Link Asset Management Limited (Link), the manager of Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT; Hong Kong stock code: 823), today (Friday) announced the completion of its acquisition of two suburban retail assets in Singapore.
With the completion of the transaction, Link’s Singapore regional office has been established with 133 staff, representing 93% of the existing staff force. The team will bring with them their expertise in asset and property management and other operational capabilities, which will be instrumental in deepening Link’s presence in Singapore. In addition to managing the two malls under Link’s ownership, namely Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza, the team will provide asset and property management services for AMK Hub, a suburban retail mall under the ownership of Mercatus, marking Link’s first foray into managing third-party assets.
George Hongchoy, Link’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“The successful closing of the acquisition of Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza together with the asset management arrangement for AMK Hub signifies our first step in our evolving business model underpinned by the Link 3.0 strategy, under which we are committed to pursuing growth as we aim to optimise our portfolio through diversification and to grow our assets under management through an asset lighter model.”
The overall performance of the two acquired properties in Singapore was good. Tenant sales and footfall of Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza in January 2023 showed positive growth year-on-year, outperforming the 2.1% growth of Singapore’s total retail sales (excluding motor vehicles)*. For the full calendar year of 2022, both retail sales and footfall of these two malls saw double-digit growth year-on-year, a healthy tenant retention rate and positive rental reversion, reflecting the resilience in consumer spending in particular in suburban malls as compared to those in prime areas.
In connection with the closing of the transaction, Link has arranged two Singapore dollar four- to five-year term loans with an aggregate facility amount of approximately S$2.3 billion with DBS Bank Ltd. and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank). Approximately S$2.2 billion of the facilities were drawn today (31 March 2023) to finance the acquisition.
Link has also been in active dialogues with a number of potential joint venture partners for co-investment in these assets. If and when such a joint venture is formed, Link will make an announcement and comply with the REIT Code.
More details about the completion of the transaction are available in the regulatory announcement. A video where Mr Hongchoy elaborated on the Link 3.0 strategy can be viewed here.
* Monthly Retail Sales Index and Food & Beverage Services Index – January 2023, published by the Singapore Department of Statistics
Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823), is the largest REIT in Asia by market capitalisation#. It is managed by Link Asset Management Limited, a leading real estate investor and asset manager in the world. Since its listing in 2005 as the first REIT in Hong Kong, Link REIT has been 100% held by public and institutional investors. It is a constituent of the Hong Kong securities market benchmark Hang Seng Index, as well as a component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index, the FTSE4Good Index Series and the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index. From its home in Hong Kong, Link Asset Management Limited owns and manages a diversified portfolio including retail facilities, car parks, offices and logistics assets spanning from China’s Beijing, Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), and Yangtze River Delta centred around Shanghai, to the UK’s London, Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne and Singapore. Link Asset Management Limited seeks to extend its portfolio growth trajectory and grasp expansion opportunities in different markets in pursuit of sustainable growth.
For details, please visit https://www.linkreit.com.