CFA Society Singapore
(Mar 25): An arm of Singapore’s Keppel Corp. is considering buying twin buildings on the banks of Shanghai’s Huangpu River from Dalian Yifang Group Co., people familiar with the matter said.
The property, known as Shanghai Yi Fang Center, could fetch more than 4 billion yuan ($805 million), according to the people. Keppel is discussing the deal through its asset-management unit Keppel Capital Holdings, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Yi Fang Center is opposite the Shanghai International Passenger Transport Center in the city’s Hongkou district. Keppel joins other foreign investors eyeing China’s commercial property market, as Brexit worries in the UK cloud the investment outlook in Europe and Beijing’s limits on leverage disadvantage local buyers.
No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the talks will lead to a transaction, the people said. Yifang Group didn’t immediately answers calls and an email seeking comment.
“We are constantly on the lookout for deals in line with our business strategy,” a representative for Keppel said, declining to comment on any interest in Yi Fang Center. “We will make an announcement if and when a deal materialises.”
Chinese commercial property investments rose 9.5% last year to a record 296 billion yuan, with about one-third coming from overseas investors, Cushman & Wakefield data show. CapitaLand and GIC agreed in November to snap up two towers along the Bund in Shanghai for 12.8 billion yuan. Blackstone Group LP is considering an acquisition of the city’s Chamtime Plaza for over 10 billion yuan, Bloomberg News reported this month.
Yifang Group also has developments in other Chinese cities including Beijing, Shenzhen and Dalian, according to its website. It owns stakes in Wanda Commercial Properties, domestic movie producer Wanda Film Holdings Co. and commercial lender Bank of Dalian Co.