Industrial assets sale no link with SGX debt load query: Ho Bee Land

Its sale of $115m industrial assets is its ordinary course of business. 

Ho Bee Land Limited said its recent disposal of the HB Centre 1 and HB Centre 2 properties is unrelated to Singapore Exchange Regulation’s (SGX RegCo) question on debt load.

In a bourse filing, the group issued a clarification after a certain news website posted an article allegedly saying that Ho Bee Land is selling assets in its home market after the stock exchange questioned the developer’s capacity to pay off the debts.

The transaction option for both locations was issued in November 2022 and was purchased on 7 March. The disposal was completed on 14 March.

“The company would like to clarify that the disposal is in the Group’s ordinary course of business. The timing of acquisitions and disposals of investment properties are driven by market conditions. From time to time, the Group receives unsolicited offers to purchase its properties,” Ho Bee Land said.

The real estate firm said it noted “numerous inaccuracies” which became “concerning” and based on full conjecture, exposing the company to “reputational risk.”

SGX queries

Ho Bee Land also emphasised its responses made to SGX RegCo queries regarding the financial statement filed on 27 February.

The company said two main contributors to Ho Bee Land’s short-term debt of $1.23b are bridging loans worth $930.8m used to pay for the acquisition of The Scalpel in fiscal year 2022 and the $94.5m of a term load that was due within a year from 31 December 2022.

As of 17 March 2023, the company is in the finalising stage of the loan documents for an $810m term loan and the loan proceedings will be used for the repayment of the bridging loans. Whilst the refinancing of the $94.5m term loan is targeted to finish by the first half of the year.

The company’s management said it “will be able to meet its obligations that are due within the next 12 months.”

Ho Bee Land said it already reached out to the journalist responsible for the article published and requested a full correction.

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