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Hot stock: Sabana Reit shares slide after talks with ESR-Reit fail

SHARES of mainboard-listed Sabana Shari'ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) fell as much as 5.8 per cent Monday morning afterreported talks of a possible sale to Warburg Pincus-backed ESR-Reit had fallen through.

The counter had traded as low as 40.5 Singapore cents earlier in the morning, was indicated at 41.5 Singapore cents as at 12.44pm, down 3.49 per cent on the day.

The company's shares closed at 43 Singapore cents on Friday, Nov 24, before the announcement was made.

Sabana confirmed in August that it was in discussions with ESR-Reit, formerly known as Cambridge Industrial Trust, to explore options in connection with a strategic review that began in February, but announced on Saturday that talks with ESR-Reit had ceased, although the Reit said that it "remains open to considering proposals from prospective strategic partners".

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In a Saturday filing with the Singapore Exchange, Sabana said that it will focus on tenant retention and improving occupancy for assets still in its portfolio, one of three strategic reviews.

The trust said that it has renewed the expiring master leases for three sponsor-linked properties - at 51 Penjuru Road, 33 and 35 Penjuru Lane, and 18 Gul Drive - on a one-year term for a total rental of about S$8.84 million.

Its second initiative is renewing senior leadership, with the focus on replacing chief executive and executive director Kevin Xayaraj, who has resigned and will leave on Dec 31.

The third initiative is to enhance the board of directors, Sabana said. It has identified a third independent, non-executive director, who will join the audit committee. Regulatory approval for the candidate is pending.