20 Mar

Ascott Expands Presence In London With New Property on the Edge of The City

The Ascott Group, Asia Pacific's largest serviced residence company, has secured a 15-year headlease for an 80-unit apartment property on the edge of The City of London.

The move deepens the group's reach in the London serviced residence market where it already commands a 12 per cent market share.

The property, St Marks, is owned by London and Henley, a leading London residential investment company jointly owned by The British Land Company PLC and Security Capital European Realty.

Comprising from studio to two-bedroom apartments, St Marks is located in Islington, an area in the City Fringe of London enjoying regeneration and development into a trendy activity hub.

Built in the early 1890s with Victorian architecture, the restored St Marks is close to restaurants and wine bars, supermarkets and banks. It is near the Angel and Old Street underground train stations, and offers easy access to the business and financial centre in the City.

Ascott will operate St Marks as part of its collection of corporate leasing residences for short to medium term stay.

The Ascott Group's chief corporate and investment officer, Mr Benett Theseira, said:"We are looking at securing more headleases and management contracts in the UK. Leases such as St Marks' enable us to rapidly increase our footprint in the country, yet remain asset light with good capital productivity. A larger portfolio also means greater economies of scale and operational synergies.

He added: "The supply of apartments for short term lease in London is limited due to local regulations. While there are about 150,000 residential units in London for rental, only 3,500 can let for less than 90 days. We see good demand from local executives on short term assignments and young professionals with families who work in the City."

The Ascott Group is one of the largest international serviced residence chains in the UK with a portfolio of 783 units in London, Manchester and Glasgow. It targets to grow to 2,500 units by 2005 to further enhance its market leadership in the country. The group sees its operational base in London as a springboard for its expansion to other major European cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels and Milan.

About London and Henley

London and Henley is a leading investor in residential property in London, and is owned equally by The British Land Company PLC and Security Capital European Realty.

British Land is a major UK property investor listed on the London Stock Exchange. It owns a portfolio of prime properties valued at over £9 billion including offices, retail and residential properties.

Security Capital European Realty is a Luxembourg-based real estate operating company whose investments include self-storage, office and parking facilities.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is Asia Pacific's largest serviced residence company. It manages a portfolio of 7,600 serviced residence units in 19 cities in 10 countries across Asia, Australasia and the United Kingdom.

In its drive for international leadership in the serviced residence industry, the group today commands pole positions in many gateway cities such as Singapore, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney and Melbourne.

The group pioneered the Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts an 18- year industry track record and serviced residence brands that are market leaders in the Asia Pacific.

The group’s luxury The Ascott brand projects an elegant lifestyle appealing to top executives. The Somerset brand offers stylish, contemporary living for senior to upper management executives.

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: (65) 6586 7230 Hp: (65) 9628-8339 Fax: (65) 6227 2220
Email: ida.lim@the-ascott.com

Tay Cheng Cheng, Assistant Manager
Tel: (65) 6586 7231 Hp: (65) 9010-0627 Fax: (65) 6586 7202
Email: tay.chengcheng@the-ascott.com