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Ascendas Reit opens books for Sing dollar perpetual

[SINGAPORE] Ascendas Reit has kicked off bookbuilding on its much-anticipated Singapore dollar perpetual non-call 5, with guidance offered in the 5 per cent area.

The trust is raising a benchmark size, heard to be around S$300 million and that could be increased up to S$500 million.

Formal guidance was increased from the low 4 per cent initially sounded out to investors during roadshows early last week. Private banks, which are being targeted for the subordinated issue, were not impressed and pressed for high 4 per cent. The guidance of 5 per cent will give room for the leads to tighten.

Citigroup is left lead and will be joint bookrunner with ANZ, Credit Suisse, DBS, HSBC and OCBC. The six leads are also underwriting the deal on a several basis, according to banking sources.

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Proceeds from the perp will partially fund A-Reit's acquisition of a portfolio of logistics properties in Australia.

The perp is expected to score a Baa2 from Moody's, lower than its corporate rating of A3. There will be a reset every five years to a new fixed rate of initial spread over the prevailing Singapore dollar SOR.

Private banks will get a 25-cent rebate. Pricing is expected as early as today.

The launch coincides with an improvement in sentiment today on higher expectations that the US Fed may not hike rates in October because of slower US job growth. HSBC Institutional Trust Services, as trustee of A-Reit, will be the issuer.