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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Axis REIT plans bond sale in first half

AXIS Real Estate Investment Trust, the world’s only Islamic office and industrial REIT, plans a bond sale in the first half of 2009 to help refinance debt as it prepares for potential acquisitions this year.

“There’s nothing worse than having the sale of the century if you haven’t got any money to buy anything,” Stewart LaBrooy, chief executive officer of Axis REIT Managers Bhd, manager of the property trust, said in an interview yesterday. “There’s a lot of opportunities and fat pickings.”

Axis REIT, which is eyeing RM100 million (US$27 million) of property assets, may sell Islamic bonds under a seven-year program to refinance about RM220 million of debt, he said. It may also sell new stock to private investors.

Axis owns RM726.4 million of assets in Malaysia, from offices and warehouses to logistic centers. It is taking advantage of a global recession to snap up properties at cheaper prices and ride on an eventual rebound when economies recover.

Axis may raise about RM70 million selling new units to private investors to help fund any acquisitions, LaBrooy said. It raised RM90 million last year from a placement of 50 million units and will consider the fund-raising plan once it refinances its existing debt, he said.

Axis REIT’s stock has gained 18 per cent this year, making it the second-best performing property trust in Malaysia, outpacing the benchmark Composite Index’s 0.7 per cent decline.

By Bloomberg

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