ESR-REIT - RHB Invest 2020-03-19: Is This The Bottom?

ESR-REIT (SGX:J91U) | SGinvestors.io ESR-REIT (SGX:J91U)

ESR-REIT - Is This The Bottom?

  • ESR-REIT's Share Price has tumbled 43% over last one month (vs S-REITs -30%, see SREIT Share Price Performance) amidst a global market sell-off. Despite overall market gloom, we see its two key strengths ie pure-play exposure to the Singapore industrial sector (which has remained resilient through market cycles), and supportive/capable sponsor.
  • While near term share price movement remains unpredictable, we see its value emerging at 0.7x P/BV.

Industrial sector most resilient among various REIT asset class.

  • Key reasons being the inability to carry out operations remotely for the majority of industrial sectors, lower rental base, and substitution choices for industrial tenants and longer lease tenures (ESR-REIT’s WALE – 3.8 years).
  • The manufacturing sector still forms the backbone of Singapore’s economy, accounting for 21% of the country’s GDP in 2019 and we believe the Government has various policy measures and tools at its disposal to support the industrial sector should the economy enter into a recession.

A diversified tenant base mitigates potential tenant defaults.

  • ESR-REIT (SGX:J91U) derives income from 328 tenants across > 15 different trade sectors, with logistics (28%), info-comm & technology (13%), and manufacturing (12%) being the largest three. Based on our discussions with management, there has been no tenant default or an increase in late payments so far.
  • Management has also been constantly engaging with its Top 10 tenants (30% of rental income) and is currently monitoring the ongoing developments across various industrial sectors. Hyflux (SGX:600) (3% of rental income), one of the Top 10 tenants, has also been paying rent so far.

High gearing but 100% unencumbered assets.

  • ESR-REIT’s gearing of 41.5% is among the highest in sector. However, asset values need to fall by > SGD 200m or > 7% from the current level before a potential breach of ESR-REIT’s gearing threshold of 45% occurs.
  • Even in the worst case where such an event occurs, we believe the REIT’s sponsor will potentially step in and underwrite any potential equity fund raising.
  • In terms of debt maturity, ESR-REIT has already secured commitments for the SGD160m loan expiring this year at a lower interest cost, which should bring down the overall borrowing costs by 20bps. The next debt maturity is only in 2H21.

A supportive sponsor.

  • ESR-REIT’s sponsor, ESR Cayman (1821 HK), has a strong pan-Asian industrial sector experience and manages an AUM of > USD20bn across six countries. The sponsor has also been showing its commitment to the REIT by backstopping recent equity fund raisings.

DPU and valuation changes.

Vijay Natarajan RHB Securities Research | https://www.rhbinvest.com.sg/ 2020-03-19
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY MAINTAIN BUY 0.50 DOWN 0.600