KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 11): Businessman Datuk Eddie Ong Choo Meng (pictured) “could emerge as a substantial unitholder of retail KIP Real Estate Investment Trust as early as this week”, The Edge Malaysia reported in its latest issue.

The weekly stated that Eddie will likely “take over the stake held by KIP REIT’s former managing director Datuk Chew Lak Seong and its non-independent executive director Datuk Ong Kook Liong”.

Chew and Kook Liong are the co-founders of the KIP Group of Companies, which KIP REIT is part of.

Chew, however, died in June, so his wife, Datin Teoh Siew Chin is the beneficiary of his units in the REIT.

If Eddie does end up as substantial shareholder of KIP REIT, it would provide himwith a ready platform for the injection of property assets held under both his private companies and listed entities”, wrote the business publication. He is known to own a portfolio of factories and warehouses.

Eddie, who is also executive director of agrochemical company Hextar Global Bhd, declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Edge.

KIP REIT’s malls under the KIPMall brand are located in Tampoi, Masai and Kota Tinggi in Johor; Senawang and Bangi in Selangor; in Melaka; and the AEON Mall Kinta City in Ipoh.

According to previous reports, even with the pandemic situation, KIP REIT saw its net profit rise 10.48% to RM35.22 million in FY2021, from RM31.88 million in FY2020. This was on the back of a marginal decline in revenue to RM74.2 million, from RM74.5 million.

Meanwhile its net property income for FY2021 increased marginally to RM56.7 million, from RM56 million. The REIT declared a total distribution of 6.84 sen per unit, totalling RM34.6 million for the year.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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