11 Oct

Ascott Strengthens Presence as Largest Serviced Residence Company in Thailand with its Sixth Serviced Residence in Bangkok, Bringing its Total Portfolio to 1,300 Units

The Ascott Group, a leading international serviced residence company is fast strengthening its leadership presence in Bangkok, Thailand by winning another contract to manage a 265-unit serviced residence in the heart of Bangkok's thriving Sukhumvit business district. Ascott will manage the property for ten years with the option to renew for another ten.

The new property, named Somerset Grand Sukhumvit, is Ascott’s third property in the Sukhumvit area, and is targeted for launch in the 1st quarter of 2008.

Somerset Grand Sukhumvit will be developed by the Prasanmit Residence Co. Ltd, a company owned by the Narula family who is well-known in the Bangkok hospitality industry.

The largest international serviced residence operator in Bangkok, Ascott now has over 1,300 units in six properties in the prime Sathorn and Sukhumvit areas.

Attractive location and stylish interiors

Somerset Grand Sukhumvit is located in the prime Sukhumvit business district close to banks, financial institutions, large companies, embassies, international schools, hospitals and daycare centres. Furthermore, it is just a 5-minute walk to the BTS skytrain station and subway.

The 38-storey property will offer its residents a choice of studio apartments as well as one, two and three-bedroom units. To be purpose-built and designed to meet the needs of discerning international executives and expatriates who may be on business or leisure, each unit will be tastefully furnished and well-equipped.

Tapping on Bangkok’s fast paced growth

Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Cameron Ong said: "Bangkok is one of the fastest growing serviced residence markets in Asia today. We understand that Bangkok’s new international airport is slated to open in October 2006. It is supposed to accommodate 45 million passengers a year, 76 flights an hour, and over 3 millions tons of cargo. That presents a tremendously attractive opportunity for the hospitality industry, particularly in the Mekong Delta area.”

“As the largest serviced residence owner-operator in Bangkok with 1,300 residence units, Ascott is well poised to tap on the growth potential, to capture a larger slice of the serviced residence market which has been growing in popularity," added Mr Ong.

Ascott’s portfolio of properties in Bangkok includes The Ascott Sathorn, Somerset Lake Point, Somerset Park Suanplu, Somerset Suwan Park View and Omni Tower.

The management contract for Somerset Grand Sukhumvit is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of The Ascott Group for the current financial year.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with 15,000 serviced residence units in the key cities of Europe, Asia Pacific and the Gulf region.

Ascott's global presence spans 40 cities in 17 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia/NZ; and Dubai in the Gulf region.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered the Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 21-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The group's flagship The Ascott luxury-tier brand projects an elegant lifestyle appealing to top executives. Its Somerset upper-tier brand offers stylish, contemporary living for senior to upper management executives. The Citadines brand provides corporate executives with vibrant urban lifestyle residences.

Recent awards the group has clinched include First Position in the 2005 ‘China's Top 100 Serviced Residences’ ranking for its eight properties in China; 2005 Vietnam Economic Times' ‘Best Service in Serviced Apartments’ awards in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; and 2005 Thailand Apartment Living’s ‘Most Innovative Serviced Residence’ award for The Ascott Sathorn in Bangkok. The Ascott in Malaysia was ranked among the top four best employers in Malaysia. The ranking was compiled by Hewitt & Associates, a global human resource services firm, in their Best Employer in Asia 2005 study.

The group has also won the 2005 and 2004 Business Traveller ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence property’ in Asia Pacific awards; and ‘Best Annual Report’ and ‘Best Operating & Financial Review’ awards at the 2004 Singapore Annual Report Awards.

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, Ascott is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed property companies. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia, Australia and Europe. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans 70 cities in 17 countries.

For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations on (65) 6272-7272 or visit www.the-ascott.com.