CWT Pte Ltd has not defaulted on rent, says MLT

Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) became the latest Singapore landlord to state that logistics provider CWT Pte Ltd, whose Hong Kong parent has failed to pay creditors, has not defaulted on its rental payments.

Trust manager Mapletree Logistics Trust Management said on Tuesday night that CWT Pte Ltd had no arrears due to date from current tenancy agreements for five MLT properties at 5A Toh Guan Road East, 4 Pandan Avenue, 6 Fishery Port Road, 38 Tanjong Penjuru and 52 Tanjong Penjuru.

MLT also noted that it holds security deposits of six months of rental.

CWT Pte Ltd is a top tenant for MLT, with a revenue contribution of 9.1 per cent for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, as disclosed in its results presentation dated Jan 21 this year.

On Tuesday, CWT Pte Ltd's parent, CWT International, said it was facing claims by creditors after it missed interest and fee payments to lenders of a HK$63 million (S$10.9 million) amount, triggering a cross default of a HK$1.4 billion facility.

CWT International's 100 per cent stake in CWT Pte Ltd is charged as security for that debt, raising the possibility that the lenders could seek to take possession of CWT Pte Ltd if CWT International did not pay up by yesterday.

Concerns about CWT Pte Ltd's ability to pay its rent led to a selldown on Tuesday of real estate investment trusts in Singapore that are landlords for the Singapore tenant.

MLT units closed at $1.42 on Tuesday, down 4 per cent. Cache fell 5.3 per cent to close at 71.5 cents, while Aims Apac Reit (AA Reit) slipped 1.4 per cent to $1.39.

Cache Logistics Trust and AA Reit have both said CWT Pte Ltd had not defaulted on its rental payments and that there were no arrears due.

CWT International's parent HNA Group was one of China's most acquisitive companies until it began facing liquidity challenges and pressure from the government, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The conglomerate has agreed to sell more than US$25 billion (S$33.8 billion) of assets since last year. Despite that, it is still struggling to repay its debt. The group repaid a local note after a delay last month.

CWT Pte Ltd has a $100 million note due today and another bond of the same amount due in March next year, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2019, with the headline 'CWT Pte Ltd has not defaulted on rent, says MLT'. Print Edition | Subscribe