Keppel REIT has clinched the top spot for large cap office property fund in the GRESB survey for 2014.

Singapore-listed office landlord Keppel REIT has strengthened its portfolio down under by acquiring a 50 percent stake in a freehold office property located in the heart of Melbourne. The property at 8 Exhibition Street is fully tenanted and expected to be an immediately accretive acquisition.

Keppel REIT has an asset size of approximately S$6.6 billion comprising nine premium commercial assets strategically located in the central business districts of Singapore, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

8 Exhibition Street is an office property located in the prime part of the Melbourne Central Business District and is one of the city's architectural landmarks. Rising on top of the historic Herald and Weekly Times Building, the 35-storey freehold prime commercial building has a total net lettable area of approximately 480,309 sf with 3,304 sf of ancillary retail space on the ground floor. As of this writing, the building is 100 percent leased to tenants in the aviation, financial advisory, tax and transaction services sectors.

The acquisition is priced at A$160.2 million or approximately S$192.4 million. Keppel REIT intends to fund the acquisition with a combination of equity and debt to provide DPU accretion to unit holders.

Ms Ng Hsueh Ling, CEO of Keppel REIT Management, has described the acquisition as "a rare opportunity to acquire a freehold premium grade office building in the most prime part of Melbourne's CBD".

"This Acquisition, which is immediately DPU accretive, is in line with our aim to generate steady and sustainable returns for our Unitholders", she said in an official company statement.

This latest acquisition will add on to four Australian property interests currently in the portfolio of Keppel REIT. They are namely a 50 percent interest in 8 Chifley Square and the office tower at 77 King Street which is both in Sydney, a 50 percent interest in 275 George Street in Brisbane, as well as a 50 percent interest in the new office tower to be built on the site of the Old Treasury Building in Perth.

Units of Keppel REIT are currently trading at S$1.41 on the SGX.

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.