Hong Kong investor bets big on Sydney’s CBD retail revival

Hong Kong’s Link REIT is circling stakes in three trophy Sydney CBD assets – the Queen Victoria Building. the Strand Arcade and The Galeries – in a deal worth around $550 million, in a major vote of confidence in the city’s road map to normality.

It is understood the Hong Kong-listed player is in due diligence to acquire half stakes in all three prime shopping attractions which are held by Singaporean sovereign investor, GIC.

Holding the other half stakes, and giving Link REIT an experienced partner to manage the assets, is ASX-listed Vicinity Centres.

Link REIT’s move will be viewed as a half-a-billion-dollar-plus endorsement of the future of the Sydney’s CBD and its retail trade, coming just days after Premier Gladys Berejiklian laid a reopening plan for the city which, by December 1, will allow the unvaccinated the same freedoms as the inoculated.

Adding further confidence to the retail property market and its investors, the mooted deal has been struck at a rate in line with the assets’ most recent book values recorded by Vicinity. The blended yield across the three half stakes comes out around 5 per cent, setting a clear benchmark on pricing.

For Link REIT, the investment represents its first major entry into the retail sector in Australia and follows its $683 million acquisition of an office tower at 100 Market Street from Blackstone two years ago

Since then, it has been on the hunt for more premium properties in the local market after signing an open-ended mandate with fund manager EG Funds Management.

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