21 Nov

Ascott Buys Serviced Residence In Kuala Lumpur's Business and Lifestyle District

Ascott to capture larger market share in Malaysia with sixth property
Singapore, 21 November 2007 – The Ascott Group (Ascott) has signed a conditional agreement to purchase a 208-unit serviced residence from HSC Properties (HSCP) for RM 112.5 million (S$ 47.5 million).  The property, Ascott’s sixth in Malaysia, will be named Somerset Ampang when it opens in the first half of 2010.  Somerset Ampang will be strategically located in Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the business, shopping and entertainment district marked by Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang. 

When completed, the serviced residence will be part of an integrated development which will house one of Malaysia’s leading medical, heart and diagnostic centre, HSC Medical Centre.  The high-end medical centre will be separately owned and managed by HSCP.  It will occupy five levels of the 23-storey development with amenities such as a medical spa, restaurant and café.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong, Ascott’s Deputy CEO (Finance & Investment), said: “Demand for international-class serviced residences, especially in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, is expected to remain strong.  Given its excellent location in Kuala Lumpur’s business and lifestyle district, Somerset Ampang will enable Ascott to capture a larger share of the serviced residence market. Somerset Ampang will cater not only to the needs of business travellers but also to visitors of the medical centre who require post-treatment accommodation, as well as their accompanying families and friends.”

Mr Gerald Lee, Ascott’s Deputy CEO (Operations), said: "Somerset Ampang is our second ‘Somerset’ branded serviced residence in Kuala Lumpur. Having more serviced residences within the city enables us to leverage on the economy of scale and brand awareness for better operational efficiency and cross-selling.  Adding more properties in Malaysia also means that our customers can choose from a wider portfolio of serviced residences."

The Ampang area where the property is located, is a popular residential district among expatriates.  Numerous embassies and prime office buildings are also located in the vicinity.  The Ampang Park LRT (light rail transit) station is also within walking distance from the property.  Somerset Ampang will feature comprehensive facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasium and children’s playground.

With this acquisition, Ascott’s portfolio in Malaysia will increase to over 760 units when Somerset Ampang opens.  Ascott’s other properties in the country include Ascott Kuala Lumpur; Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur; Somerset Gateway, Kuching, as well as two corporate leasing properties in Kuala Lumpur.

The transaction is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets per share and the earnings per share of the Group for the current financial year.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with close to 14,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, as well as more than 5,500 units which are under development, making a total of over 19,500 units. 

The Group operates three brands – Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its portfolio spans 53 cities in 23 countries, 11 of which are cities where Ascott's serviced residences are being newly developed. 

The Ascott Group is headquartered in Singapore.  It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984.  It also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006.  Today, the Group boasts a 23-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Ascott Group's achievements have been recognised internationally.  Recent awards include TTG Travel Awards 2007 ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator’, Business Traveller UK Awards 2007 'Best Serviced Residence Company', Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards 2007 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' and 'Best Serviced Residence' and Forbes China 2008 ‘China’s Best Serviced Apartments. For a full list of awards, please visit https://www.theascottgroup.com/aboutus/awards

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed real estate companies in Asia.  Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.  The company's real estate and hospitality portfolio spans more than 100 cities in over 20 countries.

For more information on The Ascott Group’s property listings, visit https://www.theascottgroup.com/aboutus/group_directory.html