Skip to Content

How much investment returns is City Harvest Church looking for?

I came across this commentary on Freight Links Express, a SGX listed entity business and was intrigued by their latest loan to Galaxy Capital.

The terms is this:

  • Freight Link subsidiary Glory Capital will loan 45 mil to Galaxy Capital
  • 6 years 8% interest rate
  • On top of this, City Harvest will pay a front-end fee of $13 mil over 5 years, yearly 2.6 mil installment
  • Loan is secured against Suntec Singapore. In the event of default, Freight Links can in turn own the equity of Suntec Singapore
  • Total Unleveraged return to Freight Links 12.8%
  • Galaxy Capital will use majority to refinance loan which in turn, is loan to City Harvest to finance the acquisition of a portion of Suntec Singapore

City Harvest Church has increased its stake in Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre to 39.2 per cent, from its original 20 per cent in 2010.

Speaking at its Saturday evening service, the church’s executive pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, told the delighted 6,000-strong congregation that “to put it simply, we are co-owners of this property together with Suntec REIT.”

However, he reminded he congregation, “We are not into building buildings, we are into building lives. All we have done these 23 years has been in obedience to God and his call.”
He explained that in 2010, CHC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Urban Property Investments Limited acquired a 20 per cent effective shareholding in Suntec Singapore for a total of $43.8 million.

Last year, it then acquired an additional 19.2 percent for a purchase price of $54 million. To date, the church has spent $97.8 million on purchasing its current 39.2 stake in the property. – Yahoo Singapore 2012


While I am intrigued by the rate of return and the downside protection structured, what goes through my head is

  • Why can’t Galaxy Capital go to a financer like the 3 big banks, Hong Leong to get this loan? Couldn’t they get a cheaper financing?
  • While the terms is short, the amount of coupon paid seems to suggest that there are some risks that I have not account  for. What could that be?
  • The unleveraged ROA for most REITs, Infrastructures  and similar have fluctuate around 5-7%. The fact that this wasn’t part of a REIT lets us know that the ROA for this convention is much higher than that.
  • Assuming Galaxy Capital is the only loan source and they are geared 50%, investment returns will have to be 6.5% upwards

Certainly I think the returns are very handicapped by such high upfront sales charges and interest.

If ROA is 10% their leveraged return will be 7%, the equivalent of an industrial REIT.

I wonder can the convention return 10% ROA.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.