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Link: A World Class Real Estate Investor and Manager
Q&A with George HONGCHOY, Executive Director, CEO of Link Asset Management Limited (Manager of Link REIT (Link)
Link CEO George Hongchoy
Corporate Avenue 1 & 2 in Shanghai
|Artists impression of the |
Kowloon East commercial
development in Hong Kong
|Temple Mall North in Hong Kong||EC Mall in Beijing|
How would you sum up the vision of Link REIT?
Link strives to be a world class real estate investor and manager serving and improving the lives of those around us. Our brand promise--We LINK people to a brighter future--highlights our commitment to help build thriving communities and consistently improve in everything we do.
To be a world class real estate investor and manager
Building relationships with our stakeholders through
- Providing value and quality service
- Partnering with local communities
- Delivering sustainable growth
Managing and operating our business with
How did you rank in Institutional Investors2016 Most Honored Companies award?
We are glad to have ranked third among the Most Honored Companies in Asia, and received other affirmative rankings in the Property category. Our efforts to maintain high standards of corporate governance and investor relations as well as our commitment to prudent investments are recognized by the industry and the investment community.
What is your current investment strategy?
Links business model has evolved and expanded from the original mix of Asset Management and Asset Enhancement to include a range of new growth drivers, namely Asset Disposal, Property Development and, in the future, Property Re-development. Together, our expanded set of growth drivers will enable us to build a productive and quality portfolio.
Our investment focus is on mass-market retail and premium Grade-A office properties in Hong Kong and tier-one cities in Mainland China with high future growth potential. Such acquisitions allow us to expand into new asset classes and geographical markets, which complements our legacy portfolio of mass-market retail properties.
What type of properties are you interested in acquiring in China?
We target retail malls that serve the local communities as the consumption is well supported by the increasing middle class population in well-connected districts.
For office, supply is limited in prime business districts as affected by land scarcity and high redevelopment costs. Stable demand for premium Grade-A offices from emerging local giants and expanding MNCs will support the rental market.
In 2015 we completed the acquisitions of the EC Mall, a premium mass-market retail mall in Beijing, and Corporate Avenue 1 & 2, best-in-class Grade-A offices in Shanghais core CBD. These acquisitions are in line with our strategy of expanding geographically by adding assets with better growth potential.
Both properties delivered promising results to date and will continue to contribute to sustainable DPU growth in the long run. They have also opened up significant opportunities to tap into the Mainland China market and diversifying our portfolio.
Property development allows us to be involved at the earliest stage of the property life cycle to design, build and hold properties. Our commercial development project in Kowloon East, Hong Kong, allows us to design and build a Grade-A asset in the heart of the emerging second CBD.
In addition to targeting HK-BEAM Platinum and LEED Platinum certifications, the property is also one of the first commercial projects in Hong Kong to be registered as a WELL Building Standard project which focuses on ensuring human health and wellness in the built environment.
How attractive is the rental property market in China, given significant oversupply?
The long-term growth outlook is positive for Mainland China, especially in tier-1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai where we have acquired assets. We remain confident in the viability of our strategy of managing and diversifying a portfolio of long-term income-generating properties.
What returns does Link seek for new investment opportunities?
We are disciplined and selective when making investments. When considering an investment opportunity, we consider a wide range of factors, including growth potential of the district, geographical coverage of the assets, design of the property, condition of the hardware, and possible synergies with the existing portfolio--as well as opportunities to leverage on our expertise in asset enhancement and mass-market retail leasing, with a view to achieving sustainable DPU grow
Link Asset Management Limited
33/F., AXA Tower, Landmark East,
100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong