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Talks of Ascendas-Singbridge REIT in Singapore resurface after US buy

Ascendas-Singbridge Pte. Ltd.'s entry into the U.S. market with the acquisition of a 33-office portfolio prompted market buzz that the company is preparing to list an office real estate investment trust in Singapore, The (Singapore) Business Times reported.

Unnamed sources said the REIT will hold the U.S. properties. The financial details for the acquisition were not disclosed but an unnamed analyst told the paper that the deal's value would be at US$1 billion, minimum.

A media report from 2015 that said the office REIT route is part of Ascendas-Singbridge's medium-term plans was also noted in the Sept. 8 article.

When asked about the potential creation of a REIT, Ascendas-Singbridge Chief Investment Officer He Jihong said the company continues to explore options to maximize stakeholder returns and that it takes into account its overall strategy and market conditions when deciding to recycle capital.

Ascendas-Singbridge is a 51/49 joint venture between Singapore state-owned companies Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd. and JTC Corp. It has assets under management worth north of S$20 billion and provides urbanization projects in 28 cities in Asia.

Some U.S.-focused REITs listed in the city-state are Manulife US REIT and Keppel-KBS US REIT, raising US$519.2 million and roughly US$448.0 million, respectively.