YTL-REIT’s RM55mil Ipoh hotel acquisition a positive

The Star, Feb 9, 2024

PETALING JAYA: YTL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust’s (YTL-REIT) acquisition of the Syuen Hotel in Ipoh, Perak, is set to help the group capitalise on the anticipated resurgence in Malaysia’s tourism activities.

AmInvestment Bank said it viewed the acquisition positively, especially due to its strategic location and variable rental agreement plan for the property.

“The government’s initiatives such as the enhancement of visa-on-arrival facilities, social visit passes and multiple entry visas are expected to bolster Tourism Malaysia’s 2024 projection of international tourist arrivals in Malaysia to grow 24% year-on-year to 20 million,” said the research house in a report yesterday.

YTL-REIT announced on Wednesday that it was acquiring the Syuen Hotel from Syuen Hotel Bhd for RM55mil.

It said the hotel will be renovated and proposed to be reopened under the AC Hotels by Marriott brand, which the group believes will create value.

YTL-REIT said the property will be leased under a variable rental arrangement, where it will participate in the income to be generated from the property.

AmInvestment Bank noted that the property is situated in the heart of Ipoh’s city centre.

The research house said the property comprised a 48,857-sq-ft parcel of 999-leasehold land and a 290-room four-star hotel.

AmInvestment Bank said it is maintaining its earnings forecast for YTL-REIT for now, pending further clarification on the details of the variable rental arrangement.

The acquisition will see YTL-REIT’s financial year 2024 debt-to-asset ratio increase to 0.43 times from 0.42 times.

“We maintain a ‘buy’ on YTL-REIT with a higher fair value of RM1.26 per unit (from RM1.11 per unit previously),” it said.