Keppel Land, Keppel Reit commit to fully pass on property tax rebate to office, retail tenants

Keppel Land and Keppel Reit (real estate investment trust) said on Thursday that they will fully pass on the property tax rebate to their office tenants to support them during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Their tenants include offices in Keppel Land’s Keppel Bay Tower, as well as those in Keppel Reit’s Ocean Financial Centre, Marina Bay Financial Centre and One Raffles Quay. The Reit owns a 79.9 per cent interest in Ocean Financial Centre, and a one-third stake for both Marina Bay Financial Centre and One Raffles Quay.

In both Budget 2020 and the recent Resilience Budget, the government had announced a property tax rebate of up to 100 per cent for non-residential properties, for the tax payable in 2020.

New legislation to be introduced in Parliament next week may soon make it compulsory for property owners to pass the government-granted property tax rebates on to tenants, The Business Times reported on Thursday. Keppel Land and Keppel Reit also said in their joint statement that for their retail tenants in Singapore, they would fully pass on the property tax rebate savings in April and May. An additional 30 per cent of rental rebates will also be provided to eligible retail tenants.

Tan Swee Yiow, chief executive of Keppel Land said: “We are standing firmly behind our tenants during this difficult period.”

Paul Tham, chief executive of Keppel Reit management said: “We can expect further challenges ahead, given the slowing global economy and uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 situation. Nevertheless, we believe that Keppel Reit’s portfolio of established tenants from diversified sectors, high portfolio committed occupancy and long-weighted average lease expiry will continue to provide the Reit income resilience.”

Keppel Corp shares, trading cum-dividend, closed up 22 Singapore cents or 4.2 per cent to S$5.51 on Thursday. The units of Keppel Reit closed unchanged at 90 cents before the announcement was made.

The Business Times,  03 Apr 2020

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