A COMPANY controlled by stockbrokers Han Seng Juan and David Loh Kim Kang of UOB Kay Hian yesterday emerged as the surprise top bidders for a 189,812 sq ft site next to Kovan MRT Station and the Kovan Melody condo.
Through Duke Development Pte Ltd, they bid $290.02 million or $436.55 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year leasehold site, which can be developed into a condominium project with possibly about 600 units averaging 1,200 sq ft.
Duke Development outbid five other contenders at yesterday’s state tender conducted by Urban Redevelopment Authority. The others were:
Far East Organization’s Bishan Properties, which bid $280.1 million or about $422 psf ppr;
A tie-up between Hong Leong Holdings unit Kingston Development and ASPF II Delta GmbH ($273 million or $411 psf ppr);
Frasers Centrepoint ($262.4 million or $395 psf ppr); Allgreen Properties ($256.8 million or $387 psf ppr); and
GuocoLand unit GLL Ventures ($227 million or $342 psf ppr). Property market players were busy yesterday evening trying to find out just who Duke Development was. The company is a fully owned subsidiary of Duchess Development, whose shareholders are Mr Han, Mr Loh and Angela Loh Moo Cheng, a companies search showed.
Mr Han and Mr Loh, in addition to being prominent stockbrokers at UOB Kay Hian, are also known to be corporate investors, who control stakes in companies like Summit Holdings and Pine Agritech.
They are also well known for pre-IPO China investments, and are dubbed the ‘David and Han Team’ and ‘The Dream Team’, according to stockbroking circles.
Industry players believe that based on Duke Development’s top bid of $437 psf ppr at yesterday’s tender, its break-even cost for a new condo development on the site could be in around $730 to $750 psf.
CB Richard Ellis executive director Li Hiaw Ho said: ‘It is likely the selling price would range from about $850 to $950 psf. The 778-unit Kovan Melody has sold out and there could be pent-up demand for new homes in this location. Units in Kovan Melody in the secondary market were transacted recently in the low-$800 psf range.’
Prices of suburban condo sites have been rising as the residential recovery spreads to the mass-market. Last month, a plum 99-year condo site next to Ang Mo Kio MRT Station fetched a top bid of $601 psf ppr, a new record for a suburban condo plot.
Mr Han and Mr Loh are well known for pre-IPO China investments and are dubbed the ‘David and Han Team’ and ‘The Dream Team’, according to stockbroking circles.