Battersea seeks to secure £1.35b loan by end-October

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KUALA LUMPUR: Battersea Project Holding Co Ltd (BPHCL), the project owner of the £8.5 billion (RM44 billion) Battersea Power Station redevelopment in London, expects to secure £1.35 billion in financing from Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Standard Chartered plc, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd and HSBC Holdings plc for phase 2 and 3 of the iconic project.

“We are hoping to sign with the banks for the financing by Oct 30,” said BPHCL chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin at the launch of phase 3 of the project here yesterday. He said that other banks will also be roped in to finance the project.

Liew also said that phase 3 of the project, which will be unveiled simultaneously in 13 cities in 11 countries next month, features 1,200 residential units, a 200-room hotel, retail and restaurant outlets, a library and leisure space.

BPHCL chief executive officer Rob Tincknell said the company will look for further financing for the subsequent phases of the Battersea project, which overall is divided into seven phases.

However, he declined to reveal how much.

“We’re looking at phase 2 and 3 at the moment. That [further financing] is another day’s work,” Tincknell said.

Tincknell also dismissed concerns that phase 3’s take-up rate will be disrupted by Scotland’s possible secession from the United Kingdom and the UK general election to be held next year.

“We don’t think so,” he said, noting the impression from people is that Scotland would not secede.

“As for the general election next year, we think the residential market has slightly cooled off, but it hasn’t cooled off completely. Instead, we’ve come back to a normal growth in housing.”

Tincknell said this development is a “good thing” as issues that will be raised by politicians leading up to the election will not revolve around cooling measures for the residential market.

“So we think we are in a pretty good shape, both politically and demographically,” he added.

To date, phase 1 of the Battersea Power Station project, known as Circus West, has seen a 95% take-up rate of its apartments and townhouses within weeks of its launch early last year.

Phase 2, known as the Power Station, has recorded a take-up rate of 95% of the 254 units offered when the London-only sales programme was launched in the second quarter this year.

BPHCL said the overall development is anticipated to be completed in 2025, with the Power Station itself expected to be open to the public in 2019 — the first time in over 30 years.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 11, 2014.