MTI to keep close watch on industrial property market

The Ministry of Trade and Industry said it will continue to keep a close watch on the industrial property market and will release more land when necessary to ensure a stable and sustainable market.

Trade and Industry minister, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, said this in a written response to a question posed by MP Zaqy Mohamad, Member of Chua Chu Kang GRC.

Mr Zaqy had asked whether the ministry had assessed the real estate investment trust segment which operates industrial properties.

The MTI said that prior to its divestment exercise, the nation’s industrial infrastructure developer JTC Corporation had 4.4 million square metres or 12.8 per cent market share of industrial space, in terms of lettable area.

It sold 1.2 million square metres of this to Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd in 2008 and sold another 0.3 million square metres to Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd and the other tranche by Mapletree Industrial Trust this year.

The buyers were required to cap the rate of rental escalation at five per cent per annum for three years to ensure business continuity with existing tenants. Tenants of more than 10 years were also extended discounts for continuous tenancy, MTI said.

MTI said that apart from monitoring the industrial property sector together with JTC, it will release more land from the Industrial Government Land Sales programme, it will also look into implementing other measures if needed.

Currently, there are seven industrial REITs in Singapore, and together they own 17 per cent or 6.6 million square metres of the total industrial space here.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 22 Nov 2011

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