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Singapore Property News

Frasers Property poised for growth

The word "Centrepoint" in property group Frasers Centrepoint's name reflected the group's history as its first project in Singapore in the 1980s was the Orchard Road shopping mall.

Posted on 05-Feb-2018

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Frasers Property poised for growth

The word "Centrepoint" in property group Frasers Centrepoint's name reflected the group's history as its first project in Singapore in the 1980s was the Orchard Road shopping mall.

But since then, the group's exposure in real estate has gone beyond retail. Its portfolio has evolved to one that cuts across asset classes and geographies, with its assets now mostly in properties that provide recurring income. To reflect the change in portfolio, with effect from Thursday, the SGX-listed company is now called Frasers Property.

"Besides streamlining our portfolio, this name change provides greater clarity and unifies our collective brand equity, reinforcing Frasers Property's stature as a diverse, multinational business with great ambitions," group chief executive Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi said.

A diversified portfolio and geographical footprint enable it to pull in relevant expertise whenever a new opportunity comes along.

The group's buying spree last year included a 99.45 per cent stake in Geneba Properties, which owns and manages logistics and light industrial properties in Germany and the Netherlands, and five other warehouses in Germany. The acquisition of six German facilities in the last-mile logistics sector is under way. These will bring its logistics and industrial assets portfolio in Europe to more than $2 billion.

Separately, it acquired four business parks in the UK and recently acquired a fifth one jointly with Frasers Commercial Trust, bringing its commercial asset portfolio in the UK to more than $1.5 billion. It could also tap the operational expertise of Frasers Property Australia in underwriting the Geneba deal.

Rather than compete head-on for assets in open market tenders, the group also prefers to suss out off-market deals.

Mr Sirivadhanabhakdi recalled how the group managed to convince the vendor of the four UK business parks to sell its assets as a portfolio instead of piecemeal. "In my view, we closed the deal just in time because after that, the yields compressed very quickly," he said.

The group appointed a UK CEO last month to consolidate Frasers Property UK and build its business for the long term. When fully privatised, Geneba Properties will become part of Frasers Property Europe, and the current Geneba CEO will continue to lead the group's industrial and logistics expansion in the Netherlands and Germany.

Mr Sirivadhanabhakdi pointed out that the various acquisitions last year, as well as its 41 per cent stake in Ticon Industrial Connection, a developer of industrial properties in Thailand, reinforces the "network effects" in the commercial, logistics and industrial space.

In Thailand, another key market for the group, Frasers Property is also able to tap the local expertise of its major shareholder TCC Group and associate company Golden Land Property Development, a major developer in the country.

Phase 1 of One Bangkok, a mixed-use project that Frasers Property is jointly developing with TCC Group, is expected to open in late 2021 or 2022. Mr Sirivadhanabhakdi described the project as one that will create the "right name and returns" for the group.

The 40-year-old group CEO took over the reins in October 2016. His father, Mr Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, and his family control 87 per cent of the group. The former FCL was the property arm of Fraser & Neave before being spun off as a separate listing in 2014.

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