

And they’re pitching not only to individuals at large but corporations as well.

 

Through SEC’s collaboration with City Developments, companies can register themselves online at the SEC website to see what and how should they go about creating eco-friendly offices.

 

Under the programme, businesses must qualify a certain set of criteria, such as level of recycling and waste minimisation, before they’re considered for the green office label.

 

Once they’re selected, an auditor will be sent to down to the office to conduct checks.

 

At this stage, a fee will be required.

 

Depending on the size of the office and the number of people based there, the fee could go from one thousand two hundred to two thousand dollars.

 

Once awarded, the green office label is valid for two years.

 

Afterwhich, companies or organisations must continue to have their offices audited to ensure it’s not a one-time effort.

 

So, how successful have they been in converting business owners, especially in the wake of lacking public sentiments about conserving resources?

 

Mr Yatin Premchand, General Manager of SEC, says more and more companies are joining the eco-office fight.

 

“There’s already 100 companies registered to participate in this programme. It’s been around five years and it’s grown to a hundred and every few days I guess there’s people registering, but the number is not indicative of the number of people or should I say the companies using the programme. Just because they’re registered does not mean they actually apply for the label. At the same time, just because they are not registered doesn’t mean there are a host of other companies actually using the variety of information online available to them.”

 

On top of the hundred companies that are currently monitoring their eco-office ratings, 25 have already clinched the Green Office Label.

 

The latest office to garner the award is Body Shop’s Asia-Pacific headquarters based here.

 

They are the first in the retail category to be awarded the green office label.

 

Mr Jonathan Price, the Asia-Pacific Managing Director of Body Shop explained that being green in the office is all about planning.

 

“From how we sourced the materials, the majority of the materials we used was recyclable materials, like wood for the furnishings. The electrical equipment that we use was low energy consumption. We use bamboo for our wooden flooring and our reception area, so this is a sustainable source.”

 

The current uphill battle to push for more days of Bring Your Own Bag Day has sparked a debate on how green efforts should not inconvenience the public.

 

While some nod in agreement to this, others like Mr Price beg to differ.

 

According to him, changing peoples’ mindset is key.

 

He cites the example of taking away normal dustbins from the office and replacing them with recycling bins.

 

“Interestingly, we are producing 40 per cent less waste as a direct result of moving away everybody’s bins. And now people don’t think about it twice, they just keep their bit of rubbish and put it away when they’re going to the restroom and they’re going to the canteen.”

 

Mr Price added that the company estimated that they’ll save up to fifty per cent on energy due to the installation of motion sensors in the office.

 

” You don’t always have to have your lights at full capacity, so we provide dimmer switches in all our meeting rooms in all our offices. We also have no printing and no light days. So every other week we will arrange say tell the staff that nobody can use any of the printers. So on that day I will just turn all the printers off and it’s amazing, people just think about it and be a bit more organized and it works. We also have lights off, no light days. Obviously if there’s a black rain storm outside it might be a bit different, but if it’s nice and sunny then again, we work majority of the day with no lights on.”

 

A general misconception is the cost of going green.

 

Mr Price explained to me that while the energy-efficient lightings are more costly initially, it’s beneficial over time.

 

“It’s sometimes cheaper to use these types of materials. And I’ll give you an example sometimes where an initial upfront investment costs slightly more, but you get a better return over a longer period of time. The actual light fitting that goes in, sometimes if you switch to a LED, it costs you a little bit more money than the regular one you use. But over a period of time, the actual electricity it uses, is less. So you actually get the payback over a number of years, substantial payback over a number of years, because whilst initial investment is a little bit more expensive, the actual payout over the years of using it is much less.”

 

On that same note, Mr Premchand pointed out that a key component of project eco-office is to demonstrate profitability through the green movement.

 

“The more efficiently use your resources, to more efficiently use your energy and practice erm, integrate into your core business is what I’m trying to say and the more effective in reaching your bottomline and also in other brand stands.”

 

While it seems businesses are only slowly coming round to the idea of being socially responsible, SEC holds more faith.

 

“Looking at actual tangible number of offices of course, I mean it’s very difficult for us to give an exact number but we hope that 50 per cent of those who are looking at getting certified, hopefully will get at least those 50 per cent on board.”

 

Changes are already creeping in gradually.

 

Be it a political move or genuine concern about the environment, policymakers are starting to acknowledge the fact that it’s time to take action.

 

In fact the Singapore government has stepped out to acknowledge that going green is the way forward.

 

The idea is to conserve resources and hopefully, ease escalating global demand and thus reduce costs.

 

But for the green movement to take root in Singapore, more will have to be done to tweak the mindsets of individuals and business owners.

 

Hopefully the change wouldn’t come too late.

 

Source: 938Live

Sales of Dakota Residences encouraging

Sales of Dakota Residences encouraging

 

By KALPANA RASHIWALA

 

A CLOSELY watched property market preview has yielded encouraging results amidst the current subdued market conditions.

 

Ho Bee Investment and NTUC Choice Homes have sold 80 units at Dakota Residences over the weekend. The developers have so far released 122 units in the 348-unit project at an average price of $970 per square foot – lower than the $1,000 to $1,100 psf Ho Bee had indicated in June 2007 when the developers emerged as the top bidders for the 99-year leasehold site.

 

No deferred payment is available for the 19-storey condominium project, which will front Geylang River.

 

Buyers are predominantly Singaporeans, many with private home addresses. ‘The majority of them live in the East Coast area, some even in landed homes. We have quite a number of professionals among the buyers,’ said Ho Bee executive director Ong Chong Hua.

 

 

‘It shows that if you price your project right, there are still buyers. There’s quite a bit of pent-up demand. Also buyers like the project’s proximity to Dakota MRT Station and the popular Old Airport Road Food Centre. The location is also very close to the popular East Coast area,’ he added.

 

The plans for the Sports Hub and and Kallang Riverside area have also helped to stir interest in the project, Mr Ong reckons.

 

The project comprises a mix of two, three and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Both penthouses in the stack of 122 units released so far have been sold – a 3,700 sq ft unit went for $3.37 million and the other, a 2,605 sq ft unit, fetched $2.62 million. A typical three-bedroom apartment of about 1,300 sq ft in the development costs about $1.3 million on average.

 

Ho Bee and NTUC Choice Homes paid $524 psf per plot ratio at a state tender last year for the Dakota Residences site, which attracted a whopping 15 bids.

 

Asked if the developers will consider raising Dakota Residences’ selling prices, Mr Ong said: ‘We’ll review it but any price adjustment will be moderate. Sentiment is still fragile. If you’re too aggressive in raising prices, you run the risk of stalling the sales momentum.’

 

Urban Redevelopment Authority data released last week showed developers sold 441 new private homes in May, up from 284 units in April.

 

Source: Business Times

Big regional quake likely within 30 years

Big regional quake likely within 30 years

 

S’pore almost sure to be affected, says top earth scientist

 

By LEE U-WEN

 

(SINGAPORE) A top earth scientist predicts that an earthquake measuring 8.8 or 8.9 on the Richter scale is likely to strike South-east Asia within the next 30 years – and will almost certainly cause tremors that would affect the region, including Singapore.

 

This is the view of Professor Kerry Sieh, founding director of the new Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) at Nanyang Technological University, who expressed concern that too many Singaporeans have the impression that the Republic is ‘disaster-safe’ .

 

‘There’s no such thing as a country that is perfectly safe. The chances of Singapore being affected by another major earthquake nearby is better than 50 per cent. We are only an arm’s length away, so we’ve got to start planning as if we could be affected by an earthquake or tsunami,’ the 57-year-old told BT in an interview.

 

Last year, when two earthquakes jolted the Indonesian island of Sumatra, hundreds of buildings in Singapore shook as a result of the ensuing tremors.

 

Prof Sieh, who will formally begin work full-time at EOS next month, is busy wrapping up a 30-year stint as a geologist at the California Institute of Technology in the US.

 

The EOS will focus on natural disasters in the region, including tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and climate change studies.

 

While forecasting a natural disaster is one thing, convincing the man-in-the- street to take these warnings seriously is a whole different ball game, according to Prof Sieh. ‘You tell people that something is happening in 30 years’ time. But many, especially those in the villages in China, simply cannot relate.

 

‘To them, their only concern is putting food on the table, or worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow. Frankly, 30 years is not a long time as far as the earth is concerned. It’s still within our lifetime,’ he said.

 

The key to reaching out to the general population, he said, lies in education. He added that he has already mapped out plans to work with the Ministry of Education here to roll out a comprehensive learning package for students about how the earth functions.

 

‘I believe that every child should have a basic, fundamental knowledge about how the planet works, why we feel tremors and how to react to them, what is the impact of climate change, and so on,’ he said.

 

His vision is to see every primary and secondary school, junior college and polytechnic have in place such a programme as part of their curriculum for the younger generation to ‘learn about life’.

 

To reach out to a wider audience, he said that it was likely the EOS would produce documentaries and films that could be used to educate Singapore and the region about natural disasters.

 

Although the EOS will mark its official opening only next January, Prof Sieh hopes to have a sizeable number of world-class faculty on board by then. Recruitment has already begun – the target is to have 20 faculty, 70 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and support staff in the next five years.

 

Even as most of the new staff are likely to be foreigners, the best way for South-east Asia to benefit in the long run is to have a steady pool of trained local earth scientists who can do good research for the region.

 

‘It’s not going to be difficult to bring the top people here. Singapore is a country that sells itself, really. The salaries are competitive and the government is highly supportive of building a solid research environment, ‘ he said.

 

Source: Business Times