Manulife making second attempt to list Singapore Reit: Report

The Manulife Centre at Bras Basah Road.
The Manulife Centre at Bras Basah Road. PHOTO: CDL

SINGAPORE - Canadian financial services group Manulife has begin its second attempt to list its US office real estate investment trust (Reit) in Singapore, betting on better market conditions and an improved yield, FinanceAsia reported on Tuesday (April 19).

The publication said Manulife started pre­marketing the initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday and is aiming now for a May 20 listing.

It quoted bankers as saying the IPO could raise around US$500 million (S$670 million), slightly more than the S$569 million targeted last time.

It added that Manulife picked Singapore for the IPO in the hopes of getting stronger demand since Manulife US Reit, as the trust is officially named, will be the first pure­play US office Reit to be listed in Asia.

Its first attempt to list the Reit last July was stymied by the China stock market rout, fears that Greece might be forced out of the European Union, and expectation of a US interest rate hike.

FinanceAsia said new deal could offer an annualised dividend yield of 6.5 to 7 per cent for 2017, an increase of least 20 basis points to the last offer.

Manulife has also effectively enlarged the office portfolio's total net lettable area by 23 per cent to 1.8 million square feet, and its net asset value by 10.5 per cent to US$799 million, said FinaceAsia.

It added that cornerstone investors could potentially collectively take a bigger slice of the IPO - of 40 to 50 per cent - compared to 23.56 per cent previously.