Mapletree ramps up overseas business

Mapletree ramps up overseas business

SINGAPORE - Mapletree Investments, which recently announced a record net profit of $931.7 million for its latest financial year, is looking to ramp up its overseas business and potentially list a real estate investment trust (Reit) made up of office assets in Japan in two years.

Plans for the Japan Reit are still fluid as the office portfolio is small, but Mapletree's chief executive officer Hiew Yoon Khong shared in a recent interview with The Business Times that it is currently the most likely of Mapletree's property portfolios to go into a Reit.

The group, meanwhile, is gearing up for a bigger presence in China, where it has assets under management (AUM) of about $6.8 billion including its properties in Hong Kong - or about 31.5 per cent of its total AUM of $21.8 billion. And with $4.5 billion in total cash and undrawn facilities as at March 31 and net gearing at almost zero, the group is eyeing new markets such as Australia.

Apart from Singapore, Mapletree already has exposure to real estate markets in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea and India.

Mr Hiew said that Mapletree's growth in China will be the fastest across all the markets, largely because of the economy's sheer size.

The group is currently syndicating its second China fund, likely to be in the range of US$1 billion to US$1.4 billion, which with gearing could bulk up to between $2 billion and $2.8 billion and will be deployed over two to three years.

Mapletree's first fund with exposure to China is the Mapletree India China fund, which is fully invested with a focus on commercial and mixed-use projects in Tier One and Two cities in China, and Tier One cities in India.

Earlier this year, Mapletree kickstarted construction of two large-scale development projects in China.

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