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Tenant diversification, unencumbered properties help derisk Manulife US REIT

Goola Warden
Goola Warden8/16/2019 6:30 AM GMT+08  • 6 min read
Tenant diversification, unencumbered properties help derisk Manulife US REIT
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(Aug 19): With five US real estate investment trusts listed on the Singapore Exchange, Jag -Obhan, chief financial officer of Manulife US REIT’s manager, clearly wants MUST to differentiate itself. How has the REIT done this? “By derisking,” Obhan says. “Derisking the balance sheet, portfolio, tax issues and tenant profile.”

From just three properties at IPO, MUST, through a series of acquisitions, now owns a portfolio of eight properties, of which two are trophy buildings and the remainder, Class A buildings. In May, the REIT bought Centerpointe I and II in Fairfax, Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington, DC, for US$122 million ($169.4 million) at an implied capitalisation rate of 7.55%.

Rental escalations and the acquisition of two properties in 2018 — Phipps in Atlanta and Penn in Washington, DC — helped grow net property income for 1HFY2019 by 30.8% y-o-y to US$52.3 million.

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