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YTL Corp to inject U.K assets into REIT

   
The YTL Corp's Cameron Highland Resort in Pahang
New Straits Times, October 5, 2019

By SHAREN KAUR, bt@mediaprima.com.my

The group, through YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd, owns and operates five luxury hotels in the UK.

They are The Academy Hotel in Bloomsbury district, Threadneedles Hotel, here, Monkey Island Estate in Bray, Berkshire, on the River Thames, Gainsborough Bath Spa in Bath and the Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland.

YTL Corp executive director Datuk Mark Yeoh said all the five hotels were performing well in terms of occupancy and revenue.

“The hotel business has been robust since we acquired the properties. All the numbers are positive. The yields are good, giving us over six per cent per year. We continuously aim for higher numbers,” he said, here, yesterday.

Yeoh, who is also executive director for YTL Hotels, said the group had invested about £100 million (RM515.22 million) to acquire and refurbish the properties in the last three to four years.

He said YTL had a global mandate to grow the REIT business and it had been expanding steadily over the years.

YTL REIT, listed in 2005, had a market capitalisation of about RM2.28 billion as at Thursday, with a portfolio of hotel properties valued about RM5 billion. The hospitality assets range from business to luxury hotels and they are located in unique locations worldwide.

In Malaysia, these include the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur (Hotel and Suite wings), the Pangkor Laut, Tanjong Jara and Cameron Highlands Resort and the Vistana chain of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kuantan.

The international portfolio comprises Hilton Niseko Village and The Green Leaf Niseko Village in Japan and the Sydney Harbour, Brisbane and Melbourne Marriott hotels in Australia.

“When we invest in a property, we give it a three- to five-year horizon. Our properties have to be ‘REIT-able’. We have investors or unitholders who have been with us for the long term. We have investor dialogues and they always ask us about expansion. “We told them when the hotel business matures and gives a lot of yield, we will oer it to the REIT and this is what we are working on. The numbers are getting there for the London properties,” he said.

YTL REIT’s fourth-quarter net property income (NPI) grew 3.7 per cent year-on-year due to higher master leases, due mainly to the The Green Leaf Niseko Village acquisition in September last year.

The NPI rose to RM60.26 million in the fourth quarter ended June 30 this year, from RM58.11 million a year ago.

“Our REIT is now giving over six per cent, so whatever assets we put in they must achieve ‘REIT-accretion’. The UK assets are just perfect to grow YTL REIT.

“We have a pipeline of assets coming in and we want to constantly give to the REIT. By early 2021, YTL REIT will be bigger than its current size,” said Yeoh.




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