CapitaLand scraps talks to acquire Asia Square Tower 1

Asia Square Tower 1.
Asia Square Tower 1.PHOTO: ASIA SQUARE

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Singapore-listed CapitaLand, South-east Asia's largest property developer, said on Wednesday (Nov 4) it had ceased talks with partners on the potential acquisition of an office tower in Singapore's Central Business District.

In October, the company said it and other parties were in discussion to buy Asia Square Tower 1, a 43-storey office tower, from BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager.

The deal was reported to be worth about S$4 billion.

The company will continue to explore opportunities that allow it to generate required returns, CapitaLand said in a statement. It didn't' give a reason for its decision.

A consortium of Norway's sovereign wealth fund and CapitaLand was chosen as the preferred bidder by BlackRock in what would have been the biggest office deal in Singapore.

The 43-story tower, located in the new financial district at Marina Bay, could be valued at more than S$3.5 billion, sources said last month. BlackRock said earlier this year that it had received expressions of interest for Asia Square Tower 1 and could get more than S$4 billion for the building, whose tenants include Citigroup.

CapitaLand's third-quarter profit jumped 48 per cent to S$192.7 million as revenue rose 17 per cent to S$1.08 billion, the company also announced on Wednesday. Residential sales in China more than doubled in the quarter from a year earlier. The developer said property cooling measures in Singapore will continue to weigh on its home market.

Singapore home prices have dropped for eight straight quarters, matching the longest losing streak in 13 years, as tighter mortgage lending sapped demand in Asia's second-most expensive luxury housing market. The government began introducing residential property curbs in 2009 as low interest rates and demand from foreign buyers raised concerns that the market was overheating.