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China business unaffected by Wuhan virus: EC World Reit's manager

WHILE EC World Reit (real estate investment trust) has a portfolio of eight assets in China, of which one is in Wuhan, there has been no significant impact on tenants' businesses, said EC World Reit's manager in a bourse filing on Wednesday. 

The manager attributed this to EC World Reit's nature of business, where it caters largely to the e-commerce sector. EC World Reit is hence less exposed to the risks posed by the virus compared to businesses with operations that rely largely on human traffic. 

Furthermore, given that EC World Reit's Wuhan asset accounts for less than 2 per cent of its portfolio's net property income, no major disruptions have been observed to the Reit's operations and financials, said the manager. If the current situation does not worsen, the manager does not expect any material impact on the operations of EC World Reit. 

Having said that, it said it will continue to "remain highly vigilant to any changes in situation and stand ready to respond promptly".

For instance, the manager is in regular contact with the property management staff in Wuhan to remain updated on the situation on the ground. 

The Reit has also ramped up precautionary measures against the virus for all its other assets and offices, including those managed by its sponsor, Forchn Holdings Group.

These measures include daily temperature taking for all staff and vendors entering the premises, and issuing of advisories to remind employees of the importance of personal hygiene.

With the extension of the Chinese New Year holidays till the end of the week in China, staff have also been advised to stay away from crowded places during this period. 

Units of EC World Reit ended trading at 73 Singapore cents on Wednesday, up 1.5 cents or 2.1 per cent.