Singapore’s Soilbuild Said to Plan Industrial Property REIT

Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd., a Singapore developer, is considering an initial public offering of its industrial properties, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Soilbuild, run by Lim Chap Huat, may list the properties as a real estate investment trust in the city-state, said the people, asking not to be identified as the plans are private. The IPO may take place in the second half of 2013 and could raise about S$500 million ($404 million), two people said.

The company, founded in 1976 as a residential developer, expanded into building offices and factories eight years ago, and now has about 6.3 million square feet of industrial space, according to its website. Lim Cheng Hwa, Soilbuild’s director of capital management, declined to comment on the potential IPO.

Real estate investment trusts have raised $8.3 billion in Singapore share sales over the last three years, data compiled by Bloomberg Show. The 24-member FTSE Straits Times REIT Index is up about 40 percent in that period. Mapletree Industrial Trust, which owns business parks, factories and warehouses, has risen almost 50 percent since its S$853 million IPO in October 2010, the data show.

The Singapore government last month imposed as much as 15 percent in stamp duties on sellers of industrial properties such as warehouses and logistic buildings to curb speculation, after prices doubled in the past three years and outpaced the increase in rents. The REIT Index has advanced 2.5 percent since the measures were announced.

Soilbuild raised S$10.7 million in an IPO in 2005, selling shares at 31 Singapore cents apiece, and was taken private by Lim five years later at 80 Singapore cents a share.

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