City Developments Limited
SENIOR MANAGEMENT APPOINTMENTS

In line with the Group’s strategy to bring fresh perspectives and to reorganise its key functions to stay globally connected and focused on new opportunities, the year began with several new appointments to the Group’s senior management team. These included a Deputy Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, to strengthen and deepen the expertise of the management team as the Group looks outwards to capitalise on growth markets.

SINGAPORE – RESILIENCE DESPITE HEADWINDS


Coco Palms – one of the top-selling projects in Singapore in 2014.

Singapore’s residential property market remained subdued due to economic uncertainties and the prevailing property cooling measures. Despite challenging market conditions, for the year under review, CDL with its joint venture associates sold 1,378 units including Executive Condominiums (ECs) at a value of about $1.4 billion, maintaining the Group’s position as Singapore’s top-selling private sector developer for 2014.

CDL, together with Hong Leong Holdings Limited and Hong Realty (Private) Limited, launched two residential developments in May 2014. The 944-unit Coco Palms near Pasir Ris MRT station, and the 845-unit Commonwealth Towers, located at the city fringe, next to Queenstown MRT station, were very well received. Both projects were respectively the first and second best-selling project for May 2014 in terms of sales volume. Coco Palms went on to become one of the top-selling projects in 2014.

As at 10 March 2015, over 80% of Coco Palms has been sold, while 363 units out of the 500 units at Commonwealth Towers released for sale have been sold.

ENHANCING SINGAPORE’S SKYLINE

CDL capped the year with the topping out of South Beach, a mega mixed-use development on Beach Road, which is jointly developed with Malaysia’s IOI Group.

Designed by world-renowned architectural firm Foster + Partners, South Beach’s visionary and stunning architectural concept seamlessly blends four historic buildings with two new 45- and 34-storey towers. Comprising 500,000 square feet (sq ft) of Grade A office space, 190 luxury residences, a 654-room designer hotel, around 37,000 sq ft of retail space and an approximately 29,000 sq ft club, the development is on track to complete progressively in 2015.

With resilient demand for Grade A office space but limited supply in the near-term, leasing activities for South Beach has been healthy. As of February 2015, South Beach Consortium has secured 80% of the leases for the 34-storey North Tower, including anchor tenant Facebook Singapore Pte Ltd. South Beach is well positioned to be a definitive architectural icon in Singapore for years to come.

GEOGRAPHICAL DIVERSIFICATION


CDL acquired an expansive prime freehold land site in Tokyo’s prestigious Shirokane area, on which stands the former residence of Seiko Holdings Corporation’s founder, Mr Kintaro Hattori.

As part of the Group’s strategic focus to diversify geographically and accelerate overseas expansion, several groundbreaking acquisitions were made in 2014.

In September, CDL made its maiden foray into residential development in Japan. It acquired majority interest in a prime freehold land site in Tokyo from Seiko Holdings Corporation for ¥30.5 billion (or approximately $355.5 million).

The expansive 16,815 square metre (sqm) (approximately 4.2 acres) land parcel is located in the prestigious residential enclave of the Shirokane area in Tokyo’s Minato ward, where the offices of many multinational corporations and numerous foreign embassies are situated. The lushly landscaped site houses a mansion, the former residence of Seiko’s founder, Mr Kintaro Hattori. CDL plans to develop luxurious, high-end condominiums on the site.

In December, CDL China Limited (CDL China), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Group, gained a foothold in Shanghai by acquiring Shanghai Jingwen Zhaoxiang Real Estate Limited (Jingwen) for RMB 799 million. Jingwen’s completed 120-unit luxury residential development in Qingpu district’s affluent residential corridor is built on a 163,837 sqm land parcel with lush, well landscaped greenery.

CDL China continues to push forward with the development of its two projects in Chongqing’s Yuzhong district – the 126-unit Eling Residences, and the mixed-use Huang Huayuan project comprising three high-rise residential towers, 150-room hotel and mall.

As for Suzhou Hong Leong City Center, CDL China's sizeable mixed-use development next to Jinji Lake in Suzhou Industrial Park, the construction has gone smoothly and much progress has been made. Although the project has not been officially launched for sale, it has garnered much interest from the public and subsequently a decision was made to release a small number of units, all of which have been snapped up by eager buyers.

On the hospitality front, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C), the Group’s London-listed subsidiary, made several acquisitions in key gateway cities. In March, M&C completed the £65 million acquisition of The Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London, an all-suite hotel in the upscale Chelsea district. Bordering the River Thames, it offers 154 suites and four penthouses.


M&C acquired its first property in Italy – the Boscolo Palace Roma (now re-branded as Grand Hotel Palace Rome) in Rome’s upscale Via Veneto district.

M&C also acquired Novotel New York Times Square comprising 480 rooms, some office and retail space and a penthouse apartment in the heart of Manhattan’s theatre district for US$273.6 million, and its first property in Italy – Boscolo Palace Roma (now re-branded as Grand Hotel Palace Rome) in Rome’s upscale Via Veneto district for €65.5 million, which features 87 luxury guest rooms and suites. The acquisitions were completed in June and October respectively.

In December, CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT), the stapled hospitality trusts of M&C, entered the Japan market by acquiring two hotels in Tokyo – Hotel MyStays Asakusabashi and Hotel MyStays Kamata for ¥5.8 billion. The 138-room Hotel MyStays Asakusabashi provides easy access to popular sightseeing spots and attractions, such as the traditional cultural area of Asakusa and the technological and electronics district of Akihabara. The 116-room Hotel MyStays Kamata is within close proximity to the Keikyu-Kamata station, which is only a 10-minute train ride away from Haneda Airport. It is also close to the JR Kamata Station which provides direct access to JR Tokyo station and nearby major cities such as Shinagawa, Kawasaki and Yokohama.

The Group is also making good progress on its property development platform in London. It now has six prime freehold properties in the portfolio, with two located in Knightsbridge and one each in Chelsea, Belgravia, Croydon and Reading.

NEW INVESTMENT PLATFORM

The Group has been actively seeking to develop funds management products.

In December, CDL, with partners Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities Fund and CIMB Bank Berhad, Labuan Offshore Branch, unveiled a unique $1.5 billion investment platform that invests in the cash flows of CDL’s properties in Sentosa Cove – the Quayside Collection.

The Quayside Collection, an upscale integrated development by CDL, comprises three adjacent properties:

  • Hotel – The 5-star W Singapore – Sentosa Cove hotel
  • Retail – Quayside Isle, a waterfront F&B and retail property
  • Residential – Apartments of The Residences at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove

The instrument, called Profit Participation Securities (PPS), will see investors receiving a fixed payout based on 5% interest per annum for a period of five years, in addition to a participation in the cash flows over the period that they hold the PPS.

The total aggregated value of PPS is $750 million, comprising $281 million subscribed by Astoria Holdings Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Group; with Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund investing $367 million and CIMB Bank Berhad, Labuan Offshore Branch contributing $102 million. Concurrently, two banks have provided $750 million in value of senior loan facilities.

EXPANDING GLOBAL HOSPITALITY FOOTPRINT


The Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo by night.

Among several launches across its network, M&C concluded 2014 on a high with the opening of its first flagship hotel in Japan, the Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo, a collaboration with Mitsui Fudosan Group.

Located in the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza 4-Chome district, the 329-room contemporary hotel sports a striking “Bottega-inspired” facade like the weave of a basket. The hotel’s completion is timely as Tokyo gears up to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which is expected to be a boon for tourism.

M&C also opened its first resort in China, the Millennium Resort Hangzhou, in Q1 2014, bringing the total number of properties in China to 11. The resort is sited in a unique geographical area known for its natural beauty, and is a mere 35-minute drive from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport and 15 minutes from the downtown area and railway station.

As part of M&C’s ongoing asset enhancement initiative, the former Millennium Resort and Villas Scottsdale re-opened as The McCormick Scottsdale following a renovation. Grand Hyatt Taipei completed its room refurbishment programme in May, and embarked on upgrading its F&B outlets and public areas.

Since December 2013, CDLHT's Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade has been undergoing asset enhancement works and is slated for opening in Q2 2015. The repositioned family-friendly mall will have enhanced retail offerings, featuring anchor tenants including supermarket retail giant Cold Storage and an early educational centre, MapleBear Singapore. In addition, the mall will offer a range of F&B options as well as numerous specialty and services shops. With the new tenant mix, the mall is expected to cater to the needs of the residents living in the nearby districts of Orchard, Tanglin and Claymore.

CORPORATE AND SUSTAINABILITY BENCHMARKS

CDL’s building and architectural excellence was recognised on the international stage at the prestigious FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards 2014. One Shenton was the World Gold Winner in the Residential (High Rise) Category and W Sentosa – Sentosa Cove was the World Silver Winner in the Hotel Category.

CDL continued to lead the industry in setting new sustainability milestones. At the Building and Construction Authority Awards 2014, it once again emerged as the most awarded private sector developer, sweeping a total of 30 accolades. In the inaugural Channel NewsAsia Sustainability Ranking, CDL was named the Top Property Developer in Asia and Top Singapore Corporation, as well as ranked second among the top 100 sustainable companies across 10 key Asian economies. Affirming CDL’s innovation in developing environmentally-sustainable buildings, Tree House condominium achieved a Guinness World Record for the largest vertical garden in April 2014.

For its commitment to the highest levels of corporate governance and disclosure standards, CDL received the “Best Environmental Disclosure” title at the Sustainable Business Awards 2014 jointly organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Global Initiatives. CDL also clinched the Bronze award for Best Investor Relations for companies with market capitalisation of $1 billion and above, at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2014.

CDL remains listed on all three of the world’s leading sustainability benchmarks – FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (since 2010) and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011). CDL was also listed as a member and participant of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for 2014, where it was ranked in the highest category (Green Star).

LOOKING AHEAD

As part of its diversification strategy, CDL will continue to actively pursue its overseas platforms and develop funds management products as planned.

It will leverage on its synergistic platforms – including property development and investment, ownership of hotel operations, a hospitality real estate investment trust, land banking strategy, the new PPS investment platform, and an expanding overseas real estate network that now includes Japan, China and the UK – which will provide the Group with a balanced and diversified portfolio to mitigate any headwinds.

The Group is cautiously optimistic as it embarks on this new era of growth. It will continue to maintain discipline in its strategic investment approach for land or property acquisitions in Singapore and abroad, to enhance returns for shareholders.