Wing Tai chairman selling Nassim Road house for $300 million

Wing Tai chairman selling Nassim Road house for $300 million

Wing Tai Holdings Ltd. (WINGT) Chairman Cheng Wai Keung is seeking a record S$300 million ($242 million) for a home near Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping belt, betting that developers may profit from dividing the site.

The 85,000-square-foot site on an elevated lot at 33 Nassim Road, near the city’s Botanic Gardens, includes a two-story home, swimming pool and tennis court, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the sole marketing agent. Wing Tai’s stock rose to the highest in more than three years.

Cheng Wai Keung, chairman of Wing Tai Holdings Ltd., is also managing director of Wing Tai, a Singapore property developer and retailer of brands including Adidas AG, G2000 and Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo.

“These kinds of assets come onto the market once in 10, 15 or even 20 years,” Karamjit Singh, head of investments and residential at Jones Lang LaSalle in Singapore, said in a phone interview yesterday. “The potential buyers of this league would be able to recognize the opportunity.”

Singh estimated the property in an area that includes the residence of the British high commissioner and embassies of Japan and Russia could fetch between S$250 million to S$300 million. The site may be sold as two lots, which can yield a total of five homes, he said.

He declined to comment on the owner of the property, except to say it’s being marketed after receiving unsolicited offers.

“This is beyond economics, it’s mind boggling and probably one of the highest in the world,” said Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at broker Savills (Singapore) Pte. “It’s no small change even for the ultra high net worth. It could be an Indian tycoon or a Russian oligarch that might bid for it.”

Legitimate Buy

The price is 79 percent higher than the $135 million listing for the Crespi-Hicks Estate in Dallas, according to broker Douglas Newby, which is marketing the property. The home on the 25-acre site, owned by former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, is touted as the most expensive property for sale in the U.S., according to a report by Time Magazine on Jan. 31.

“The primary value of a property is based on the land value,” Newby said in a phone interview yesterday. For the Singapore property, “if the land is worth $150 million to $200 million, then this might be a legitimate buy.”

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man who’s ranked the 28th richest on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, owns a 27-story home in Mumbai valued at about $500 million, adding to his $22.4 billion net worth.

More Millionaires

Residential prices in Singapore climbed to a record in the first quarter as an increase in the number of millionaires drove up demand. Singapore is Asia’s most-expensive housing market after Hong Kong, according to a Knight Frank LLP and Citi Private Bank report released last year that compared 63 locations globally.

Increasing wealth in the island-state has contributed to rising property prices. Singapore’s millionaire households rose 14 percent in 2011, according to a Boston Consulting study. The proportion of millionaire homes in the city of 5.3 million people was 17 percent, the highest in the world, followed by Qatar and Kuwait.

The tenant staying in the Nassim Road home is moving out this week, Singh said, declining to comment on past residents. The highest price for a residential property in Singapore was a S$87.5 million site on Swettenham Road, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. The site is also close to the Botanic Gardens, a 154- year-old downtown park.

Adidas, Uniqlo

The Nassim Road site is owned by Winright Investment Pte, according to property records obtained by Bloomberg News. Cheng, and his wife, Helen Chow, who list their address at another Nassim Road home, are the shareholders of Winright, a company set up in March 1995 for “holding of property for long-term investment purposes,” according to company records obtained by Bloomberg News.

Cheng, 62, is also managing director of Wing Tai, a Singapore property developer and retailer of brands including Adidas AG (ADS), G2000 and Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo. Wing Tai climbed 6.4 percent to S$2.09 at the close in Singapore, the highest since Jan. 19, 2010.

Lee Hwee Hong, a spokeswoman at Wing Tai, declined to comment.

The tender for the property closes on May 16, Jones Lang LaSalle said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Source : Bloomberg


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