EC World REIT has reported lower distribution to unitholders as it held back 10% of the income amid the wider economic uncertainty. 

For 4QFY2020 ended Dec 2020, ECW will be paying distributions of 1.427 cents per unit, down 5.5% from 1.51 cents paid this time last year. 

Gross revenue for the same period was up 14.2% y-o-y to $29.5 million; net property income was up 11.1% y-o-y to $27.2 million. The REIT manager retained $1.28 million worth of income.

“We are heartened that our disciplined investment and proactive portfolio management strategies continue to contribute positively to ECW amidst uncertainties globally,” says Goh Toh Sim, executive director and CEO of the REIT manager.

He notes that as at Dec 31 2020, ECW’s portfolio occupancy was 99.3% with a weighted average lease to expiry (by gross rental income) of 3.4 years. 

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“This is a testimonial to our commitment to provide a sustainable and predictable stream of returns to unitholders. We will continue to work closely with our team in China to achieve predictable returns to our Unitholders,” says Goh, adding that the REIT manager has chosen not to receive performance fee due for the whole of FY2020.

ECW owns a portfolio of eight logistics properties located predominantly in one of the largest ecommerce clusters in the Yangtze River Delta.

The REIT manager notes that even though China’s economy grew 2.3% in 2020 instead of contracting like most other economies, challenges and instabilities continue to emerge from the evolving epidemic conditions and global macro environment. 

The REIT manager, citing independent valuations, is reporting that its portfolio is worth RMB8 billion as of Dec 31 2020, down slightly from an earlier valuation of RMB8.1 billion as at Dec 31 2019.

However, due to the appreciation of RMB against SGD, the valuation of the portfolio in Singdollar terms increased by 3.6% instead to $1.624 billion in the same period.

ECW closed Feb 23 at 72 cents, down 0.69%.