CapitaLand to split main businesses after rare loss


SINGAPORE • CapitaLand Ltd unveiled plans to separate its investment and development operations, part of a major restructuring after the pandemic led to a rare loss for Singapore’s largest real estate group.

The company is creating a new entity, CapitaLand Investment Management (CLIM), that will list in Singapore and be the biggest firm of its kind in Asia, it said yesterday. It will oversee operations including real estate investment trusts and its lodging business.

The real estate development arm will be owned privately by a unit of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the group’s majority shareholder. It will focus on development of “longer-gestation projects” that tend to require more intensive capital, the company said.

CapitaLand is regrouping after posting a record loss of S$1.57 billion (RM4.93 billion) last year — its first since 2001 — when the Covid-19 crisis triggered writedowns of some investment properties and residential projects.

It expects the revamp to “sharpen business focus” across the group by improving the way it manages assets and capital as it expands across Asia.

The move will position the company as an “asset-light and capital-efficient business”, CEO Lee Chee Koon said in a statement. CLIM will be able to drive returns for shareholders given its “scale, capabilities and a strong ecosystem”, he added.

Lee will helm the new entity and CapitaLand will be delisted upon the proposal’s approval. The delisting and CLIM’s listing may take place by the fourth quarter, CFO Andrew Lim said at a briefing.

With assets under management of about S$115 billion, CLIM is expected to be the largest real estate investment manager (REIM) in Asia, and the third-biggest listed REIM company globally, behind Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Blackstone Group, the developer said.

The move will simplify the group’s structure along clear lines of risk and reward.