TYCOON LEE SHIN CHENG’S IOI GROUP OFFERS RECORD-HIGH PRICE FOR LAND IN SINGAPORE’S MARINA BAY

The first sale of land in Singapore’s Marina Bay in nine years generated healthy bidding from developers, with a plot in the sought-after financial district attracting a top bid of S$2.6 billion ($1.9 billion).

The offer price, equivalent to S$1,689 per square foot of gross floor area, is a record for a Singapore government land sale, exceeding the earlier highest price set in 2007 when the Asia Square Tower 1 site was sold for S$1,409 per square foot, according to CBRE Group Inc.

“The top bid is a very bullish call on the Singapore office market,” said Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield Inc. in Singapore. “All the bids are higher than the market expectations of between S$1.3 billion and S$1.8 billion, which is a reflection of the steady restoration of investors’ confidence in the office market.”

The highest offer came from Wealthy Link Pte, which priced the 1.1 hectare (2.7 acre) plot at S$18,180 per square meter of gross floor area, according to a statement by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, which closed the tender for the Central Boulevard site Tuesday. Wealthy Link is owned by IOI Properties Group Bhd., part of a Malaysian conglomerate with interests in palm oil and property development, according to Cushman.

An unidentified buyer committed to bid the reserve price of S$1.54 billion, or S$1,010 per square foot of gross floor area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said Aug. 30. The site can be developed primarily for office use, with a smaller area reserved for residential housing, a hotel or serviced apartments.

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