SINGAPORE (Dec 24): Real estate investment trusts sponsored by the Lippo group have had a difficult 2018 (see table). The worst performer was Lippo Mall Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT), down 50% based on unit price performance. While all the REITs are trading at discounts to their net asset values, OUE’s price-to-book is just 0.34 times, which is seen as a distressed level. The destruction of value is particularly stark because OUE could have been the ideal beneficiary and investment of choice, following the government’s implementation of additional property measures in July. 

Instead, OUE and the Lippo group moved assets around, unnerving investors. First, the good news. OUE is likely to announce a significant gain for 4QFY2018 and possibly a special dividend, when it incorporates the proceeds from the divestment of the office portion of OUE Downtown to OUE Commercial REIT (OUE C-REIT) for $908 million, excluding income support. 

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