SPH Reit offers tenants tailored help to weather coronavirus outbreak

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – SPH Reit is giving its tenants additional help to weather the coronavirus outbreak in the form of assistance packages tailored to individual tenants’ circumstances, it said on Thursday (Feb 27).

The real estate investment trust (Reit) plans to engage its tenants to assess the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and adjust the packages accordingly “as tenants with different trade types have different operating metrics”, said SPH Reit CEO Susan Leng.

The relief packages come on top of the 15 per cent property tax rebate announced in Budget 2020 that SPH Reit plans to pass on to qualifying tenants.

It will also introduce initiatives to encourage visits to its assets in March 2020, such as offering more complimentary parking and preferential rates or full waivers for the use of atriums or common areas for collaborative events with tenants.

The malls under SPH Reit will continue to operate on standard hours, but tenants will be allowed to shorten hours to reduce staff costs and aid in manpower planning.

“With the outbreak of Covid-19, it is imperative that we work together to overcome the challenges and better position ourselves post Covid-19,” said Ms Leng.

“The tenants’ assistance scheme, together with the other initiatives, will help mitigate the decline in footfall and tenant sales in our assets,” she added.

SPH Reit’s manager has also put in place precautionary measures such as intensifying cleaning and disinfecting of its malls, especially at high human traffic contact points such as toilets, lifts, refuse bins and hand rails.

Units of SPH Reit closed at $1.03 on Thursday before the announcement, down two cents or 1.91 per cent.

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