SINGAPORE (Oct 16): Units in AIMS APAC REIT fell as much as 8.8% immediately after the lifting of a trading halt at 12.51pm, after an announcement that sponsor AIMS Financial Group had exercised the call option for 70.3 million units of AA REIT previously held by AMP Capital Investors and its affiliates.

Subsequently, AIMS has also undertaken a secondary placement of the sale units at $1.35 each to predominantly new investors including high quality institutional, sovereign wealth, family office and high net worth investors across Asia Pacific and Europe.

The placement exercise was carried out by Merrill Lynch (Singapore), DBS Bank, and Maybank Kim Eng Securities.

The sponsor says the call option and subsequent secondary placement was undertaken with the intention of helping AA REIT to diversify the investor base, enhance the investor profile, and to improve the trading liquidity of the units of AA REIT.

Units in AA REIT plunged 8.8% to $1.35 immediately after the announcement, before clawing up to $1.37 with 95.3 million units changing hands as at 4.13pm – some 11 cents lower than its closing price of $1.48 on Oct 15.

In a statement, AIMS says it has “consistently demonstrated its commitment to AA REIT” since becoming its sponsor in 2009, and has been steadily increasing its unitholding over the last 10 years.

“AIMS Financial Group reaffirms its long-term support to AA REIT and will ensure that it delivers sustainable and stable long-term returns to unitholders,” it adds.