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 28 January 2001

Latest: Westfield America Inc & Trust both up, Pirelli sets up London property office, JC Penney to close 47 stores, US housing figures show big fall in December permits, Extended Stay chain growing rapidly, Boma International net portal, Carousel mall expands, Equity Office sells office block, AMC cinema chain makes another loss, Carey signs for new corporate facility, Loews cinema chain faces debt deadline, nursing home investor LTC’s earnings down, Universal Health profit up, Kuwaitis invest in US, Lend Lease in Boston development.

28 January 2001

Westfield America Inc increased fourth-quarter funds from operations by 4.3% to $US52.8 million on revenue up 6.6% to $US140 million. For the year to December, it increased funds from operations by 10.3% to $US195.2 million, representing a 5.8% increase on a per share basis. Mall sales per square metre increased 4.7%. Leases signed during the fourth quarter averaged $US48.40/ft² ($NZ1197/m²), during the year $US38/ft² ($NZ940/m²). Average mall rents are $US32.83/ft² ($NZ812/m²). Weighted average interest rate of debt was 7.45%, debt to total market capitalisation was 58.3%. Westfield America Inc owns interests in 39 major shopping centres. Westfield America Trust, which owns 56.9% of Westfield America Inc, increased profit 23% to $A141.8 million last year.

Italian tyre company Pirelli has set up a London real estate company and renamed its Italian property company, Milano Centrale, as it raises the profile of its fourth business. It manages an 8 billion euro ($NZ17 billion) property portfolio now, half owned by third parties, half owned by property funds in which it invests.

US retailer JC Penney will close 47 stores and take a fourth-quarter pretax charge of $US275 million.

27 January 2001

This one should have been in last weekend — US housing starts and building permits for December. The seasonally adjusted figures commonly presented by the US Commerce Department’s Census Bureau show starts (± 6%) virtually unchanged from the revised November rate but 11% (± 7%) below the December 1999 rate. I prefer the figures with least tampering, not seasonally adjusted. This set shows starts down 4.3% to 1,593,800 for the year to December 2000, and down 12.5% to 101,300 for the month, with an average relative standard error of 1% on the annual figure and 3% on the monthly. The unadjusted permit level (same error margin) for the year was 5.6% to 1,569,700, and the monthly figure fell a whopping 17.7% to 99,500 (but seasonally adjusted the fall was 11.3%). January tends to be a quiet month for both starts and permits, so another low figure can be expected when those figures are released in February.

Extended Stay America Inc has opened its 393rd property, a 92-room Efficiency Studios hotel. Chief executive George Johnson says it’s the fastest-growing segment of the hotel industry.

The Building Owners & Managers Association International, of the US, has launched an e-commerce portal in association with BuildingsNet Inc, and

26 January 2001

The Carousel Centre in Syracuse, New York, will grow to 437,000m² by adding a four-storey aquarium, 800 hotel rooms, indoor golf range and indoor bass fishing pond, making it briefly 46,500m² bigger than the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, which plans to add two hotels, a theatre and more shops next year. They’ll both still be smaller than the 492,000m² West Edmonton Mall in Canada.

Equity Office Properties Trust has sold the Warner Park Centre in Woodland Hills, California, part of the portfolio acquired when it bought Cornerstone Properties last June. Adler Realty Advisors and partners bought the 5329m² office building for $US8.95 million.

Kansas-based AMC Entertainment Inc has closed 800 screens, mostly older-style multiplexes, since 1995 and will continue closures at 70-80/year as leases expire. Two-thirds of its screens now are megaplexes, with plusher stadium seating and bigger screens. AMC reported third-quarter revenue up 7% to $US305 million, adjusted ebitda up 18% to $US35 million, and a net loss of $US8.2 million, better than the $US8.9 million loss for the quarter in 1999. The chairman was happy with the ebitda gain, said nothing about the continuing losses, up 21% for the three quarters to $US31.5 million.

WP Carey & Co has signed to buy a 24,154m² North Carolina facility for making heavy track components for $US7.7 million, at $NZ732/m². WP Carey specialises in owning and net leasing corporate properties. This one will be operated by Meridian Automotive Systems.

Loews Cineplex Entertainment, one of the biggest cinema operators in the US, reported a third-quarter $US186 million net loss, will close 112 older cinemas with 675 screens, about a quarter of its business, and faced a deadline this week to make repayments on $US750 million of debt. Banks waived the deadline several times, but not this week.

LTC Properties Inc, which has investments in 249 skilled nursing facilities, 94 assisted-living residences and four schools, had slightly lower fourth-quarter revenue of $US20.4 million, funds from operations 15% down at $US7.9 million, and a net loss after preferred dividends of $US3 million ($US9.3 million net loss). Annual revenue was also steady at $US87.1 million, funds from operations fell 17% to $US37.6 million and net income available to common shareholders was steady at $US16.6 million.

Universal Health Realty Income Trust increased fourth-quarter funds from operations 5.6% to $US5.9 million on revenue up 14% at $US7 million, and increased full-year funds from operations 5% to $US22.9 million, both 2000 figures boosted by a $US1.9 million gain on property sale.

Kuwait Finance House has set up a $US106 million real estate investment portfolio with Citibank to investment under lease terms which meet Islamic banking rules. The Kuwaitis will out in $US25 million, Citibank $US15 million, institutional and individual investors the rest.

22 January 2001

Lend Lease Real Estate Investments is advising two of the three partners which will build a 31-storey, 56,000m² office tower at 33 Arch St in Boston, with 800 parking spaces on an adjoining site. The joint venture is between Congress Group Ventures, the electrical workers’ pension fund, NEBF, and Value Enhancement Fund IV.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 11 March 2001

Latest: Property provisions knock Swire Pacific, Westfield Trust fills $250m notes issue, Thistle profit steady on revenue rise, restructure helps Tourism Asset Holdings, Irish building materials group on expansion drive, think of another way to say writedown, peppercorn rents out for HK development sites, think of another way to say writedown, peppercorn rents out for HK development sites, Westfield to take over its US-listed reit, Taiwan’s way out of property oversupply, Developers Diversified up 6.8%.

10 March 2001

Swire Pacific’s net profit fell 12.4% to $HK3.89 million ($NZ1.12 million) in 2000 on turnover down 10.7% to $HK15 billion. The result was helped down by $HK2.1 million in provisions and restructuring costs, including $HK1.7 million on the Ocean Shores apartments in Tseung Kwan O.

9 March 2001

Westfield Trust has completed an $A250 million issue of medium-term notes “into the domestic debt capital capital market” —– an example of how selling your assets (in this case, the former St Lukes Group into the Sydney-based Westfield trust) can reduce future opportunities. If Westfield can get its money in Australia, it won’t worry about issuing a prospectus here.

Thistle Hotels plc, 46% owned by Brierley Investments and 12% by the Singapore Government, raised net profit 0.74% to £54.8 million on revenue up 8% to £324.4 million. Thistle owns 56 hotels in Britain.

Australia’s largest hotel owner, Tourism Asset Holdings Ltd, has made both profit and asset value gains from a restructure undertaken in the past year. Net profit after tax for the December year rose 5% to $A19 million, all of which will be paid out in dividends. The 1999 net result included $A6.1 million of abnormals, which arose when Accor Asia Pacific’s management contracts at seven hotels were converted into long-term leases. The company now has a $3.5 million (indexed) annual capex lid for its 45 leased hotels. The company put $A31.4 million into its asset revaluation reserve as a result of a Colliers Jardine valuation which took the new leasing arrangements into account.

8 March 2001

Irish building materials group CRH will use a 1:4, 1.1 billion euro ($NZ2.4 billion) rights issue to continue its expansion, probably in Europe to reduce its reliance on the US where it has 60% of its business. CRH made 60 acquisitions costing E1.6 billion last year. It raised pretax profit 10% to E697 million on turnover up 32% to E8.7 billion.

7 March 2001

Mealymouthed tripe on a $US21.7 million shopping centre portfolio writedown, by JDN Realty Corp of Atlanta, which said it had delayed reporting its fourth quarter earnings as a result. It said the year-end closing process was complicated by the tax consequences on “the non-cash impairment charges” at its development subsidiary and added: “The impairment charges are a result of our determined goal to strengthen the portfolio and which, we believe, is in the best interest of our shareholders.” Judging by the second quarter results, JDN was already in bother last June, with funds from operations down 34% to $US10.9 million and net earnings down 13.8% to $US9.4 on slightly higher revenue.

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal has told nine big land development companies, which banded together to fight a land rental case, they must pay rent on development sites where they’ve habitually paid nothing or a nominal sum. The companies had objected to the Commissioner of Rating & Valuation setting rent at 3% of rateable value on 59 development sites. They also reckoned the basis shouldn’t be the land’s potential value when this was already taken into account in assessing the premium in the land sale. The court found the commissioner could take their character as development sites into account.

6 March 2001

Australian shopping centre owner Westfield Holdings has launched a tender to mop up the remaining 22.5% of shares of Westfield America Inc which it, or Westfield America Trust, doesn’t own. The cash offer of $US16.25/share is slightly below today’s trading price. New York-listed Westfield America Inc is the fourth-largest listed shopping centre reit in the US. Westfield America Trust, like the group umbrella company Westfield Holdings, is listed in Australia. The tender will run until 3 April.

5 March 2001

Taiwan’s way out of a long-term oversupply of commercial property is to open the market to foreigners. A government report said it would need to involve an investment plan helpful to domestic construction, economic development and environmental improvement. In the background is Taiwan’s ambition to join the World Trade Organisation this year.

Cleveland-based shopping centre owner Developers Diversified Realty Corp raised funds from operations 6.8% on a diluted basis last year, although actual earnings fell 6.4% to $US129.3 million after the sale of $US250 million of properties and joint venture interests. The company averaged $US12.38/ft² on new leases and $US13/ft² on renewals in the fourth quarter ($NZ308 and $NZ324/m² ). Tenant sales rose 2.6% for the year to $US236/ft² ($NZ546/m² ).

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Snapshot on world property, week to 26 August 2001

Latest: ASIC puts out alert on olive oil schemes, ASIC gets tougher on contributory mortgage disclosure documents, FAL set to take over 36 Franklins, offer for Accor chain’s owner raised.

22 August 2001

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission issued a checklist on Tuesday for people considering investments in olive oil schemes — well worth benchmarking against. The commission has also stopped four olive investment prospectus going out recently after questioning their projections. ASIC’s consumer protection executive director, Peter Kell, warned investors against investing solely on a tax-effective basis and set out a guide, including the statement that production is growing faster than consumption. One of his figures is scary: over the 10 years to 2000, the olive oil price on the Milan bourse (the major olive oil trading centre) fell from the equivalent of $A8 to $A4 in real terms, which Mr Kell said was a 100% fall. Even as a 50% fall it’s a trend to watch. The ASIC website also contains benchmarking prices, costs/ha, set-up costs, harvest expectations.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission said on Tuesday it had taken action over three disclosure documents for property schemes and two prospectuses for contributory mortgage schemes, saying they lacked sufficient information about underlying financial projection bases and that some of the forward statements were based on hypothetical assumptions.

20 August 2001

Foodland Associated Ltd, of Perth, has waived all preconditions and is preparing to take over 36 Franklins supermarkets in New South Wales and Queensland from Dairy Food International of Hong Kong.

Bainton Pty Ltd has raised its bid for Tourism Asset Holdings Ltd by A3.5c to A78.5c, but minus an A3.5c interim dividend. Franking credits mean the offer has actually increased in the hands of shareholders. The offer no longer requires Accor Asia Pacific to agree to a new underwriting agreement with TAHL, effectively making the hotel chain operator an associate of the bidder. Accor will vote its shares for the bid if Bainton gets its required 50% of minorities. Bainton, meanwhile, said it was open to a takeout if some offered 5% more, and TAHL’s board said it would make its dividend announcement on Thursday.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 9 March 2003

9 March 2003

Westpac Bank will consolidate its 10 office sites around the Sydney central business district into 2 locations, 1 of which will be a new 33-storey 74,000m² Leighton Properties building halfway between George St and Darling Harbour, currently a carpark bounded by Kent, Erksine, Napoleon & Sussex Sts. Westpac will take a 12-year lease from 2006 with 3 6-year options. Bank chief executive David Morgan said 78% of Westpac’s Sydney cbd corporate office leases would expire by 2006. He said the move would enable the bank to cut its total cbd corporate occupancy by 20%. Westpac Institutional Bank will set up a special property trust to acquire the land before construction and engage Leighton to complete the building. Westpac will open the trust to investors in April. It will be structured so investors receive an investment return guaranteed by Westpac during the construction phase, without exposure to construction risk. Westpac will remain in its 60 Martin Place premises at least until the current lease expires. This will occur in tranches from 2007-2012.

5 March 2003

Prime Property Fund, managed by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, has bought Morristown Plaza, a 148-unit midrise luxury rental apartment property in New Jersey, with a direct rail link to Penn Station in New York City. The property also has 700m² of shops and is fully occupied.

3 March 2003

Hugh E Osmond, who created the Punch Taverns Group Ltd in 1997 and sold most of it last year, has entered his bid for Six Continents (formerly Bass), which owns 3200 hotels & 2000 pubs, including the InterContinental and Holiday Inn hotel chains. The £7 billion offer is in stock & assumed debt. Mr Osmond has offered 36 shares in his Capital Management & Investing plc holding company for every 6 Six Continents shares, valuing them at £6.48/share, up from £6.19 last Friday. Six Continents has plans to split the hotels and pubs businesses next month.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 11 January 2004

9 January 2004

Equity Properties Office Trust, biggest reit in the US, sold 14 office blocks containing 121,000m² & a 1.66ha land parcel for $US177 million in December, spent $US103 million on a 32,000m² office block in San Jose on new Year’s Eve and entered a series of joint ventures with the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association of America, which will take 75-80% interests in a 13-building, 300,000m² portfolio for $US596.5 million. “Our high level of recent disposition activity reflects a long-term goal to focus on our top 15-20 markets, and to cull our portfolio of non-core assets. We expect to use the proceeds from the dispositions we closed in December to pay down outstanding debt, and for working capital,” Equity Office president & chief executive Richard Kincaid said.

Colonial Properties Trust has bought 2 multifamily properties containing 844 units, a 25,270m² office property and a 10% interest in a multifamily joint venture as it seeks to diversify in submarkets projecting limited new construction & promising new job growth. The residential properties are in Orland, Florida, and Austin, Texas, the office block in Huntsville, Alabama, and the joint venture with Dreyfuss Real Estate Advisors in 3 properties totalling 1090 units in Birmingham, Alabama. Colonial’s strategy is to invest in multifamily, office and retail properties where you live, work and shop.
Web site: Colonial Properties Trust

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Snapshot on world property, week to 19 May 2002

15 May 2002

Lend Lease Europe Ltd has sold its whole participation in Chapelfield, a retail-led mixed-use development in Norwich, for a maximum £295 million ($NZ936 million) plus £12 million pre-fitout for the 115-unit residential element, to Capital Shopping Centres plc. Work is due to start in July for practical completion in 2005. Capital Shopping Centres will pay £40 million up front, a second payment on practical completion subject to 70% leasing, and further payments subject to leasing. Lend Lease will design, build, develop & lease Chapelfield.

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Snapshot on world property, week to 15 July 2001

Latest: Australia Infrastructure Fund makes loss, small revaluation gain for AMP Industrial, James Fielding establishes mezzanine debt fund for institutions, HK Airport back in profit, Macquarie cuts industrial trust management stake, Leighton wins expressway contract aimed at increasing Manila industry, Investa gains in revaluations, Ariadne settles in California, rapid turnout of Four Points by Sheratons, Rothschild cuts Macquarie Goodman stake, Babcock & Brown at 35% of MTM, Rydges goes wireless.

14 July 2001

The Australian Infrastructure Fund lost $A12.6 million after tax ($2000 profit $A39.4 million) in the June year, reflecting net unrealised losses on its asset portfolio from the telecommunications sector through investment in Vodafome Pacific, and two energy investments. At the half-year it made an $A11.3 million profit. Operating cashflow before interest and tax rose 71% to $A19.4 million. Chief operating officer Mitchell Kingsaid the fund would simplify its portfolio and build on the success of its transport assets, which were 75% of the portfolio and returned 19% for the year. Gross returns from airports (Melbourne, Perth, Northern Territory) were 42%, sea ports 43% and toll roads 9%. Through Hastings Fund Management, the fund is involved in bidding for Sydney Airport, expected to be decided in September. Revenues from ordinary activities fell 95%, from $A44.3 million to $A2.2 million. Revaluations cost $A14.8 million, compared to $A35.4 million of gains last year. The portfolio now has a value of $A379 million.

AMP Industrial Property Trust has gained A1c in asset backing to $A1.01 after revaluation of 10 of its 26 properties, representing 41% of the trust’s gross assets, resulting in a $A3.3 million (1.8%) increase over book value. The trust has 76% of its assets in Sydney, where revaluations gave it a $A6 million (4.2%) gain.

James Fielding Investments Ltd (Greg Paramor) and JP Morgan have established an $A125 million Australian Property Mezzanine Debt Fund, a five-year, closed-end wholesale product for institutional investment which will source opportunities through Westpac.

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority made $HK71 million in the March year, its first profit since it opened Chek Lap Kok airport in 1998. Last year it lost $HK168 million. Turnover rose 2% to $HK5.15 billion. The airport has a $HK500 million expansion programme underway, increasing retail space and adding 8000m² to its terminal.

Macquarie Bank Ltd has cut its relevant interest in Macquarie Goodman Management Ltd from 7.51% to 6.3%. The management company runs the Macquarie Goodman Industrial Trust.

Manila North Tollways Corp has awarded Leighton Holdings Ltd of Australia a 6.9 billion peso ($NZ320 million) contract to rehabilitate and expand the North Luzon Expressway. The two-year project will start in September. It’s the first Philippines tollroad funded under a limited recourse project financing structure without government guarantee. Leighton Asia managing director John Faulkner said the 84km expressway project would significantly boost industrial development in Bulacan and Pampanga and the Clark special economic zone by providing a world-class toll road linking metropolitan Manila to Santa Ines, Mabalacat and Pampanga.

11 July 2001

Investa Property Group of Sydney has gained $A21.7 million in total asset value from the 30 June revaluation of five properties, increasing asset backing by A4c to $A1.64/security. Biggest improver was 55 Market St, Sydney, up $A10 million or 8.3% to $A130 million, capitalised at 7.25%. Its half share in the 60 Martin Place unit trust gained $A4.9 million or 5.9% to $A87.375 million, capitalised at 7%. In Melbourne, 420 St Kilda Rd gained $A5.6 million or 26% to $A27 million on rent rises from $A165/m² to $A210/m². It was capitalised at 9%. A Brisbane property held steady and one in Canberra rose slightly.

Ariadne Australia Ltd has reached settlement with all parties on the Californian “thrift” court proceedings it brought in 1987, but executive chairman Kevin Seymour said the company still could not determine the timing or quantify amounts it might receive in settlement agreements. The settlement is part of the unravelling of a savings & loan investment, in People’s Bank of California and PBOC Holdings Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has opened, new or refurbished, five franchised Four Points by Sheraton hotels at airports across the US over the past six weeks and will open another next week, adding 902 rooms to the chain, Starwood’s fastest-growing at 140 properties in six years. The company has also just opened the 390-room W Chicago – City Centre and will open a second W hotel in Chicago next month. Starwood now has 725 hotels worldwide.

NM Rothschild Australia Holdings Pty Ltd reduced its relevant interest in Sydney-based Macquarie Goodman Management Ltd from 7.93% to 6.79% at the end of June. The management company runs the Macquarie Goodman Industrial Trust, headed by Greg Goodman.

Babcock & Brown Group, bidding to take over MTM Entertainment Trust and its management company, raised its stake almost 2% on Friday to 35.34%.

SkyNetGlobal Ltd of Sydney, has signed an exclusive global agreement with Rydges Hotels to provide broadband wireless communication services, starting with 11 corporate Rydges hotels. Any traveller with a laptop will be able to hire a wireless modem card in the hotel and wirelessly connect to the internet or their office lan from hotel rooms, conference and public areas. Rydges Auckland will be among the first recipients of the new service. The chain has 6000 rooms in 32 hotels.

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