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SRX: Condo rents continue to rise - up 1.1% in February

RENTS for non-landed private homes ticked up 1.1 per cent in February from January, the second month-on-month increase after a downtrend.

Posted on 16-Mar-2017

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SRX: Condo rents continue to rise - up 1.1% in February

MALAYSIAN property developer IOI Properties is considering the construction of two office towers at its prime Central Boulevard site in Singapore.

The two blocks would sit on a five-storey podium, and house public, retail and childcare amenities, and car and bicycle parking, said IOI in a prospectus to shareholders in relation to its rights issue of up to 1.11 billion new shares.

Details of the proposed development have yet to be finalised, and the two office towers are only a "preliminary consideration".

IOI was, however, less ambiguous about the views to be had from the proposed development.

It said: "The future development on the land will offer excellent views for tenants with the Marina Bay waterfront to the north-east, green open spaces to the south-east, and across the CBD of Singapore to the west."

The prospectus also noted the direct linkages to nearby developments such as One Raffles Quay, Marina Bay Financial Centre and the office clusters in Raffles Place and Shenton Way.

At a recent event in Kuala Lumpur, IOI's executive chairman Lee Shin Cheng said the proposed development would have a built-up area of some 1.5 million sq ft, and an estimated gross development value of at least S$3.5 billion.

Work is projected to start at the end of the year or Q1 2018.

Wealthy Links Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of IOI Properties, had surprised with a S$2.57 billion bid for the site last year; its S$1,689 per sq ft per plot ratio equivalent set a new benchmark.

Not a newcomer to the Singapore market, given its South Beach integrated mixed-use development joint venture with City Development Ltd, IOI Properties maintains that the higher price was justified by Central Boulevard's premium location, which is expected to attract major financial institutions and multinational companies. Moreover, the investment is for the long-term.

Notwithstanding the company's optimism, investors have not warmed to its cash call, which would raise RM1.52 billion (S$483 million) and expand its share base by 25 per cent to 5.53 billion shares.

Investors are also tiring of the numerous cash-raising, earnings-dilutive exercises. Since 2014, the company has undertaken a rights issue and a private placement, which raised RM2.4 billion in total.

The earnings dilution is evident in the significant share price consolidation. At RM1.90, it is about a fifth lower than three years ago, prompting minorities to rethink the wisdom of subscribing to the current one-for-four rights, priced at RM1.38 apiece and closing on Friday.

In its prospectus, IOI Properties said the group had procured and drawn down bank borrowings of S$2.83 billion, primarily for the full settlement of the Central Boulevard tender consideration.

The proceeds from the rights exercise would be used to partly repay the principal of the group's bank borrowings obtained to fund the tender. It plans to repay Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and United Overseas Bank a principal amount of up to RM765.3 million each.

Hong Leong Investment Bank said IOI's gearing will be reduced to 0.61 from 0.70 times.

The Business Times

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