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Singapore a 'key market' for HK-listed Fullshare Holdings
HONG Kong-listed Fullshare Holdings, which last week entered an agreement to pay S$725.2 million for a holding company of prime commercial building GSH Plaza, is eyeing more investments in Singapore.
These include other office buildings, residential property and hotels, said company chief portfolio officer Jack Tsai.
"If there are interesting opportunities we definitely have the ability to be able to purchase these... We're patient but we also have the ability to move quickly," Mr Tsai told The Business Times.
"Singapore would definitely be the key market for further development in terms of operating business. Singapore acts as a hub for transacting deals in SEA.
"The difference versus Hong Kong is a lot of our Hong Kong activities involve raising money rather than investing money. For us, Singapore and South-east Asia still have the market which we feel is undervalued and presents significant opportunities."
Take the latest term sheet involving GSH Plaza, formerly known as Equity Plaza, in Raffles Place.
It would give seller GSH Corporation - controlled by popiah magnate Sam Goi - a net profit of nearly S$80 million from disposing of its 51 per cent stake in the consortium that holds GSH Plaza.
And Mr Tsai is confident that Fullshare has struck a win-win deal.
"The GSH Plaza transaction is a landmark transaction in Singapore," he said.
"We feel that despite there being some oversupply for the time being in the Singapore office market, it's a good time to invest.
"The lack of competition for assets is favourable to buyers... We realise that the macroeconomic environment may not be very favourable right now, but we have a very long term view."
Fullshare is currently in talks with potential tenants for the building, which will mostly be leased to third-party tenants, he said.
The at least S$2,900 psf pricing for GSH Plaza's office space in the deal has raised eyebrows for being on the rich side, and it is not the first time Fullshare - a relatively low-profile Chinese property development company that has expanded to include green building services as well as healthcare products and services - has grabbed headlines with its ventures in Singapore.
In 2014, it bid S$169,000 a month for the site of the former Bottle Tree Park in Yishun, double the bid of the previous firm running a rustic leisure park on the land.
It spent S$8 million and six months to revamp the place as leisure park Orto, which means garden in Italian, and runs it under the concept of being Singapore's "first multi-recreational park that is open to the public 24 hours a day", with spaces for activities such as trampolining and prawning.
Less known is Fullshare's introduction of anti-ageing clinic Life Infinity to Singapore last year, when it backed the opening of the Scotts Road facility. Life Infinity also has facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hainan.
In all, Fullshare has some 40 employees in Singapore so far, and is looking to possibly add "another one or two properties this year" to further grow their presence, said Mr Tsai.
"We're constantly seeing investment opportunities in Singapore in real estate and healthcare, in particular consumer-focused healthcare," he said. "We're also exploring tourism, hotel assets in Singapore and beyond."
Another growing segment of the company's business is new energy, and it could be looking to Singapore for opportunities in the sector, he said.
"Singapore does have a lot of renewable energy and environment-friendly policies. The group is committed to being environmentally friendly and green, so Singapore policies fit in."
Fullshare is keen on long-term investment in Singapore in part because of the local talent as well as the city-state's position as a crucial regional contact point, said Mr Tsai.
"We've been very impressed with high quality of bilingual talent in Singapore... Certainly we hope in the future to cooperate with Singapore entrepreneurs whom we've found to be very good business partners," he said.
"We hope to use Singapore as a hub for exploring the South-east Asian economy for future investments."