Tag Archives: Asia Square

BlackRock said to explore sale of second Singapore office tower

BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, is exploring a sale of its second office tower in Singapore’s central business district, people with knowledge of the matter said.

BlackRock has started reaching out to potential buyers to gauge their interest in Asia Square Tower 2, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The development could fetch about S$2 billion, the people said.

Asia Square Tower 2 sits on the site next to Tower 1, which the Qatari sovereign wealth fund agreed to buy in June from BlackRock for S$3.4 billion in Singapore’s biggest office transaction.

The 46-story Tower 2, spread over 784,100 square feet (72,845 square metres), includes office space as well as a Westin hotel. The building has an occupancy rate of over 90 per cent at the end of October, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

Office transactions in Singapore have been picking up this year, with CapitaLand Commercial Trust agreeing in May to buy 60 per cent of the CapitaGreen tower in the central business district for S$393 million.
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Investment company MYP Ltd the next month said it plans to offer S$560 million for the Straits Trading Building. The government is also selling prime land in the Marina Bay financial district, the first such sale in nine years.

Representatives for BlackRock didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment.

Asia Square is owned by MGPA, which was acquired by BlackRock in 2013. MGPA developed the two towers on two adjoining plots it won in 2007 at government land auctions.

Qatar sovereign wealth fund to buy Asia Square Tower 1 for record S$3.4b

BlackRock has agreed to sell a 43-storey office building in Singapore to Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, for S$3.4 billion, in what the US firm said was the largest-ever single-tower real estate deal in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia Square Tower 1, located along Marina View at Marina Bay, has more than 1.25 million square feet of net lettable area and has Citigroup as its anchor tenant, BlackRock and Qatar Investment Authority said in a joint statement.

BlackRock was advised by real estate consultant firms JLL and CBRE.

“Following this flagship transaction, we expect there will be increasing investor interest in Singapore prime office stock in the coming months,” Greg Hyland, head of capital markets Singapore at JLL, said in a separate statement.

The sale comes as vacancy rates in Singapore’s office property sector are nearing their highest level in almost a decade, with the supply of commercial space set to increase amid slowing economic growth.

Developers are set to add 4 million square feet of office space in Singapore this year and another 1.4 million next year, said Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International Property Consultants.

BlackRock also owns a second tower in the Asia Square development.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 6 Jun 2016

QIA buys Asia Square Tower 1 for S$3.4b

QATAR Investment Authority (QIA) said on Monday it has reached an agreement with a subsidiary of a fund advised by BlackRock to acquire Asia Square Tower 1 in Singapore at about S$3.4 billion.

This marks the largest single-tower real estate transaction in Asia-Pacific to date, and the second largest single-tower real estate transaction globally.

Asia Square Tower 1, an award-winning landmark office building, offers 43 storeys of space totalling over 1.25 million square feet of net lettable area. This property has received the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environment Core & Shell Platinum certification and has column-free floor space of up to 35,000 square feet. Citibank has been the anchor tenant since the building’s completion in 2011. Together with Asia Square Tower 2, the complex is described as a world-class integrated development located in Singapore’s Marina Bay business and financial district.

John Saunders, head of APAC for BlackRock Real Estate, commented: “We are very pleased with the sale, and look forward to working closely with Qatar Investment Authority to maintain the pre-eminent status of Asia Square.”

JLL and CBRE are joint sole advisers for this transaction for BlackRock.

QIA, a sovereign wealth fund, was set up in 2005 to strengthen the country’s economy by diversifying into new asset classes.

No Asia Square sale to ARA on expiry of exclusive talks

BLACKROCK’S exclusive negotiation period on the sale of Asia Square Tower 1 to a consortium led by ARA Asset Management has ended without a deal being concluded.

The asset management giant, however, is said to be still in discussions with ARA but may also reach out to other parties, including CapitaLand, which was the original preferred bidder when an expression of interest exercise for the 43-storey office tower closed in August last year.

In early November, however, CapitaLand confirmed that negotiations had ceased “for now”. When contacted on Thursday, a spokesman said: “CapitaLand currently has no plans to bid for Asia Square.”

Market watchers suspect that posturing may be at play.

ARA had initially expressed interest for 100 per cent of the central business district property but is later said to have reduced this to 66 per cent; even then, BlackRock was willing to consider a sale.

Nevertheless, a deal with ARA has proved to be elusive and some observers suggest that this could have something to do with its proposed consortium partner, Korea Investment Corporation (KIC). In January, the sovereign wealth fund of South Korea announced that it had appointed a new chief executive officer.

When contacted on Thursday, BlackRock’s spokesman reiterated that “negotiations with potential buyers of this asset continue” .

“While we are not in a position to comment on the details, we are pleased to have received significant global interest in this high-quality asset and are currently working to achieve the best outcome for our investors.”

The initial price tag for Asia Square Tower 1 last year was touted at S$4 billion or about S$3,200 per square foot on net lettable area of 1.2 million sq ft of offices and 40,000 sq ft of retail space.

Market talk is that the discussions with both CapitaLand and later ARA were based on a lower price range of S$2,700-2,800 psf. At this pricing band, the net yield based on current occupancy works out to slightly above 3 per cent.

However, Google is due to move out of the building later this year to Mapletree Business City 2 in the Pasir Panjang area. Google’s lease for 130,000 sq ft at Asia Square Tower 1 expires late this year.

Asia Square is owned by BlackRock Asia Property Fund III, formerly known as MGPA Asia Fund III. The fund is said to expire in mid-2017, although in a typical fund structure, there would be options for further extensions.

MGPA, which was acquired by BlackRock in 2013, developed Asia Square on two 99-year leasehold sites that it clinched at separate Urban Redevelopment Authority tenders in 2007.

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

CapitaLand confirms talks to buy Asia Square Tower 1

Southeast Asia’s biggest property developer, CapitaLand, on Wednesday (14 Oct) confirmed news reports that it was involved in talks to buy the Asia Square Tower 1 office building.

Its statement to the stock exchange came a day after Bloomberg News said a consortium of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund and CapitaLand has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the 43-storey office building in Singapore’s central business district. Bloomberg said the deal could value Asia Square Tower 1 at more than S$3.5 billion.

CapitaLand said that as discussions are still ongoing, there is no certainty that a transaction will materialise.

Should the deal proceed, CapitaLand said it anticipates drawing upon internal sources of funds and available credit lines. As of Jun 30, 2015, CapitaLand had about S$3.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents and approximately S$3.1 billion in available undrawn credit facilities.

Asia Square Tower 1, which is owned by asset manager BlackRock, counts Citigroup and Swiss private bank Julius Baer among its main tenants.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 14 Oct 2015

BlackRock may sell Asia Square Tower 1 for over S$4b: Bloomberg

The owner of Asia Square Tower 1 may sell the building for more than S$4 billion after receiving expressions of interest from potential buyers. This is according to Bloomberg, which quoted BlackRock real estate managing director Greg Lapham in a report dated Jun 17.

BlackRock, which also owns Asia Square Tower 2, hopes to close the deal by the end of the year, Lapham said. Asia Square Tower 1, which is located in the Marina Bay area, has around 1.2 million square feet (sq ft) of office space and about 40,000 sq ft of retail space. Its tenants include Citigroup, Swiss private bank Julius Baer and Google.

The sale of tower one could be a club deal, in which several investors bid together, Lapham said. Asked to comment on the report, a BlackRock spokeswoman described Asia Square as a trophy grade-A office building in Singapore.

“The nature of this asset is that it regularly attracts attention and we continually assess the market for the best outcomes for our tenants and investors,” she said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Jun 2015

More new offices in CBD

Singapore’s commercial district will soon have more new offices.

Asia Square Tower 2 was awarded its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) on September 2.

This marks the completion of the integrated commercial development in Marina Bay.

Asia Square Tower 2, the only new office development to be housed in the Central Business District (CBD) this year, spans close to 800,000 square feet of Grade A Office space.

Asia Square Tower 1 and 2 combine to provide around two million square feet of Grade A office space.

Asia Square Tower 2 is also in partnership with the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Group to bring Westin Singapore back to the city state, which is slated to open in November.

Tower 2 tenants include financial institutions such as Allianz, National Australia bank, and Bank Mandiri among others. It will also feature an expanded Food Garden.

Meanwhile, Asia Square Tower 1, which was completed in 2011, is currently 90 per cent leased.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 5 Sep 2013

Asia Square Tower 1 opens

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the close partnership between the government and private sector was critical to the successful development of Singapore’s new downtown at Marina Bay.

Mr Goh was speaking on Tuesday evening at the opening of Asia Square Tower 1.

“Looking ahead, we must continue to upgrade Singapore’s business infrastructure in order to meet the changing needs of global business and finance and to serve the financing and investment needs of a growing Asia,” Mr Goh said.

“Our business spaces should be innovative and flexible, and our downtown should provide attractive lifestyle options for those who work, live and play here.”

Mr Goh said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) conceived the blueprint for Marina Bay, with many agencies providing the infrastructure and facilitating its growth.

Located at the heart of Marina Bay, Asia Square Tower 1, along with the yet-to-be-completed Tower 2, will add another 246,000 square meters of office, hotel and retail space by 2013.

The development provides lifestyle amenities which includes an array of retail and dining options, the largest fitness centre in the central business district (CBD) and the five-star luxury Westin Hotel, which will be ready when Tower 2 is completed.

Asia Square is also a green building, achieving the highest sustainability award from the government.

In addition, developers will also be promoting “green” transport by providing 400 bicycle racks for those who work in Asia Square.

Mr Goh noted the private-sector developers, builders and designers have breathed life to these plans with their capital, energy and ideas.

This reflects their confidence in the political stability, growth and continued good governance of Singapore.

Mr Goh said the government takes a long-term approach in attracting global companies to Singapore.

Beyond Marina Bay, new growth areas are being developed. They include Changi Business Park, Jurong Lake District and Paya Lebar Central.

These areas offer an alternative location for companies which do not need to operate in the city.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Nov 2011

62% of office space at Asia Square Tower 1 leased out

Asia Square Tower 1, located at Shenton Way, has already leased out 62 per cent of its office space and pre-let more than half of the building.

The developers of the building, MGPA, gave the update after it was awarded its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) on June 21.

MGPA said it was awarded the land parcel in September 2007 and construction was completed in less than four years, making it the fastest development of this scale in Singapore to achieve completion within the time frame.

Asia Square Tower 1 comprises close to 1.3 million square feet of Grade A office space across 43 floors.

Among its future tenants are Google, Julius Baer, Lloyd’s of London, Marsh & McLennan Companies and Citic Bank.

Its largest tenant, Citibank, will move in this September, with its retail branch operational by November.

Another important element of Asia Square is the food & beverage and retail space which is close to being fully leased out.

The Pure Fitness Centre will be the largest gym and fitness facility in the CBD, taking up 32,300 square feet of space, with the latest in fitness technology and training programmes.

Meanwhile, the fourth quarter of 2013 will see the completion of Asia Square Tower 2, which will add about 800,000 square feet of Grade A office space and a 305-room luxury five-star hotel under the Westin brand.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Jun 2011