26 Feb

The Ascott Group Strengthens Presence In Australia With New Management Contract in Melbourne

The Ascott Group has secured a management contract to operate a prime serviced residence in Melbourne, extending further its presence in Australia.

The group's first such project in the city, the serviced residence will be developed as part of the refurbishment of the 26-storey Myer House at Elizabeth and Lonsdale streets in Melbourne's central business district.

Currently a retail-cum-office complex, the property will be refurbished and converted by its developer, Australand Holdings Ltd, into 135 serviced apartments from the fourth to 10th floors and 200 residential apartments on the upper levels.

The Ascott Group's chief executive officer, Mr Kee Teck Koon, said: "Melbourne's position as a major business, industrial, academic and research centre in Australia draws many business travellers. This project enables us to tap into the growing demand for serviced residences there and extends our network in Australia.

"Securing management contracts with minimal capital investment is in line with our strategy to grow our inventory of serviced residences and, at the same time, improve capital productivity. We target to grow to 15,000 units by 2005 from our current 6,000 units, and increase our stock of managed/leased properties to one-third of our total portfolio," added Mr Kee.

Ascott International, The Ascott Group's management arm, will operate the serviced residence for 10 years with an option to renew the contract for a further two five-year terms. The property will be marketed under the group's Somerset brand of serviced residences.

When completed in the second half of 2002, the serviced residence will boast a fully-equipped gymnasium, a spa-pool and jacuzzi area with sauna rooms, a roof top barbecue area, meeting rooms and a lounge.

Tenants will also enjoy the convenience of living within walking distance of the retail and F&B outlets at Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, the popular Bourke Street Mall and Chinatown. Myer House is also minutes away from the business district at Collins Street.

In Australia, The Ascott Group currently manages the 69-unit Somerset Hyde Park Executive Apartments in Sydney. Its entrance into the Melbourne market with the Myer House project is in line with the company's strategy to grow its network of serviced residences in major cities and achieve the critical mass to establish global brands.

The Ascott Group is Asia Pacific's largest serviced residence company. Created through the merger between The Ascott Limited and Somerset Holdings Limited in November 2000, the Group owns and/or manages over 6,000 serviced residence units in 16 cities in 10 countries.

Headquartered in Singapore, the Ascott Group's shares trade as "Ascott" on the Singapore Exchange. The group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, Southeast Asia's largest listed property company.


Ida Lim, Vice President Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: 65867-230 Hp: 9-6288-339 Fax: 62272-220

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

Issued by : The Ascott Limited