MREIT Inc., the real estate investment arm of Megaworld Corp., said it is open to adding shopping malls in its leasing portfolio as part of diversification strategy.
MREIT president and chief executive Kevin Tan said during the company’s annual stockholders meeting adding shopping malls owned by parent Megaworld is an “attractive diversification opportunity” for the group to expand its assets which are primarily composed of office towers.
Tan said revenues from Megaworld’s shopping malls already recovered and grew past pre-pandemic levels.
Megaworld has 484,000 square meters of shopping mall space that could potentially be injected into MREIT.
“We are now seeing the strong rebound in retail, driving the strong performance of our sponsor lifestyle malls. With current sales exceeding pre pandemic levels and rental concessions fully removed as of the start of the year, this creates opportunity for MREIT to diversify into terms of asset class, increasing the pool of properties from which MREIT can source its growth,” Tan said.
MREIT is also bullish on office leasing as net office take-up turned positive in 2022 for the first time since the pandemic.
Tan said demand was expected to pick up and allow the market to fully recover in the coming years.
MREIT chief finance offer Englebert Teh said the company was also open to debt and share issuance to fund acquisitions.
MREIT announced plans last week to acquire seven office buildings from Megaworld with a total leasable space of 150,500 square meters. These office assets in Iloilo, Taguig and Davao generated P1.2 billion in rental income last year.
Once completed, MREIT will expand its portfolio to around 475,500 sq. m. and bring it closer to its target of 500,000 sq. m. of assets under management by end-2024.
MREIT’s portfolio covers 18 office properties in four Megaworld premier townships.
The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of the year.