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Malaysia's WCT plans to list real estate investment trust by 2017-end

Malaysian construction and property company WCT Holdings Bhd. is in talks with investment bankers and authorities to list its properties in a real estate investment trust structure before the end of 2017, The Edge Markets reported.

The company previously planned to launch a mall-focused real estate investment trust, or REIT, in early 2016 to give way to an IPO later in the same year.

The new REIT will hold more than 1 billion Malaysian ringgit of assets, starting with WCT-owned assets, the June 1 report noted, citing WCT managing director Datuk Lee Tuck Fook.

WCT is aiming to lower its gearing from the 0.9 times level as at 2016-end through the listing. A share placement in April of up to 125 million shares, along with the sale of property assets, also form part of the company's efforts to reduce gearing to below 0.6 times.

WCT is looking to generate 500 million ringgit from its sale drive, having achieved almost 200 million ringgit since January.

As of May 31, US$1 was equivalent to 4.28 Malaysian ringgit.