Singapore's ­Ascendas moves to divest hospitality portfolio

Singaporean fund manager ­Ascendas ise seeking to sell a number of Australian hotels, placing its AUD$1.4-billion ­hospitality portfolio on the ­market. The Ascendas Hospitality Trust has seven properties in Australia, and controls more than 4,200 rooms across the country and in China, Japan and Singapore.

As The Australian reports, the portfolio is the ­second major group of hotels to hit the market within the month, and comes after 18 months in which offshore groups have set benchmarks for Australian hotels, acquiring landmark properties and pushing transaction ­volumes to unprecedented highs.

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Ascendas' move could augur more portfolio sales rather than piecemeal sales, particularly in Asia Pacific. Earlier this month, M&L Hospitality, controlled by the Singapore-based Kum family, placed its 2,089-room hotel portfolio, which includes Sydney’s Sheraton Four Points and Melbourne’s Hilton DoubleTree, on the market.

Hotel performance in Australia has not gone unnoticed by investors. Asian investment house Bright Ruby acquired the Hilton Hotel in Sydney this year for $442 million, while Singaporean developer Far East Organisation and the Hong Kong-listed Sino Land Company swooped on the five-star Westin Sydney at 1 Martin Place for $445.3 million.

Singapore remains the largest investor country in Sydney’s hotel market, accounting for 29 percent of rooms, while ­ownership by Chinese and Hong Kong investors has increased from “effectively zero” to 18.4 percent, according to the Knight Frank figures.

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