Real News‎ > ‎2014‎ > ‎January 2014‎ > ‎

31st January 2014

Singapore Real Estate

MOM to target construction site lapses

Source: Straits Times 

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and construction industry must review and prevent lapses in the building process for support structures, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, in the wake of at least seven construction site accidents this month.

Crane slides off trailer

Source: Straits Times 

Part of a crane was displaced while it was being loaded onto a trailer at the worksite of the new national stadium in Kallang on Wednesday afternoon. It was reinstalled and reloaded, said the stadium's construction firm, Dragages.

Man loses claim over $14m house

Source: Straits Times 

A 72-Year-Old man's attempt to claim a $14 million Coronation Road bungalow as his own was thrown out after he failed to prove that the rest of his family members were holding their shares in trust for him. Mr Quek Hung Heong was also told by the High Court that he should not have waited so long to push his claim.

Real Estate Companies' Brief

GRP raises $2.78m with placement to Daniel Teo

Source: Business Times / Companies

GRP Ltd is placing 27.8 million new shares to real estate veteran and Hong How Group chairman Daniel Teo at 10 cents per share, to raise $2.78 million for new market expansion, 

business development plans and projects. The group is also considering additional fund raising options, it said in a statement yesterday.

Days earlier, GRP said it had signed a letter of intent with MGS Resort & Entertainment Co to acquire the participation rights to a 37,287 square feet plot of land in Yangon, Myanmar for US$12 million. It had paid US$800,000 upon the signing of the letter of intent.

The private placement made to Mr Teo represents 4.98 per cent of the existing issued share capital of the GRP, and 4.75 per cent of the enlarged issued share capital of the firm when the proposed placement is completed. The 10 cent per share price is a discount of approximately 8.26 per cent to the volume-weighted average price of 10.9 cents per share that GRP's shares were trading at on Jan 29, 2014 - the last full market day before the placement agreement was signed. After deducting $8,000 in placement fees, GRP will have about $2.77 million to grow its business.

- By Felda Chay

Global Economy and Global Real Estate

Philippine GDP growth slows after Haiyan

Source: Business Times / World

THE Philippine economy grew at the slowest pace in six quarters after Super Typhoon Haiyan, adding pressure on policy makers to accelerate rebuilding and hold interest rates.

Gross domestic product rose 6.5 per cent in the three months through December from a year earlier, compared with a 6.9 per cent gain in the previous quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in Manila yesterday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 21 economists was 6 per cent. The economy expanded 7.2 per cent last year, the report showed.

President Benigno Aquino's administration estimates reconstruction of the typhoon-affected areas will cost 361 billion pesos (S$10 billion). A selloff in emerging market stocks and currencies has weakened the peso, and central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said on Wednesday that he is prepared to use monetary policy and prudential measures to address the decline if needed. "There will be more pressure on the fiscal side to accelerate reconstruction," Michael Wan, a Singapore-based economist at Credit Suisse Group AG, said before the report. "Monetary policy will remain accommodative, partly to support growth."

-From Manila, The Philippines

Mitsubishi to buy Tokyo building for 35b yen

Source: Business Times / World

JAPAN'S Mitsubishi Corp is in final talks to buy the building rented by luxury retailer Ralph Lauren Corp for its flagship store in Tokyo's posh Omotesando area for about 35 billion yen (S$436 million), three people with knowledge of the deal said.

The purchase by Mitsubishi, Japan's biggest trading firm by net income, will be the largest property transaction since a group of investors bought an office building in Tokyo for about 100 billion yen last August. The price represents a premium of about 13 per cent on that paid the last time the building changed hands, four years ago.

The deal for the four-storey building occupied by the New York brand in the centre of one of Tokyo's most fashionable districts comes as hopes grow among real estate operators that retail rents in general are set to rise. As part of his efforts to bring sustained growth to the world's third-biggest economy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promoted monetary, fiscal and structural reforms - dubbed "Abenomics" - that are stoking retail sales, fuelling demand for store space in the capital's shopping districts.

-From Tokyo, Japan

Simon Property Buys Long Island Land from Rival Taubman

Source: Bloomberg / News

Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG), the world’s largest mall owner, bought a land parcel on New York’s Long Island from rival shopping-center landlord Taubman Centers Inc. (TCO), which failed to develop the property.

The 39-acre (16-hectare) plot near the Long Island Expressway in Syosset had been slated for the Mall at Oyster Bay, according to a statement by Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based Taubman. Simon also purchased the company’s 50 percent stake in Arizona Mills, a shopping center in Tempe, Arizona, built in 1997. Taubman received $230 million in Simon Property shares and $60 million in cash for the two transactions.

The Long Island property is “great real estate,” David Simon, Indianapolis-based Simon Property’s chairman and chief executive officer, said today on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call. “We’re going to work with the residents to come up with a development plan.”

The real estate investment trust is focused on redeveloping its top regional malls, opening outlet centers and investing overseas to boost growth, and plans to spin off 44 of its smaller malls and its strip center business into a separate publicly traded company. Simon today said fourth-quarter funds from operations rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier as occupancies at its U.S. malls and outlet stores climbed.

Taubman spent about 20 years attempting to build a mall on the Oyster Bay site, Alexander Goldfarb, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP, wrote in a note to clients today.

Takeover Offer

“Despite our best efforts and continuing enthusiasm for the opportunity, it became apparent that we were not going to be able to move forward anytime soon,” Robert Taubman, chairman and CEO of Taubman Centers, said in the statement.

Simon more than a decade ago dropped an unsolicited takeover offer for Taubman after Michigan enacted a law allowing the Taubman family to block the effort. Last year, the companies opened competing outlet malls in a suburb of St. Louis.

“Even though we obviously have had issues over the years with Taubman, we’ve always had what I’d call a good professional relationship,” David Simon said on the call. “The dust has settled from several years ago.”

Simon also this month bought its joint-venture partners’ remaining interest in 10 properties including King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. The company now owns 100 percent of that property.

Shares of Simon Property rose 1 percent to $154.42 at 1:14 p.m. in New York. Taubman gained 1.3 percent to $64.92.

-By Brian Louis

Rams Owner Buys Los Angeles Land Amid St. Louis Talks

Source: Bloomberg / News

A company with ties to Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the St. Louis Rams, bought 60 acres (24 hectares) of land in the Los Angeles area, where investors have been trying to lure a National Football League team.

The Kroenke Organizations declined to say if it’s considering moving the Rams to the site in Inglewood, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) southwest of downtown Los Angeles, or use the possibility as leverage in negotiations over improvements to Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

“As real estate developers, the Kroenke Organizations are involved in numerous real estate deals across the country and North America,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “While we can confirm media reports that we recently purchased land in Inglewood, as a private company we don’t typically discuss our plans for commercial or residential investments. We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property but we will look at all options.”

The Rams played in the Los Angeles area from 1946 to 1995, when they moved to St. Louis, the same year the Raiders left the second-biggest U.S. city for Oakland, California.

There is a clause in the team’s lease that says Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis must be a “first-tier” stadium, in the top quarter of the league’s 31 venues, by 2015, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. If it does not meet that requirement, the team is allowed to void its lease, or change its contract to a year-to-year basis, the newspaper said.

NFL Approval

Kroenke has a net worth of $4.9 billion, ranking him No. 298 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He can’t move a team without approval from the NFL and other owners.

Los Angeles “is a great market to leave open in an effort to extract subsidies from other home team markets where teams might be threatening to move,” said David Carter, director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. “These owners can posture. They can do a lot of different things, but ultimately it’s not going to be their unilateral decision to relocate a franchise to this market.”

Kroenke is the founder and owner of two real estate companies that have developed about 100 retail centers with more than 20 million square feet (1.9 million square meters). He’s married to Ann Walton Kroenke, whose family founded Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

‘We’re Aware’

“Stan is a very large developer on a global basis,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a news conference in New York today. “He has land throughout the country and throughout the world. He has kept us informed of it. We’re aware of it. There are no plans, to my knowledge, of a stadium development. Anything that would require any kind of stadium development requires multiple votes of the membership.”

In 2012, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission proposed a $124 million stadium upgrade. The team countered with a $700 million proposal, and negotiations between the team and city officials have continued since, the Post-Dispatch said.

The Rams have missed the playoffs in nine consecutive years. St. Louis has not had a winning record since 2003, and attendance at Edward Jones Dome has ranked among the NFL’s five lowest in each of the past six seasons.

The franchise is worth $875 million, according to Forbes magazine’s annual valuations. That ranks it 29th in the 32-team league and lowest in the National Football Conference.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the Inglewood land purchase yesterday.

- By Eben Novy-Williams and John Gittelsohn