Prominent Singapore landlord City Developments Limited (CDL) may likely spin off its retail properties into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

City Developments REIT CDL
Properties that may be in the CDL REIT include City Square Mall in the vicinity of Little India in Singapore. 

This revelation came from Standard Chartered analysts who opined that CDL's recent purchase of a shopping mall in Thailand has made the possibility of a REIT likely given challenging operating conditions for mall properties.

The newly acquired shopping mall known as The Jungceylon brings CDL's total retail portfolio to 1.7 million square feet in Singapore and Thailand. CDL's retail properties in Singapore include City Square Mall near little India and Palais Renaissance along Orchard Road. Other retail properties include several freehold strata units in Tanglin and Katong shopping centres. CDL also holds the 99-year leasehold for a cluster of conservation shop houses collective known as Central Mall at Havelock Road.

CDL has not disclosed the total value of its retail properties but according to a Straits Times interview with Standard Chartered analyst Regina Lim, it is likely to exceed S$1 billion.

Should plans for the REIT materialize, CDL joins a queue of keenly anticipated REITs that is expected to launch in the later part if 2013. They include SPH REIT, UOE REIT and Soilbuild REIT which have all been rumoured to come online this year.

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.