The Edge Singapore: Oxley faces risk of ballooning debt

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Ching Chiat Kwong, founder and major shareholder of Oxley Holdings, reached a high point of sorts in his career as a property developer when he found a promising 40-acre site in London’s docklands, along the River Thames.

Oxley paid just £200 million ($411.58 million), or approximately £150 psf, for the site in 2013, which it is developing into Royal Wharf, comprising 3,400 apartments and townhouses, as well as schools, offices, shops and restaurants.

Phase 1 of the project, comprising 811 residential units, hit the market just as demand was cresting, and was sold out in just two months to buyers from the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. Phase 2 has just been launched in the Middle East.

Goh Han Peng, an analyst at OSK-DMG, figures that Oxley could make a killing from the project.

Going by his estimates, the project would break even if it achieved prices of £300 psf.

Based on sales so far, it is achieving prices of about £600 psf.

“That gives them a good margin,” Goh says.

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