Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Amara mulls launch of hospitality Reit

Amara mulls launch of hospitality Reit

AMARA Holdings Ltd, a Singapore-based hotel operator, may sell
hospitality assets as a real estate investment trust (Reit).
A "Reit has always been one of the options that one can consider to
go asset-light," the company said in an e-mailed response to questions
from Bloomberg News. "There are no concrete plans at the moment
and we are continuously evaluating all options including the feasibility
of launching a hospitality Reit."

Amara, led by chief executive officer Albert Teo, is considering putting
its 27-year-old Amara Singapore Hotel, along with the adjacent 100 AM
shopping mall and Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa into a Reit and
selling the assets in an initial public offering (IPO), according to a person
with knowledge of the matter.
The IPO could take place next year, the person said, asking not to be
identified as the deliberations are private. Amara declined to comment
on any IPO plans.

Source: Business Times

Vingroup temporarily delays Singapore IPO

Vingroup temporarily delays Singapore IPO

VietNamNet Bridge – Vingroup Joint Stock Company (Vingroup JSC)
will temporarily delay its plans to sell shares and have them traded in
Singapore in response to foreign investors pulling capital out of 
emerging markets.

Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup's chief executive officer, said in an interview
 with Bloomberg last Friday that the group would temporarily delay an
international bond sale.
In April this year, Vingroup said it planned to sell 150 million shares and
 have them traded on the Singapore bourse (SGX) from the second to
 fourth quarter of 2013. The shares would be listed and traded in US dollars.

Thuy said the whole market was quite difficult, and doing a Viet Nam deal
 was not easy. She didn't rule out a listing later this year and said Vingroup
 still had a few more months to go and would be keeping an eye on market

Vingroup shares on Monday (Sept 9) dropped 1.5 per cent to VND62,000
(US$2.95). In 2012, Vingroup reported a net revenue of more than
VND7,904 billion ($377 million), an increase of 242 per cent compared to
2011. Post tax profit was VND1,847 billion ($87.9 million), representing a
rise of 72 per cent from 2011.

The group successfully implemented its 2013 business plan by achieving
 a net revenue of approximately VND12.2 trillion ($580 million) from
operations including revenues made from Royal City, Times City and Vincom
 Village (excluding financial activities).
Estimated profit before tax is approximately VND10 trillion ($476 million) from operations including financial activities.

Source: Vietnam net

Monday, September 9, 2013

Xyec Picks Singapore Over Japan for Historic IPO: Southeast Asia

Xyec Picks Singapore Over Japan for Historic IPO: Southeast Asia

Xyec Picks Singapore Over Japan for Historic IPO: Southeast Asia

Xyec Holdings Co. (XYEC), the first Japanese company to debut only in Singapore, plans to expand its information technology business in Southeast Asia through acquisitions and by hiring local talent.

The company plans to raise a couple of million dollars in an initial public offering and start trading on Singapore’s Catalist board for smaller enterprises on Sept. 18, Chief Executive Officer Manabu Kobayashi said. Tokyo-based Xyec is in talks with two Singaporean companies in the information technology industry about possible deals, he said, declining to elaborate because the talks are private.

Xyec, which provides engineering and information technology services such as software development to manufacturers including a unit of Toyota Motor Corp., chose Singapore over Japan because of Southeast Asia’s growth potential compared with declining demand and shrinking population at home. It targets total sales growth of more than 50 percent to 10 billion yen ($100 million) in the next two years, with 10 percent of that total to come from the region, Kobayashi said.

“We want to make Singapore the base of our Asean expansion,” Kobayashi, 48, said in a telephone interview from Tokyo last week, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “We want to increase our regional presence and capture good talent that we may not be able to get if we remained in Japan, given the size of our company.”

Xyec will be the first Japanese company to have the primary exchange for trading of its shares in Singapore, according to Kobayashi.

Regional Hub

“Listing abroad would lead to increased presence in the region as well as credibility, making it easier for the company to find staff,” Tamami Ota, a Tokyo-based economist at Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd., said. “It would make it easier to raise funds in the local currency as well.”

Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX), Southeast Asia’s biggest bourse, has attracted foreign companies as it aspires to become the region’s financial gateway. There were 302 non-Singaporean companies traded on SGX out of 782 companies as of August and nine of them were Japanese, according to SGX. All the other Japanese companies are also listed in Japan.

Xyec, pronounced “Zeek,” chose Singapore over Japan because of the attraction of raising funds from global investors and globally consistent regulation of additional share sales, which it might undertake for expansion, Kobayashi said. The company plans to open an office in Singapore by the end of March 2014, which will become the headquarters for business in the region outside Japan, he said.

Asean Growth

Companies around the world have announced deals of about $72 billion of assets in Southeast Asia this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, amid expectations for growth that outpaces the rest of the world.

Asean consists of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The International Monetary Fund forecast July 9 that Asean’s developing nations would expand 5.6 percent in 2013, compared with 0.6 percent contraction in the euro area.

Not all agree that listing overseas before your home market is a wise tactic. Companies raised about $4.5 billion from IPOs in Singapore this year, compared with about $8.1 billion gathered in Japan IPOs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Listing requirements are famously strict in Japan, but if you’re listed and want to expand overseas, there’s no reason to drop your Tokyo listing,” Nicholas Smith, the Japan strategist at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Tokyo, said. “You don’t want to lose your Japanese sticky capital: just do a follow-on offering for overseas investors.”

Catalist Exchange

Xyec will be the first Japanese company to list on SGX’s Catalist board, according to the bourse. Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604), the nation’s biggest brokerage, Murata Manufacturing Co., a supplier to Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., and department store operator Isetan (Singapore) Ltd. are among other Japanese companies traded on SGX’s mainboard.
To woo foreign companies to list in Singapore, the Southeast Asian bourse introduced new rules in the past two years to allow the listing of resource companies without an earnings track record on both the Catalist and mainboard, as well as dual-currency trading for stocks and exchange-traded funds.

SGX posted a 43 percent jump in profit for the three-months ended June, its best quarterly performance since the same quarter of 2007, as stock volumes rebounded and derivatives contracts climbed to a record.

Xyec is targeting Japanese companies that have expanded in the region, including Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand and seeking to recruit staff in the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar, Kobayashi said. While the company has focused on providing services to the manufacturing industry, it’s now seeking to expand into finance as well, he said.
“For survival today, we need to make sure to capture good talent especially for a small-to-medium-sized company like us,” Kobayashi said. “We had to branch out overseas quickly. Singapore is becoming a hub for Asia, and we thought listing in that country would earn us recognition.”

Source: Bloomberg 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Charoen’s F&N to Spin Off Property Unit in Singapore Listing

Charoen’s F&N to Spin Off Property Unit in Singapore Listing

Fraser & Neave Ltd. (FNN), controlled by Thailand’s richest man, said it plans to spin off its property business from operations including beverages and publishing through a Singapore listing at the end of the year.
The 130-year-old conglomerate will offer to its shareholders two shares of the property company Frasers Centrepoint Ltd. for every F&N stock held, according to a company statement handed out at a Singapore briefing today.
F&N is spinning off a division with S$9 billion ($7 billion) of assets as of June, allowing both companies to focus on their separate expansion strategies. The move follows the S$13.8 billion takeover by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, whose company will vote in favor of the transaction, according to the statement.
“It’s a good move because historically, there has been a holding company discount on the group because of the combined businesses of property and non-property,” Goh Han Peng, an analyst at DMG & Partners Securities Pte in Singapore, said. “By separating them, the individual businesses can be valued separately and the food and beverage can obtain the full valuation that they deserve.”
F&N shares have fallen 43 percent this year after a one-time distribution to shareholders following the sale of its brewery stake. It last traded at S$5.49 before the trading halt for the announcement.

Independent Strategies

The listing of the property arm is expected in November or December, according to the statement, and the two companies will be traded separately on the Singapore exchange.
“The listing will enhance Frasers Centrepoint’s profile and enable us to pursue our growth strategies independently,” Lim Ee Seng, chief executive officer of Frasers Centrepoint, said in the statement. He said at a press briefing today he expects to work in partnerships with Charoen’s TCC group and is in talks with them and looking at some of their hotels outside of Thailand.
The proposal also allows F&N to focus on its food and beverage business, while enhancing the public image of Frasers Centrepoint, F&N Chief Financial Officer Hui Choon Kit said at a press conference today. He said it’s an appropriate time for the property unit to be separated because of its size.

Hospitality Trust

F&N will be on the look out for acquisitions for food and beverage companies, Hui said.
The property company is also considering plans for a hospitality trust, according to the statement. F&N said earlier this month it’s considering setting up a real estate investment trust made up of its hospitality assets. It has received proposals from investment banks in relation to the IPO, though considerations are at a preliminary stage, F&N said.
Frasers Centrepoint has a S$2.4 billion pipeline of commercial and retail properties as well as S$1.65 billion worth of hospitality assets that could be injected into its property trusts, Lim said, adding that Charoen is keen to build scalable businesses for the group.
Charoen, who acquired F&N through his company Thai Beverage Pcl (THBEV), has a net worth of $7.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd., United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOB) and Morgan Stanley are financial advisers for the transaction.

F&N the latest group to spin off property assets

F&N the latest group to spin off property assets

The Singapore-based group, bought this year by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi after a protracted takeover battle, said it planned to list Frasers Centrepoint in the city-state by the end of the year.

Fraser and Neave (F&N), the Singapore-based property-to-drinks conglomerate, has become the latest company to attempt a spin-off of a property arm.
The group, bought this year by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi after a protracted takeover battle, said it planned to list Frasers Centrepoint (FC) in the city-state by the end of the year.

F&N shareholders will receive two FC shares for every F&N share owned, leaving the property division as a separately listed entity.
The move, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is part of efforts by TCC, the Thai conglomerate controlled by Charoen, to focus on F&N’s food and beverage business. TCC owns 61.59 per cent of F&N.

F&N also said it is considering a Reit of its hospitality assets.
“The listing will enable us to pursue our growth strategies independently. In addition to Singapore, China and Australia are core markets for [FC] and we will continue to focus on the residential and commercial property development sectors there,” said Lim Ee Seng, chief executive of FC.

The move follows a recent trend of companies listing their property interests to unlock value in the assets.
Fantasia, a Chinese property developer, said it would spin off certain assets in a separate listing, while Great Eagle Holdings listed three Hong Kong hotels through a business trust-type vehicle at the end of May.

Also, Hong Kong property developer and infrastructure company Hopewell Holdings tried to spin off its Hong Kong property business via an IPO in early June. Hopewell was, however, forced to call the deal off due to a lack of demand.

Source: FinanceAsia


Thai Tycoon May Hold Property IPO in Singapore

Fraser & Neave Seeks to Monetize Assets

SINGAPORE—Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is considering a Singapore listing of some of the real-estate assets owned by Fraser & Neave Ltd.,
the conglomerate he bought earlier this year in one of Asia's biggest debt-fueled takeovers.
Fraser & Neave, of which Mr. Charoen owns more than 90%, said in a statement that it is considering an initial public offering of its hospitality assets to monetize their value. It didn't mention the size or timing of the IPO but people with knowledge of the deal said it could raise around US$1 billion and would likely be held early next year.
Separately, Fraser & Neave said it will spin off its property arm, Frasers Centrepoint Ltd., and list it on Singapore Exchange  by the end of this year following a dividend in specie, meaning without conducting any capital-raising.
If he proceeds with the IPO of the hospitality assets, Mr. Charoen will try to capitalize on strong demand for shares in Singapore real-estate trust offerings this year but could also face a more challenging market environment.
Singapore has become a hub for trust listings in Asia, due largely to government rules that require trusts to pay out 90% of revenue in dividends. Singapore-listed REITs have yields of 6%-7%.
Among the big deals, Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust  raised US$1.3 billion in an IPO of China real-estate assets in March.
Just last month, Singapore-listed property developer Overseas Union Enterprises raised US$476 million in an IPO of hotel and shopping mall assets, and Singapore Press Holdings Pte., the city-state's largest publishing company, raised US$438 million in an offering of its shopping malls. Demand for both offerings easily exceeded the supply of shares.
But global sentiment toward emerging markets has soured in recent months, and many stock markets in Southeast Asia have been hit hard as investors pull their money in anticipation of the U.S. Federal Reserve beginning to wind down its monetary stimulus.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index on Tuesday fell to its lowest level since November.
Two people with knowledge of Mr. Charoen's plans said Fraser & Neave is still choosing which assets it would place in the REIT.
DBS Bank, which was one of the main lenders for Mr. Charoen's acquisition of Fraser & Neave, has been appointed to advise on the REIT IPO, according to people with knowledge of the deal. More banks are likely to be added at a later stage, one of the people said.
Separately, Fraser & Neave confirmed Tuesday that it will spin off its property business, Frasers Centerpoint, following a strategic review of its operations.
The company said it would conduct a dividend in specie, offering current Fraser & Neave shareholders two shares of Frasers Centrepoint for every share of Fraser & Neave they own. It would list Frasers Centrepoint on the Singapore Exchange by end of this year by way of "introduction," which would mean that there will be no fundraising.
Frasers Centrepoint's assets include shopping malls, serviced apartments, residential developments and office blocks in places including China, Australia and Thailand.
DBS Bank, Morgan Stanley  and United Overseas Bank advised Mr. Charoen on separating the property business, people with knowledge of this deal said.
Mr. Charoen started buying up shares in Fraser & Neave, which is more than 130 years old, in July last year, at which time the company also had a brewing business and was selling Tiger beer.
Mr. Charoen's interest in the company prompted Fraser & Neave's Dutch joint-venture partner, Heineken NV,  to bid for the brewing business, which it acquired late last year for US$4.6 billion.
The Thai tycoon then acquired the rest of Fraser & Neave after a months-long takeover battle against Overseas Union Enterprise.
Mr. Charoen's acquisition of Fraser & Neave valued the Singapore company at US$11.2 billion. It was largely paid for with debt.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tencent denies report of Singapore IPO for WeChat spin-off

Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's leading Internet firm by revenue, on Tuesday denied a newspaper report that it plans to list its popular Weixin, or WeChat, mobile messaging app as a spin-off company in Singapore.

Citing an unnamed source, the China Daily earlier reported that Hong Kong-listed Tencent opened an office in Singapore to deal with a listing, which it originally planned to hold in Hong Kong. The report gave no timeframe or other listing details.
"This market news is not true," said Jerry Huang, a spokesman for Tencent.

Tencent, led by CEO and Chairman Pony Ma and more than 30 percent owned by South African media group Naspers Ltd, is due to announce second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The company has invested heavily in WeChat as it and other Chinese Internet companies such as Alibaba Group and Baidu Inc try to broaden their revenue streams.
With more than 300 million users in China, WeChat - which is similar to WhatsApp and South Korean firm Kakao Inc's KakaoTalk - has strong potential earnings power for Tencent, which is looking to monetize the app. It last week released an updated app introducing games, paid-for emoticons and a mobile payment system.

Shares in Tencent, valued at $88 billion, rose as much as 1.5 percent in early trade, but by the midsession were trading down 0.05 percent at HK$367.20. The broader Hang Seng index was up 0.7 percent.

Source: Reuter