Ascendas REIT - Maybank Kim Eng 2018-07-31: A Strong Start

Ascendas REIT - Maybank Kim Eng Research 2018-07-31: A Strong Start ASCENDAS REAL ESTATE INV TRUST SGX:A17U

Ascendas REIT - A Strong Start

In-line quarter, adjusting for recent deals; BUY

  • Ascendas REIT delivered a strong 1Q19 with core DPU up 4.0% y-o-y, in line with our estimate and slightly ahead of the street. We fine-tuned estimates to adjust for its recently announced deals.
  • We continue to see Ascendas REIT as the best proxy to recovering sector fundamentals given its concentrated business parks and high-specs portfolio.
  • Following its UK entry, we see further momentum on portfolio diversification efforts to drive upside to our 3.8% 3-year DPU CAGR estimate. 
  • Valuations based on our DDM SGD3.05 Target Price (WACC: 7.0%, LTG: 1.5%) remain undemanding given its scale, liquidity and visible growth strategy. 
  • BUY.

~ SGinvestors.io ~ Where SG investors share

Strong +10.5% rental reversion in Singapore

  • Ascendas REIT’s 1Q19 Revenue and NPI rose 1.5% y-o-y / 3.8% y-o-y and 0.4% q-o-q / 0.8% q-o-q. DPU of SGD4.00cts, excluding the one-off distribution in 1Q18, grew 4.0% y-o-y. The performance was driven by contributions from acquisitions in Australia (100 and 108 Wickham Street in Brisbane) and redevelopment of 50 Kallang Ave in Singapore.
  • Ascendas REIT’s portfolio occupancy fell q-o-q from 91.5% to 90.5% - while occupancy in Australia remained high at 98.6%, Singapore occupancy fell q-o-q from 89.5% to 88.1%. This was attributed to the newly completed 20 Tuas Ave 1 (at 51.1% occupied but pre-committed for another 40%) and non-renewals at SB Building and No. 31 International Business Park.
  • Ascendas REIT achieved strong +10.5% rental reversion for renewed leases in its multi-tenanted buildings in Singapore (at +5.6% for business and science parks, +24.8% for high-specs industrial and +5.5% for integrated development) with new demand led by the transport and storage sector (accounting for 46.7% of new demand). Management expects improvement in FY19 from +0.7% in FY18.

Portfolio activities, deal momentum up

  • During 1Q19, Ascendas REIT completed two acquisitions in Melbourne, Australia (No. 169-177 Australis Drive at AUD34.0m and No. 1314 Ferntree Gully Drive at AUD16.2m) and in Singapore a SGD61.4m redevelopment of 20 Tuas Ave 1 and a SGD12.3m AEI at 21 Changi South Ave 2. Its SGD373.2m UK logistics deal that was announced on 26 Jul is expected to close in 2Q19.
  • The AEI schedule now includes SGD26.1m for Aperia, Nordic European Centre, and 138 Depot Road.
  • Meanwhile, Ascendas REIT divested 30 Old Toh Tuck Road for SGD24.0m at end-Apr and will complete the sale of No. 41 Changi South Ave 2 for SGD13.6m (at 17% above valuation) in 2Q19. We have factored these in and its latest deals.

Swing Factors 


  • Earlier-than-expected pick-up in leasing demand driving improvement in occupancy. 
  • Better-than-anticipated rental reversion trend. 
  • Accretive acquisitions. 


  • Prolonged slowdown in economic activity could reduce demand for industrial space, resulting in lower occupancy and rental rates. 
  • Termination of long-term leases contributing to weaker portfolio tenant retention rate. 
  • Sharper-than-expected rise in interest rates could increase cost of debt and negatively impact earnings, with higher cost of capital lowering valuations. 

Chua Su Tye Maybank Kim Eng Research | https://www.maybank-ke.com.sg/ 2018-07-31
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY Maintain BUY 3.050 Same 3.050