Thursday, August 5, 2010

Interview: Simon Harding-Roots, Chief Operating Officer, Treasury Holdings China

From its origins in Ireland, the Treasury Holdings Group now operates globally, across two continents and in seven countries. The Group continues to lead the way in identifying and capitalizing on ever-changing global property trends. Established in Dublin in 1989 by John Ronan and Richard Barrett, Treasury Holdings has been a pioneer in the property sector, and has consistently been ahead in identifying and capitalizing on property trends.
Treasury Holdings now controls over 131 individual real estate projects with a combined value in excess of $4.6 billion. The gross development value of the Treasury Holdings Group's projects is over $19 billion.
After its success in Ireland during the 80s and 90s, in the early part of the decade Treasury Holdings began to focus its attention on global property development and investment markets with particular emphasis on China.

As noted by Mr. Simon Harding-Roots, Chief Operating Officer, Treasury Holdings China, today, the company is one of the largest Western developers and investors in China.
“Through our considerable experience in urban development, we endeavor to bring uniqueness to every project under consideration. In addition, Treasury's considerable asset management experience has enabled it to improve existing property assets through active administration of the investment property portfolio.
He joined THCL with over 20 years of international property development experience. A qualified Chartered Surveyor (RICS) he specializes in delivering major mixed use projects. Following 8 years in Dubai where he was responsible for some of the region's most successful retail led mixed use schemes for a leading development organization, Simon spent two and a half years with an international investment and private equity firm in Bahrain establishing their development portfolio. This included the award winning 'Bahrain Bay' waterfront scheme, valued at $2 billion.
He noted that the company intends ultimately to locate one-third of its worldwide activities in the Chinese market. Treasury plans to become fully integrated into Chinese business and culture and to be the most successful Western property company operating in China.
Benefiting from Treasury Holding's synergistic combination of sophisticated Western management practices and the intimate local market knowledge and extensive network developed through its presence in China since 2005, TCT has successfully assembled a high-quality portfolio of income-producing commercial real estate and development opportunities located in China's financial and political centers of Shanghai and Beijing.
Treasury has four offices in China: in Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao and Hong Kong. Treasury Holdings is currently building a high quality mixed investment portfolio with its main concentration on acquiring excellent buildings or sourcing development opportunities in prime locations. It is currently concentrating its search for development and investment opportunities in the first and second tier cities in China, he said.
“Foreign investment remains a strong element in China's remarkable expansion in world trade. This is in part due to the way in which the Chinese government has opened up previously closed sectors of the economy in line with World Trade Organisation requirements,he said.
The Company currently manages 3 separate investment projects in office and retail sectors located in Shanghai. Due to its long-term investment outlook, it is now a driving force in China and is identifying many exciting development and investment projects. The combination of western development management skills, together with the scale, local knowledge, and strength of local partners makes a powerful team, he said.
Mr. Harding-Roots pointed out that to enable Treasury to take advantage of its position as the predominant western developer in China and offer western shareholders a unique opportunity to gain exposure to the burgeoning Chinese property market, the Company established China Real Estate Opportunities (CREO), which listed on the AIM market in London in July 2007, having successfully raised 」259 million.
On June 21st this year, the company moved CREO's listing to Singapore, betting that investors there will better appreciate the portfolio of the Chines property assets. CREO shareholders were offered five units of Treasury China Trust (TCT), a Singapore-based business trust for every CREO share they held. TCT was then listed on SGX by introduction.
TCT provides a comprehensive platform of proactive management and through its dedicated team, numbering more than 70 on the ground in China, delivers out-performance across all elements of real estate ownership, asset management and development capability.
This combination, unique to the Chinese market, underwrites the company's commitment to a total return business model which exposes its shareholders to a broad operating platform and diversifies risk across its asset classes and revenue sources and through its development arm creates strong accretive income growth, he noted.
He said that the company's strengths are: Unique and exclusive focus on commercial real estate in China with strong opportunities for both income and capital growth; Exposure to key gateway cities in China; Long term commitment to the China market; Successful and proactive asset management of the portfolio by Treasury Holdings, thus benefiting from its extensive experience as a high quality, global property developer and investor; and, strong pipeline of investments for revenue and balance sheet growth
Speaking on the main challenges, he noted that in the real estate market, supply of land and building is the most frustrating thing, as is the ability to get experienced staff.
Since the company is focused on China, Seoul is still out of sights for the company at present.