Metro to launch S'pore residential project this year

Metro to launch S'pore residential project this year

METRO Holdings will launch its first Singapore residential project in nearly two decades later this year and plans to further expand its footprint in China, it said yesterday.

A site at Prince Charles Crescent, which Metro is jointly developing with Wing Tai and UE E&C, will go on the market by the end of the third quarter, chairman Winston Choo said at a results briefing.

The project's ground-breaking is scheduled for June 4 and the developers are looking to launch it at $1,500 psf at least, he said.

In China, Metro has an effective 30 per cent stake in a huge mixed development in Jiangxi province called Nanchang Fashion Mark. The development sits on a 269,455 sq m site and is expected to be completed in December 2017. The ground-breaking for the site will be around September or October this year.

This is a joint venture with Hong Kong-listed Top Spring International Holdings, a real estate developer in China. Metro has injected $48 million of equity into the project, Mr Choo said in a statement yesterday.

Director Gerald Ong also yesterday ruled out a Reit, noting that the firm was "sitting on a lot of cash" and continued to recycle cash. He said it would not consider spinning off its properties into a Reit until its balance sheet was full.

The company yesterday suffered an 81 per cent plunge in fourth-quarter net profit year-on-year to $14.9 million.

This was mainly because the bottom line in the corresponding period a year earlier was inflated by a one-off gain of $98.7 million from the sale of Metro City Beijing.

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