Thursday, October 06, 2005


The Japanese popular media is working itself into a frenzy involving investor Yoshiaki Murakami’s takeover bid for Hanshin Railways, the parent of this year’s baseball pennant-winners the Hanshin Tigers. Tigers fans have been heard on TV all night being childish and emotional about it, complaining that it would somehow “take away” the team from them. Amusingly, the Osakans’ comments took a U-turn once Murakami suggested that the team list on the stock exchange. Wonder if that’s been done elsewhere in the world?

Anyway, Hanshin Railways was one of the few large real-estate holders which did not succumb to speculative mania during the bubble years; as a result, it still holds many assets at their original book prices of 30 years ago. The company thus stands to make huge capital gains on their properties. For example, the land under Hanshin Osaka Building just outside Osaka Station is on Hanshin’s books for a mere 9 million yen, or 1,285 yen per square meter! Compare this to the 5.33 million yen per square meter (2005) official land price nearby.

Hanshin also owns the revered 1924 Koshien baseball stadium (land book price: 8 million yen), the Rokkosan amusement park (1933, 756 million), the Sannomiya Hanshin Building (1933, rebuilt 1996, 231 million), and the more recent Herbis Osaka (7.46 billion), and the Herbis Ent (6.8 billion) mixed-use complexes.

Consider a ‘Hanshin REIT’ a done deal once Murakami gets in.

PS: The post title means “how are you?” in the Kansai dialect. Literally, “making money today?” More on Kansai-ben here.
Full Story: Osaka Yomiuri

Japan Real Estate Blog
Tags : japan, real estate, property, investment, 不動産


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