Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Asia’s largest real estate group forged in $8 billion deal


Singapore-based CapitaLand announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire two of Ascendas-Singbridge’s subsidiaries for more than $8 billion

This deal will create the largest diversified real estate group on the continent, with interests spanning 11 countries including major projects in India. 

Singapore state-owned investor Temasek owns Ascendas-Singbridge fully, and holds a 40.8% stake in CapitaLand. After the deal, Temasek will own 51% of the combined entity in one of the largest consolidation deals in global real estate. The transaction is subject to approval by CapitaLand’s independent shareholders. 

After the transaction, the combined total assets under management (AUM) of the group will exceed $85bn. Its expanded asset classes will include logistics, business parks, industrial, lodging, commercial, retail and residential projects. 

Headquartered in Singapore, ASB’s business presence spans 11 countries including Singapore, India, China and Australia. Its flagship projects include Singapore Science Park and Changi Business Park in Singapore, International Tech Park Bangalore and International Tech Park Chennai in India, as well as Dalian Ascendas IT Park and Singapore Hangzhou Science and Tech Park in China. 

Lee Chee Koon, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand, stated: “Geographically, the deal strengthens CapitaLand’s presence in our core markets of Singapore and China, while adding meaningful scale in India, US and Europe.”Ascendas-Singbridge, among the largest foreign developers in India, has a presence across six cities and has about 16-17mn square feet of built-up space under its wing. It has about $1.9bn worth of assets under management and has launched an Ascendas India Trust as a vehicle to own income-producing assets in India. A $295mn programme to invest in logistics and industrial real estate was also launched in June last year.

In January, the  company announced the acquisition of its sixth property in Chennai, a 12.20-acre land parcel, from GSquare Group to develop a new IT Park. It had already announced its plan to develop 14-15mn sq ft of logistics space across six cities and is now planning to foray into the co-working segment.

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