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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Axis REIT Managers on buying spree

AXIS REIT Managers Bhd (ARMB) targets to manage some US$500 million (RM1.6 billion) worth of assets and is in the process of buying more properties in the Klang Valley and Johor.

ARMB, manager of the Axis Real Estate Investment Trust, an Islamic office and industrial property trust, now manages 23 properties worth a combined RM952 million, ranging from offices and warehouses to logistic centres and hypermarkets.

By end-2012, it will manage 27 properties worth a combined RM1.2 billion, ARMB chief executive officer Stewart LaBrooy told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

ARMB is buying a logistics warehouse in Port of Tanjung Pelepas and a Tesco hypermarket in Johor, as well as the Axis Technology Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and the Axis PDI Centre in Klang, Selangor, totalling RM240 million.
LaBrooy said the deals, except for Tesco, will be completed by October this year. ARMB is still in negotiations to buy the hypermarket.

He added that ARMB is also in the midst of buying the Axis Techpoint 1 in Petaling Jaya, a logistics warehouse in Johor and an office building in Cyberjaya, through third party transactions.

The acquisitions, worth a combined RM190 million, will be completed by early next year, he said.

LaBrooy also said ARMB will place out 68.82 million units next month or about 20 per cent of its current fund size, to raise RM132 million for the acquisitions.

"As you get bigger, the placement gets larger and you can do more. We can accumulate bigger assets and put them in our balance sheet, placing us in the big boys club," he said.

LaBrooy said ARMB will continue to look for valuable assets in prime areas with long term returns.

ARMB's net profit for the quarter to June 30 2010 almost doubled to RM21.9 million due to the higher value of its properties.

"It is always our intention to be in the billion ringgit club. We have reached the first step of development, which is to surpass the RM1 billion mark.

"What is next is to reach RM2 billion. We will work very hard to get to that level. Anything we buy must have a long term strategy," LaBrooy said.

He added that ARMB may dispose of some of its current assets that have fully matured.

By Business Times

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