Transglobe Life Insurance Inc (全球人壽) yesterday won the bid for 50-year superficies rights to two plots of land in the Yilan County hot springs town of Jiaosi (礁溪) for NT$1.3 billion (US$43.6 million).
The bidding price was 1.857 times higher than the NT$700 million floor price set by state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), which owns the land, according to a press release.
Under the terms of the deal, the insurer can use the land for 50 years, with a maximum extension of another 20 years.
Transglobe Life was one of three participants in the auction for the two plots, which total 2,334 ping (7,716m2), Taipower said in the press release.
The land — with one plot measuring 785 ping and the other 1,549 ping — has a 60 percent building coverage ratio and 240 percent plot ratio (or gross floor area ratio). It can be used to build hotel, retail and commercial facilities, offices and entertainment facilities, according to Colliers International Taiwan Ltd, a property consulting company that managed the auction.
Transglobe Life is evaluating whether to build a shopping mall or hot spring hotels on the land, which is about 300m from Jiaosi Train Station and five minutes from the Toucheng Interchange on Freeway No. 5, the release said.
The company is the second life insurer, after Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽), to bid for superficies rights of state-owned land this year. Shin Kong Life in May won a bid for the lease of 50-year superficies rights on a plot in New Taipei City (新北市), owned by Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒), for NT$1.49 billion.
The government aims to direct insurance funds to public construction projects through such auctions.
Yesterday’s auction was the second time Taipower has used the sale of superficies rights since late last year to increase utilization of its idle or underused real-estate assets to earn income.
In October last year, the debt-ridden Taipower auctioned the superficies rights to a 795.7 ping plot of land in Jiaosi for NT$368.88 million to Lanyang Resort (蘭陽溫泉大飯店). Its accumulated losses amounted to NT$227.1 billion as of the end of July.
Three other plots of land in Greater Kaohsiung, Taipei and Penghu County will be auctioned next, Taipower said.