CapitaLand Retail China Trust - Patience is a Virtue
- FY16 NPI up 4% while DPU down 5% due to currency translation loss, below our expectations.
- NAV lifted from S$1.54 to S$1.60, same as our TP.
- Low single-digit reversion and higher interest cost expected in FY17.
- Maintain BUY.
Fears are overdone.
- Following the recent share price correction, we upgrade our recommendation on CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) from HOLD to BUY with an unchanged TP of S$1.60.
- While CRCT will face headwinds in the form of a weaker average RMB exchange rate, impact from higher property taxes in Beijing and an increase in interest rates over the next few quarters, we believe these risks have largely been priced in.
Earnings still gestating.
- The potential of CRCT’s malls have not been maximised as several properties are still ramping up or in a transition phase. These include
- Grand Canyon (acquired in 2014) which is generating an annualised net property income (NPI) yield of only c.5.3% (based on the original acquisition price) versus target range of 7-8%,
- Minzhongleyuan and Wuhu which are incurring losses due to nearby road closures and repositioning works respectively, and
- the recently announced acquisition of Galleria mall whose margins are suboptimal owing to previous management by third-party operators.
Upside from acquisitions.
- Post the acquisition of Galleria mall, CRCT’s gearing is stabilised at around 37% but will still be below the 45% limit imposed by MAS. CRCT has some debt headroom to leverage on increasing acquisition opportunities.
- Our understanding is that price expectations from potential sellers are now lower and some retail mall operators are looking to exit the sector given challengers in managing a retail asset.
- We maintain our DCF-based TP of S$1.60.
- At current levels, CRCT offers 13% capital upside and an attractive 7.2% yield.
Key Risks to Our View
- Downside risk to our view would result from a significant depreciation of the RMB versus SGD and downturn in Chinese consumption which will negatively affect tenant sales and rents at CRCT’s malls.