Mall operator CMMT expects CMCO to impact retail recovery 

KUALA LUMPUR: Capitaland Malaysia Mall Trust (CMMT) posted a 17.2%n drop in net property income (NPI) to of RM40.8mil for the quarter ended Sept 30.

The drop was mainly attributed to higher vacancies and the rental relief granted to Affected Tenants1 as they progressively resumed operations under Malaysia’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). its manager CapitaLand Malaysia Mall REIT Management Sdn. Bhd (CMRM) said in a statement today.

Distributable income for the quarter was RM23.2mil and distribution per unit (DPU) was 1.13 sen.

Malaysia has recorded a surge in new Covid-19 cases in several areas, including the Klang Valley, which have been placed under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from Oct 14 to Nov 9.

"The reintroduction of the CMCO is expected to impact Malaysia’s retail recovery.” CMRM chairman David Wong said.

"We will continue to keep a pulse on the evolving situation and closely engage with our tenants. In addition, we will focus our efforts on stabilising the portfolio through proactive asset and lease management to build greater resilience in CMMT’s retail ecosystem,” he added.

CEO Low Peck Chen said CMMT’s 3Q 2020 results reflected the impact of higher vacancies due to uncertainties caused by Covid-19, and rental relief for affected tenants amidst the pandemic.

“With most of our tenants having resumed operations since June 2020, shopper traffic and tenant sales per square foot for the first nine months of 2020 have recovered to about 58% and 82% respectively of last year’s levels," she said.

"To date, we have renewed over 50% of the leases due this year and are in advanced negotiations for the remaining major expiring leases."

CMMT is a shopping mall-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) in Malaysia with a portfolio of five shopping malls and a complementary office block namely the Gurney Plaza in Penang, three in Klang Valley – a majority interest in Sungei Wang in Kuala Lumpur; 3 Damansara and Tropicana City Office Tower in Petaling Jaya - and The Mines in Seri Kembangan, as well as the East Coast Mall in Kuantan, Pahang.

With a market capitalisation of approximately RM1.3bil as at Sept 30, the total asset size of CMMT is about RM4.2bil.

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