Swire looks to a rosy rental future on mainland
Swire Properties expects to see strong growth in rental income from its mainland investment properties over the next three years as new projects come on stream.
The company's chief executive, Martin Cubbon, said its two integrated developments - Taikoo Hui in Guangzhou and INDIGO in Beijing - opened last year. Projects in Chengdu and Shanghai were under construction and were due for phased opening in 2014 and 2016.
Cubbon predicted a rise in rental income after the projects started operating, but sounded a note of caution over the mainland property market. He said government measures to rein in runaway home prices had contributed to the nation's slowest economic growth in three years.
'We are a little cautious now as the mainland government put in place a number of measures to control residential price but it hasn't affected the commercial sector,' Cubbon said. 'We remain positive for the medium to long-term prospects of the mainland market.'
The group would continue to expand on the mainland and hoped to add more sites over the next 12 months, he said, without disclosing details.
In Hong Kong, Swire Properties has released its luxury Frank Gehry-designed OPUS Hong Kong at 53 Stubbs Road on The Peak for lease.
'Our intention is to hold the project for the long term,' Cubbon said.
While he did not say the company would never sell the property, he said it would 'certainly be a record-breaking' transaction.
The 12-storey project has 10 apartments and two double-level garden apartments ranging from 6,000 square feet to 6,900 sq ft.
Agents estimate OPUS Hong Kong could fetch about HK$68,000 per square foot, while the monthly rent could reach HK$110 per sq ft.
A 6,600 sq ft apartment would cost HK$450 million, or a monthly rental of HK$720,000.
Swire Properties chairman Christopher Pratt said Swire Properties was also eyeing property investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Cubbon said Swire Properties had no plan to sell non-core investment properties.
Shares of Swire Properties rose 0.465 per cent to close at HK$21.6 yesterday.