Link Asset Management Limited (Link), the manager of Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823), announced today (Sunday) that it is doubling the size of its support scheme for its tenants in Hong Kong (the Support Scheme) from $300 million to $600 million.
Link established the Support Scheme at $80 million in mid-February and expanded to $300 million in mid-April. Nicholas Allen, Chairman of the Board of Link, said, “As Hong Kong is seeing the worst pandemic in decades, the Board of Directors is keen to reinforce our commitment to lead Link for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Link’s Chief Executive Officer George Hongchoy said, “The challenges posted by COVID-19 have underscored the true meaning and importance of ‘business as mutual’. No man is an island and no business can act independently. We need to work together in order to thrive.”
New measures under the Support Scheme are as follows.
Aside from offering targeted relief measures such as reducing rents, granting rent-free periods, allowing rent payment by instalments, waiving the interest on late payments and service charges, and introducing additional parking concessions, Link has been supporting its tenants with a raft of other measures to offer flexibility such as lease restructuring.
Helping tenants to reignite their businesses is as important as offering assistance when needed. Link has been working on various marketing initiatives to support tenants’ online ordering and self pick-up services to address the changing norms currently experienced by the food and beverage industry.
Link has also been investing more in safeguarding public health. Throughout the pandemic, Link has remained committed to stepping up cleaning and sanitisation -- in addition to routine hygiene controls such as conducting disinfectant fogging exercises, applying antivirus coatings on high-touch facilities and conducting temperature-checks -- at high-risk premises. Link will continue to explore new preventive measures to safeguard public health.
In the meantime, Link is reviewing its internal processes with an aim to accelerate payment to suppliers within the shortest practicable time, in order to alleviate some of the pressures faced by its suppliers. Link will further tighten cost control on its internal items.
Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823), managed by Link Asset Management Limited, is a leading retail-focused REIT in the world. Listed in 2005 as the first REIT in Hong Kong, Link has been 100% held by public and institutional investors and is a Hang Seng Index constituent stock. From its home in Hong Kong, Link manages a diversified portfolio including retail facilities, car parks and offices spanning Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, London and Sydney. Link seeks to extend its portfolio growth trajectory and grasp expansion opportunities in different markets in pursuit of our medium-term target Vision 2025. For details, please visit https://www.linkreit.com/.