29 Apr

Ascott Formalises Agreement With Addax Investment Bank To Launch 15 Serviced Residences In The Middle East And North Africa

Singapore, 29 April 2006 - The Ascott Group (Ascott) has signed a master development agreement with Addax Investment Bank, marking a significant step towards formalising their agreement to launch at least 15 serviced residences to be managed by Ascott across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by 2010.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed in November 2005, Addax Investment Bank will set up and manage an investment fund to finance the acquisition and development of the serviced residences. Addax Investment Bank will source for, acquire and develop the serviced residences using the fund, while Ascott will manage these serviced residences, provide technical consultation on the development, design and renovation of the properties as well as create marketing and branding programmes for the properties. The fund will be used to acquire and develop properties with initial focus in countries in the Middle East including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The first property is targeted to be operational in 2007. Possible sites in North Africa may be included at a later phase.

Yousef Al-Essa, General Manager, Addax Investment Bank said, “We are excited about moving our partnership with Ascott forward. Following our MOU last November, we have established a holding company called MENA Serviced Residence Company which will acquire and develop the properties. We will be inviting investors to raise an initial capital of US$100 million as part of the US$1 billion fund which we will set up to finance the acquisition and development of the properties.”

“The influx of business visitors and expatriates to the Middle East and North Africa has created demand for quality serviced residences. As a pioneer in serviced residence in Asia Pacific, Ascott has in-depth knowledge of the industry, well-established global infrastructure and proven expertise in managing serviced residences globally. Together with our partner, Addax Investment Bank, we will be tapping on the favourable economic and market conditions to provide premium serviced residences in the region,” said Mr Yip Hoong Mun, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific/Middle East, concurrently Chief Product & Operations Officer, The Ascott Group.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with close to 16,000 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Ascott's global presence spans 43 cities in 17 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an and Hong Kong in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand as well as Dubai in the Middle East.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. The Group also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, Ascott boasts a 21-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Group operates three brands – The Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its achievements have been recognised internationally; it has clinched numerous prestigious awards including the 2006 ‘China’s Top 100 Serviced Apartments’ award, Korea Times’ ‘Best International Serviced Residence Brand’ award, the ‘Highly Commended Deluxe Accommodation’ award at the 2005 Tasmanian Tourism Awards, ‘Best Accommodation’ at the 2005 World Travel Awards, TTG Asia Media’s 2005 ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator’ award, and the Business Traveller Asia Pacific’s 2005 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards. For a full list of awards, please visit : https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007

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 Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 70 cities in 18 countries.

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



Celina Low, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0475 

Hp: (65) 9682 5458 

Email: celina.low@the-ascott.com

Joan Tan, Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0474 

Hp: (65) 9743 9503 

Email: joan.tan@the-ascott.com

Lilian Goh, Head, Investor Relations

Tel: (65) 6586 7231  

Hp: (65) 9795 5225  

Email: lilian.goh@the-ascott.com