CapitaLand ends discussions to buy Asia Square Tower 1

CapitaLand, South-east Asia’s biggest developer, says it has withdrawn from negotiations to buy Asia Square Tower 1.

The company will continue to explore opportunities that allow it to generate required returns, it said in a statement today (Nov 4). CapitaLand didn’t give a reason for its decision.

A consortium of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund and CapitaLand was chosen as the preferred bidder for the tower being sold by BlackRock Inc, in what may become the biggest office deal in Singapore, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

The 43-storey tower, located in the new financial district at Marina Bay, could be valued at more than S$3.5 billion, the people said last month. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said earlier this year that it had received expressions of interest for Asia Square Tower 1 and could get more than S$4 billion for the building, whose tenants include Citigroup.

CapitaLand’s third-quarter profit jumped 48 per cent to S$192.7 million as revenue rose 17 per cent to S$1.08 billion, the company said today. Residential sales in China more than doubled in the quarter from a year earlier. The developer said property cooling measures in Singapore will continue to weigh on its home market.

Singapore home prices have dropped for eight straight quarters, matching the longest losing streak in 13 years, as tighter mortgage lending sapped demand in Asia’s second-most expensive luxury housing market. The Government began introducing residential property curbs in 2009 as low interest rates and demand from foreign buyers raised concerns that the market was overheating.

Source : Today – 4 Nov 2015

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