Cheung Kong may sell stake in Marina Bay Financial Centre

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Holdings may sell its one third stake in Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre to Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) when the complex is completed in 2010.

The stake is likely to be worth “more than US$1 billion ($1.5 billion)”, Mr Justin Chiu, executive director of Cheung Kong said. The company is building the 24-hectare office and residential complex on a waterfront site in Singapore with Hongkong Land Holdings and Keppel Land.

“We haven’t made a decision yet,” Mr Chiu said. “But as a parent, of course you want to take care of your own children. If the price is not that far off from the next interested buyer, we will sell.”

Cheung Kong and its partners made a joint bid of US$1.8 billion in 2005 for the 3.55-hectare site, part of Singapore’s plans to create a new business district.

The new Marina Bay, which will include projects such as a botanical garden, a casino-and-convention centre and luxury apartments, is aimed at luring companies and tourists.

Suntec Reit owns offices and retail space in Singapore, including the Suntec City development. Recently, Cheung Kong said it will sell its one-third stake in One Raffles Quay, another downtown office block built with Hongkong Land and Keppel Land, to Suntec Reit, for US$941.5 million.

“The offer was good, so we sold it,” Mr Chiu said. “Suntec Reit is our long-term commitment to Singapore. We like the place.”

Cheung Kong is bidding for a site at Beach Road near Suntec City, Mr Chiu said. It is working with Keppel Land on the tender. — BLOOMBERG

Source : Today – 3 Aug 2007

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