8 Quick Things to Learn from Mapletree Logistics Trust’s Annual General Meeting

From time to time, Foolish hats turn up at annual general meetings (AGM).

My better half is a shareholder of Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX: M44U). Yesterday, I attended the real estate investment trust’s AGM as her proxy. As a brief introduction, Mapletree Logistics Trust owns 127 logistics-based properties in eight countries, as of 31 March 2017.

Without further ado, here are eight quick things I learnt from the AGM:

1. Chairman Lee Chong Kwee kicked off Mapletree Logistics Trust’s AGM by introducing the board of directors. The REIT manager’s chief financial officer, Ivan Lim, was also in attendance to provide an overview for the REIT’s financial year ended 31 March 2017 (FY16/17).

2. Lim said that FY16/17 was clouded by an uncertain economy and subdued demand. These put pressure on the occupancy rate. The management’s focus was on lease management and tenant retention.

3. Next up, the REIT manager’s chief executive officer, Ng Kiat, highlighted Mapletree Logistics Trust’s move into markets with higher growth and higher scalability. For instance, Australia contributed 2.6% of the REIT’s revenue in FY15/16. That percentage has increased to 6.4% for FY16/17. There was also growth in Malaysia and Vietnam.

4. Mapletree Logistics Trust would benefit from the move into higher growth markets, she said. Australian properties offer longer weighted average lease expiries (WALE) and built-in rental escalations. Ng pointed out as well that Mapletree Logistics Trust has also added two major Australian supermarket chains in Coles and Woolworths.

5. Ng also said that Mapletree Logistics Trust has made conscious decisions to move away from export oriented businesses to businesses that support local consumption. As of March 2017, close to three quarters of its portfolio supports consumer-related sectors.

6. Mapletree Logistics Trust’s overall portfolio occupancy stood at 96.3% on 31 March 2017. China was a laggard with a 93.7% occupancy rate. Ng said that the tier two cities in China were experiencing oversupply but the tier one cities were holding up well.

7. Ng also spent time talking about the composition of single-user-assets (SUAs) and multi-tenanted buildings (MTBs). The goal was to smoothen out the composition of SUAs and MTBs in the REIT’s portfolio, she said.

8. Mapletree Logistics Trust filed for its initial public offering (IPO) on 28 July 2005. Since its IPO up till 31 March 2017, the total return for the REIT’s unitholders was 175%. Distributions accounted for the majority of the returns at 114%. Capital appreciation contributed to a 61% increase.

An AGM is a great source of information that can help investors find out more about a company’s business and what it has in store for the future. Stay tuned for more notes on Mapletree Logistics Trust’s AGM.

Editor’s note: More notes about Mapletree Logistics Trust’s AGM have been published. They can be found here.

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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 owns units in Mapletree Logistics Trust.