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SC Global to pay $5.5m for sales extension

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Luxury developer SC Global Developments has to pay $5.5 million for a six-month extension on the stipulated period for selling The Marq on Paterson Hill.

The company, which is in the midst of a privatisation bid, disclosed the impost on Monday in a statement on the status of the bid.

SC Global is the first developer to announce that it has to pay such a charge to obtain an extension on the usual seven years for selling all units at a new property.

The firm said it had received a letter from the Singapore Land Authority dated Jan 4 stating that the Controller of Residential Property is prepared, in principle, to grant approval for the limited qualifying certificate extension.

This would be granted if SC Global paid about $5.5 million by Feb 1.

Under the Residential Property Act, developers whose shareholders and directors are not all Singaporeans have to get a qualifying certificate to buy residential property for development.

With the certificate, developers have up to five years to build the project and sell all the units within two years of obtaining the temporary occupation permit.

If developers cannot meet the deadline to sell all units, they may face a pro-rated extension charge, based on the proportion of unsold units.

The Marq has 34 out of 66 units unsold.

SC Global declined to comment further on other qualifying certificate charges it may have to pay.

The company's other current project, Hilltops, has sold only 45 out of 241 units. The developer has until about June to complete the Hilltop sales.

The announcement comes amid the privatisation bid by chairman and chief executive Simon Cheong, who is offering $1.80 per share. He requires another 8.85 per cent of SC Global shares in order to bring the free floating shares to below 10 per cent.

Once that happens, Singapore Exchange rules deem the firm should be taken private.

In a circular to investors by Prime Partners Corporate Finance, the independent financial adviser noted that the relevant qualifying certificate extension charges will apply to each completed property regardless of whether SC Global remains listed.

SC Global shares closed one cent down at $1.815 yesterday, their lowest level in more than three weeks.

Credit from The Straits Times - 9 January 2013
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