Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Foreign firm to buy CityLife EC stake


THE buzz in the executive condominium (EC) market here has attracted another foreign player to dip its toes into Singapore's property market.
The Straits Times
January 23, 2013

THE buzz in the executive condominium (EC) market here has attracted another foreign player to dip its toes into Singapore's property market.

Pan-Asian real estate investment company Everview Capital Partners will acquire a 5.5 per cent stake in EC project CityLife in Tampines for $4 million, said one of the EC's developers SingXpress Land in a statement yesterday.

Everview, through a single purpose vehicle, has agreed to buy an 18.4 per cent stake in Catalist-listed SingXpress Land's wholly owned unit SingXpress Property Development (SPDPL).

The unit, in turn, holds a 30 per cent stake in CityLife, in Tampines Central 7. Kay Lim Realty holds another 30 per cent stake, while a wholly owned subsidiary of Amara Holdings holds the remaining 40 per cent.

Mr Chan Heng Fai, managing director of SingXpress Land, said the investment by Everview is in line with its objective to partner with global institutional investors.

"This investment agreement paves the way for future collaboration between Everview and SingXpress Land on real estate developments in Singapore," he added.

The 514-unit CityLife, a private-public housing hybrid, was launched on Dec 29 last year and has seen strong interest, with more than 90 per cent of units sold.

The development is expected to be completed by 2016.

The agreement between both firms comes after a memorandum of understanding was inked between Everview and SingXpress Land on Aug 30 last year.

SPDPL has provided Everview a principal guarantee under which Everview can opt to exercise its right to have its investment amount returned, the statement added.

Everview was established last year and this acquisition marks its first foray into real estate development in Singapore.

Its target markets include China, Japan and some South-east Asian countries.

The firm has a Hong Kong-based management team and is capitalised by a major North American institutional investor.

Mr Wai Tang, managing director of Everview, said the firm is attracted to the EC segment as it targets middle-income Singaporeans seeking quality residences.

"We have faith in the project, the management quality and the integrity of the group," he added.

ECs were created in 1995 to meet the aspirations of the so-called "sandwiched class", who might not qualify for public housing but find private property beyond their reach.


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