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BlackRock expects to get S$4b for Singapore office tower

[SINGAPORE] BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, said it has received expressions of interest for Singapore's Asia Square Tower 1 and could get more than S$4 billion for the building whose tenants include Citigroup Inc.

BlackRock may also look to sell Asia Square Tower 2, Greg Lapham, a real estate managing director at the firm, said on the sidelines of the Real Estate Investment World conference in Singapore.

Both towers are worth S$7 billion, he said. The sale of tower one could be a club deal, in which several investors bid together, or could attract institutional investors such as sovereign wealth or pension funds, Mr Lapham said.

Singapore's office rents peaked in the first quarter as economic growth shows signs of tapering, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

Grade-A office rents in the central business district could slide 14 per cent over the next two years to S$9.12 per square foot per month from S$10.60 per square foot, Cushman estimates.

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BlackRock hopes to close the deal by the end of the year, he said.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc and CBRE Group Inc are brokers for the sale.



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