– DBS, Standard Chartered and UOB provide SGD945m green loan to finance Allianz and Gaw Capital’s acquisition of DUO Tower and DUO Galleria
– SGD945m green loan was structured according to Ophir-Rochor Commercial’s green loan framework, which is aligned with Green Loan Principles
DBS, Standard Chartered (Singapore) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) have teamed up to provide a SGD945m green loan to Allianz Real Estate and Gaw Capital Partners to support their joint acquisition of DUO Tower and DUO Galleria in Singapore.
Allianz Real Estate, announced in July last year that acting on behalf of several Allianz companies, and Gaw Capital, representing a sovereign wealth fund separate account, they have signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire DUO Tower and DUO Galleria (“DUO”), a premium grade-A office asset with ancillary retail in Singapore for approximately SGD 1.6 billion. Allianz will own a 60% interest and the remaining 40% will be owned by Gaw Capital. The asset will be jointly managed by Allianz Real Estate and Gaw Capital.
Designed by internationally acclaimed German architect Ole Scheeren, DUO has redefined Singapore’s skyline with its distinctive hexagonal plated towers. The asset was completed in 2017 and was awarded the Green Mark Platinum Award, the highest accolade from Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. Located above the Bugis MRT Interchange station, DUO offers excellent connectivity to the CBD, Marina Bay and other metropolitan areas.
The commercial asset comprises 557,972 square feet of international premium grade-A office space with floor plates ranging between 26,000 and 31,000 square feet as well as 59,873 square feet of retail space. The asset is stabilized with a current occupancy of 97%.
Both DUO Tower and DUO Galleria have held the Green Mark Platinum Certification awarded by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority since 2013. This is in recognition of the mixed-office and retail development’s green features, such as the double-glazed low-emissivity glass exterior, rainwater harvesting system and surrounding lush green landscape.
The three banks acted as green loan advisers, joint mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners to Ophir-Rochor Commercial Pte. Ltd., the joint venture between Allianz Real Estate – acting on behalf of several Allianz group companies – and Gaw Capital Partners. UOB also acted as the facility and security agent to the syndicated green loan.
Ms Lim Lay Wah, UOB’s Global Head of Financial Institutions Group (Banks, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, Global Property Funds and Financial Sponsors), said, “As part of contributing to the community’s long-term economic, social and environmental well-being, UOB is committed to securing more green business opportunities together with our clients. The real estate sector has been leading the charge in the demand for green financing, with more property owners, managers and financial sponsors upholding sustainability standards as part of their climate action efforts. The green loan to Allianz Real Estate and Gaw Capital exemplifies our collaborative approach with our clients to fund projects that are environmentally friendly and promote sustainability.”
Mr Chew Chong Lim, Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate, Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank, said, “Responsible banking is one of the key tenets of our sustainability agenda and financing green infrastructure is an important way to encourage a tangible shift towards a low carbon economy. We are encouraged by the steady traction in green and sustainability-linked loans from the real estate industry, and continue to seek meaningful partnerships with like-minded players to advance the collective ambition to build towards a more sustainable future.”
Mr Patrick Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, said, “Standard Chartered Bank is committed to growing its sustainable finance portfolio in Singapore so that it can play a role in directing capital to build a more green and sustainable environment. Singapore is fast becoming a hub for green and sustainable loan issuances with over US$6 billion of loan issuances between 2018 and October 2019. We are keen to do more and will seek opportunities to work with our partners like Allianz Real Estate and Gaw Capital Partners who are exhibiting leadership in making a social and environmental impact and raising the bar for green financing in Singapore.”
Mr Rushabh Desai, CEO of Allianz Real Estate Asia Pacific, said, “Sustainable factors have a strong influence on the way that Allianz Real Estate acquires and manages its buildings and we have recently joined a number of initiatives that consider investments with a sustainable approach while seeking to improve social well-being. Through green loans, we find yet another path to investing responsibly while strengthening our relationships with like-minded business partners.”
Ms Christina Gaw, Managing Principal and Head of Capital Markets for Gaw Capital Partners, said, “Gaw Capital Partners is keen to integrate ESG considerations into every part of our business. This green loan reflects our commitment in finding ways to finance and to operate a more sustainable business. We are also excited to support the development of sustainable capital markets globally.”
The SGD945m green loan was structured in accordance with Ophir-Rochor Commercial’s green loan framework, which is aligned with the Green Loan Principles issued by the Loan Market Association in 2018. In addition, KPMG in Singapore provided independent limited assurance on Ophir-Rochor Commercial’s green loan framework.
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank’s “AA-” and “Aa1” credit ratings are among the highest in the world. Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance.