CapitaLand acquires Pearl Bank Apartments in Chinatown for S$728 million

Pearl Bank apartments at Pearl’s Hill in Chinatown has been acquired via collective sale for S$728 million.

An iconic apartment building in Chinatown has been acquired by Singapore developer CapitaLand through a private treaty collective sale for S$728 million ($549.6 million).

Pearl Bank Apartments, a 38-storey building located at Pearl’s Hill in Outram Park, was Singapore’s tallest residential building when it was completed in 1976. It has a land area of 82,376 sq ft, with an existing plot ratio of 7.45.

Pearl Bank is known for its unique horse-shoe shape.
The Straits Times

Inclusive of an additional estimated S$201.4 million premium to top-up the lease to 99 years, the land price is approximately S$1,515 per square foot per gross floor area.

CapitaLand said in a release that it plans to redevelop the site into a high-rise residential development comprising around 800 units with “a host of social, shared facilities which will foster community spirit and celebrate the area’s unique heritage”.

Slated for completion in early 2023, every unit will be guaranteed unblocked panoramic views of the CBD and Sentosa.

Aside from a new third MRT connection on the the Thomson-East Coast line, the Outram precinct is also expected to be transformed into a healthcare, wellness and research hub  through a 20-year redevelopment plan by healthcare group SingHealth.

Artist’s impression of Outram Community Hospital, under the Singapore General Hospital (SGH’s) new campus.

Mr Ronald Tay, CEO of CapitaLand Singapore, said the upcoming development will appeal to “young urbanites” who wish to own a home in a mature estate that is brimming with local heritage and well-connected to the financial hub.

“With Singapore’s largest healthcare hub in Outram, we also foresee strong demand from medical research and education professionals,” Mr Tay added.

Lower revenue, Q4 profit dips 38%

In a separate announcement on Tuesday (Feb 13), CapitaLand also reported a total profit after tax and minority interests (Patmi) of S$1.55 billion in 2017, 30.3 per cent higher than the year before.

For the fourth quarter, the group registered a lower Patmi of S$267.7 million, down 37.8 per cent from Q4 2016.

This was mainly due to lower handover of units for development projects in China, CapitaLand said.

Operating Patmi for last year increased 5.0 per cent to a record high of S$908.3 million, the company added.

This is due to higher contribution from development projects in Singapore and newly acquired and opened shopping malls and serviced residences.

The increase was also attributed to higher portfolio and fair value gains from divestments of Innov Tower in China, One George Street and Wilkie Edge in Singapore, as well as serviced residence properties in Germany, China and Japan

Revenue for 2017 decreased 12.2 per cent to S$4.6 billion mainly due to lower completion and handover of units from development projects in China, partially mitigated by rental contribution from newly acquired and opened properties, as well as the consolidation of revenue from CapitaLand Mall Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust and RCS Trust.

CapitaLand’s earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) for 2017 stood at S$3,110.5 million, 31.8 per cent higher than the year before.

According to the company, the Singapore and China markets remain key contributors to its Ebit, accounting for 87.8 per cent of total Ebit last year.