Wednesday, May 7, 2014


" ~ a quarter of all overseas investments and construction and engineering projects undertaken by Chinese companies from 2005 to 2014 - worth $246 billion - have been stalled by snafus or failed"   >> MORE

  • $3.5 billion 'blup' in Bahamas  >> details  >>  $50K to see sales package
  • Members clash with Chinese owners of Wentworth Golf Club  more clashes
  • Overpay in Hong Kong - 'immature money management

  • SCMP

    Development Overseas Not Easy

    Global Monopoly doesn't mean applying same template everywhere

    PUBLISHED MAY 24, 2014
    Sentosa Cove villas relaunched at a discount
    Developer Ximeng Land giving 5% discount for remaining 12 luxury villas on Pearl Island

    Each villa on Pearl Island comprises two storeys in addition to a roof terrace and basement. Absolute prices vary from about $14.3 million to $25.5 million per villa. 

    XIMENG Land, controlled by mainland China parties, is relaunching the balance 12 luxury villas on Pearl Island in Sentosa Cove at $2,185 psf on land area. The price is inclusive of a 5 per cent discount to the $2,300 psf list prices for the units. A year ago, the developer's asking price was $2,400 psf.
    Absolute prices vary from about $14.3 million to $25.5 million per villa. Pearl Island is one of the five man-made islands in the upscale waterfront housing district.
    "These are the last remaining brand-new luxury villas in the island developments in Cove, fully fitted and ready for occupation," said Steve Tay, associate director at Newsman Realty, which was last month appointed sole marketing agent for the villas.
    Since 2010, Ximeng has sold seven of the project's 19 villas at prices ranging from $1,904 psf to $2,228 psf on land area. The buyers comprise Singaporeans, Indonesians and mainland Chinese. The seven units sold include two adjacent units bought by members of the Liu family that controls Ximeng Land. One was purchased for $17.1 million or $1,904 psf on land and the other, for $19.5 million or $1,906 psf. The highest absolute price achieved for the seven sold units was $27 million (translating to $2,162 psf), for a bungalow on 12,486 sq ft of land - the biggest of Pearl Island's 19 villas.

    PUBLISHED MAY 08, 2014

    Sinopec faces inconvenient truth in retail business stake sale

    Sinopec has never quite figured out how to market to Chinese consumers, who aren't used to shopping at filling stations 
    [HONG KONG] The Easy Joy convenience store attached to a Sinopec petrol station in China's boomtown of Shenzhen sells everything from cookies and gum to mineral water and cigarettes, much like any gas station in the United States or Europe.
    The difference is that Chinese consumers aren't buying. "Most people come here just to pay their fuel bills after filling up their tanks," said a blue-uniformed store assistant in her 20s.
    Five motorists did just that during a 10-minute period last Friday morning. All left without buying anything from the store, which also sells rice, cooking oil, dry spicy bean curd and the fiery Chinese liquor baijiu.
    Unlike in Western markets, where non-fuel businesses - convenience stores plus things like fast food or car washing - can account for more than half of a filling station's profits, more than 99 per cent of Sinopec's retail sales come from petrol.

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014


    PUBLISHED MAY 06, 2014
    Lack of an urban planner a blessing for Ayala Land
    Biggest Philippine developer could buy big plots, have own plan and design
    ANOTHER real estate developer might have viewed it as an obstacle, but Ayala Land says that it has worked the Philippines' political instability, frequent leadership changes, and government's lack of an urban planning or development agency to its advantage.
    Not having to adhere to a regulatory body's land use blueprint has enabled it to acquire large plots of land and develop them according to its own plan and design. And as long as the developer is paying its property taxes, building financial districts to attract multinational corporations and foreign investment, and providing infrastructure and services that benefit the city, the government has no complaints.
    President of Ayala Land, international sales, Thomas Mirasol, on a recent visit to Singapore, said: "The fact that there is nobody in the Philippines who regulates urban planning has been great for Ayala Land, because we are probably the only company there that has the scale financially to take on large plots of land."
    Ayala Land is the largest real estate developer in the Philippines, with a market capitalisation of about US$10 billion, much larger than the next five biggest Philippine developers combined.

    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    One Hyde Park

    PUBLISHED MAY 03, 2014
    Hyde Park penthouse may have changed hands at record price
    Located in Knightsbridge, home to Harrods department store, Royal Albert Hall and the five-star Berkeley hotel. 
    A PENTHOUSE in London's One Hyde Park luxury apartment complex valued at as much as £175 million (S$370 million) has been sold by Christian Candy's CPC Group Ltd. The 16,000 square foot duplex penthouse D was valued independently at £160 million to £175 million, CPC said yesterday. The buyer and selling price weren't disclosed.
    A sale at that price would value the property at more than £10,000 per square foot, a UK record, said Oliver Hooper, director of broker Huntly Hooper Ltd. The previous record was £9,000 a square foot paid for a London mansion, he said.
    London luxury-home values have soared since 2009 as the world's wealthy sought safe assets. CPC has sold properties worth more than £2 billion since One Hyde Park opened in 2011, according to the statement. The apartment complex is located in Knightsbridge, home to Harrods department store, Royal Albert Hall and the five-star Berkeley hotel.   -- Bloomberg

    London sets new record with $297m apartment sale

    LONDON - London's red-hot property market has struck a new record with the sale of a 140 million pound (S$297 million, US$237 million) unfurnished apartment, but even the developer of the opulent building warned that some asking prices in Britain were unsustainable.
    Buoyed by the wealth of Russian oligarchs, Chinese tycoons and Arab sheikhs, London has become one of the most expensive markets on earth, raising concerns ahead of parliamentary elections in 2015 that locals are being squeezed out of the market.
    "We're in boom-time prices, more expensive than we've ever been in the history of mankind," Nick Candy, one of the developers of London's One Hyde Park luxury apartments, at the pinnacle of the capital's super-prime residential sector, told Reuters.
    "There is a concern over the market overheating ... Everyone thinks the main central London is doing so well, (so) the ripple effect is going throughout the UK, and some of the prices being achieved are probably unrealistic and not sustainable."
    But money is still pouring in.
    A source familiar with the matter said an Eastern European buyer bought a penthouse at the One Hyde Park apartment block for a record 140 million pounds.
    Candy confirmed that a 16,000 square foot penthouse had been sold but declined to comment on the price or name the buyer. Developer CPC Group, which is run by his brother Christian, said the flat could be worth 160-175 million pounds when furnished.
    Britain's previous record for an apartment was set three years ago by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhemtov, who paid 136 million pounds for a penthouse and apartment at One Hyde Park to knock together into one property.
    There have been more than US$2 billion in sales at the block, whose developer is a joint venture between CPC Group and Waterknights, the private company of Qatar's Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani.
    Candy & Candy, run by Nick Candy, were the interior designers and development managers for the project.
    The wall of money chasing a finite amount of property has sent luxury London prices soaring almost 80 per cent since 2009, and while plutocrats' ostentatious purchases grab the limelight, prices have rocketed even in poorer areas.
    Prime central London house prices have risen 79.4 per cent since March 2009, against a 40.6 per cent increase in Greater London house prices over the same period, according to data from Savills.
    Candy, who with brother Christian started out in 1995 with a 6,000 pound loan from their grandmother, said the main risks to the market were changes in government policy, a rise in interest rates or oversupply at the top end.
    "If the political climate changes in either (London or New York), so in London next year the government wants to charge mansion tax and other taxes, the market might change. They might have a correction, a significant correction," he said.
    "I don't see a massive correction unless a number of things happen, firstly a change of government, second of all, interest rates start going up high and inflation starts going."
    The British government has in recent months imposed new taxes on overseas purchasers, while the opposition Labour Party, which is leading in opinion polls for the national election, has proposed a tax on houses worth over 2 million pounds.
    Rising prices have prompted a rush of luxury developments.
    More than 20,000 residential units - worth over 1,250 pounds per square foot - are scheduled to be built in London over the next 10 years, building consultancy EC Harris said in December, adding that this was more than double the 2011 pipeline.
    Grosvenor Group, the landlord for much of London's upmarket Mayfair and Belgravia districts, said on Tuesday it had sold off 240 million pounds in luxury residential properties in 2013 and aimed to reinvest in cheaper districts, as it was concerned that prices at the top end of the market were vulnerable.
    Such is London's wealth that Property consultant Savills calculates 10 London boroughs now have an aggregate property value equivalent to the total value of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.    -- ASIA ONE

      One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge where a flat traded for £29.35 m