Ascott hits global target of 40,000 units, 6 months ahead of schedule

Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat.  -- PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD
Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat.  -- PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD
Ascott Harmony City Nantong. -- PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD
 Somerset Harbourview Sri Racha. -- PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed CapitaLand announced on Thursday that its wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Ltd, had achieved its target of 40,000 apartment units globally ahead of its planned schedule of end 2015.

In May, Ascott secured 10 new contracts in the cities of Nantong, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Wuxi and Nanjing in China, Jakarta in Indonesia, Bangkok and Sri Racha in Thailand as well as Muscat in Oman. Ascott said this raised its portfolio by over 2,000 units to more than 41,000 units in 270 properties across 91 cities in 25 countries, cementing its position as the world's largest international serviced residence owner and operator.

Said Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's chief executive officer: "Ascott has been expanding aggressively to achieve our milestone of 40,000 units globally ahead of schedule. This year, Ascott has so far added 18 properties in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Oman and the UAE. We also opened eight properties with another 15 more to open in China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Oman and Saudi Arabia this year."

"Such an expansive growth demands an intimate understanding of the market and an ability to establish the right local alliances. To double our portfolio to 80,000 units by 2020, our strategy is to expand through investments, management contracts, strategic alliances and franchises."

Mr Lee added: "As we seek to deepen Ascott's presence in key cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, we will take advantage of economies of scale across our global footprint to reap operational efficiencies, cost savings as well as international sales and marketing benefits."

In China, Ascott entered a new city, Nantong, with the management contract for the 160-unit Ascott Harmony City Nantong which is slated to open in 2017. Ascott has also inked contracts to manage the 242-unit Ascott Marina Xiamen (opening 2020), 224-unit Ascott TEDA MSD Tianjin (opening end 2015), 218-unit Somerset Qianjiang Xincheng Hangzhou (opening 2018), 184-unit Somerset Harmony City Wuxi (opening 2017), as well as 204-unit Somerset Olympic Nanjing and an adjacent block with 361 apartments (opening from 2016).

The addition of the new properties will further reinforce Ascott's position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in China with over 14,000 units in 77 properties, the company said.

Ascott also expanded its presence in Indonesia by securing the management contract for Ascott Menteng Jakarta with an estimated 150 units. The serviced residence is scheduled to open in 2019.

In Thailand, Ascott has secured the 125-unit Somerset Maison Asoke Bangkok (opening 2018) and 193-unit Somerset Harbourview Sri Racha (opening 2017). It said these will strengthen Ascott's leadership position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Indonesia and Thailand with more than 2,300 apartment units in 11 properties and over 2,100 units across 12 properties respectively.

In the Sultanate of Oman, Ascott has secured a contract to manage its first Citadines Apart'hotel in the country. The 87-unit Citadines Al Ghubrah will open in Oman's capital of

Muscat in 2017. This will be Ascott's second serviced residence in Oman. Its first, Somerset Panorama Muscat, is slated to open later this year. It will raise Ascott's portfolio in the Gulf region to more than 2,200 apartment units across 14 properties in five countries - Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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