SINGAPORE ⸺ Trading in shares of Singapore’s biggest property developer CapitaLand Ltd were halted on Monday morning ahead of the release of an announcement, according to a stock exchange filing.
Trading in units of its Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs), Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Ascendas, CapitaLand China Trust, and Ascendas India Trust was also halted.
CapitaLand, which is just over 51% owned by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, has a market value of S$17.4 billion ($13 billion). The halted CapitaLand units have a total market value of S$33.6 billion.
“CapitaLand has been looking to integrate its REITs to boost scale. The current environment could be a good time to bring all of these together,” said one source familiar with REIT M&A.
CapitaLand, which posted its first annual loss in nearly two decades in 2020, and other developers have been facing a challenging operating environment due to the pandemic.
Singapore’s REIT sector has seen a string of consolidation deals over the past two years.
In 2019, CapitaLand completed an S$11 billion cash-and-stock deal to acquire Temasek’s shares in Ascendas-Singbridge, which owns logistics and industrial assets, in a deal that created Asia’s largest real estate investment manager.
Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Anshuman Daga; Editing by Richard Pullin; Reuters