Company Briefs: Ascott Reit; OCBC Bank

Ascott Reit

The manager of Ascott Reit said yesterday that the extraordinary general meeting resolutions relating to the real estate investment trust's merger with Ascendas Hospitality Trust have been passed.

This will pave the way for Ascott Reit, Singapore's first and biggest hospitality trust - with $5.7 billion in total assets - to become the largest hospitality trust in the Asia-Pacific and the eighth largest globally with combined assets of $7.6 billion.

Out of all valid votes cast at the meeting, 99.98 per cent, or 1.31 billion, of units represented voted in favour of the merger. The number of unit holders present was 680, with 96.2 per cent, or 654, voting to approve the proposed Ascott Reit scheme.

Shareholders TAL and SCPL as well as Ascott Reit's manager abstained from voting on resolutions pertaining to the approval of the Ascott Reit acquisition, the proposed issuance of consideration units and the approval of the proposed unit issue price.

TAL, SCPL and Ascott Reit's manager hold 21.9 per cent, 14.4 per cent and 8.7 per cent of total Ascott Reit units, respectively.

Through increased access to a larger capital base and a higher debt headroom of about $1 billion, the combined entity will also have greater financial flexibility in seeking more accretive acquisitions and value enhancements.


OCBC Bank

OCBC Bank aims to expand its lending to environmentally friendly projects after this year, building the biggest exposure to green loans among its South-east Asian peers, reported Bloomberg.

The bank has built a team of five to focus on sustainable financing after a foray into green loans last year and is looking to add bankers, said Mr Mike Ng, the Singapore bank's head of structured and sustainable finance. So far this year, OCBC has participated in more than US$500 million (S$681 million) of green lending, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

More banks in Asia are piling into environmentally focused loans after a regional association last year agreed on principles that standardise disclosure rules.

OCBC wants to build a sustainable finance portfolio of $10 billion by 2022, and is almost halfway towards that goal, Mr Ng said. The target will include lending that is classified as green loans and focused on environmental, social and governance initiatives, renewable energy, water and green transport, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe