Frasers Centrepoint Ltd. began trading in Singapore after Fraser & Neave Ltd., controlled by Thailand’s richest man, spun off the property business from operations including beverages and publishing.
The shares opened at S$1.61 before ending lower at S$1.485 at the close of trading. F&N, as the 131-year-old conglomerate is known, said in August it will offer two share of its Frasers Centrepoint for every stock held.
F&N is carving off the real estate division, allowing each unit to focus on individual expansion strategies, after Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi bought F&N last year through his companies, including Thai Beverage and TCC Assets Ltd., for S$13.8 billion ($11 billion).
“The demerger will add value as now shareholders have a choice for a pure play of either food and beverage or property,” said Goh Han Peng, a Singapore-based analyst at DMG & Partners Securities Pte. “Frasers Centrepoint can now plan its own expansion; there are plans to spin off their service apartments business into a REIT.”
Frasers Centrepoint is considering a hospitality trust, according to a company statement in August. It has a S$2.4 billion pipeline of commercial and retail properties as well as S$1.65 billion worth of hospitality assets that could be injected into its property trusts, Chief Executive Officer Lim Ee Seng said at a briefing then.
Singapore will remain important as it is Fraser Centrepoint’s home market, the company said in October. It will strengthen its presence in China and Australia, its other key markets, and will seek to increase its presence in places such as Thailand, where it will tap the Thai Charoen Corp.’s expertise to identify and develop suitable projects in various property businesses, the company said at the time.
Frasers Centrepoint is in discussions with the TCC Group to acquire and or manage 3,700 rooms of the hospitality assets owned by the group outside Thailand over the next three years, and is exploring the setting up of a hospitality REIT, the company said in October.
Charoen has a net worth of $9.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.