2 Key Insights from the Chief Executive of CapitaLand Mall Trust’s Manager

CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) is the largest listed real estate investment trust (REIT) in Singapore. It is also the first REIT to appear in the stock market here. Given these, there may be lessons to pick up from it.

Wilson Tan, the chief executive of CapitaLand Mall Trust’s manager, was recently featured in an interview series by bourse operator Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68). I had picked out two key insights from the interview which may be useful for investors.

The spirit of enterprise

“We have to accept that what we know is much more limited than what we do not know, and unless we are prepared to go out and embrace that, we will not live life to the fullest…

…We need to venture out and try. If we do not try, we will never be able to push boundaries, and without pushing boundaries, we will not achieve new possibilities.”

Tan embraces the spirit of adventure both in his personal life and for CapitaLand Mall Trust. For the REIT, there were people who felt that Singapore was too small for an outlet mall. If CapitaLand Mall Trust had listened to such thoughts, it wouldn’t have been possible to turn IMM Mall into the largest outlet mall in Singapore.

Boring is good

“The issue that keeps us awake at night is how we go about achieving this [referring to a steady distribution per unit]. CMT’s one aim in life is to get boring – if we are boring and predictable, that’s when we can deliver safety, security and sustainability to our investors.”

The spirit of enterprise on one side has a surprising end goal at the other end. Tan said that it was important for CapitaLand Mall Trust to provide steady distributions per unit (DPU) for its unitholders. He noted that the REIT has a large number of unitholders who are pension funds and insurance funds. The REIT’s focus is to grow its portfolio of properties while maintaining a steady DPU.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.