4 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 four key insights from the interview which may be useful for investors.

1. & 2. The spirit of enterprise & Boring is good click here

3. The evolving face of retail

“In this day and age, shoppers have very short attention spans and their loyalty is fleeting. For our AEIs [asset enhancement initiatives], we have to figure out how to capture the needs and aspirations of consumers – each generation is different from the last, and we must be one step ahead of them.”

In the quote above, Tan described the retail landscape as he sees it. He believes that retailers will be facing challenges in both growing their topline as well as keeping their costs in check. In his view, businesses which are not able to survive in this climate might be “weeded out.” To counter this trend, CapitaLand Mall Trust is looking to stay ahead of consumer needs and aspirations by remaking its malls.

4. The glass is half full

“The slowdown allows us to go out and recalibrate our business practices. Instead of feeling depressed about the economy, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to increase the pace of our AEIs, and when the upturn resumes, we will be better able to capitalise on it.”

To be sure, Tan is not about to let the challenges confronting CapitaLand Mall Trust to wear him down. He feels that an economic downturn should not be wasted. It may surprise investors to learn that CapitaLand Mall Trust is looking to increase the pace of its AEIs and not slow it down. Clearly, Tan believes that there may be better days ahead and wants the REIT to be prepared to ride the upturn when it happens.

For more investing insights and updates on what's happening in the world of finance, you can sign up here for a FREE subscription to The Motley Fool's weekly investing newsletter, Take Stock SingaporeIt will teach you how you can grow your wealth in the years ahead.

Also, like us on Facebook to follow our latest hot articles. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

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.