Billionaire Asok Kumar Hiranandani's Royal Group Buys Singapore Property At Record Price
Royal Group of Companies is buying the Ming Arcade on the edge of the Orchard Road shopping district for S$172 ($126.6 million).
High-rise buildings in downtown Singapore. 'Ming Arcade used to be an urban and vibrant lifestyle hub back in the 1980s and we are pleased and eager to embark on the rejuvenation of this enclave of Orchard Road precinct and restore the grandeur it deserves,' Royal Group of Companies Chairman Asok Kumar Hiranandani and his son Bobby Hiranandani, who is the family office's co-chairman, said in the statement. 'At Royal Group of Companies, we have set a track record of enhancing the districts in which we invest, develop and operate while looking forward to setting new heights.' Asok Kumar Hiranandani and son Bobby.Munshi Ahmed For Forbes Zoned as a commercial property with an allowable gross floor area of 55,046 square feet, the property can be built up to a maximum height of 20 stories, according to Savills. Ming Arcade was hotly contested, with Royal Group offering to buy the property at a 34% premium above the reserve price. 'A large number of buyers evaluated Ming Arcade and we received multiple bids,' Jeremy Lake, managing director for investment sales and capital markets at Savills Singapore, said in the statement. The deal comes as a number of commercial properties in Singapore changed hands this year, with investors seeking higher yields and looking at potential redevelopment of aging buildings in the city-state that's considered by many as a safe haven. This year's notable transactions include the sale of the Tanglin Shopping Centre (which is behind Ming Arcade) to Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto's Pacific Eagle Real Estate for S$868 million and Royal Group's sale of the 134-room SO Sofitel Singapore in the Raffle Place central business district for S$240 million to Vietnam-based Viva Land. Despite a global property downturn triggered by rising interest rates and heightened risk of a global recession, Savills estimates total investment sales in 2023 will reach as much as S$25 billion, the same level as this year. 'If rates do inflect, the market may see a resumption of acquisitive activity for big ticket items by large private equity investors,' Savills said last week. 'They would be looking to acquire aging commercial buildings to be converted into mixed-use modern developments, such as green-certified buildings or repurposing them for residential use.' With a net worth of $1.7 billion, Asok Kumar ranked No. 25 in the list of Singapore's 50 Richest that was published in September.