Festival Walk mall damaged during Hong Kong protest to remain closed, says Singapore Reit

Anti-government protesters had set fire to the Christmas tree and caused other damage in Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong on Nov 13, 2019.
Anti-government protesters had set fire to the Christmas tree and caused other damage in Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong on Nov 13, 2019.PHOTOS: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The manager of Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) said on Tuesday night (Nov 19) that its Festival Walk shopping mall in Hong Kong remains closed until further notice.

Due to extensive damage suffered last week in the city's unrest, recovery works at the property, including the cleaning up of debris, and the assessment of repair works required are ongoing.

Insurers have been notified and the assessment of claims is under way, the real estate investment trust's (Reit) manager said.

"We are assisting and working closely with our tenants as the mall is not operational," the manager added.

Metal hoardings have been erected at parts of the mall for safety and security precautions.

Units of MNACT tumbled on Nov 13 following news overnight that anti-government protesters had smashed glass panels at Festival Walk's entrances and set fire to the Christmas tree in the mall.

The mall has been closed since Nov 12 amid citywide disruptions. A DBS note on Nov 13 was of the opinion that sentiment on MNACT will remain cautious. "We believe that over time, the landlord may have to rethink potential tenant incentives in order to work together with tenants to ride out the current uncertain operating environment in the near term," the note stated.

The Singapore-based Reit generated about 62 per cent of net property income from Festival Walk for its second quarter ended Sept 30.

MNACT units closed down one cent or 0.86 per cent at $1.15 on Tuesday, before the announcement was made.