Keppel Reit purchases Singapore office stake

Property trust willpay Keppel Land S$1.25b for a third of Marina Bay tower

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2014, 6:07am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2014, 6:07am

Keppel Reit, the second-biggest office property trust in Asia excluding Japan, will buy a stake in a Singapore office tower from Keppel Land valued at S$1.25 billion (HK$7.64 billion).

The trust agreed to buy a third of Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 from its sponsor Keppel Land, it said in a statement.

Keppel Reit is seeking to raise S$228 million in a placement by selling units at S$1.17 each and will separately issue S$185 million of new units to Keppel Land, its biggest investor, it said.

Keppel Reit is looking to sell older assets to help fund acquisitions, chief executive Ng Hsueh Ling said in January. The office landlord sold its majority stake in the 30- storey Prudential Tower for S$512 million in May.

"The acquisition of MBFC Tower 3 and the divestment of Prudential Tower will enhance and transform Keppel Reit's portfolio in terms of age and quality of assets, as well as improve the portfolio property fundamentals," Ng was quoted as saying in the statement.

The stake in Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 was valued at S$2,790 per square foot by the two companies.

Cushman & Wakefield estimated the stake's market value at S$1.281 billion while Savills gave a valuation of S$1.276 billion, Keppel Reit said.

Keppel Land seeks to increase its presence in Singapore, China, Indonesia and Vietnam, said Tan Swee Yiow, Singapore president of the company at a recent briefing in the city state.

Singapore office rents may rise 30 per cent during the next two years, according to Christopher Fossick, managing director for Singapore and Southeast Asia at property broker JLL.

The low supply of office space until 2017 will drive up rents, Fossick said.