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13 April
Comments Off on Explosions damage Borussia Dortmund team bus

Explosions damage Borussia Dortmund team bus

The team bus of the Borussia Dortmund football club seen after the bus was damaged in an explosion. Photo: Getty ImagesDortmund: ​Local police say a player for German soccer team Borussia Dortmund was injured after several explosions near the team bus ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game at home to AS Monaco.
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However, German authorities have said at this stage they do not believe the blasts were terrorism-related but they believe it was “an attack with serious explosive devices,” that were likely placed in a hedge near a car park.

​The match, a quarter-final first leg at Signal Iduna Park, was called off and rescheduled for Wednesday.

“According to what is currently known, the windows of the bus were (entirely or partly) smashed and one person was injured,” Dortmund police said in a statement.

Mass-selling German newspaperBildreported in its online edition that explosive devices were placed in a bush by the road along which the bus was travelling.

“The explosive devices were placed outside the bus. Several windows were broken,” police spokesman Gunnar Wortmann was quoted as saying.

Dortmund said defender and Spanish international Marc Bartra had been taken to hospital.

Police deployed a drone to search for other possible explosive devices in the area around the team hotel, and said they found a suspicious object.

Bartra, 26, joined Dortmund for €8 million ($11.3 million) last year from Barcelona, after coming through the Catalan club’s youth system. He has made 12 appearances for the Spanish national team.

“All of our support to @MarcBartra, @BVB and their fans,” Barcelona tweeted in support of their former player.

Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek told Poland’s Przeglad Sportowy: “As we were driving alongside a number of cars, a bomb went off at the side of the road. Bartra has a cast on his arm. He’s in the hospital.”

Police said earlier the incident happened in Hoechsten, located outside the city.

“It is not yet possible to say exactly what the explosion was or exactly where something exploded,” said the statement.

“Currently there is no evidence of a threat to the visitors at the stadium.”

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told Germany’s Sky television there was an “explosive attack in the immediate vicinity of the hotel exit” as the bus moved from the hotel car park into Wittbraeucker Strasse.

“The team and the coaching staff are of course shocked. We must now channel it in some way,” he said.

“It will not be easy to get that out of the mind. In such a crisis situation, all at Borussia pull together. I think the team will feel it tomorrow.”

Club president Reinhard Rauball said: “Of course this is an extremely difficult situation for the players. But they are professionals, and I am convinced that they will put that away and will give a performance tomorrow.”

AS Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic told Croatian daily newspaper 24sata: “We are currently in the stadium, in a safe place, but the feeling’s horrible.”

“The bus turned into the main street, when there was a huge boom, a real explosion,” Sky television quoted Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki as saying.

“I was sitting in the back row next to Marc Bartra, hit by fragments … after the bang, we all ducked.”

Borussia Dortmund said in a statement: “Shortly after the departure of the Borussia Dortmund team bus from the hotel to the stadium there was an incident.

“The bus has been damaged in two places. One person has been injured and is in the hospital. At this point we will inform as soon as we know more.”

Dortmund later said in a tweet that the match would go ahead on Wednesday at 1645 GMT.

Dortmund is in western Germany, in the densely populated Ruhr industrial region.

Stadium spokesman Norbert Dickel informed fans of the cancellation, saying that “there is no reason for panic here at the stadium”.

Inside the packed stadium, supporters of Monaco, which plays in the French league, chanted “Dortmund, Dortmund” in sympathy.

Dortmund fans are reportedly offering accommodation for the night for stranded Monaco supporters through a #bedforawayfans Twitter campaign.

Meanwhile, the football world was quick to express solidarity, with messages of support flooding social media.

Current Germany international and captain of Dortmund’s rivals Schalke, Benedikt Howedes, tweeted a message to the club in German which read: “Separated in colours, united against violence! All the best, @MarcBartra and the entire team of the @BVB! I hope you’re fine! #BVBASM.”

Ilkay Gundogan, who played over 100 games for Dortmund before moving to Manchester City in 2016, posted: “I can not believe it! I hope you all go well @BVB!”

Among the Bundesliga clubs quick to offer support were Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, the latter tweeting: “We’re shocked by the news out of Dortmund. Our thoughts are with @BVB and we’re wishing a speedy recovery to @MarcBartra!”

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti posted: “We give all our support to @BVB and wish @MarcBartra an early recovery.”

Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos added: “Today @BVB @MarcBartra and nothing more.”

Villarreal’s former Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado had words of support for fellow Spaniard Bartra, tweeting in Spanish: “All my support for the @BVB right now and especially my companion @MarcBartra. Today, everyone is closer than ever.”

Manchester United noted the incident involving their former Champions League rivals, tweeting: “We’re sending our support to our friends at @BVB tonight.”

Liverpool added: “Thinking about all of our friends at @BVB this evening. YNWA.”

And Atletico Madrid, preparing for Wednesday night’s last-eight clash against Leicester, tweeted: “Our support from Madrid for @BVB. We hope that @MarcBartra is alright and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert in a Twitter message wished Bartra a speedy recovery and praised Monaco fans in the stadium for chanting support for Dortmund after hearing news of the blasts.

“Great reaction of the Monaco fans. This evening we are all behind @BVB,” he tweeted in German.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach also tweeted in support for Borussia.

Dortmund’s Ruhr region rivals Schalke from nearby Gelsenkirchen wished Bartra a speedy recovery and Dortmund fans a safe journey home.

“In moments like these the region holds closely together,” the club tweeted.

Wires

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 April
Comments Off on ???Australians in Philippines warned terrorists may be planning kidnappings

???Australians in Philippines warned terrorists may be planning kidnappings

Australia has warned its citizens that terrorists may be planning kidnappings in the central Philippine provinces of Cebu and Bohol, as Philippine soldiers clashed with militants linked to Islamic State.
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Cebu City is the country’s second largest city with a population of almost three million people.

Five Abu Sayyaf militants and four soldiers were killed during a fire-fight on the island of Bohol, about 650 kilometres south-east of Manila on Tuesday, after security forces spotted 10 militants on three boats.

In updated advice on Tuesday, Australia’s smartraveller.gov419论坛 website cited unsubstantiated yet credible information about kidnapping plots in the provinces obtained by the US embassy in Manila.

“If you are planning to visit Cebu or Bohol you should exercise heightened vigilance and review your personal security plans,” the advice said.

The advice warned Australians to exercise a high degree of caution across the country because of the high threat of terrorist attack and high level of crime.

Earlier advice warned that terrorists were planning kidnappings in areas frequented by foreigners on the southern part of Cebu island, specifically around Dalaguete and Santander, including Sumilon Island.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his troops to step-up attacks on the Abu Sayyaf whose leaders have sworn loyalty to Islamic State, declaring “we will go ahead and kill them to the last man”.

Philippine armed forces’ chief of staff Eduardo Ano said on Monday his troops can eliminate the Abu Sayyaf within months.

“They are no match for us,” he said.

But with fast boats, millions of dollars in ransom payments from the families of kidnap victims and support from sympathetic locals and corrupt officials, the Abu Sayyaf has survived many military offensives over more than a decade.

Last month Australian foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop warned that an estimated 600 fighters from south-east Asia could return home after surviving the campaign against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and establish an Islamic caliphate in the southern Philippines “bringing the threat right to our doorstep”.

In February the Abu Sayyaf beheaded a 70-year-old German yachtsman after failing to receive a $US600,000 ransom.

The group beheaded two Canadian hostages last year.

The group has carried out numerous deadly attacks, including the 2004 bombing of a passenger ferry that killed more than 100 people.

Counter-terrorism expert Sidney Jones believes the likelihood of a caliphate emerging on Australia’s doorstep is low but that the more likely danger is that pro-Islamic State extremists with deadly skills may use bases in the southern Philippines to plan hits in Mindanao and Manila, or train operatives to carry out attacks elsewhere in the region.

“It is unlikely that hundreds of foreign fighters will flee there as Islamic State is pushed back but even a dozen could cause serious damage,” Ms Jones wrote in a paper published in March by the Lowy Institute.

Ms Jones said that an alliance of pro-Islamic State groups in the Philippines appears to have a steady stream of funding, apparently arranged in part through Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian professor who has joined the Abu Sayyaf.

Meanwhile, the US has put a 26-year-old Malaysian man on a list of most wanted terrorists.

Malaysian police say that from an Islamic State base in Syria Muhammad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi??? has been using social media to recruit Malaysians and plot terrorist attacks.

On his Facebook page under the name Abu Hamzah Al-Fateh, Wanndy ridiculed his listing by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, saying it would only make him more cautious about his movements and communications.

Wanndy is a senior leader of a group of hundreds of Malay-speaking fighters in a unit called Katibah Nusantara??? who are under the control of Islamic State in the Middle East.

Last week Philippine authorities identified and arrested a Middle Eastern couple allegedly linked to Islamic State who were planning bomb attacks in the Philippines.

The arrests followed tip-offs from US and Kuwaiti officials.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 April
Comments Off on Business conditions best since GFC: survey

Business conditions best since GFC: survey

Business conditions were healthier last month than at any point since the global financial crisis, but that failed to translate into confidence, National Australia Bank says.
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The bank’s monthly business survey revealed its business conditions index jumped 5 points in March to +14 points, well above the long-term average of +5 and the highest figure since the financial meltdown of 2008.

The jump in business conditions came as a surprise, said NAB chief economist Alan Oster, and could have been partly due to a lower response rate in cyclone-hit North Queensland.

“Even so, conditions have improved almost across the board to levels that suggest a strong economy in the near-term,” he said.

He said most industries were showing improved business conditions, with services the stand-out performer and the long-struggling mining industry improving thanks to higher commodity prices and an improved global demand outlook. Retail conditions bucked the trend and dipped.

Despite these positive indicators, business confidence fell one index point in March. That was lead by a 13-point deterioration in confidence among wholesalers and a 3-point drop in personal services.

Mr Oster said the results were encouraging for the near-term outlook and supported the bank’s forecast for economic growth to accelerate in the second half of 2017.

“However, there is still cause to be cautious about the longer-term outlook, particularly as other growth drivers, including LNG exports, commodity prices and housing construction, begin to fade,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the RBA has emphasised its financial stability concerns, which are expected to keep them on hold for the foreseeable future.”

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13 April
Comments Off on Rare Albert Park real estate sells for $5.575m

Rare Albert Park real estate sells for $5.575m

MARKET WRAP
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SALES

Albert Park

Prime Albert Park real estate doesn’t come much rarer than this. An island site at 1 Victoria Ave sold for $5.575 million, about $500,000 over the reserve, Allard Shelton’s Joseph Walton, Michael Ryan and James Gregson said. Mr Ryan said that despite the heritage overlay, the purchaser – who beat off four other bidders at auction – was likely to redevelop the property into a 3-4 level mixed-use building and occupy part of it.

Deepdene

Eighty bids from eight buyers pushed the yield on a Whitehorse Road property to a tight 3.24 per cent at auction. Teska Carson’s Tom Maule and Adrian Boutsakis said number 68-72 offered multiple income streams and development potential. It was finally knocked down to a local investor for $3.532 million. The property was sold subject to three leases with a total rental of $114,510 per annum.

Truganina

A 12.61 hectare parcel of farmland that has been in the same family for 40-plus years at 40 Palmers Road sold for $4.77 million. The block, near the Princes Freeway, changed hands on a 30-day settlement, Colliers International’s Stephen Newsham and Nick Saunders said.

Geelong

Children will be taking care of an investor in their old age after a self-managed super fund snapped up a 90-place childcare centre for $3.1 million. The centre at 1 Regent Street had a 10-year lease returning annual rent of $204,000. The property transacted on a yield of 6.6 per cent after being on the market for 22 days, Andrew Kelly from Australian Childcare Brokers said.

Clayton

A large crowd watched eight bidders vie for 81-83 Main Road until the hammer came down at $2.6 million. Crabtrees Real Estate’s Matthew Marenko and Chris McKenzie said the free-standing office warehouse sold well over the reserve, partly because of future development potential. “Property demand is extremely high and stock levels are at an all-time low which is leading to outstanding results,” Mr Marenko said.

Truganina

High demand and continued growth in the western market has seen a private investor pay $2.5 million on a 6.9 per cent yield for a new industrial facility at 29 Efficient Drive. The 2227 sq m office warehouse was recently leased to UCS (Underground Cable Systems) for five years, Knight Frank’s Joel Davy said. In another deal, two sites at 199 and 207 Proximity Drive sold for $1.6 million each. Nearby at 111 Technology Drive a 463 sq m site sold for $635,000 representing a rate of $1371 per sq m. Also selling was 191 Proximity Drive which went for $1.565m and 33 Enterprise Way which fetched $880,000. Davy and Tony Tripodi brokered the deals.

Huntingdale

A self-managed super fund investor paid $1.15 million for 38 Shafton Street and $905,000 for 32 Hargreaves Street. Both brand new office/warehouses were leased to tenants for a rental return of $118,000 per annum net plus GST and Outgoings, to Savills Daniel Kelly said.

Ashwood

Middle ring retail assets are still proving popular with investors. A small two-level shop at 9 Yertchuk Avenue sold for $840,000. The property changed hands with a single tenant leasing the lower level for $27,368.40 per annum, Rounds Real Estate’s Colin Rounds said. Another property at 2 Yertchuk Avenue sold soon after the auction in an offmarket deal for $590,000. “The vendor contacted us a few days after the auction asking if we were able to help sell his premises,” Mr Rounds said.

Oakleigh South

A shop with a residence upstairs at 676 Warrigal Road sold under the hammer for $641,000, Ray White Commercial Oakleigh’s Paul Rizzo said. “There were three main bidders and the successful purchaser happens to be local developer,” he said. Meanwhile, a 248 sq m building at 13/94-102 Keys Road in Moorabbin sold off market to a local investor for $495,000, Ryan Amler said.

Malvern

A block at 675 Dandenong Road sold privately for $680,000. The property was leased for $30,000 giving a return of 4.4 per cent. The new owner plans to develop eventually, Philip Prowse from Prowse Burns Commercial said.

Melbourne

After 40 years based in Melbourne’s inner suburbs, design firm SJB has relocated to the city, leasing 860 sq m across two fully self-contained floors at 18 Oliver Lane. Colliers International’s Milly Stockdale negotiated the six-year deal on behalf of Marks Henderson. The gross asking rent was believed to be around $600 per sq m.

LEASES

Hawthorn

Television and multi-media production company The WTFN Group will relocate to a 390 sq m first floor office at 270 Auburn Road on a three-year lease with two three-year options to renew. The firm will pay annual rental of $117,500 net with 3 per cent annual increases in a deal negotiated by Kevin Sheehan and Rory White from Gray Johnson’s newly created eastern office. No incentives were given.

Prahran

Sideshow Coffee, an offshoot from the owners of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, will open in Peregrine Projects’ Luxton development at 30 Chatham Street. Designed by Zwei Architects and stocking Code Black Coffee, the new espresso outlet will pay $72,000 a year in rent.

Mount Waverley

ASX-listed cleaning and security firm, Millennium Services Group, has agreed terms on a new office lease on Level 1 of 205- 211 Forster Road. The modern, fully fitted and furnished 700 sq m office leased for $186,000 per annum net on a five-year term, Savills Australia’s Daniel Kelly said.

MOVERS

Colliers International’s real estate management division has appointed two new recruits. Dev Dulai will join the firm as engineering and operations manager and Tarone Smith as a new senior property manager.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 April
Comments Off on Investors pump cash into office assets

Investors pump cash into office assets

Investors are viewing the national office markets as the most attractive place for cash as evidenced by the more than $5 billion of assets that have changed hands in the past year.
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One of the latest is the sale of 59 Goulburn Street, Sydney, to the Chinese group I-Prosperity and Toga D&C for $158 million. The vendor was the Singaporean-based Roxy-Pacific Holdings. The sale was through Colliers International and JLL.

There is approval for a hotel and or/office space with ground-level retail on the site.

Taking advantage of the demand for high-quality assets is QIC Real Estate, which is selling its half-share of the MLC Centre, Sydney, worth about $300 million.

There are also suggestions that Brookfield Property is now looking to sell three 25 per cent stakes in its $1 billion Wynyard Place project, with the funds used to help with the development costs.

It comes amid a swath of sales in Melbourne, which have included 40 and 60 City Road, Southgate, worth a combined $340 million, Twenty8 Freshwater Place, Southgate, valued at $286 million and 100 Queen Street, worth $274.5 million.

JLL’s Australian head of research Andrew Ballantyne said investors navigating the Australian office investment landscape have opportunities to satisfy diverse mandates.

“Sydney and Melbourne can be classified as the high-growth markets. Asset pricing is reflective of the strong rental growth outlook with prime net effective rents projected to rise by 34.9 per cent in the Sydney CBD and by 18.7 per cent in the Melbourne CBD from 2017 to 2019.”

Yield spreads to Sydney and Melbourne have widened beyond historical benchmarks and new sources of capital are exploring opportunities to gain exposure to a potential market recovery.

“Real estate investors have shown a bias for low-risk assets. Adelaide and Canberra are the epitome of low risk with the volatility of returns typically lower through the cycle,” Mr Ballantyne said.

Rents for skyscraper offices in Australian cities, are rising faster than those in any other global city, according to the latest Skyscraper Index from Knight Frank.

The report examines the rental performance of commercial buildings over 30 storeys across the world.

Melbourne and Sydney grew the fastest among the cities surveyed at 11 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively in the six months to the fourth quarter of 2016, amid tightening vacancies and limited new supply.

In Sydney, stock withdrawals to accommodate the new Metro line and residential conversions are reducing the overall supply, while Melbourne had the strongest level of net absorption in 2016.

Knight Frank’s head of office leasing, Australia David Howson said Sydney’s office vacancy is at 6.2 per cent, and is forecast to go as low as 3.5 per cent in the next two years, with the current low vacancy and prospect of even lower vacancy driving rental increases now.

“In Melbourne, the vacancy rate is at 10-year lows at 6.4 per cent,” Mr Howson said.

“Unusually for Melbourne in recent years, the level of new stock additions will be lower in the next 24 months at 113,242 sq m or 1.3 per cent stock growth per annum. This is well below the long-term average of 3.6 per cent per year.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 March
Comments Off on BHP, analysts rebuffs Elliott’s reform plan

BHP, analysts rebuffs Elliott’s reform plan

Analysts have added their voices to BHP Billiton’s opposition to a plan put forward late Monday by activist shareholder Elliott Advisors to dump the global miner’s dual company structure as part of a series of moves which are intended to boosting shareholder returns.
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In its rejection, BHP said the costs would outweigh any benefits.

Analysts with both Citi and RBC were quick to pan the idea, although both thought the US petroleum assets in particular to be ‘non-core’.

“The streamlining of BHP Billiton ownership structure to extract value from franking credits as well as a spin-out of the US onshore division are not novel ideas,” RBC Capital’s mining analyst Paul Hissey said.

“We do not necessarily see a collapsing of the [dual listed company] structure would unlock value as we think the only way to distribute franking is through dividends to the Australian shareholders or buyback which we think is currently available to [BHP] in the current format,” Citi analysts Clarke Williams and Trent Allen told clients.

In a letter sent to BHP following private meetings with the miner, Elliott outlined the proposals in detail. The investor has pushed for action to lift investor returns at a number of companies such as Samsung Electronics, Akzo Nobel and SABMiller.

BHP’s response prompted its London-listed stock to pare early gains of nearly 6 per cent . By 1500 GMT, it was 2.3 per cent higher.

“After reviewing the elements of Elliott’s proposal, we have concluded that the costs and associated risks of Elliott’s proposal would significantly outweigh any potential benefits,” BHP said in a statement.

Elliott’s plan would result in BHP remaining listed in both London and Australia, but would scrap its dual-company structure in favour of a single headquarters and tax residency in Australia.

The activist investor called for BHP to shift its US petroleum assets into an entity to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and commit to returning excess cash to shareholders.

The Citi analysts described BHP’s US petroleum assets as ‘non-core’ with RBC agreeing the merits of BHP retaining its US petroleum sector assets as ‘uncertain’.

“We value the US petroleum business at $US13.5b ($18b) vs. Elliott’s $US22b valuation (although we do agree with the sentiment around the cumbersome nature of both the DLC and the uncertain benefits from petroleum diversification, especially regarding the mismatched pro-cyclical capital spend of the shale business)???,” RBC’s Hissey told clients.

In outlining its proposal, Elliott argued BHP has underperformed comparable mineral and petroleum companies and its plan could provide shareholders with an increase in value of up to 48.6 per cent for holders of Australian shares and 51 per cent for holders of UK shares.

BHP disagreed, however.

“There is no obvious discount in BHP Billiton’s trading multiples relative to the weighted average of relevant mining and oil and gas peers,” it said.

The miner also said it regularly reassessed how to create value and reviewed company structure. It had spoken with Elliott over many months and would consider a more detailed response, it added. It dismissed Elliott’s plan for buying back shares as “a formulaic approach without regard for the cyclical nature of the resources industry or the returns available from other uses of cash”.

Commodity prices crashed in 2015 and early 2016, but have since recovered strongly, helping to drive gains across the mining sector. Mixed views

Started in 1977, Elliott manages assets worth more than $US32.7 billion, according to the company.

It says it holds a “long economic interest” of about 4.1 per cent of the issued shares in London-listed BHP, without specifying the instruments used to build the stake. It also says it has rights with its affiliates to acquire up to 0.4 per cent of the issued shares in ASX -listed BHP.

Other big shareholders were cautious about Elliott’s plan.

“(The) principle is OK. Detail and resultant uplift to shareholders might be more complex/less obvious,” Aberdeen Asset Management’s Head of Equities Hugh Young said in emailed comments.

Aberdeen is the second-biggest investor in BHP’s London-listed shares, with a 4.9 per cent stake worth $US1.3 billion.

Representing another big shareholder, Standard Life Investments Director Frances Hudson said it was not clear the plan was “in the interest of long-term investors or the company”.

Over the past two years, BHP has underperformed relative to fellow miners Rio Tinto , Glencore and Anglo American. But over 15 years, it is ahead of them.

Since it was set up in 2001, BHP said it had returned approximately $US23 billion to shareholders in buybacks and about $US45 billion in cash dividends.

It said it had also taken many steps to increase shareholder value, cut the number of assets in its portfolio by $US7 billion since 2013 and cutting unit costs by more than 40 per cent .

“We have laid the foundations for the group to substantially grow the base value of its operations,” BHP said in its statement. “Elliott’s proposal would put this at risk.”

– with Reuters

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13 March
Comments Off on Growthpoint, Cromwell increase tenant lists

Growthpoint, Cromwell increase tenant lists

The stronger leasing markets have led to an increase in landlords Growthpoint and Cromwell Corp’s tenants profiles across Melbourne and Sydney.
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Growthpoint Properties Australia has undertaken 28,323 square metres of leasing since the release of its half-year results in February 2017, including a 26,517 sqm logistics warehouse at 120 Link Road, Melbourne Airport to The Workwear Group, part of the Wesfarmers empire, for 10 years.

The swathe of new deals, with asset sales in Queensland, has boosted Growthpoint’s total portfolio occupancy, as at March 31, to 98 per cent, with 2.5 per cent vacancy in the office portfolio and 0.3 per cent in industrial.

Growthpoint currently has only 7 per cent of its leases, by income, potentially expiring over the next 24 months.

Growthpoint’s head of property, Michael Green, said the company would continue to act with “immediacy, and in advance of potential expiries, to lease up vacant space within its portfolio”.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, with effective rents trading at a significant discount to Sydney, Melbourne stands as an attractive proposition for companies looking to enter Australia.

“In the year ahead, a decline in the vacancy rate is expected to support strong rental growth, however as the next development cycle draws closer this growth can be expected to slow,” C&W’s research says.

In Sydney, Cromwell Property Group has secured two big-name retailers as long-term anchor tenants at its flagship $130 million Northpoint redevelopment.

Woolworths and Olympus Medical Centre have been quick to sign on for space in the integrated three-level retail facade.

Due for completion in 2018, the precinct will create a shopping, dining and lifestyle hub on the North Shore.

Damian Horton, Cromwell head of property, said the recent leases were an “exciting milestone” for the Northpoint redevelopment project, which is considered a central catalyst for North Sydney’s rejuvenation.

“The tenants are a perfect fit for a building that will become a hub for office workers and local residents. We are excited to be making a significant contribution to the North Sydney Council’s vision for the area,” Mr Horton said.

Cromwell has signed a 10-year lease with Woolworths to commence in mid-2018, securing the supermarket’s first store in North Sydney, while Olympus Medical Centre has signed a 10-year lease for 724 sqm on the ground level.

“With landlord-favourable conditions firmly established, existing tenants are expected to prioritise lease extensions and those with the flexibility to hand back excess space are likely to do so. Service sector employment growth, and anticipated negative net supply in 2017 and 2018, are expected to maintain landlord-favourable market characteristics,” C&W research says.

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13 March
Comments Off on West Melbourne car park fetches $25m

West Melbourne car park fetches $25m

Chinese developer Holder East has paid about $25 million for a car park in West Melbourne near Cbus’ new police headquarters site.
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The 1877 square metre site was billed as the first car park deal for 2017, but the property at 496-508 La Trobe Street is effectively a development site, held by Indonesian syndicate Regent Realty Australia for the past 15 years.

Colliers International agents David Sia, who negotiated the deal with Daniel Wolman, Oliver Hay and Matt Stagg, said the vendor had no plans to develop the unpermitted site, which is on the border of West Melbourne and the CBD.

“They saw the rising land tax bills and fear of over-supply as reasons to part ways with the asset,” Mr Sia said.

“Given the size of the site, it’s a strong indication of the strength of the market for land, achieving about $13,000 a square metre which represents the top end of land rates for this precinct,” he said.

The property was purchased in 2002 for $2.9 million. Some historic industrial buildings were demolished and permits for a residential project were issued but never executed. It is next door to the 1880s Spinks Tinsmiths Building at 488 La Trobe Street, where a16-storey apartment building has been proposed.

Thomson Geer partner Eu Ming Lim acted for the vendor. The purchaser has plans for a residential or office development, Mr Sia said. The site is close to the new Haileybury City campus and Far East Consortium’s massive West Side project.

The low-profile Holder East is an active trader in city property.

Late last year the developer bought 501-509 King Street for $6.02 million, one week ahead of its scheduled auction. The site adjoined another property at 511-525 King Street which Holder East had bought in 2014 for $10.05 million, giving the firm a 2000 square metre development site.

The company was cashed up after selling a 2000 square metre site at 97 Franklin Street to Scape Student Living for $56 million.

Meanwhile on the other side of the city, six parties including a major Chinese investor and some active Southbank players, are understood to be competing for a key site behind Crown Casino.

Prices offered for the three-storey building at 190-196 City Road are understood to be more than $20 million, a substantial premium on the price paid by Datacom, a New Zealand technology company, in 2005. Datacom bought the property for $7.15 million after it passed in at auction.

It is selling the property with a newly signed four-year lease in place with three three-year options.

The 4307 square metre building is on a 1597 square metre site surrounded by towers, which makes it an attractive future development target.

CBRE agent Josh Rutman, who is marketing the building with Lewis Tong and Mark Wizel, declined to comment on the deal.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 March
Comments Off on To get the answer, investors must ask the right question

To get the answer, investors must ask the right question

Ask the right question and maybe you will get the correct answer.
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And if you are a local shareholder in BHP Billiton, figuring out whether the shares you hold trade at a premium, or a discount, to their London traded counterpart is fundamental to deciding whether you should back any push to collapse the dual-listed company structure, with separate shares listed in the Australian and London markets.

Late on Monday, investment funds associated with US activist investor Paul Singer went public with a proposal to prod global miner BHP Billiton to collapse its dual company structure as well as spin-out its US petroleum assets.

BHP immediately ruled it out, saying it has looked at making the move but costs would outweigh the benefits, and the idea was greeted coolly by analysts, who mostly doubted just how much better off shareholders would be if the reorganisation was implemented.

Dubbed the “value unlock plan”, Elliott Advisors which claims to speak for as much as 4.1 per cent of the capital of BHP’s British-listed arm, would collapse the miner’s dual company structure into a single Australian-headquartered entity with its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange with Australian investors to receive a CHESS depositary interest.

The proposal is aimed at retaining index inclusion in the two markets, which is important to retaining sharemarket valuations.

But if the proposal was implemented, would offshore investors gain access to the premium BHP shares trade in Australia or would Australian investors end up seeing the shares trade at the discount BHP shares are accorded in London?

Or as Macquarie asked in a research note: Does the British stock trade at a discount or the Australian stock trade at a premium?

The common view is that the premium accorded BHP shares traded on the ASX stems from the benefit of franking credits.

“There is the real risk in our view that a combined single listed entity could trade towards the UK multiples rather than maintain the Australian multiples,” the broker warned clients.

Over the past two years, BHP shares traded in Britain have traded at a 15 per cent discount to the Australian-traded shares. The ASX200 trades on a price-earnings multiple of around 16.3 times, analysts said, which is significantly higher than the multiple of 14.5 times shares included in the FTSE100 index trade at.

The limited spread of investible assets available through the ASX, with a bias towards financial services and mining stocks, along with the broadly higher dividends paid by public companies in Australia when compared with offshore markets due to their maturer status are often mentioned as reasons why multiples are higher on the main ASX indices.

The other element of the Elliott Advisors proposal, BHP spinning out its US petroleum assets into a separate entity to be listed on the New York stock exchange, won broader support from analysts, although whether this would be beneficial to shareholders would depend on the level of debt the entity would be loaded up with if the plan were to proceed.

Group-wide, BHP’s net debt stood at around $US20 billion at the end of December which is expected to decline to around $US15 billion by mid-year, thanks to strong commodity prices, iron ore and coal in particular.

“The level of debt ascribed to the petroleum division is critical in valuing a demerger option, particularly given we only expect the US petroleum assets to consume all cash generated for the next eight years,” Macquarie told clients.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 March
Comments Off on Supermarkets set to pass rising costs on to customers: Citi

Supermarkets set to pass rising costs on to customers: Citi

AFR – WOOLWORTHS CEO. Reporter: Sue Mitchell. Woolworths Leichhardt supermarket, Leichhardt Marketplace Photo shows, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci pictured at their Leichhardt store as he points out what woolies is doing to win back customers and restore sales growth . Photo by, Peter Rae Thursday 20 October, 2016 Photo: Peter RaeShoppers should kiss goodbye steady prices in the supermarket.
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Supermarkets are paying more for electricity, meat and fruit and vegetables, and will soon pass these price rises on to customers, said investment bank Citi.

“Australian supermarket industry growth is near 30-year lows of 2.5 per cent,” said Citi analysts led by Craig Woolford. “The reason is a simple one. Price inflation is absent in this market.

“Cost pressures are building around raw materials and energy prices, which is likely to trigger higher inflation in our view.”

The analysts point out that sugar, palm oil, coffee, dairy and oil prices are all up by double digits in the past year, and raw material ingredients and packaging in grocery items accounted for about 20 per cent of retail prices.

Furthermore, the analysts note that meat prices are on the rise due to export demand, and fresh produce inflation will rise by between 5 and 10 per cent in the next three months given flood and cyclone damage.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci recently warned that soaring electricity prices were a “material issue” and would lead to higher prices on the shelves. At $360 million a year, electricity is Woolworths’ third largest cost, behind labour and rent.

“We manage what we can manage with energy efficiency. But given the cost increases that are coming through right now, we are trying to outrun a bear, but I am not sure we can,” Mr Banducci said in late March.

“We will have to in some way, very cautiously and carefully, pass those through to our customers, unfortunately.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.