Frasers Centrepoint said to weigh IPO of Australand properties

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Singapore-listed Frasers Centrepoint is considering listing a real estate investment trust (Reit) in Singapore backed by Australian office and industrial properties, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Frasers Centrepoint could sell units in the Reit, backed by assets from its A$2.6 billion (S$2.61 billion) purchase of Australand Property Group, as soon as this year, depending on market conditions, the people said. The offering could seek at least US$500 million (S$716.3 million), the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private.

Frasers Centrepoint's offering could provide a boost to the Singapore bourse, which hosted just US$366 million of first-time share sales last year, the lowest in at least a decade, data compiled by Bloomberg show. An index tracking 32 property trusts listed in the city-state has fallen 15 per cent over the past year, compared with a 26 per cent drop in the benchmark Straits Times Index.

Frasers Centrepoint is currently reviewing and exploring the proposal of establishing a REIT to be listed in Singapore as one of the various options to optimize and unlock value from its assets, including Australian industrial assets, the company said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange Wednesday. The considerations and discussions are still ongoing and no decision has been made as to whether the transaction will take place, according to the statement.

Frasers Centrepoint, controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, acquired Australand Property Group in 2014. The company's Australian operations were its biggest revenue contributor in the year through September 2015, accounting for 44 per cent of sales, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Singapore company, which had S$23.1 billion of total assets last year, develops and invests in property in Singapore, Australia and China, according to its website. It has already formed Reits in the hospitality, commercial and retail sectors.