Boosting Office Occupancy Rates, Creating Great Investment Returns

BANGKOK — GLAND Office Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust, or GLANDRT, which has invested in 30-year and 17-year-and seven-month leasehold interests in ‘The Nine Towers’ and ‘Unilever House’ office building projects, respectively, in Bangkok’s ‘New CBD’, had its first trading day on 21 April, after receiving an enthusiastic welcome from both institutional and retail investors. Its management forecasted that a continuously growing demand for office space in Ratchada-Rama 9 area will improve the projects’ occupancy rates.

Ms Veena Lertnimitr, Executive Vice President, Primary Distribution Division, The Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited, as Financial Advisor and Co-Lead Underwriter, revealed that GLANDRT has listed on Stock Exchange of Thailand, with 21 April being its first trading day, and it has drawn healthy interests from institutional investors, as well as the patrons of Underwriters and those of GLAND Group.

GLANDRT has invested its capital in a 30-year leasehold interest in office space and associated parking and common area facilities, as well as conference halls and connected M&E facilities, of The Nine Towers project, and in an approximately 17-year-and-seven-month leasehold interest in office space and associated parking and common area facilities, as well as connected M&E facilities, of Unilever House project (office tower section). Both projects form part of The Grand Rama 9 project, which is built on an approximately 73-rai-plot (approximately 29 acre) on the corner of Rama 9 Road and Ratchadaphisek Road and is the largest real estate project on Ratchadaphisek Road.

Ms Jaree Wuthisanti, Senior Executive Vice President – Managing Director for Corporate Banking Group 1, Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited, as Financial Advisor and Co-Lead Underwriter, noted that both The Nine Towers and Unilever House are attractive modern office buildings on Ratchadaphisek Road with highly efficient management and are highly competitive when compared with office buildings of the same grades at neighbouring locations. It is a great opportunity for GLANDRT to invest in these two rental office buildings, which are superbly located in Bangkok’s ‘New CBD’ (the original CBD – or central business district – being Sukhumvit, Silom and Sathorn) that will become an affluent district of the Thai capital city in the near future, she added. She highlighted the transport convenience due to the buildings’ close distances to Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 shopping mall, an MRT metro station, an Airport Rail Link station, as well as the surrounding real estate projects, shopping centres and facilities.

Grand Canal Land Public Company Limited is building properties within The Grand Rama 9, such as G Tower office building, The Super Tower, a convention centre and an arcade. With 125 floors, The Super Tower will become Thailand’s tallest building and the newest landmark of Bangkok.

Mr Jatemongkol Boondicharern, Director of Gland Reit Management Co., Ltd., as REIT Sponsor, Founder and Manager, said that, given the currently limited supply of (and rising demand for) rental office space, the rental office market in Thailand has a bright outlook, with the occupancy rate projected to improve every year. This is especially true for new business districts, such as Ratcha-Rama 9, where grade-A office towers are in high demand, with rental rates that will be revised up 9% per year on average over the next three to five years, added he.

The company believes in the great potential of the target properties of GLANDRT. The Nine Towers is a complex with grade-B+ to grade-A office and retail spaces that account for approximately 62,950sq m in aggregate utlisable area. It has drawn great interests from tenants – as of 31 December 2016, the office space occupancy rate for the project stood at 95%. Similarly, as of 31 December 2016, Unilever House, a grade-A office and retail complex with an aggregate utilisable area of approximately 18,527sq m, recorded an impressive 100% occupancy, with Unilever, a global consumer products group being the sole tenant.