Singapore gets record bid from Malaysia for Marina land

A guest swims in the infinity pool at the top the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, in this June 24, 2010 file photo. — Reuters pic
A guest swims in the infinity pool at the top the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, in this June 24, 2010 file photo. — Reuters pic

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SINGAPORE, Nov 9 — The first sale of land in Singapore’s Marina Bay in nine years generated healthy bidding from developers, with a plot in the sought-after financial district attracting a top bid of S$2.6 billion (RM7.94 billion).

The offer price, equivalent to S$1,689 per square foot of gross floor area, is a record for a Singapore government land sale, exceeding the earlier highest price set in 2007 when the Asia Square Tower 1 site was sold for S$1,409 per square foot, according to CBRE Group Inc.

“The top bid is a very bullish call on the Singapore office market,” said Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield Inc. in Singapore. “All the bids are higher than the market expectations of between S$1.3 billion and S$1.8 billion, which is a reflection of the steady restoration of investors’ confidence in the office market.”

The highest offer came from Wealthy Link Pte, which priced the 1.1 hectare (2.7 acre) plot at S$18,180 per square meter of gross floor area, according to a statement by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, which closed the tender for the Central Boulevard site Yesterday. Wealthy Link is owned by IOI Properties Group Bhd., part of a Malaysian conglomerate with interests in palm oil and property development, according to Cushman.

The tender follows a slew of commercial property deals in the city. The plot sits next to Asia Square, which Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in June agreed to buy from BlackRock Inc. for S$3.4 billion in Singapore’s biggest office transaction. CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Singapore’s largest office REIT, in May agreed to buy a 60 per cent stake in CapitaGreen in the central business district for S$393 million, and MYP Ltd., which operates an investment holding company, offered S$560 million for the Straits Trading Building.

An unidentified buyer committed to bid the reserve price of S$1.54 billion, or S$1,010 per square foot of gross floor area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said Aug. 30. The site can be developed primarily for office use, with a smaller area reserved for residential housing, a hotel or serviced apartments. — Bloomberg

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