Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Straits Times: YTL plans to restructure Reits portfolios

Nov 19, 2009 
YTL plans to restructure Reits portfolios 

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Corp, Malaysia's biggest builder, says it will restructure its 8 billion ringgit (S$3.3 billion) property trust and hotel portfolio into distinct units ahead of acquisitions.

Its Singapore-listed Starhill Global Reit will become retail-centric, buying two Malaysian malls and the David Jones Building in Perth, Australia. Kuala Lumpur-listed Starhill Real Estate Investment Trust will focus on the hotel and hospitality industry, YTL chief executive officer Francis Yeoh told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

'This will benefit both Reits in terms of pursuing growth and development strategies in a single, focused class of assets,' Mr Yeoh said separately in a statement.

The restructuring will see assets under the Singapore trust significantly grow, while those under its Malaysian counterpart will initially shrink before other YTL hotel assets are potentially injected.

The trusts have underperformed this year. Singapore's Starhill Global Reit, previously known as Macquarie Prime Real Estate Investment Trust, has risen 39 per cent this year compared with a 56 per cent surge in the benchmark Straits Times Index. It currently owns two shopping malls in Singapore's Orchard Road, plus seven properties in Tokyo and one in Chengdu, China.

The Singapore trust will pay 1.03 billion ringgit to buy Starhill Real Estate Investment Trust's interests in Starhill Gallery and Lot 10 Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the statement said. It will also acquire the David Jones Building, one of just two retail pedestrian malls in Perth, from Centro Properties Group for $148 million, YTL said.

The purchases will increase the Singapore trust's portfolio size to about $2.5 billion.



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