Trust controlled by Li Ka-shing reports a net income of $20 million Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust plans to seek a secondary listing in Hong Kong after announcing yesterday a huge gain in third-quarter net income. The real estate investment trust (reit), controlled by Li Ka-shing, registered $20.33 million in net income available for distribution in the period between August 13 and September 30, up 119.31 per cent from $9.27 million in the same period last year. According to listing rules, Fortune must distribute 100 per cent of its tax-exempt income to investors. The firm, which listed in August, said the hefty earnings increase was because last year's results excluded two of five shopping malls which were sold to the trust. Contributions from the two malls did not begin until October 1 last year. It said its quarterly distribution per unit would be 4.3 cents, up 9.6 per cent from 3.92 cents forecast in its listing prospectus. Gross rental income reached $27.02 million for the period, up 107.07 per cent from a year ago. At present, Fortune's five shopping malls have an average occupancy rate of 83.4 per cent. The properties - The Metropolis Mall, Ma On Shan Plaza, The Household Centre, Smartland and Jubilee Court Shopping Centre - together house more than 380 tenants. The Singapore-listed trust yesterday said it had appointed a legal adviser to assist in the process of seeking a Hong Kong listing. But Clara Lau, vice-president and senior credit officer at Moody's, said Hong Kong was unlikely to see its first reit before the end of next year. Based on the experience of other countries, it would normally take more than a year between the introduction of government rules and the launching of the first trust. 'Given that the code was launched in August this year, our guess is that we would start seeing the first reits coming out by the end of next year,' Ms Lau said. 'Bear in mind that in Singapore, where the rules came out in 1999, we didn't see the first reits until 2002.' The likeliest reit candidates would be companies whose core businesses do not involve real estate but somehow maintain a large holding of property. Ms Lau said large property developers would prefer holding on to their core assets. 'Our belief is that corporations with a more diverse business model would more likely be the first ones [to list],' she said.