Sunday, January 12, 2020

Elite Commercial REIT IPO - Early look

Note 2020-01-30 - As I have written a new article on Elite Commercial REIT largely superseding this article, please read this in conjunction with the newer article.

Elite Commercial REIT IPO - Now Open!

Elite Commercial REIT (Elite CREIT) is likely to launch IPO next week. This will be the first pure-play UK-focused REIT to list in Singapore Exchange.

Update 2019-01-19 - They have only filed preliminary prospectus so far based on The Edge Singapore's 17th Jan Article here. I've updated with a little bit more info from said article, indicated in blue. I intend to write and publish a new article after studying the confirmed prospectus.

What we know so far (based on The Edge Singapore's report):
  • Valuation of its portfolio is around GBP 320m. This is now indicated GBP 317.1m.
  • Its portfolio consists of 97 freehold properties all located in the UK. 
    • Of these, 25% of the properties (by rental income) are located in London (First tier city), with the remainder in second tier and third tier cities across UK. 
    • A search on the web gives some clarity (unable to verify this better on my end) on the definition of the city tiers (link here).
  • All of the properties are occupied by UK government.
  • Properties all let on co-terminus, fully repairing and insuring (triple net) leases.
  • UK's sovereignty rating is Aa2, the third-highest Moody's rating (see the link here to Wikipedia article for Moody's rating).
  • Forecast and Projected net property income of GBP 22.654m for FY 2020 and 2021.
  • 100% distribution from listing date till end of FY2021, and minimum 90% distribution subsequently.
  • Initial yield expected to be between 6% - 7%.
  • The management fee will consist of base fee of 10% of distributable income per annum and a performance fee element.
  • In additional to the management base fee, there is also a performance fee of 25% difference in DPU between the present financial year and the preceding financial year, multiplied by weighted average numbers of issued units in the financial year. This is only payable if the difference is positive (i.e. given only if the DPU is growing).
  • Major unitholders pre-IPO are Ho Lee Group, Sunway Group and Kim Seng Holdings. Other unitholders include Apricot Capital, Lian Beng and Partner Reinsurance, a unit of Exor 52.99% owned by the descendants of Giovanni Agnelli (FIAT’s founder).

Author's Note: One may be familiar with Apricot Capital and Lian Beng as Sembawang Shopping Centre was sold by Capitamall Trust to them.

Some report can be accessed via The Edge Singapore, Business Times and REITsweek:
Some discussions can also be found on Hardwarezone forum and ShareJunction forum:

While there is little information without the finalised prospectus, things I am paying more attention to before I decide whether to subscribe:
  • Forex opportunity/risk (GBP-to-SGD)
    • Do I see more upside or downside for this? If so, how much?
    • This also means the need to pay attention to UK news that could affect this in the longer term.
  • Gearing
    • How much will be the REIT's confirmed gearing at launch of IPO? As of 17th January 2019, this is expected to be 32%.
    • Gearing being too high means the need to raise capital via placements or rights issue instead of taking up more debt.
  • The valuation
    • How is the IPO priced relative to its valuation
    • How is it then priced in comparison to its peers listed in SGX?
    • This is also instrumental in evaluating the upside and downside in conjunction with Forex opportunity/risk.
  • The REIT's strategy for further growth to its yield and valuations?
  • After evaluating the above, if it meet my criteria for buying in?

What I like about Elite Commercial REIT

  • The management fee is aligned to the performance and hence the interest of the REIT
  • Responsibility for repairs is transferred to the tenants.
  • Tenancy virtually taken up by almost 100% UK Government.
  • Some safety factor exercised into tenant break options scenario to bring up the yield.

What I dislike about it:

  • Forex uncertainty - For now, I feel that GBP-SGD rates have at best, similar chances of downside, sideways and upside movement. Potential investors may see differently.

 Readers, what do you think of this upcoming IPO? Will you be planning to subscribe?

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