Welcome to this week’s top stock market highlights.
CapitaLand Investment Limited (SGX: 9CI)
The Ascott Limited, 50% owned by CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) and 50% by CapitaLand Wellness Fund (C-WELL), acquired a 308-unit property located near the Bugis and Bencoolen MRT stations.
C-WELL is CLI’s inaugural wellness and healthcare-related real estate fund and this purchase represents the fund’s maiden acquisition since its first close in October 2023.
This fund will initially focus on Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia with a target fund size of S$1 billion and will invest in single or mixed-use assets spanning the healthcare, medical, wellness, and preventive care spectrum.
The property will be upgraded and rebranded under Ascott’s “lyf” brand.
It will remain operational throughout the renovation period and be launched as “lyf Bugis” Singapore in the middle of this year.
lyf Bugis will focus on health and active wellness by offering a range of amenities including shared spaces and dining options with opportunities to socially interact.
The property will also be a green-certified property with sustainability features such as a room occupancy detection system and upgraded cooling system.
This acquisition will expand lyf’s presence in Singapore to a total of four properties while growing Ascott’s Singapore portfolio to over 4,700 units across 25 properties.
lyf is currently in 21 cities across the world with more than 5,500 units (both operational plus those in the pipeline).
Ascott intends to grow its lyf portfolio to 150 properties with over 30,000 units by 2030.
Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930)
The consumer electronics market remains weak, judging from Samsung Electronics’ recent financial results.
The South Korean electronics giant posted a 35% year-on-year fall in operating profit to around KRW 2.8 trillion, its sixth straight quarter of decline.
This level of operating profit was also much lower than the average analyst estimate of KRW 3.7 trillion.
Revenue for the quarter came in at KRW 67 trillion, also below analysts’ estimates of KRW 70.3 trillion.
These results show that demand for smartphones and memory chips remains weak and that the rebound may have been slower than anticipated.
Samsung’s rival Micron (NASDAQ: MU), however, delivered a better-than-expected revenue outlook with its data centre strength making up for weakness in the computing and mobile devices markets.
The South Korean company had predicted that the US$160 billion memory market would bounce back this year as AI development looks poised to drive the boom, and investors will be closely observing Samsung’s numbers this year to see if this comes to pass.
A full earnings report with a divisional breakdown will be released on 31 January.
Samsung will also be releasing a new lineup of devices and foldable products to drive growth for this year.
Its latest gadgets will be released later this month and are slated to give Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) a run for its money.
Keppel Ltd (SGX: BN4)
Keppel announced that Alpha Asia Separate Account (AASA) has acquired Wevolve Pte Ltd, a company that owns the office and retail space of Wilkie Edge, for S$348 million.
AASA is a fund managed by Keppel and this property is an eight-storey mixed-use development located in Selegie.
This fund is a S$360 separate account mandate secured by Keppel from PGGM, a cooperative Dutch pension fund service provider.
The fund invests in commercial real estate in cities such as Japan, Singapore, and China.
Wilkie Edge was completed in 2008 and comprises six office floors and two retail floors with a total net lettable area of around 157,400 square feet.
The property is accessible via public transport, being located close to the Dhoby Ghaut and Little India MRT stations.
Wilkie Edge is fully occupied with major tenants such as Kaplan Singapore and SF Consulting.
Keppel will undertake asset enhancement initiatives (AEIs) to create more value by converting, reconfiguring, and redeploying the property’s existing space to achieve higher rental income.
AASA has already secured advanced leasing interest for the proposed improved spaces within Wilkie Edge.
Keppel will also leverage its Sustainable Urban Renewal (SUR) expertise to improve the property’s operational efficiency and performance.
By doing so, the blue-chip group will cater to the growing international demand for environmentally friendly urban renewal solutions.
Keppel is also implementing its SUR capabilities in projects within the markets of Singapore, Australia, China, India, and South Korea.
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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of Apple.