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S'pore firm buys second tallest Japan skyscraper

The 56-storey Rinku Gate Tower is close to Osaka Kansai international airport and a major shopping mall. (PHOTO: SIS INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS)

Publication Date : 18-01-2013


Singapore-based SiS International Holdings has acquired Japan's second-tallest skyscraper, in Osaka, for nearly 3 billion yen (US$34 million).

The acquisition of Rinku Gate Tower was completed late last month after nine months of negotiations. It will yield between 6 and 8 per cent a year in rental terms, said SiS chief executive K.H. Lim yesterday.

Under Japanese real estate laws, SiS has bought a trust beneficial interest in the building.

Rinku Gate Tower at 56 storeys is Japan's second-tallest building. Completed in 1996, it comprises offices, a hotel and a convention centre.

This is the first SiS venture into real estate investment in Japan. Prior to this, it had invested in commercial and residential properties here as well as in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Lim said its investment is for the long term, believing that the Japanese economy, stagnant for many years, will grow in the next three to five years.

As the Japanese economy picks up, Rinku Gate Tower will benefit because it is just a train station away from Osaka Kansai international airport and next to a premium outlet shopping mall.

"The building is in a key commercial district and its close proximity to the international airport makes it well suited for businesses and travellers."

Real estate investment is one of the three business arms of SiS International Holdings, which has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1992.

The other two are: the distribution of mobile products such as smartphones and accessories and investment in tech start-ups such as JobsDB and Mediaring.

SiS, founded in 1983, built its reputation on tech distribution and sold that business for US$130 million to rival Jardine OneSolution (JOS), a part of Hong Kong-based trading conglomerate Jardine Matheson Group.

This cash transaction was completed in January 2011, transforming JOS into one of the largest and fastest-growing information technology services companies in Asia.

The acquisition covers SiS' information technology distribution operations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.


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