GIC sells Beijing airport stake for S$382 million

Published: 9:40 PM, December 18, 2013
Updated: 4:50 PM, December 19, 2013

HONG KONG – Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC has sold a stake in the operator of China’s biggest airport for HK$2.36 billion (S$382 million) to NWS Holdings, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

NWS will buy 383 million shares, or about 8.8 per cent, of Beijing Capital International Airport at HK$6.15 apiece, the report said, citing a Hong Kong stock exchange filing.

The acquisition, at a 2.1 per cent discount to the stock’s closing price on Tuesday, gives NWS an exposure into the booming air travel market in Beijing, ranked the world’s second-busiest airport after handling 82 million passengers last year. As disposable incomes rise in China, there is “potential growth” in revenue at the airport from retail concessions, advertising and rentals, NWS said in its statement.

“Beijing Capital International Airport is a quality infrastructure asset with substantial stature and a key correlation to the continuous growth of China’s economy,” NWS said in the filing. It’s NWS’s first investment in an airport, according to an e-mail from the company on Wednesday.

GIC owned 413.9 million H shares in Beijing Capital International Airport as of Dec 31 last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. GIC declined to comment in an e-mail.