Archive | Archive – world property

World property W15Oct14 – Mirvac buys Birkenhead Pt, NAB adds UK asset manager, Scotland replaces stamp duty, Sovereign funds trade in London

Mirvac buys Birkenhead Point
NAB buys into UK manager Orchard Street
Scotland replaces stamp duty
Norges Bank buys $1.2 billion London building from GIC

Mirvac buys Birkenhead Point

Birkenhead Point, Sydney.

Birkenhead Point, Sydney.

Mirvac Group has entered into an agreement to acquire the Birkenhead Point Shopping Centre at Drummoyne, 5km from the Sydney cbd, including the adjoining carparking facility & marina, for $A310 million.

CDL Hotels NZ Ltd (now Millennium & Copthorne Hotels NZ Ltd) sold Birkenhead Point to Intro International Ltd (Denis Jen) in 2004 for $120 million. It had been an asset of Kingsgate International Corp Ltd, controlled by CDL & Tai Tak Securities Pte Ltd.

Abacus Property Group & the Kirsh Group bought it in 2010 for $A174 million and upgraded the retail offer into a convenience-based shopping centre & fashion outlet centre. The 187-berth marina was in the final upgrade stages.

Mirvac said its purchase, expected to be completed in November, represented a fully let passing yield of 6.6%.

The 3.7ha waterfront site has a gross lettable area of 33,100m² and parking for 1395 cars. Moving annual turnover is $A228.5 million at $A8082/m².

Link: Mirvac Group

NAB buys into UK manager Orchard Street

National Australia Bank’s global asset management business, NAB Asset Management, has bought a majority stake in UK specialist commercial property investment manager Orchard Street Investment Management LLP from the existing partners.

The bank has 12 other global asset managers operating in all major asset classes, managing $A178 billion in 50 investment strategies.

Orchard Street has grown its assets under management from £800 million to £4 billion in 10 years.

Scotland replaces stamp duty

A new land & buildings transaction tax will replace stamp duty in Scotland next April, and Property Wire editor Ray Clancy said at the weekend he expects this to herald change in the rest of the UK.

The starting threshold is £135,000, up from the stamp duty threshold of £125,000. A marginal tax of 2% will apply to the proportion of a transaction between £135-250,000, a 10% rate will apply between £250,001-1 million and there will be a new 12% tax on properties costing more than £1 million.

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment & Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, announced the rates & bands for the tax last Thursday, as part of the draft budget for 2015-16. The proposed rates & bands are subject to parliamentary approval.

It’s the first tax created by a Scottish parliament in 300 years.

Links: Scottish Government, land & buildings transaction tax
Property Wire, Property tax set for major change in the UK

Norges Bank buys $1.2 billion London building from GIC

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Centre, London.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Centre, London.

Norway’s state-owned investment fund based on oil royalties, Norges Bank Investment Management, bought a 54,350m² London office complex (at left, aerial shot above) for £582.5 million ($NZ1.182 billion) cash last week from the Singapore Government’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC.

GIC bought the property from Merrill Lynch & Co Inc in 2007 for £480 million.

The property, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Centre at 2 King Edward St, is a freehold office campus consisting of 4 independent office buildings occupying a 1.3ha site. It’s fully leased to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which will continue to manage it.

The Norwegian fund also bought a 50% interest in a 42,000m² Dutch logistics property last week, through its joint venture with US company Prologis.

Norges paid €12.4 million, again with no debt financing, for the building in Born.

Link: Norges Bank Investment Management

Attribution: Mirvac, Abacus, NAB, Orchard St, Scottish Government, Norges Bank

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen, World Property Channel

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Snapshot on world property, week to 27 November 2011



Centro survives

Latest from RICS internationally


23 November 2011:


Centro survives

Centro Property Group got the overwhelming votes it needed yesterday from lenders & convertible bondholders to stay in business. The lenders voted 100% in favour after 28% abstained, and the bondholders were just under 100% in favour of the scheme of arrangement which will see securityholders – 26,000 mostly small; investors with an average holding of around 37,000 securities – get A5.03c/security.

They stood to get nothing if the scheme wasn’t approved and the 2 Centro entities, Centro Property Trust & Centro Properties Ltd, were forced into receivership. The outcome is that all the assets will go to the renamed Centro Properties – Central Retail Australia – which will be owned by its secured lenders in exchange for the cancellation of debt.

The scheme still needs the approval of the NSW Supreme Court, which Centro’s former auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said on Monday it would challenge.

The group was one of the major Australian property casualties of the global financial crisis and has been struggling to stay alive since the end of 2007. It sold its US assets in February for $US9.4 billion but was still not going to be able to meet its debt obligations.

It had negative equity of $A1.3 billion at 30 June this year and $A2.9 billion of debt maturing on 15 December – now cancelled, if the scheme gets court approval.

The scheme was faltering until late last week, when $A90 million of debt was found to offer to shareholders, winning over the largest external shareholder, Marathon Asset Management.

The new-look listed property trust will own 43 Australian shopping centres worth $A4.4 billion. Combining that with its syndicate business, the group will have assets of $A7 billion.


Latest from RICS internationally

The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) global real estate weekly updates, which I was having trouble connecting to initially, can be reached from this link: RICS, grew.

Want to comment? Go to the forum.


Attribution: Compiled & story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 6 November 2011



RICS weekly update at foot of page

Simon files case against home state for not collecting net sales tax

Goodman wins China award, has 5 new Chin projects underway

Goodman European Logistics Fund launches rights issue, group starts 3 new European projects

New Woolworths chief ponders property float, Dick Smith options, multi-channel retailing

Valad resumes growth under Blackstone ownership

RICS weekly update


6 November 2011:


The Snapshot on world property is, I think, a more effective way of letting you know about many overseas property events, succinctly, rather than trying to put a handful of them into “proper” story format… and losing the lot because I don’t have time to do that.

It’s been in abeyance since February 2004, along with most of the other Snapshots, when numerous changes were made to The Bob Dey Property Report.


RICS weekly update at foot of page


Introduced this week, at the foot of the page, is the weekly update on world property news from RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; New Zealand fits into the Oceania branch of it).


Simon files case against home state for not collecting net sales tax


Simon Property Group Inc took up the battle of bricks-&-mortar retailers against internet sales on Thursday by filing a complaint against its home state of Indiana for not collecting sales tax from Amazon on sales made within the state.

Simon, biggest retail real estate owner, developer & manager in the US, filed its complaint against the state in the Marion County Circuit Court. The company said it wasn’t seeking monetary damages, but “to benefit all of Indiana’s taxpayers and the state’s bricks-&-mortar retailers, many of which are Simon’s tenants at its 27 shopping centres in Indiana….

“ is required by Indiana law to collect & remit sales & use taxes to the state, for sales made over the internet, but has consistently refused to do so even though it is required by current Indiana laws.”


Goodman wins China award, has 5 new Chin projects underway

Goodman Group was awarded the Westpac business excellence award for large companies at the end of October for its performance in greater China. The company entered the China market in 2005 and has $US2 billion invested in the region.

It’s become one of the largest industrial landlords in Hong Kong, with a portfolio of about 900,000m² with a value of $US1.3 billion. Its latest development project, Interlink, is due for completion in January and is the largest industrial development in Hong Kong for over 10 years, offering 223,000m². It’s also the first building of its type to be awarded both a LEED certification and the HK BEAM Gold standard certification. In mainland China, Goodman owns & manages a portfolio of 7 warehouse & distribution facilities, with a combined value of $US215 million. Over the last 12 months, Goodman has also started 5 new development projects with a total estimated completion value of $US255 million. Goodman has a 2 million ft² (186,000m²) China land bank capable of delivering 1 million ft² of prime warehousing space.

Goodman European Logistics Fund launches rights issue, group starts 3 new European projects

The Goodman European Logistics Fund launched a €400 million underwritten rights issue last week and an €800 million debt refinance package, ensuring the fund maintains its gearing below 40%. It will refinance €400 million of secured facilities and have a €400 million unsecured facility structured to allow the fund to transition to debt capital markets to diversify its long-term funding sources. Goodman Group chief executive & fund investment committee chairman Greg Goodman said the refinancing would also provide about €500 million of investment capability, giving the fund capacity to increase gross assets to €2 billion and improving financial flexibility. The fund is continental Europe’s largest unlisted logistics fund, with €1.6 billion of logistics assets under management and a weighted average lease term of about 5 years. In the last 3 weeks, Goodman has announced planning consent for a 12,000m² facility at its Thurrock commercial park in Essex for A&N Media, which will invest £50 million in the new plant; a 78,000m² logistics centre for e-commerce retailer Zalando at the Erfurt freight terminal in the centre of Germany, pre-leased on a 16-year term; and a 45,000m² design-build facility in Hanover for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – Goodman’s ninth German development this year.

Link: Goodman

New Woolworths chief ponders property float, Dick Smith options, multi-channel retailing

Woolworths Ltd’s new chief executive, Grant O’Brien, mentioned a float of the group’s multi-billion-dollar property portfolio in a wide-ranging investor briefing in Sydney on Wednesday.

The property float wasn’t mentioned in company releases and didn’t extend to more than 2 paragraphs in news stories from the briefing. Mr O’Brien raised it alongside a strategic review of the Dick Smith consumer electronics business, Woolworths’ intention to become Australia’s leading multi‐channel retailer and the opening of 61 new stores this year (a net 44 after closures to a total 117).

Mr O’Brien said he’d report further on the Dick Smith review at its half-year results in February. “Consumer electronics as a retail category has been experiencing significant challenges, particularly in relation to tightened customer spending on discretionary products, category deflation and the effects of the high $A.”

Dick Smith operates 386 stores in Australia & New Zealand, with 2011 sales up 4.2% to $A1.86 billion but ebit down 14.9% to $A26.8 million.

On becoming Australia’s leading multi‐channel retailer, Mr O’Brien said: “We are really seeing a revolution in retail as customers integrate mobile, social networking and other internet‐enabled technologies into their bricks & mortar shopping experience. It isn’t a question of online or offline, it’s about integrating the 2 seamlessly, and we are increasingly finding that our most valuable customers are ones who do both – for example, in our supermarkets business, customers who shop both in‐store & online spend 70% more than customers who only shop in‐store.”

Link: Woolworths

Valad resumes growth under Blackstone ownership


Valad Property Group – listed on the ASX until its takeover by Blackstone Real Estate Advisors LP in August – said on Friday it had bought a 6011m² light industrial park just north of Paris for €6.1 million for its Parc d’Activités fund, which invests in multi-let industrial estates, mostly in the Ile-de-France area. Valad’s 42 properties in France, worth €500 million, are held in 4 of its 15 funds.

Valad Property Group manages $A9 billion of property in 7 geographic regions, through 23 offices in 13 countries. Its core business is value-adding real estate, specialising in multi-let commercial & industrial property, with local asset management teams taking care of about 8500 tenants in 900 properties.

2 affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors completed their acquisition of Valad’s securities on 26 August 2011. The $A1.80/stapled security price was 56% above the closing price before Blackstone’s offer was launched, but about 33% below net portfolio value.

Valad’s results for the December 2010 half showed its predicament – gearing up to 51.3%, lenders willing to extend its $A200 million facility to the end of 2012 but an $A51 million net loss for the period.


Link: Valad Property Group


RICS weekly update


In this week’s edition, the RICS global real estate weekly focus is on:

Australian monetary policyEuropean monetary policyUS construction spending and new housing initiativesUK construction sentiment

Link: What’s new on RICS Global

Want to comment? Go to the forum.


Attribution: Compiled & story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 7 July 2002

1 July 2002

Simon Property Group became the fourth real estate investment trust listed on the S&P 500 index last week. Simon owns/has an interest in 251 properties containing 17.4 million m² of gross lettable area, including some it bought from Rodamco North America in a buyout deal with Westfield America Trust and The Rouse Company. The other reits on the index are Equity Office Properties, Equity Residential and the Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Co. Plum Creek, a reit, merged with The Timber Co in a reverse takeover last October and the enlarged entity is a reit though far more earnings are from timber (for 2001, $US423 million of revenue came from timber, $US80 million from property and $US86 million from manufacturing of timber products such as medium-density fibreboard). As reits go, Plum Creek is unusual: it owns 3.2 million ha of timberlands in all the main timber-growing regions of the US.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 16 September 2001

16 September 2001

Brookfield Properties — which owns Towers 1, 2 & 4 of the World Financial Centre and 1 Liberty Plaza, next to the demolished World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan — will hold a telephone briefing to update the status of its properties at 11am Monday 17 September New York time. Details are on the company’s website, Brookfield Properties. Brookfield said on Friday there was no structural damage to any of its properties.

Beijing has unveiled a blueprint for its eastern quarter showing a city centre of skyscrapers, office blocks all over 100m, the tallest 350m, and some of these buildings containing apartments, services and entertainment. The 2008 Olympics are an incentive for speeding development, with three projects lined up for completion by then.

AMP Global Investors said on Wednesday it would not proceed with its initial public offering of the AMP Henderson Airports Fund because of Australian airline industry uncertainty, despite a high level of interest in the fund.

General Property Trust has bought the Bonner House retail/commercial complex in Canberra for $A8.6 million on an initial yield above 10%. The property sits between the trust’s Woden Plaza shopping centre and the centre’s two decked carparks.

13 September 2001

Westfield America Trust said its investment in the retail component of the World Trade Centre was fully insured for both capital and loss of income. The insurance cover includes acts of terrorism. It said loss of the World Trade Centre should not have a material impact on the trust’s distribution, while Westfield Holdings expected its earnings would not be materially affected. Westfield America executed an agreement with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in July to lease the retail component of the twin towers for 99 years. Westfield Holdings was responsible for the management, leasing and development of the retail component of the centre.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 21 April 2002

21 April 2002

US real estate company TrizecHahn Corp, 1 month from conversion to a real estate investment trust, is ripe for takeover, HSBC Securities analysts Frank Mayer & Pesach Goldman said in a report. The restructure, expected to save about $US1 billion in taxes, will be voted on this Tuesday, 23 April. The analysts said the reorganisation should increase the possibility of a takeover by another US reit seeking geographic diversification and/or additional size to boost its chances of inclusion in the S&P indices. TrizecHahn will shift almost all its operations to the US & move its head office from Toronto to New York.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 3 August 2003

2 August 2003

The New York Times reports general agreement on how to proceed with a transport terminal, memorial and a separate office tower on the World Trade Centre site in New York, destroyed by the 11 September 2001 Al Quaeda attacks.
New York Times report

Simon Property Group’s net income for the June quarter fell 71% to $US50.3 million on revenue up 10.7% to $US566.3 million. Diluted earnings/share fell 73%, from US97c to US26c. The 2002 result was improved by several large sales. Funds from operations (which US reits use as the standard performance measure) rose 25% to $US245.4 million, or by 18.5% on a diluted basis/share, from US81c to US96c. Regional mall occupancy rose by 0.1% to 91.6%, community shopping centre occupancy rose the same to 88%. Average base rents in both mall types rose – regional malls from $US30.03/ft² to $US31.47, community centres from $US10 to $US10.14. The average initial mall base rent was $US42.90/ft², up $US10.11 or 31% over expiries. Same-store retail sales rose $US3/ft² to $US393/ft². Simon was down from 251 to 238 properties, but gross lettable area fell only 2%, to 17 million m².
Simon Property Group full accounts

General Growth Properties Inc increased 2nd-quarter funds from operations by 28.7% to $US129.5 million, or by 27.1% to $US1.50/share, diluted earnings/share by 25% to US70c, on net operating income up 33.6% to $US255.4 million. Same-store net operating income rose 6.5%, mall occupancy rose from 89.2% to 90.5%, sales/ft² fell from $US358 to $US352, average new rents rose $US1.12 to $US36.20/ft² compared to average expiries down $US2.20 to $US26.70/ft². General Growth owns/manages 13.2 million m² in 162 regional malls, making it the 2nd biggest mall operator behind Simon.
Website: General Growth Properties

Brookfield Properties Inc, owner of $US9 billion of properties including the World Financial Centre, across the street from the destroyed World Trade Centre in New York, increased 2nd-quarter funds from operations by 10% to $US90 million, or by 13%/share to US53c, increased net operating income before lease terminations & gains by 4% to $US53 million, or by 7% to US30c/share.
Website: Brookfield Properties

Equity Office Properties Trust, owner of a $US25 billion portfolio, saw 2nd-quarter net income fall 10% to $US149.9 million, or by 7.5%/share to US35c. Funds from operations fell 15.3% to $US310.2 million, or by 11.5%/share to US69c. Occupancy of its 11.5 million m² of office space fell 0.1% to 87.1%, and occupancy of its 550,000m² of industrial space fell 1.9% to 84.7%. The occupancy fall and lower lease termination fees (down from $US18.2 million to $US11.5 million) brought the lower net income, partly countered by $US44 million of gains of $US662 million of asset sales. Same-store operating revenue fell 6.1%, same-store occupancy 3.8% to 86.7%.
Website: Equity Office Properties Trust 2nd-quarter report

Investa Property Group has increased its holding in takeover target Principal Office Fund to 28.4%. The independent directors of Principal’s responsible entity, BT Funds Management Ltd, continue to recommend against the bid. Investa also announced its annual results this week: earnings before revaluation & amortisation $A139.4 million, A16.28c/share, up 9.4%; nta $A1.81, up 4.6%; total assets $A2.6 billion, up 76%; assets under management $3.2 billion, up 50%; market capitalisation $A1.8 billion, up 48%; management expense ration down from 0.29% to 0.2%; gearing up from 21.8T to 32.9%.

Principal Office Fund, under siege by Investa (above), put out a less rosy annual result: net profit down 6% to $A92.5 million; earnings/unit down 6% to 9.92c; adjusted earnings/unit up 0.5% to A11c; nta up A1c to $1.58/unit; gearing up from 18.3% to 19.8%. Same-store net income rose 1.6% to $A121.4 million, total net income fell 2.2% to $A124.8 million, and total assets were increased 7.6% to $A1.856 billion.

Australand Holdings Ltd increased net profit after tax for the June half by 67% to $A41.2 million on revenue up 77% to $A615 million; earnings/share rose from A4.4c to A7.44c; the return on shareholders’ funds rose from A6.7% to 10.4%; nta rose from $A1.22 to $A1.31. Australand’s accounts demonstrate the asset liquidity in Australia – it sold 50% of the KPMG Tower at Kings St Wharf in Sydney to Commonwealth Management Investments Ltd for $A110 million, 50% of the Freshwater office tower to the Commonwealth fund for $A134 million, and kept 50% of the Freshwater tower for its 4th wholesale fund, which has $A249 million of assets. Managing director Brendan Crotty said Australand planned to create a listed stapled security for its 1st 2 trusts by the end of the year. Longer term, it would reduce dependence on development profit and increase recurrent income from its portfolio.

Centro Properties Group has finalised acquisition of the MCS syndication business. Centro will release its annual result on Wednesday 6 August, but this week announced a net revaluation gain of $A73.9 million, or 5.1%. Its average cap rate firmed by 50 points to 8.2%, resulting in a total property return over 13% for the year. Its retailers increased sales by 4.8% over the year.

Stockland Trust Group increased June year net profit – before a writeoff of the premium for buying the AMP Diversified Property Trust – by 14% to $A284.8 million, on turnover up 4% to $A867 million. Earnings/stapled security rose 8.8% to A33.5c, also before the writeoff. Stockland got 69% of AMP Diversified at balance date, 97% now, and has replaced AMP Henderson as responsible entity. As Stockland isn’t allowed to recognise the goodwill in AMP Diversified, it’s

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Snapshot on world property, week to 22 September 2002

18 September 2002

Macquarie CountryWide Trust has bought 9 US shopping centres for $A171 million in a joint venture with US shopping centre developer Regency Realty corp, lifting its US exposure from 10% (7 centres) to 26% of its total assets. Total cost was $US130 million. The trust will finance 75% of the acquisition through debt and the other 25% through an $A101 million 1:6 issue of units at $A1.50, with a forecast annualised 9.1% yield on the issue price.

Canada’s largest real estate investment trust, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, and its joint venture partner, Kimco Realty Corp, have agreed to buy 4 Canadian shopping centres containing 96,523m² for $US105 million, at a 10% unlevered return. 2 are in Montreal, 1 in Toronto and the fourth is in Whitby, Ontario. RioCan & Kimco began their joint venture a year ago. The latest deal takes their joint equity to $C500 million, spent on 25 shopping centres containing 590,000m².
Kimco is the biggest US publicly traded owner & operator of neighbourhood community shopping centres.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 10 November 2002

8 November 2002

Denver-based MDC Holdings Inc, among the biggest housebuilders in the US through its Richmond American Homes subsidiary, received orders for 760 houses in October, 65% above October 2001 and the 8th consecutive record month of home orders. Orders this year total 8728, up 29%. MDC operates in many markets and in all price brackets.

6 November 2002

The Rouse Company officially opened the first phase expansion of Fashion Show on Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip) last Friday with 3 expanded anchors, 4 new anchors (including a new prototype Bloomingdale’s Home) 18,600m² of specialties, 95% committed, and the premier of the Great Hall, which has a 25m retractable catwalk that rises out of the floor. On completion next October, Fashion Show will have 185,000m² of retail space in 8 anchors & 250 specialties.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 10 June 2001

Latest: New cbd plot for Beijing?, Marina Square revamp, US completions slip, Singapore retailer doing Orchard Rd deals, hard landing for Zhuhai, Silk Road becomes investment focus.

6 June 2001

China Central Television will pay 1.4 billion yuan ($NZ412 million at $NZ2287/m²) for 1.8ha occupied by a failed jeep factory in north-eastern Beijing, near the city’s third ring road and World Trade Centre. Beijing Auto Holdings made jeeps and motorbikes at its Guanghua Lu factory for 40 years, but the factory has run up 1 billion yuan of debt and has lost its two main contracts. The TV station’s headquarters are in western Beijing, next to the Communist Party’s central military commission, but it’s been reported as saying it wants to get a new central business district under way.

Singapore’s 70,000m² Marina Square will be opened up and have most of its ground-floor parking converted to shopping space in a $S150-160 million refurbishment. The centre was built 14 years ago but has been surpassed by Suntec City, in particular, a circular complex of five office towers linked by multi-level shopping corridors. Marina Square, owned by Singapore Land subsidiary Marina Centre Holdings Ltd, also owns 50% of three linked five-star hotels, the Pan Pacific, Marina Mandarin and Oriental Singapore. US firm Altoon + Porter, which had a major design influence on AMP’s Botany town centre in Auckland, is advising on the Marina Square changes.

US office and industrial building completions slipped in April, by 2.5% and 0.8% respectively (compared to March), but were both up on a year ago, office by 11% and industrial by 19%. The US Census Bureau released the figures over the weekend.

Singapore retailer OG, which bought the Orchard Point building for $S91 million in March, is now looking to sell its existing 4117m² building further up Orchard Rd, with an expected price of about $S50 million. OG occupies all six storeys plus basement of its old premises, but is trying to get allowance for an increase in the present 5:1 floor area ratio for the sale.

Plenty of room to land, on the tarmac or in the arrivals hall at Zhuhai airport on the southern end of the Pearl River delta, which uses less than 5% of its 12 million-passenger/year capacity and is threatened with closure by a court in nearby Guangzhou. The airport’s developers owe 1.7 billion yuan ($NZ501 million), have repaid 381 million yuan ($NZ112 million), but are accruing interest at 10%/year. The airport cost 6.9 billion yuan ($NZ2 billion) to build four years ago. Zhuhai’s luxurious guesthouses have been popular among Beijing’s elite, but the city lacks transport links to neighbouring cities.

North West Development and its parent company, MK Corp — controlled by Chinese National People’s Congress deputy Peter Wong Man-kong but also with shareholders from Japan, the Philippines and Singapore — will spend 755 million yuan on two hotels and two theme parks along the Silk Road in north-west China, following the Hong Kong Government-organised Go-West trip. Silk Road hotel occupancy rates average 60-65%.

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