Westgate and Jem Closes For 2 Weeks

Westgate

Starting today Sunday 23rd May 2021, Westgate and Jem closes for 2 weeks. The reason for the closure is to perform deep cleaning as the authorities suspected there is ongoing transmission among the visitors to these two malls located at Jurong East.

Westgate was fully acquired by CapitaMall Trust (now Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust) through the purchase of the balance of 70.00% of the units in Infinity Mall Trust which holds Westgate on 1st November 2018. As of 31st December 2020, the mall has estimated 246 tenants.

The other shopping mall Jem was not directly owned by Lendlease Global Commercial REIT (“LREIT”). LREIT acquired a stake in Jem through an investment of 5.0% equity stake in Lendlease Asian Retail Investment Fund 3 Limited (the “Fund”) on 1st October 2020.

Westgate and Jem Closes For 2 Weeks – What is The Impact?

Deep Cleaning Cost

At this point of writing, I am not sure who will bear the cost of the deep cleaning. The cleaning is a big feat given the size and lettable area of the malls. If the cost is bear by the managers of the mall, this will add on to the operating expenses which in turn erodes away distribution to unit holders.

Tenant Rebates

Since tenants are not able to operate, it is most likely the managers will provide certain form of COVID-19 assistance or rental rebates even though there is no confirm news at this point in time that they will do so. This means lesser gross revenue and also reduced amount for distribution to unit holders.

Shopper Traffic

Even though the malls will open after 2 weeks, I bet shoppers will shun the malls for a period of time given the fear of potential lurking around viruses.

Current Dividend Yield

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Share Price 21 May 2021

Based on Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust’s current share price of S$2.05 and FY20 Distribution Per Unit of 8.69 cents, this translate to a current dividend yield of 4.24%.

Lendlease Global Commercial REIT Share Price 21 May 2021

Based on Lendlease Global Commercial REIT current share price of S$0.74 and FY20 Distribution Per Unit of 3.05 cents, this translate to a current dividend yield of 4.12%.

Opportunity For Investors

Should the share price fall when stock market opens tomorrow, this poses an opportunity for interested investors of Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust and Leadlease Global Commercial REIT to buy upon weakness.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust 1Q2021 Update

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust has released its 1Q2021 business update on 26th April 2021. The trust is formed after the merger between CapitaMall and CapitaLand Commercial Trust was approved on 29th September 2020.

Gross revenue increased by 63.9% Y-o-Y to S$334.8 million. Net Property Income (NPI) also increased by 66.6% Y-o-Y to S$247.1 million.

If we look at the gross revenue breakdown, the retail segment performed poorly as compared to the previous quarter.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Retail Performance 1Q2021

Below is the Gross Revenue and Net Property Income contribution from the office segment.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Office Performance 1Q2021

The combined performance shows that the office segment pulled up the overall financial results.

CapitaLand Integrated Development Performance 1Q2021

Occupancy

Overall portfolio occupancy stood at 95.9%. Portfolio Weighted Average Lease Expiry by Gross Rental Income stood at 3.1 years.

The retail portfolio occupancy stood at 97.1%.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Retail Occupancy 1Q2021

As you can see from the chart above, the closure of Robinsons have some form of impact on Raffles City Singapore. Occupancy fell from 98.5% in 2020 to a low of 90.9% as of 31st March 2021. When I last visited the mall, the vacated space by Robinsons have yet to be taken up.

Clarke Quay’s occupancy was affected by government-stipulated restrictions on trading hours and sales of alcohol at nightlife venues like clubs, karaoke joints and bars without food licenses. I guess this was worsen by the measure the government put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic lock down.

The overall office portfolio occupancy stood at 94.9%. With the exception of Six Battery Road, the rest of the offices occupancy rate looks healthy to me.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Office Occupancy 1Q2021

Six Battery Road’s occupancy expected to remain as such until partial upgrading is completed in phases.

Debt

As of 31st March 2021, the gearing ratio stood at 40.8%. This was a slight increase as compared to the gearing ratio of 40.6% as of 31st December 2020.

After the merger, 95.8% CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust’s assets are unencumbered. Gone are the days whereby 100% of CapitaMall Trust’s assets are unencumbered.

Average term to maturity stood at 4.4 years.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Debt Maturity 1Q2021

Current Dividend Yield

Based on the current share price of 2.20 cents and 2020 distribution payout of 6.95 cents, this translate to a current dividend yield of 3.159%.

Not advisable for dividend investors to buy at this price due to the non-attractive yield unless you believe the trust will increase its DPU payout moving forward.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Share Price 28 Apr 2021

Summary

Based on the business updates, we can see that the retail segment has yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the progressive rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination and the relaxation of government rules, we can see shoppers returning to the malls.

Following Phase 3 reopening on 28 Dec 2020, shopper traffic recovery gained momentum
while tenants’ sales rebounded in 1Q 2021. This is good news for retail REITs.

CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Shopper Traffic 1Q2021

The only hesitation to buy into CICT is the dividend yield which is non attractive at the current share price.