Corporate HQ Hub

Singapore To Strengthen Position As Corporate HQ Hub

SINGAPORE – A BlackRock executive revealed that the city-state continues to grow as an important corporate headquarters location following the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Mingtiandi on Thursday morning (16 November, SGT).

“For Blackrock itself, we have doubled our headcount to about 700 in Singapore. So, I think that’s really… giving us optimism in the Singapore office market. We are seeing a lot of new tenants that are coming into the market, they are more (interested) in the higher-end office space,” commented BlackRock’s Director & Head of investments for Singapore and Southeast Asia, Andrew Lee.

Notably, BlackRock manages the Asia Square development that houses 2 million sq ft of office space.

Singapore is strengthening its position as a corporate HQ hub in Asia Pacific, even though big-ticket deals involving commercial properties have been sluggish in the city-state since the second half of 2022.

However, Gaw Capital’s Managing Director for investments Imelda Tham said that commercial property owners should play a more active role in real estate management to boost their returns amidst the more difficult business climate.

“Gone are the days where you can find assets, sit back, enjoy the yield and the capital appreciation that comes along under a low interest rate environment,” she explained.

Lee and Tham gave these remarks at a panel discussion during the Mingtiandi Singapore Forum that was attended by around 200 leaders and executives from the real estate industry.

In 2019, Gaw Capital joined forces with Allianz Real Estate (now known as PIMCO Prime Real Estate) to purchase Duo Tower and Duo Galleria in Bugis for S$1.6 billion, which was one of the largest office property sales in Singapore that year.

With the nearby Guoco Midtown development now attaining office rents comparable to those in Singapore’s central business district (CBD), market watchers consider the Duo investment as a savvy and far-seeing move.

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