Ticon eyes REIT conversion

Ticon eyes REIT conversion

Ticon Management, a real estate investment trust (REIT) manager under Ticon Industrial Connection (TICON), plans to enlarge Ticon REIT's (TREIT) asset size to 20 billion baht in three to five years.

TREIT, expected to go public in the final quarter with an asset size of 4-5 billion baht, has a few options to increase its assets. It can acquire more assets from Ticon or others, or convert Ticon's existing property funds, said Amorn Chulaluksananukul, Ticon Management's managing director.

TREIT will raise funds from the public to invest in Ticon's 160,000-square-metre warehouse and 5,000-sq m factories, with 65% of the fund slated for leasehold.

Ticon plans to hold 20-25% of TREIT, with the remainder sold through Bangkok Bank.

"Investors from Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia have approached Ticon to build logistics hubs in those locations. These foreigners are looking for a trustworthy estate manager," said Mr Amorn.

Ticon Management is looking to invest in rental office buildings and community malls in the future.

Virapan Pulges, managing director of Ticon Industrial, said his company has a backlog it can sell to the REIT in the future.

If Ticon's existing leasehold property fund is converted to a REIT, its tax rate could drop to 1.1%, while the tax for a freehold property fund's conversion is about 5%, he said.

Ticon Industrial holds controllable stakes in three property funds: Ticon Fund (TFUND), Ticon Logistics (TLOGIS) and Ticon Growth (TGROWTH). TFUND and TLOGIS are freehold funds offering returns of around 6.5%, while TGROWTH is a leasehold fund.

"The asset transfer tax is not too high and Ticon's property fund holders agreed to convert them to REITs," said Mr Virapan.

He said Ticon plans to sell some 200,000 sq m of factories and warehouses this year.

Ticon is a top factory and logistics warehouse builder with a market share of more than 50%.

TICON shares closed on the SET yesterday at 17.60 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 50.8 million baht.

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