02 Oct

I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited Makes Maiden Investment In Thailand Somerset Increases Presence in Thailand

Singapore, October 2 - The I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited and Somerset Holdings are stepping up their market presence in Thailand. Both investors have jointly set up a Thai property fund which has purchased two residential buildings and a townhouse in Bangkok's central business district for operation as a serviced residence project.

I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited, through its subsidiaries, has set up the IP Thai Property Fund (IPTPF) with subsidiaries of Somerset. Somerset has a 30 per cent stake in IPTPF, while I.P. Property Fund Asia owns the remaining 70 per cent.

Somerset is a leading owner and manager of serviced residences in the Asia Pacific while I.P. Property Fund Asia is a fund set up in Guernsey, Channel Islands. The fund is co-sponsored by ING Real Estate and Pidemco Land and managed by I.P. Real Estate Asset Management - a joint venture between ING Real Estate and Pidemco Land.

IPTPF has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Mandarin Hotel Public Company Limited, to acquire two prime residential towers, called Lake Point Executive Apartments & Executive Serviced Apartments, and a townhouse at Sukhumvit. The fund is paying 1.24 billion Baht (S$51.2 million) for the buildings. Mandarin Hotel is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

I.P. Property Fund Asia's chairman, Mr Jan Doets of ING Real Estate, said: "In line with the investment objectives of the fund, we believe investment in the serviced apartment sector of the Bangkok property market offers attractive returns to the mid to long term property investor, given the improving fundamentals of the Thai economy. Together with our co-investor, Somerset Holdings, we are confident of enhancing the value of our investment in Thailand."

Somerset's chief executive officer, Mr Kee Teck Koon, said: "This acquisition is in line with Somerset's strategies of growing our core serviced residence business through partnering international financial investors to capitalise on attractive investment opportunities in targeted cities; and to strengthen our market share in these cities to achieve optimum economies of scale in management and operations.

"If the proposed merger between Somerset and The Ascott is approved, our merged Group would with this acquisition, increase our serviced residence portfolio in Bangkok to five properties, with just under 1000 apartments," he added.

The Lake Point Executive Apartments & Executive Serviced Apartments is a newly completed project. It comprises a 26-storey tower with 199 units, which is currently operated as a full-serviced residence; and a 31-storey tower with 157 units operating as leased apartments with limited services.

The development, which boasts spectacular views of a lake and prime location in Bangkok's central business district, will be marketed under the 'Somerset' brand as a Somerset serviced residence.

Somerset's current presence in Bangkok includes the 150-unit Omni Tower serviced residence in the central business district. The Ascott Limited's presence includes the 300-unit Ascott Piraya which will open in Q3 next year, the 96-unit Stamford Court Thonglor and 61-unit Kallista Residences.

Somerset's investment in the Lake Point project is estimated at 373.9 million Baht (S$15.4 million). Somerset's investment in the Thai fund (IPTPF) is not expected to have any significant impact on its net tangible assets or earnings per share for the financial year ending December 2000. 


Issued by: Somerset Holdings Limited
8 Shenton Way, #13-01
Temasek Tower
Singapore 068811

I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited
c/o I.P. Real Estate Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd
50 Raffles Place, #34-02
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 048623
Date: October 2, 2000



Lake Point Executive Apartments & Executive Serviced Apartments
Location : 41, Sukhumvit 16, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110



Two blocks of residential apartments comprising Tower A and Tower B

Tower A
Storeys : 31 floors
Units : 157 apartments
Gross Floor Area : 29,867 sq metres
Tower B
Storeys : 26 floors
Units : 199 apartments
Gross Floor Area : 21,242 sq metres
Address : 176/7 Sukhumvit 16, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110

Site Area
: 76 sq metres
Seller : Mandarin Hotel Public Company Limited
Buyer :

IP Thai Property Fund
Owned by:
I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited (with 70% stake), through seven wholly owned subsidiaries. Somerset Holdings Limited (with 30% stake), through three wholly owned subsidiaries.




I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited
I.P. Property Fund Asia Limited (IPPFA) is a fund set up in Guernsey with a real estate investment focus in the five Southeast Asian countries of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. IPPFA was launched in December 1998 with an initial commitment of US$193 million from co-sponsors ING Real Estate and Pidemco Land Limited, as well as Dutch and Australian investors. Somerset's parent company, Pidemco Land Limited, holds 20 per cent stake in the fund.

The fund invests in and manages a diversified real estate portfolio comprising office, retail, residential and industrial properties in the five countries. Its investment in the Lake Point Apartments project represents the first of its investments in the property market in Thailand with its co-investor, Somerset Holdings Limited. The investment is held through a property fund set up in Thailand known as IP Thai Property Fund.

The fund is managed by I.P. Real Estate Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd (IPREAM), a fund manager based in Singapore. The board of directors of IPREAM comprises senior executives from Pidemco Land and ING Real Estate with considerable experience in real estate development, investment and management.

Somerset Holdings
Somerset Holdings has one of the largest portfolios of serviced residences and retail properties in the Asia Pacific. With over $2.1 billion in assets, it owns or manages over 3,200 executive residences and 307,000 square metres of retail space in 21 cities in 11 countries.

Its Somerset Residences brand comprises three tiers - Somerset Heritage luxurious black and white bungalows for CEOs and top-level executives, Somerset Grand elegant residences in prime business districts for top and senior executives, and Somerset Executive network of residences for middle and senior executives.

Somerset Holdings is the public-listed hospitality and retail subsidiary of Pidemco Land Limited.



Somerset Holdings Limited

Ida Lim, Vice President
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: 65867-230 Hp: 9-628-8339 Fax: 62272-220

Tay Cheng Cheng, Assistant Manager
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: 65867-231 Pgr: 9-2660-127 Fax: 62272-220


I.P. Real Estate Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd

Angelia Lim, Financial Controller
Tel: 5320-230 DID: 2326-370 Fax: 5325-778