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27th August 2014

Singapore Real Estate

Sharp fall in industrial land bids at 2 state tenders

Tuas South parcel's S$56 psf ppr top bid is half that for nearby plot year ago

Source: Business Times / Singapore

STATE tender closings on Tuesday for two 30-year leasehold industrial sites in Gambas Crescent and Tuas South reflect sharp drops in industrial land prices as developers factored in an impending market correction given the huge supply of industrial space scheduled for completion in the next three years.

The top bid for a plot at Gambas Crescent in the Sembawang location was almost 19 per cent lower in unit land price terms than that for the adjacent site sold last December, while a site in Tuas South fetched just half the price that an earlier site in the locale went for a year ago. Both sites are from the first-half 2014 Industrial Government Land Sales (GLS) list

Gambas Crescent Parcel 4 fetched a top bid of S$83.03 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) - compared with S$102.20 psf ppr last December for the adjacent Parcel 3. The neighbouring Parcels 1 and 2 sold at even higher prices in October last year - about S$138 psf ppr and S$127 psf ppr respectively.

All the four Gambas Crescent parcels are for Business 1 (B1) use and have 2.5 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area).

-By Kalpana Rashiwala

Woodlands industrial site draws just 4 bids; Tuas parcel for sale

Source: Straits Times / Money 

AS THE tender for a large light industrial site in Woodlands closed yesterday after slack bidding, a few small sites in Tuas suitable for heavy industrial use are in the pipeline.

Only four offers came in for the 1.57ha land parcel at Gambas Crescent (Parcel 4) near Sembawang MRT station. All were lower than expected. The highest, lodged by NSS Realty, was $83 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr), below analysts' predictions of $90 to $120 psf ppr.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said that since Far East Organization already owns the three parcels next to the plot, it is likely that developers saw there was "little mileage in acquiring the fourth parcel at high land costs".

Even Far East saw fit to offer only $66 psf ppr through its unit Grow-Tech Properties, making it the second-highest bidder. Its bid was about 20 per cent lower than the top offer. It had paid $134 psf ppr for Gambas Crescent Parcel 1, $127 psf ppr for Parcel 2 and $102 psf ppr for Parcel 3.

Mr Ong said NSS Realty may have put in a higher bid because it wanted to secure one of the last light industrial sites to be launched in state tenders this year.

All the industrial sites slated to go on sale in the second half of this year are zoned for heavy industrial use, he noted.

JTC Corporation yesterday launched one of them for sale. The 0.8ha site at Tuas South Street 9 has a tenure of 20 years and nine months and is zoned for "Business 2" (B2) development, which indicates it is suitable for heavy industries. Analysts expect it to fetch five to 10 bids, with a top offer of $60 to $75 psf ppr. The tender closes on Oct 21.

Another industrial B2 site, at Tuas South Street 11, has been triggered for sale from the industrial government land sales programme's reserve list, JTC said, as one developer has committed to bid at least $6 million for the 0.9ha plot, which has a leasehold of 20 years and 10 months. This works out to $62 psf ppr.

Analysts said this site could attract seven bids, and the top offer could come in at $60 to $75 psf ppr. A site on the reserve list goes on sale only if a developer lodges a minimum acceptable bid.

The parcel will be launched for sale by public tender in the middle of next month, JTC said.

It added it has put a nearby 0.8ha industrial B2 site at Tuas South Street 11 on the reserve list for the second half of this year. That site has a lease term of 20 years and four months.

SLP International research head Nicholas Mak said all three sites would likely attract bids from end-users due to their small size.

 -By Melissa Tan

Three industrial sites at Tuas open for bids

The three land parcels are at Tuas South Street 9 and 11, says JTC Corporation. 

Source: Channel News Asia / Business

SINGAPORE: JTC Corporation on Tuesday (Aug 26) announced the launch of three industrial sites at Tuas under the Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme.

The three sites - one at Tuas South Street 9 and two at Tuas South Street 11 - were launched as part of the Government's efforts to provide industrial space and offer more choices for industrial development, the company said in its statement.

For the Tuas South Street 9 site, it has 0.8 hectares (ha) and is zoned for Business-2 development. It has a 20-year-9-month tenure with a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 1.0. The gross plot ratio refers to the amount of gross floor area the developer can build in relation to the land area. The closing date for the tender is Tuesday (Oct 21) at 11am. 

In addition, a 0.8 ha site at Tuas South Street 11 (Plot 43) was made available for application under the Reserve List of the second half 2014 IGLS programme. Another 0.9 ha land parcel at Tuas South Street 11 (Plot 41), previously made available for application under the first half 2014 IGLS Reserve List, will be launched for sale by public tender in mid-September 2014.

Both sites are zoned for Business-2 development and have a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 1.0.

Under the Reserve List system, a land parcel will only be released for sale if it receives an offer of a minimum price that is acceptable to the Government or when there is sufficient market interest for the site, JTC said.

Once the application is acceptable to the Government, JTC will make public the minimum price committed for the site. The identity of the applicant will not be disclosed. 

- CNA/do

Developers keep residents in the loop

Updates given, feedback sought at community meetings on new projects

Source: Straits Times / Money

NEW rules that require developers to keep residents informed about upcoming construction work have prompted some firms to go the extra mile and undertake full community consultations.

GuocoLand took this approach on Aug 17 when it held a discussion and feedback session with residents near a 2.3ha Sims Drive residential plot it acquired in April.

The session at Aljunied restaurant Fansida Wine and Dine was the first time GuocoLand had sought public input on such a scale, a company spokesman said.

He added that details of the project were not discussed, as the survey sessions are meant to "gather feedback, ideas and suggestions for consideration in our product development."

Invitations were sent through fliers and word of mouth, and close to 30 people turned up that day.

"People who are familiar with the location shared that they like it due to its convenience and high connectivity," said the GuocoLand spokesman.

"Those who are not living within the vicinity are aware of the potential of this interesting neighbourhood."

Its move follows a ruling from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) last October that made public communications a requirement for selected sites put out for tender under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

Developers must inform residents within a 100m radius of a site of its development plans.

The ruling applies to all GLS sites sold in predominantly residential areas.

The spokesman added: "Given the URA requirements, we decided to take the opportunity to ensure that when we do the project, it is something that people would like."

GuocoLand said it has conducted smaller versions of such sessions in the past, adding that feedback allows it to better understand the community's needs.

Suggestions over its Goodwood Residence development in Bukit Timah Road, for example, have been taken into consideration.

"(This) helps us develop our product to better fit into the landscape of the existing location... (It) also allows us to engage the local communities such as schools and community clubs and support our CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts."

Century 21 chief executive Ku Swee Yong noted that residents may alert developers on the timing of school sessions in the area, to minimise vehicles moving in and out of construction sites during peak hours.

He added that developers have already been actively reaching out at sites with difficult vehicle access.

"But, of course, given the state of the market, a developer needs to do even more public outreach - to get to know a neighbourhood and tell them to watch out for a new development.

"It might be something (the residents) could be interested in."

Far East Organization, which acquired a 1.9ha Woodlands Square commercial site in April, is understood to be likely to engage the residents as GuocoLand had done.

It had been engaging the community for previous developments before the new rules kicked in, but mostly on the level of meeting with People's Association or community club groups in the vicinity.

EL Development's managing director, Mr Lim Yew Soon, said the public communications regulations have delayed construction of its project - earmarked for a 2.1ha Yishun residential site it acquired in March - by about a month.

But as only one block of flats are in the vicinity, the cost of outreach is not too great, he added.

The developer sent out two rounds of fliers to residents to request feedback, although none has been received yet.

"Typical problems raised by neighbours have already been resolved by other provisions in tender documents, such as rules on vehicle access to the land parcels and access to bin centres," Mr Lim noted.

UOL, which acquired two residential sites in Prince Charles Crescent and Upper Paya Lebar Road this year, said it is still in the early stages, but has "rolled out initial communication as required".

Other developers that do not yet have sites subject to the new rules have nevertheless been reaching out to residents.

A Keppel Land spokesman said it forms a team for every project to address feedback from the public and residents.

Project updates and progress reports are also provided on a regular basis to keep residents informed, such as through the distribution of fliers, she said.

 -By Rennie Whang

Property drives investor sentiment to 18-month high

Source: Straits Times / Money

INCREASED optimism about the property sector sent investor sentiment here to an 18-month high in the second quarter, according to a new survey.

It also found that local investors were more optimistic than many of their counterparts across Asia.

Real estate is underpinning the better mood in Singapore with 40 per cent of respondents thinking it is a good time to invest in their own home, up from 31 per cent in the first quarter. 

This was likely due to "low interest rates, market stability and, importantly, the view that property prices have corrected to an attractive entry level for investment", said insurer Manulife, which conducted the survey. Prices of private homes have fallen 3.2 per cent from their peak in September last year to the end of June this year, according to official figures last month.

Interest rates have also remained low in recent months with the three-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) hovering around 0.4 per cent.

The "improved sentiment towards property" was the main reason overall investor sentiment climbed in the three months to June 30 to its highest level since January last year, Manulife said yesterday.

Singapore investors are now more cheerful overall than their peers in mainland China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Only in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were investors more optimistic, Manulife said.

"Clearly, Singapore investors have recently regained quite a bit of confidence but... it's crucial to actively manage a diversified portfolio to guard against risk and maximise returns," said Mr Naveed Irshad, president and chief executive of Manulife Singapore. Investors here also grew more upbeat about bonds but were less keen on equities as at the end of June.

The greater interest in bonds was due to "a flight to quality amid uncertainty arising from the situation in Ukraine and geopolitical tension elsewhere", said Ms Jill Smith, senior managing director of Manulife Asset Management (Singapore).

Ms Smith said that although stocks seem to have lost their shine for now, their appeal may rise again: "We are optimistic about equities in developed Asian markets... In Singapore, listed companies should continue to benefit from increased economic activity overseas."

Manulife's survey in Singapore was done through 500 online interviews of middle-income to affluent investors who were at least 25 years old and owned investment products.

-By Melissa Tan

Real Estate Companies' Brief

CIT to buy industrial building for S$39.8m

Purchase to be funded by existing cash, debt facilities

Source: Business Times / Companies

CAMBRIDGE Industrial Trust is looking to acquire 12 Ang Mo Kio Street 65 for S$39.8 million.

This translates into an estimated total acquisition cost of S$40.6 million. It will be funded by existing cash and debt facilities, said Cambridge Industrial Trust Management Limited (CITM) on Tuesday.

The building is a six-storey purpose-built light industrial building with a gross floor area of about 16,762 square metres. It is about 85 per cent leased to two tenants, Nepes and Singapore Technologies Electronics.

It is situated within the Ang Mo Kio industrial estate, at the northern fringe of Ang Mo Kio New Town. Accessibility to other parts of the island is facilitated by the Central Expressway and Seletar Expressway. The Yio Chu Kang MRT station and nearest bus interchange are situated about one kilometre from the site.

-By Mindy Tan

Company confirms discussions on possible sale of Straits Trading Building

Source: Business Times / Companies

THE Straits Trading Company issued a statement on Tuesday that it is in discussions with a potential buyer in connection with a possible transaction with regard to the Straits Trading Building. "Discussions are on-going and there is no certainty whatsoever that these discussions will result in any definitive agreement or transaction," said the company.

The clarification was in response to an article printed in BT on Tuesday. It was reported that "advanced discussions" are believed to be going on for the building, which is a 999-year leasehold office tower in Battery Road.

The buyer is believed to be an overseas party from Asia. Based on the reported price of slightly above S$2,800 per square foot (psf) based on the net lettable area of about 159,000-plus square feet, this translates to a transaction amount of about S$450 million.

The company requested a trading halt at about 3pm on Tuesday, before requesting to lift the trading halt half an hour later.

-By Mindy Tan

IOI Properties shares buck sector's trend

Company posts 31.7% spike in net earnings on RM1.45b of sales

Source: Business Times / Malaysia

BUCKING the trend among property counters, shares in IOI Properties leaped nearly 6 per cent to RM2.52 apiece on Tuesday on better than expected earnings for its 2014 financial year.

In a note to the stock exchange late Monday, the property firm, one of the largest in Malaysia, reported a 31.7 per cent year-on-year spike in profit to RM913.4 million (S$361.3 million) on the back of RM1.45 billion in sales.  Even so, the final figure was also enhanced by a RM198 million gain on bargain purchase for the acquisition of subsidiaries, and a one-off RM305 million fair value gain on investment properties.

On a sequential basis, the company's fourth quarter net profit increased by 38 per cent to RM123 million on higher property development revenue and a strong recovery in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) margin.

"IOI Properties reported net profit topped the consensus forecast of RM662 million due to the large fair value gain in the fourth quarter," Alliance Bank noted in a report on Tuesday.

-By S Jaya Sankaran in Kuala Lumpur

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Lend Lease Full-Year Profit Surges 50% on U.K. Mall Stake Sale

Source: Bloomberg / Luxury

Lend Lease Group, Australia’s biggest listed property developer, said full-year profit jumped 50 percent after selling its stake in a U.K. mall.

Net income was A$823 million ($767 million) in the 12 months ended June 30, compared with A$549 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said today. The developer will pay a full-year dividend of 71 Australian cents a share, compared with 42 cents a year earlier, it said. The shares rose 1.5 percent to A$13.96 at 1:57 p.m. in Sydney, heading for the highest close since February 2008.

Over the last four years, “our return on equity has grown from 14 percent to 18.2 percent,” Chief Executive Officer Steve McCann said in a telephone interview today. The share price “is a reflection of the market starting to rerate us off the back of the growth.”

Lend Lease said in June it would record a A$480 million profit from the sale of the Bluewater Shopping Center in Kent. The company said in April it will start building a third office tower at its A$6 billion Barangaroo South development in Sydney with funding from existing sources after signing PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and HSBC Holdings Plc as tenants.

Barangaroo Tower

While the company still intends to bring in additional capital sources to fund the tower, “we’re not quite ready to do that yet,” McCann said. With 34 percent of the building pre-leased, “the universe of people who would buy is still quite strong. But with 50 percent, it would be stronger.”

Profit from Lend Lease’s Australian business fell 12 percent as the prior year’s income included earnings related to its first two towers at Barangaroo, the company said. By contrast, settlements in its development division in the country were up 32 percent, it said.

“The residential market has been very strong and there’s no sign of that slowing down,” McCann said. “Having said that, the reality is that it’s been strong for awhile now and we’re very, very conscious of that.”

In Europe, profit more than quadrupled due to the Bluewater sale, and in the Americas it jumped 47 percent following an asset sale and increased income from construction, it said.

The company said the outlook for London is positive. It is doing more residential developments in the city in addition to its Elephant & Castle regeneration and The International Quarter redevelopment.

“There’s a significant amount of offshore buying support, from the Middle East, Russia, Asia,” McCann said. “We’re keeping a close eye on it, but there’s still a significant shortage of housing in London, so we expect that market will stay strong.”

Lend Lease shares have surged 25 percent this year, compared with a 5.4 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (AS51) Index.

-By Nichola Saminather

Weyerhaeuser to Move Its Headquarters to Downtown Seattle

Source: Bloomberg / News

Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY), a real estate investment trust and owner of U.S. timberlands, plans to move its headquarters to a new development in downtown Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district.

The company’s 430-acre (174-hectare) campus in Federal Way, Washington, “is costly and too large for our needs,” Chief Executive Officer Doyle R. Simons said today in a statement. “Moving our headquarters to Seattle will give us access to a larger talent pool to meet future recruiting needs, not just in this region, but from across the country.”

The company said it plans to sell its land and buildings in Federal Way, about 23 miles (37 kilometers) south of Seattle. It expects to move in 2016.

Pioneer Square is part of the urban construction boom under way in Seattle that includes new offices, apartments, hotels and retail projects valued at about $2.8 billion, according to the Downtown Seattle Association. Gains in employment and population have made Seattle the fastest-growing of the 50 largest cities in the U.S.

Weyerhaeuser, which began operations in 1900, owns or controls almost 7 million acres of timberlands, mainly in the U.S., and manages 14 million acres in Canada. It also makes wood and cellulose-fibers products.

The company’s shares returned 26 percent in the past 12 months, including dividends, compared with a 23 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

-By Hui-yong Yu

Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rose in June at a Slower Pace

Source: Bloomberg / Luxury

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a slower pace in the year ended in June as declining affordability and weak wage gains kept appreciation in check.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 8.1 percent from June 2013, the smallest 12-month gain since January 2013, the group reported today in New York.

Price gains are slowing as more houses are coming up for sale and investors retreat to the sidelines. That, combined with an improving job market, could put homeownership within reach of more Americans grappling with disappointing wage growth and strict lending rules.

“We’re seeing more inventories coming on line, which is putting downward pressure on prices,” Anika Khan, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. “In general, we have seen prices rise at a faster pace than the fundamentals would call for. There’s a normalization happening.”

The median forecast of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected an 8.3 percent gain in the 12 months ended in June. Estimates ranged from 7.7 percent to 9 percent.

Another report confirmed price gains are decelerating. Property values rose 0.8 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months after increasing 1.3 percent at the start of the year, according to figures from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Shares Rise

Stock-index futures held earlier gains after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in September climbed 0.1 percent to 1,997.2 at 9:09 a.m. in New York amid reports about corporate mergers.

Seasonally adjusted, prices in the 20-city Case-Shiller index dropped 0.2 percent in June from the prior month, worse than the unchanged reading that was the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey. Unadjusted prices climbed 1 percent.

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year gain, led by a 15.2 percent climb in Las Vegas and a 12.9 percent advance in San Francisco. Cleveland showed the smallest year-over-year increase, with prices rising 0.8 percent.

Today’s report included national figures that are now being reported on a monthly basis. U.S. prices dropped 0.1 percent in June from the prior month after adjusting for seasonal variations, the report showed. They were up 6.2 percent from June 2013.

Better Gauge

The year-over-year gauge for the 20 cities, based on records dating back to 2001, provides better indications of trends in prices, the group has said. The panel includes Karl Case and Robert Shiller, the economists who created the index.

Residential real estate has yet to bounce back fully from a cold and wet winter that slowed sales early this year. Contracts on new homes fell unexpectedly in July to a 412,000 annualized pace, their weakest level since March, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Still, there are signs of progress. Construction rebounded last month, with starts climbing 15.7 percent to a 1.09 million annualized rate. Resales of existing homes also picked up, increasing to a 5.15 million pace, the best showing since September, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Retailers with fortunes tied closely to the housing market, including Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos., see plenty of room for improvement. Furnishings merchant Kirkland’s Inc. last week lowered its outlook for the year, with Chief Executive Officer Robert Alderson calling the economic recovery “erratic” and “limp.”

Corporate Outlook

“We would still prefer a better jobs environment and a housing market to feel more comfortable with the state of the consumer,” Alderson said on an Aug. 21 earnings call for the Nashville, Tennessee-based company.

“In a country mired in political stalemate and totally lacking focus on economic growth, it’s exceedingly difficult to expect to return to historic levels of economic growth or a return of sustained optimism to nurture a healthy jobs market and a growing housing market,” Alderson said.

Cheaper borrowing costs are helping. The average rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage was 4.1 percent in the week ended Aug. 21, down from 4.53 percent at the start of January, according to Freddie Mac in McLean, Virginia.

============================================================== Current Previous 3-Mth YoY% Index MoM% MoM% Annual % Change Level ============================================================== US Composite 0.97% 1.16% 13.94% 8.07% 172.33 -------------------------------------------------------------- Tampa 1.21% 1.80% 6.19% 9.08% 161.25 San Francisco 0.34% 1.82% 19.86% 12.90% 195.32 Chicago 1.44% 1.48% 21.31% 6.65% 129.83 Charlotte 0.44% 1.43% 12.63% 3.78% 127.95 Seattle 1.11% 1.42% 17.65% 8.63% 169.96 Denver 1.18% 1.33% 17.82% 7.69% 154.39 Detroit 1.36% 1.34% 17.86% 10.25% 97.44 Minneapolis 0.63% 1.34% 16.65% 6.66% 141.27 Dallas 1.14% 1.32% 16.59% 7.96% 140.12 ============================================================== Current Previous 3-Mth YoY% Index MoM% MoM% Annual % Change Level ============================================================== Cleveland 0.42% 1.16% 12.64% 0.83% 106.64 Miami 0.63% 1.19% 12.28% 11.54% 186.39 Atlanta 1.05% 1.17% 17.89% 8.57% 118.50 Portland 1.13% 1.14% 10.93% 9.15% 168.97 Boston 0.55% 1.13% 20.07% 7.00% 176.28 Las Vegas 1.37% 1.08% 12.33% 15.21% 135.12 Los Angeles 0.63% 1.05% 10.69% 10.52% 223.33 New York 1.58% 0.98% 11.28% 4.35% 175.26 Washington DC 0.55% 0.93% 10.34% 5.29% 210.68 San Diego 0.68% 0.61% 8.27% 10.16% 203.32 Phoenix 0.58% 0.45% 13.32% 6.95% 146.90 ==============================================================

-By Lorraine Woellert

Westfield Says First-Half Comparable Operating Income Rose 5.3%

Source: Bloomberg / News

Westfield Corp. (WFD), the global mall operator spun off in the restructure of Westfield Group, said comparable net operating income climbed 5.3 percent in the first six months of 2014.

The company expects to pay a dividend of 12.3 cents a share for the six months ending Dec. 31, it said in a regulatory filing today. Westfield Corp. forecast funds from operations of 18.8 Australian cents a share in the second half, without providing a figure for the first six months.

Westfield Corp. shares have risen 12 percent since the owner of shopping centers outside Australia and New Zealand began trading on June 25. Billionaire Frank Lowy’s group split its operations into Westfield Corp. and Scentre Group (SCG), which owns the Australasian malls, to offer investors a clear choice between local and global businesses.

The performance of the U.S. and U.K. malls “remains strong, and in line with expectations, with significant progress being made on the A$11.6 billion pipeline of current and future development,” Peter and Steven Lowy, co-chief executive officers of Sydney-based Westfield Corp., said in the statement today.

Scentre said yesterday that funds from operations will be 10.88 Australian cents a share for the six months to Dec. 31. Scentre, which also didn’t report first-half funds from operations, said comparable net operating income grew 2.3 percent in the six months to June 30.

Frank Lowy, who remains chairman of both companies, is Australia’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $5.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

-By Nichola Saminather

Scentre Open to Housing Development, Buying Malls, CEO Says

Source: Bloomberg / Personal Finance

Scentre Group (SCG), the Australia and New Zealand-focused mall operator spun off from Westfield Group and its managed trust, is considering residential development and buying existing malls to boost returns.

“Whether it’s developing an office on top of Westfield Sydney or residential as part of a redevelopment, that’s something we would look at,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Allen said today in a telephone interview. “There are certain areas we’re not represented in, a number of the growth corridors in Australia and New Zealand, so there are opportunities for acquisition.”

Westfield co-founder Frank Lowy spun off Scentre, now Australia’s biggest property trust, to offer a clear choice for investors wanting to focus on Australasian malls. Those seeking only overseas exposure were given that option in the new Westfield Corp.

Scentre today said funds from operations are forecast to be 10.88 Australian cents a share in the six months to Dec. 31, and it expects to pay a dividend of 10.2 cents.

Scentre shares fell 2.3 percent to A$3.47 at the close of trading in Sydney, paring gains to 13 percent since the close on the first day of trading on June 25. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 0.1 percent higher.

Reviewing Assets

The company is reviewing its assets and will consider selling some properties that don’t offer “sufficient long-term returns,” Allen said today. It may take on joint venture partners to fund developments, he said.

Possible sales include some office buildings Westfield has developed as part of shopping center projects, such as 85 Castlereagh Street, which houses its own headquarters and the Sydney offices of JPMorgan Chase & Co., he said.

“Certainly we’ve seen positive views of office investments in Sydney, we’ve seen some recent sales which have been above valuation,” Allen said. “That will certainly be put into the mix when we review how we’re going to fund the business going forward.”

Westfield Corp. (WFD) reports first-half results tomorrow. Lowy is Australia’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $5.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

-By Nichola Saminather