Singapore Reit's shares tumble after 'extensive damage' to its Hong Kong mall from protests

Protesters running next to a burning Christmas tree at Festival Walk mall in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Nov 12, 2019. The shopping centre is owned by Singapore-listed Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT).
Protesters running next to a burning Christmas tree at Festival Walk mall in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Nov 12, 2019. The shopping centre is owned by Singapore-listed Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT).PHOTO: REUTERS
Protesters vandalise Festival Walk mall in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Nov 12, 2019.
Protesters vandalise Festival Walk mall in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Nov 12, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS
Protesters are seen at Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong, China on Nov 12, 2019.
Protesters are seen at Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong, China on Nov 12, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS
A man reacts as he tries to extinguish a burning Christmas tree at Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong, China on Nov 12, 2019.
A man reacts as he tries to extinguish a burning Christmas tree at Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong, China on Nov 12, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Festival Walk, a shopping centre in Hong Kong owned by Singapore-listed Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT), suffered "extensive damage" after protesters attacked the mall on Tuesday night (Nov 12).

A few groups of protesters smashed the glass panels at the entrance to the property,  including the office lobby and balustrades on various levels of the mall, the real estate investment trust (Reit) said on Wednesday before the stock market opened.

The protesters also set fire to the Christmas tree within the mall, as well as the office lobby, the Reit said. The fires were eventually put out.

There were no reports of injuries at the property located in the Kowloon Tong area of Hong Kong, the Reit said.

Festival Walk has been closed since 2pm on Tuesday amid citywide disruptions, and will remain closed on Wednesday.

MNACT's manager is assessing the damage and will provide an update.

Units of MNACT faltered on Wednesday morning following news of the damage to Festival Walk mall in the midst of the city's unrest.

The Reit sank 4.92 per cent or six cents to $1.16 at 9.31am, and was trading at the same price at 1.30pm. The 21 million units that changed hands made it one of the most heavily traded counters on the Singapore bourse. 

Hong Kong entered a third straight day of chaos on Wednesday after a night of intense battles between pro-democracy protesters and riot police that saw some of the most violent scenes in more than five months of unrest.

 
 
 
 

On Tuesday, protesters overran City University adjacent to Festival Walk mall. Students in hard hats and gas masks spent much of Tuesday barricading the university campus, making shields, and stockpiling bricks and petrol bombs on bridges, Reuters reported.

On Sunday afternoon, altercations also broke out at Festival Walk during what was supposed to be a peaceful gathering of protesters. The manager's team was on site to immediately direct shoppers, tenants and their employees out of the premises, and the mall closed at 6.45pm on Sunday, MNACT said in a filing on Monday.

There was minimal damage to the property from Sunday's incident, and the mall had resumed operations on Monday.

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