Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust's Gateway Plaza. (Photo: Mapletree)Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust's Gateway Plaza. (Photo: Mapletree)

The original developer of Gateway Plaza, Beijing Bestride, has filed an appeal on 2 January to the Supreme People’s Court of China against the dismissal of a litigation action concerning the property.

Gateway Plaza is one of two properties under the portfolio of Singapore-listed retail and office REIT Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust (MGCCT) (SGX:RW0U).

Beijing Bestride alleged that there was a loan of RMB210 million (SGD44.64 million) made to HK Gateway Plaza Company Limited in June 2007. The litigation action was initiated against a subsidiary of MGCCT to recover the purported loan along with interest to the tune of RMB54.86 million.

In a judgment dated 18 December 2014, the claim was dismissed by the Higher Court as being without merit. According to an official statement released by MGCCT, that was the second time that the litigation action has been dismissed by the Higher Court, the first dismissal being the ruling dated 7 December 2012.

MGCCT’s manager said on 6 January that it will be contesting the appeal with the assistance of its counsel in China. However no details were given as to when a judgement on the appeal is expected to be delivered.

In a prospectus filed in conjunction with its listing in 2013, MGCCT indicated that the seller of Gateway Plaza, Mapletree India China Fund, has given a limited indemnity to the REIT in relation to the litigation action regardless of its outcome.

Maple tree Greater China Commercial Trust's property at the heart of the litigation, Gateway Plaza.
Maple tree Greater China Commercial Trust's property at the heart of the litigation, Gateway Plaza.

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.