Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Blue Chip units offered in Singapore

The Bianco Off Queen is one of the apartment buildings in the Auckland CBD with ties to Blue Chip. Photo / Janna Dixon
The Bianco Off Queen is one of the apartment buildings in the Auckland CBD with ties to Blue Chip. Photo / Janna Dixon

Singaporeans are being invited to buy units in three Auckland apartment blocks which desperate Blue Chip victims are trying to escape from via a Supreme Court ruling, due out any day.

"Auckland, NZ for sale," says the advertisement in the Sunday Times, an edition of the Straits Times, marketing units in Bianco Off Queen, a highrise block selling from $245,000, "at greatly reduced price with up to 70 per cent of financing available".

Singaporeans are also being invited to buy units in the Chifley Suites short-stay apartments run by the Australian Chifley Hotels group (which opened as The Barclay), and 48 apartments in The Chatham.

Meanwhile, back in New Zealand Blue Chip investors are awaiting the court ruling on whether they can back away from the units in the blocks which they allegedly agreed to buy.

Singaporeans are being told of guaranteed returns of 28 per cent over a four-year period, with "potentially huge capital gains - 9.7 per cent capital growth, historical, over the last 10 years".

The three-quarter page ad cites a Herald article published on February 15 saying "demand for rental property in Auckland is at crisis point".

The article was about standalone houses, not apartments, after reporter Lincoln Tan found rental agents getting 200 inquiries for a four-bedroom property in Balmoral .

Reapfield Property Consultants in Singapore's Goldhill Plaza is marketing the Auckland units. Bianco was also promoted at an exhibition at the Singapore Marriott Hotel last weekend, units offered fully furnished.

"No capital gains tax, no stamp duty, no restrictions on resale," Reapfield says.

The Blue Chip units caused heartache for many investors in the failed apartment specialist, once listed on the NZX but now folded owing millions of dollars.

Late last year, about 300 victims in the $80 million Blue Chip property disaster were granted a last chance to fight deals to buy units in five inner-city Auckland highrise blocks when the Supreme Court granted them leave to challenge a Court of Appeal decision.

The Supreme Court heard the case last year and yesterday Daniel Grove, acting in the case with Paul Dale, said he expected the outcome to be known shortly.

Bianco was developed by Turn and Wave, a company associated with developer Tim Manning, Grove said.

Grove questioned who was selling the units to Singaporeans and who was issuing the guarantees of 28 per cent over four years.

Bianco was not brand new, as the ad stated, but had been completed about two years ago, he said, and the Blue Chip victims were well quit of the block.

"To tell you the truth, I don't really care [about the ads] because we are saying they can do what they want with them," Grove said of Bianco units.

Dale said last year the Supreme Court case hinged on whether agreements were legal: "This is about the question of whether investment products offered by Blue Chip breached the Securities Act and if so, what the answer is and if not, whether the agreements are unenforceable by the developers."

The investors agreed to buy Auckland units in the Barclay, Bianco, Icon, Chatham and The Stadium blocks, which were finished some time ago.

Some Blue Chip investors took ownership, some have made arrangements with the developers and others are challenging the deals they signed because they were told they would never have to buy the apartments when they put their money into investment products Blue Chip was selling.

SINGAPORE CALLING

Auckland blocks advertised in Asia:

* Bianco Off Queen, between Turner, White and Waverley Sts.

* The Barclay, now Chifley Suites, Albert St.

* The Chatham on Pitt St.

Source: Reapfield Property Consultants

- NZ Herald

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