HK Chinese and Argyle buy Singapore plaza

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 November, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 November, 2006, 12:00am

Hongkong Chinese, a unit of Indonesian businessman Mochtar Riady's Lippo Group, has teamed with fund manager Argyle Street Management to buy a central Singapore plaza for S$132 million (HK$661.66 million) and redevelop it into a residential and commercial project.

Hongkong Chinese, which will pay half the cost of buying the 5,610 square metre Kim Seng Plaza, said it will fund the deal from internal resources and bank loans.

The maximum plot ratio for the project is 3.1, equivalent to a gross floor area of 17,000 square metres.

Hongkong Chinese wants 60 per cent of the development to be residential and 40 per cent commercial. The project will offer views of the Singapore River.

The Hong Kong-listed company last month bought two parcels of land on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa for S$234.7 million.

The firm later sold a 50 per cent stake in the sites, which will be developed into 150 four-storey luxury houses with a gross floor area of 287,000 square feet, to Austrian lender Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich, Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore developers SUTL Corp and Royall Dazzle.

Hongkong Chinese has also teamed with Argyle to set up property investment venture Lippo ASM Asia Property, which aims to invest in real estate in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The company is 72.26 per cent owned by Lippo China Resources, which is in turn 71.13 per cent owned by Lippo.

Trading in the shares of the three companies, which had been suspended since November 16, resumed yesterday.

Hongkong Chinese shares fell 2.8 per cent to HK$1.04 yesterday whereas Lippo rose 0.75 per cent to HK$2.70. Lippo China declined 4 per cent to 19.3 HK cents.

The Kim Seng acquisition is subject to approval by Lippo shareholders.