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Dasin Retail Trust shortens hours, shuts businesses at China malls
DASIN Retail Trust has taken precautions in view of the coronavirus outbreak, including shortening the business hours at its five malls in China.
It has also temporarily closed crowded places in the malls, such as cinemas, karaoke lounges, ice skating rinks and bookstores.
These measures are meant to "minimise contagious risk due to crowd gatherings", the trustee-manager of the mainboard-listed property trust said on Tuesday night.
Its five malls are Shiqi Metro Mall, Xiaolan Metro Mall, Ocean Metro Mall, Doumen Metro Mall and Dasin EColour.
With effect from Jan 26, the malls are now open from 10am to 4pm daily, with the exception of supermarkets and certain food and beverage outlets which will remain open past 4pm.
These hours are further shortened from an earlier adjustment on Jan 24, when Dasin Retail Trust had reduced the business hours of the malls so that they open from 10am to 6pm.
The trust will not temporarily close any of its shopping malls, unless specifically requested by the Chinese government to do so, the trustee-manager said.
It will also continue to maintain at least six hours of business hours per day at the properties, in line with the Chinese government's requirement.
The trustee-manager said it is difficult to ascertain the full impact on the trust's financial performance, as the current situation relating to the spread of the virus remains uncertain.
Moreover, pure turnover rent will be the hardest hit by the situation, but that only makes up 3 per cent of Dasin Retail Trust's gross rental income, the trustee-manager noted. "In view of the relatively small proportion, the financial impact of this situation to Dasin Retail Trust, if any, will not be significant at this point in time," it added.
Aside from pure turnover rent, the lease structure at the malls also includes three other components: fixed rent, fixed rent with built-in escalation, and the higher of base rent or turnover rent.
The trustee-manager said there have been preventive measures introduced at Dasin Retail Trust's malls in China. For instance, all staff and tenants entering and leaving the mall premises are required to wear masks. Door handles, elevator buttons, escalator handrails, atrium guardrails and public seats are also sanitised every two hours.
"We will closely monitor the development of the virus and maintain communication with relevant departments to resume normal operation of the shopping malls, as soon as it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances," the trustee-manager added.
Units of Dasin Retail Trust closed at S$0.835 on Tuesday, down S$0.01 or 1.2 per cent, before the announcement.
Similarly, shares of other Singapore-listed companies with exposure to China were also hit on Tuesday. Travel-leisure plays were among the most badly affected, with Sasseur Reit (real estate investment trust) and Straco Corporation tumbling by more than 10 per cent.