• Hong Kong’s Regal eyes REIT

Regal Hotels International Holdings, the owner and operator of hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai, has hired advisers to consider the creation of Hong Kong's first dedicated hotel REIT.
   About HK$10bn (just under US$1.3bn) worth of hotel property is expected to be injected into the REIT in a move that should see HK$4bn worth of shares tendered to the public.
   The upscale hotels in Regal's portfolio are a trickier to package up for a REIT compared to the office and industrial properties that have comprised Hong Kong's previous REIT offers.
   But the appetite for REIT paper is such that concerns should be overcome, even in the face of rival REIT IPOs in more traditional property classes by companies such as Great Eagle and Henderson Land.
   Regal has a total of 3,350 rooms in Hong Kong at its five hotels with a further 400 rooms scheduled. The hotels also operate 38 restaurants and bars. In Shanghai it has two hotels with 1,350 rooms and 10 restaurants.
   Regal told the Hong Kong stock exchange that REIT status was under consideration but that no firm decision has yet been made. If the plans go ahead, a move to list is expected by June.

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