SINGAPORE (Mar 19): Hangzhou, where Alibaba’s global HQ is located, could see an increase in demand for warehouse facilities investment given the city's direct exposure to China's booming online shopping sector, says Phillip Capital.
This would spell good news for EC World REIT (ECW), says analyst Tara Wong who recently visited all six of the REIT’s current portfolio assets as well as its two right of first refusal (ROFR) assets in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
One of the core cities within the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone with GDP growth of 10.98% in 2017, Hangzhou -- known as China's e-commerce capital -- clocked in a double-digit e-commerce growth of 40% alone last year.
ECW was listed on the SGX Mainboard in July 2016 with six logistics assets in Hangzhou. Its current portfolio valuation stands at $1.3 billion with a ROFR pipeline of two e-commerce properties of over 300,000 sqm GFA from its sponsor, Forchn Holdings Group.
Wong says ECW's e-commerce logistics assets provide an entire suite of physical facilities for major clients like JD.com and P&G. This is conducted through master tenant and Forchn-owned proprietary service RuYiCang.
Given Forchn's focus in logistics sector, ECW recently announced a collaboration with supply chain management company YCH Group.
In Feb, the REIT announced its maiden acquisition since IPO, of an e-commerce asset in Wuhan, Hubei province. This is expected to increase ECW's NLA of e-commerce logistics assets by up to 15%.
"There is a lack of like-for-like comparables due to ECW's unique offering -- both B2B & B2C under one house -- and sheer scale of assets," says Wong.
Phillip has no stock rating or price target on ECW which it does not cover.
As at 11.27am, units in ECW are trading at 74 cents.