Ascendas Reit's rent waivers to tenants in Singapore total less than $20m so far this year

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Ascendas Reit (A-Reit) estimates that rent waivers provided to its tenants in Singapore year to date amount to less than $20 million.

The actual amount to be disbursed will depend on tenants' eligibility assessment by the authorities.

This amount is in addition to the Singapore government's property tax rebates and cash grants which the trust will fully pass through to eligible tenants.

The information is part of a filing by A-Reit on the Singapore Exchange website on Sunday (June 28), of its responses to shareholders' questions submitted ahead of its virtual annual general meeting on Monday.

"SME (small- and medium-sized enterprise) tenants currently make up less than 20 per cent of Ascendas Reit's Singapore portfolio by gross rental income. About 12 per cent of these tenants are F&B and retail SMEs and the remaining 88 per cent are industrial SMEs," A-Reit said.

To date, none of the trust's tenants has pre-terminated a lease due to Covid-19 in all the four countries that A-Reit operates in - Singapore, Australia, Britain and the United States.

Asked about the impact of rental deferments and rebates given to tenants on the trust's distribution per unit for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2020, A-Reit said: "There will be an impact on the dividend distribution, although...the impact of Covid-19 on Ascendas Reit has been minimal. So far, we see no reason to hold back any dividends and we will continue to monitor the circumstances and business environment."

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