It is a loan proposal that has raised eyebrows, and perhaps understandably so.

Beleaguered office landlord Manulife US REIT (MUST) recently disclosed that it plans to take on a USD137 million loan, with financing terms that might have been viewed by some as questionable.

The loan will be extended by the REIT’s sponsor, Manulife, as part of a wider recapitalisation plan that includes the divestment of an asset that was acquired by the REIT in 2021.

MUST is a Singapore Exchange (SGX)-listed office REIT that owns a portfolio of 11 assets in the US and these are located across Arizona, California, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

It has been in the spotlight in recent months, most notably for exceeding the 50% gearing limit set by Singapore’s financial regulations for REITs, amid falling property valuations.

Related: Manulife US REIT jumps 22% on high volume of married deals

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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.