Mapletree to handle JTC Reit

Expected to list on SGX by middle of the year.

More than a year since its decision to divest its industrial properties, JTC corporation – Singapore’s biggest industrial landlord – has appointed Mapletree Investments to establish and manage a real estate investment trust (Reit).

The Reit is expected to list on the Singapore Exchange by the middle of the year, subject to market conditions, said JTC.

“We received quality submissions from a wide range of international and local players. All proposals were evaluated based on individual merit against an objective set of criteria and Mapletree was chosen after a rigorous selection process,” said JTC chief executive officer Ow Foong Pheng.

JTC invited proposals to be submitted in May last year, after which it shortlisted seven potential Reit managers.

The divestment is part of JTC’s pledge to encourage greater competition in the industry property market and for the government agency to exit the development of ready-built industrial facilities in market segments where there is active private sector participation.

Out of the approximately 1.7 million square metres of industrial space intended for divestment, a “significant majority” will be placed in the Reit, while the rest will be sold through trade sales, JTC earlier said.

The properties are worth a total of between $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

The Reit’s portfolio will comprise a wide range of high-rise ready-built properties including flatted factories, ramp-up and stack-up factories, and multi-tenanted business park buildings.

Calling the asset portfolio “attractive” and “well diversified in terms of tenancy, location and asset type”, Mapletree CEO Hiew Yoon Khong said the properties also enjoy high occupancy rates, a good quality tenant base and long-staying tenants.

“We are confident that we will be able to add further value to this portfolio of assets,” said Mr Hiew.

Mapletree is the sponsor for SGX- listed Mapletree Logistics Trust and the co-manager of Lippo-Mapletree Indonesia Retail Trust, the first Indonesia retail Reit offering in Singapore.

It also intends to list a commercial trust with a $3-billion to $3.5-billion portfolio in the coming months.

Source : Weekend Today – 2 Feb 2008

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