CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust gets nod to expand beyond non-retail investments

KUALA LUMPUR (June 14): Unitholders of CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust (CMMT) today voted in favour for the real estate investment trust's (REIT) proposal to expand its asset classes to include business parks, logistics facilities, warehouses, distribution centres, data centres and integrated developments.

Low Peck Chen (pictured), CEO of CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust REIT Management Sdn Bhd (CMRM), the manager of CMMT, said the accorded flexibility will enable the REIT to invest in a comprehensive range of income producing assets, diversify CMMT's revenue stream and build a sector-diversified portfolio. CMRM is a joint venture between Singapore-listed CapitaLand Ltd and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd.

"A geographically and sector-diversified portfolio will benefit CMMT in the long term as it enhances the resiliency of its portfolio and is less susceptible to unprecedented adverse events and unforeseeable external-led events and factors," she said in a statement today.

"We will continue to strengthen the performance of the existing portfolio while pursuing inorganic growth via acquisitions of properties in existing and new asset classes, with financial discipline. We will also explore opportunities from both our sponsor CapitaLand and third parties," she added.

In a bourse filing, CMRM announced that approximately 100% of the total number of votes were in support of its proposal to expand CMMT's investment objective and policy beyond the retail sector and this includes commercial, office and industrial asset classes at CMMT's virtual extraordinary general meeting held today.

Upon obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, the investment mandate expansion is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021.

Consequently, the names of CMMT and the manager will be changed to CapitaLand Malaysia Trust and CapitaLand Malaysia REIT Management Sdn Bhd respectively upon obtaining the approvals of the relevant authority and shareholders. The new names are to reflect CMMT's expanded investment mandate.

"We are heartened by the support given by unitholders for CMMT's investment mandate expansion. The board of directors is aligned with the management team on this proactive move, which enables CMMT to explore other asset classes and pivot itself into new economy sectors beyond the retail sector," CMRM chairman Lui Chong Chee said.

"CMMT will be better positioned for growth by leveraging CapitaLand's expertise and gaining exposure to expanded asset classes. This will enhance the manager's ability in delivering sustainable distributions and total returns to unitholders in the long term," added Lui.

CMMT is currently a shopping mall-focused REIT, with a portfolio of five shopping malls and a complementary office block including Gurney Plaza in Penang, Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, 3 Damansara Office Tower in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and East Coast Mall in Kuantan, Pahang. Its total asset value stood at RM4 billion as at March 31, 2021.

CMMT units closed down 0.5 sen or 0.8% to 62 sen today, bringing a market capitalisation of RM1.3 billion.

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