COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Keppel REIT's NPI up 1.49% to $133.1m in 2018

DPU slipped 2.45% to $0.556.

Keppel REIT improved its net property income (NPI) in 2018 by 1.49% YoY to $133.1m from $131.2m in 2017, an announcement revealed. However, distribution to unitholders dipped 0.88% YoY to $189.05m from $190.73m in 2017 whilst distribution per unit (DPU) slipped 2.45% YoY to $0.556.

For Q4, the REIT’s NPI dropped 15.77% YoY to $30.53m from $36.24m for the same period last year. Distribution to unitholders slipped 4.26% YoY to $46.15m whilst DPU fell 4.9% YoY to $0.136.

It was in December when Keppel REIT sold a 20% non‐controlling stake in Ocean Financial Centre to Allianz Real Estate for $537.3 m. Approximately $77.1m of capital gains were realised, which translate to an attractive net asset‐level return of 8.3% p.a. over the holding period.

Also read: Keppel REIT divests 20% stake in Ocean Financial Centre to Allianz for $537.3m

“The partial divestment allowed Keppel REIT to unlock part of the capital gains from this premium Grade A office building, whilst maintaining continued exposure to the strengthening Singapore office market through its controlling stake of 79.9%,” they explained.

The REIT has also committed about 967,200 sqft of leases in Q4, bringing the total committed spaces across the portfolio for the year to approximately 2.9 million sqft where a third are new leases and expansions.

“New leasing demand and expansions were mainly contributed by government agencies as well as the banking, financial services, energy and natural resources sectors,” they noted.

On average, Keppel REITrevealed that signing rent for the Singapore office leases was approximately $11.102 psf pm for FY 2018, above the Grade A core CBD market average of $10.263 psf pm for the same period.

The REIT’s portfolio committed occupancy was 98.4% as at end December 2018 and portfolio tenant retention rate was 83% for 2018.

“Amidst a volatile macro‐economic environment, the manager remains focused on delivering stable and sustainable distribution through ongoing portfolio optimisation, as well as driving operational excellence in its asset and capital management efforts,” they said.

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