Dynamism The Word At MIPIM Asia 2012

7-9 November 2012 - Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong

Nov 09, 2012, 08:46 ET from Reed MIDEM

HONG KONG, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing retail market, increased real estate opportunities in China and the changing landscape of allocation to real estate, were the major talking points at the seventh edition of MIPIM Asia, which took place in Hong Kong, November 7-9.

Commenting on the 2012 edition, MIPIM Asia Director, Filippo Rean, commented, "Our decision to launch a three-in-one event, combining the new Investment and Retail Summits with an exhibition zone dedicated to sustainable building, reflects the reality of the Asia Pacific market and clearly touches a chord with our clients. With 44 countries represented, MIPIM Asia confirms to be the real estate industry's leading annual rendezvous for anyone operating in the region."

Opening proceedings on November 7, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable CY Leung, underlined the dynamism of the Asian real estate sector. In his Guest of Honour opening address, the Chief Executive noted: "When it comes to real estate and many other business sectors, Hong Kong is the two-way Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) of China. Nearly all the major real estate and other related professional practices on the Chinese Mainland are branches or subsidiaries of Hong Kong firms. Hong Kong also accounts for nearly all the large overseas real estate developers in Mainland China. Together we possess a huge wealth of information and knowledge on the Chinese markets."

One of the driving forces of real estate development in Asia has been the growth in retail opportunities. MIPIM Asia delegates had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Subway and PPR Group have successfully entered the market during a joint keynote bringing together Carmine Rotondaro, Worldwide Real Estate Director of PPR Group and John Devine, President & Director of Subway Real Estate. "We've got a really strong presence right now in Asia, but frankly we've only just begun. We're only scratching the surface in terms of what we believe the potential is for the market in Asia," said John Devine.

"2012 is the year we have really opened up MIPIM Asia to the retail sector," commented Filippo Rean. "Throughout the event, we have held top-level discussions on where the market is going and on the exhibition floor we had leading brands such as Adidas, Subway, Lacoste, Walt Disney or Desigual side by side with developers that include CapitaMalls, Taubman or Inter-Ikea."

James Hawkey, Executive Director, Retail Services, Cushman & Wakefield China pointed out in a conference session on 'Shopping centre designs for attracting tenants & consumers' that modern shopping centre design has now become a show business with a key goal to entertain and cater to its customers. Dr. Lai Kiu Chan, Director, Design & Project, Hysan Development Co. Ltd used Hysan Place as an example to demonstrate James Hawkey's point – a large sky garden was built to provide some tranquility for customers in the busy Causeway Bay. He told MIPIM Asia delegates that the longer the customer remains in the shopping centre, the more he will spend. Hysan Place has reached this objective by offering a global mix of fashion, food, and leisure with non-promotional events.

Vincent H.S. Lo, Chairman, Shui On Group gave a Keynote Address to introduce a panel discussion on 'Revolutionising city developments balancing the contribution from the public and private sectors,' with Shui On Group's KIC Project in Yangpu, Shanghai. He pointed out that Shui On's key role in the project is to provide the master planning, funding, development expertise and international connection, whereas the Government's contribution is their policy support and providing land in appropriate location at a fair price.

One of the highlights of MIPIM Asia Summits was the Keynote Address by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, and Global Economic Advisor, on 'Wealth Creation in the New Global Economy". Consumerism targeting middle-class, even property related consumerism is increasing, implying huge growth potentials, he said. He also suggested that it is unlikely that China will post double-digit economic growth again. But with the vast number of infrastructure projects next year, he still remains optimistic about China's economic growth prospects.

On the projects' side, MIPIM Asia Sustainable Expo echoed this insight, as it featured many large-scale developments in China, amongst which Chongqing City Construction Investment Corporation which is a state-owned company authorized by Chongqing Municipal People's Government to raise and manage urban construction funds. Major projects currently under construction include Shuangbei Jialing River Bridge, Dongshuimen Yangtze River Bridge, Quainsimen Jialing River Bridge, and a special airport expressway. Chinese showcased projects included Yujiapu Financial District, which is located in the core area of Tianjin Binhai New Area and covers 3.86 square kilometers. The District is planning t construct 120 buildings with a total surface area of 9.5 square kilometers and bring together five industrial areas combining exhibitions and conventions, traditional finance, modern finance, education and training, offices and commercial real estate, turning Yujiapu into the country's leading and world-class financial reform and innovation base. China Treasury Trust presented the HQ, its flagship commercial development in Hongqiao, Shanghai and its most important undertaking to date. With an existing footprint of more than 170,000 square meters of gross floor area growing to more than 260,000 square meters on completion in 2013, this asset drives TCT's ability to deliver substantive income growth and meet the market's expectations of a distribution yield in the years ahead.

This year, MIPIM Asia featured a new private programme dedicated to indirect investments and entitled 'LPs morning,' enabling discussions and networking with key representatives of institutional investors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc.

The first LPs workshop session drew a full house and a lively discussion on the topic of the changing landscape of allocation to real estate. Representatives from GE Asset Management, GIC Real Estate International, Korea Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association, Tokio Marine Property Investment Management Inc. provided interesting perspectives on their real estate and other allocations as well as key issues for the market in 2013.  

Session facilitator Alan Dalgleish, Director of Research at industry association ANREV, the Asian Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles, remarked "One key point which emerged from the session was the industry's desire for performance benchmarking indices. It was interesting to hear investors focus immediately on lack of transparency and market information in the region."  

One of the discussion leaders, Bernard Phang, Managing Director, GIC – Head of Investments, Europe, GIC Real Estate International, reported: "The panel covered a wide range of topics - from asset allocations to performance benchmarking, to the risk of policies mistakes. The participants were very engaged in the discussions. We could have spent another hour debating."     

Julie Ahn, Head of Investment Advisory Department, DTZ Korea, facilitator of another workshop, reported: "The traditional model of long-term and discretionary funds is broken as it no longer reflects a fair valance of LP-GP interests. But that model can be fixed with relevant arrangements and strategies to address a new reality presented after financial crisis. It is viewed there is no significant co-relation between co-investment and performance. The alignment of interest should be  anchored on  respect and trust between LPs and GPs. Managers who have been successful in raising fund in recent months are those who are narrowly focused on a particular sector or location and able to demonstrate their expertise. There is a reluctancy among investors to commit to young GPs with no proven track record. It is highlighted that the key is to underwrite manager well."

To download official photos of MIPIM Asia 2012, please visit: http://imagebank.reedmidemphotos.com/

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