BUILDINGS designed to meet the demands of new technology are becoming an increasingly important asset class at Mapletree Industrial Trust.
The trust, which reported its full-year results yesterday, noted that its high-tech buildings segment has grown from 18.9 per cent of its portfolio to 23.5 per cent by valuation.
This segment has had two major boosts recently.
In March, international data centre operator Equinix opened a flagship facility in Ayer Rajah that was developed by the trust.
It has also begun redeveloping a Telok Blangah flatted factory cluster for Hewlett-Packard.
The project, which is set to be completed in 2017, will feature two new high-tech buildings housing manufacturing, product and software development facilities.
Such high-tech buildings comprise eight of the trust's 41 property clusters.
It said demand for industrial space that can meet the technical needs of higher-value manufacturing activity is rising, adding that high-tech buildings will drive growth.
The other segments in the trust's portfolio are flatted factories, business park buildings, light industrial buildings and stack-up/ramp-up buildings.
Net property income for the 12 months to March 31 rose by 6.5 per cent to $228.6 million while distributable income per unit (DPU) increased by 5.1 per cent to 10.43 cents.
The trust attributed the performance to its stable and diversified portfolio of 84 industrial properties that enjoy an average occupancy rate of 90.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT), whose portfolio of four properties is headlined by mega mall VivoCity, increased its DPU by 8.5 per cent to eight cents for the 12 months to March 31.
Net property income increased by 8.4 per cent, from $195.3 million last year to $211.7 million.
The bulk of that came from VivoCity, which accounted for $135.6 million of net property income.
In spite of "significant volatility" in interest rates, MCT's manager said the trust's portfolio is expected to stay "relatively resilient".