The Better REIT: CapitaLand Mall Trust vs. Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust

Editor’s note: This article had erroneously stated that CapitaLand Mall Trust owns 17 retail malls, including ION Orchard. The errors have been corrected. 

Singapore’s stock market is home to many real estate investment trusts. Of the 40 or so REITs and property-focused trusts listed here, there are two that stand out above the rest in terms of size.

Meet CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX: A17U), the only two REITs in Singapore’s stock market that have a market capitalisation of more than S$6 billion in the market.

Let’s see how they stack up against each other.

It’s all about the assets

CapitaLand Mall Trust owns 16 retail assets in Singapore, from heartland malls such as Bedok Mall to iconic assets such as Raffles City Singapore. In sum, the REIT’s balance sheet has over S$10.25 billion worth of assets.

Whereas CapitaLand Mall Trust has a focus on retail malls, Ascendas REIT owns a much wider variety of properties. The trust currently has 103 properties in Singapore, 27 in Australia, and three in China. These 133 properties are segmented into different categories:

  • Business parks
  • Science parks
  • Hi-specs industrial
  • Light industrial
  • Logistics & distribution
  • Integrated development, amenities, & retail

In total, Ascendas REIT controls S$9.88 billion worth of assets.

Total returns

Both REITs have a long history in Singapore’s stock market given that they were listed in 2002. They have also generated some pretty strong returns for unitholders over the past decade: Ascendas REIT and CapitaLand Mall Trust have delivered total returns (including gains from reinvested dividends) of 192% and 159%, respectively.


At its current price, CapitaLand is valued at 1.1 times its tangible book value. This is very similar to where Ascendas REIT is trading at too; the REIT has a price-to-tangible book value of 1.05 at the moment.

Foolish Summary

As you can see, the two big REITs both have a strong track record and are in control of a large amount of assets. Both are also trading at very valuations. Do you think they can continue their great performances over the next 10 years?

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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 writer Stanley Lim doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.