FRASERS Centrepoint Trust, which owns three shopping malls in Singapore, may expand in China and Australia, seeking to tap rising consumer spending in the region.
‘We typically would like to go to a market where we’ve got some competitive advantage,’ Christopher Tang, chief executive officer of Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management Ltd, which manages the trust, said in an interview yesterday. ‘China is one of those, Australia is the other.’
Buying shopping malls in China would give Frasers access to a market where retail sales surged 16 per cent in the first nine months of this year, while Australia’s economy is benefiting from the lowest jobless rate in 33 years, which has stoked wage growth and fuelled consumer spending.
Mr Tang declined to specify acquisition targets, saying they were ‘opportunistic’. India is also on the trust’s ‘watch list’ for its expansion plans.
Frasers on June 5 bought a 27 per cent stake in Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns shopping malls in Malaysia, for RM104.5 million (S$45.4 million).
In Singapore, Frasers will add the Centrepoint shopping mall on Orchard Road to the trust, Mr Tang said, declining to specify a time frame. The Centrepoint mall is owned by Frasers’ parent, Fraser & Neave Ltd.
Frasers on Monday said it will distribute $10.3 million to its shareholders for the three months ended Sept 30, beating its forecast of $9.1 million as it raised rents at its properties.
Frasers fell 2 cents to close at 148 cents yesterday. — Bloomberg
Source : Business Times - 24 Oct 2007