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CapitaLand's The Ascott accelerates global expansion with 1st African investment

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CapitaLand's The Ascott accelerates global expansion with 1st African investment

The Ascott Ltd.'s global expansion plans are forging ahead, with the company signing management contracts for two properties in the Ghanaian capital of Accra to mark its first foray into Africa.

CapitaLand Ltd.'s serviced residence arm agreed to manage the 220-unit Ascott 1 Oxford Street Accra and the 40-unit Kwarleyz Residence. The two-tower Ascott 1 Oxford, tipped to be among the tallest towers in Accra, with a height of 230 feet above ground, is scheduled to launch in phases starting 2019, while Kwarleyz Residence is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In conjunction with the announcement of The Ascott's African expansion, the company also provided updates on its portfolio, which has increased to nearly 70,000 units so far in 2017, up from the more than 51,000 units recorded at 2016-end.

Lee Chee Koon, The Ascott's CEO, said that the company is on track to beat its goal of managing 80,000 units by 2020. Year-to-date, The Ascott entered 18 new cities across nine countries and added more than 21,000 units to its portfolio, its biggest-ever expansion in a year and representing twice the increase that was observed in the year prior.

On the expansion to Africa, Thomas Wee, Ascott's deputy managing director for India, Middle East and Africa, said the region's serviced residence industry has "significant untapped potential," adding that the two new properties it will manage in Accra will entice both business travelers and tourists.

Aside from its maiden investment in Africa, The Ascott's expansion in 2017 was also characterized by its A$180 million acquisition of an additional 60% stake in Australasian hotel operator Quest Apartment Hotels and its US$33.7 million purchase of an 80% stake in U.S. company Synergy Global Housing LLC.