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LMIRT closes 11 Indonesia malls to curb coronavirus spread

LIPPO Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) will temporarily close 11 Indonesia malls as a precaution in light of the coronavirus outbreak, its manager said on Thursday.

The malls will close from March 27 to April 9, and are located in the Greater Jakarta region, Bandung and Bali.

Local authorities did not order the closure of the malls, but the decision was made in consideration of the Indonesian government's call to curb the spread of the virus together with input from others in the shopping mall industry, LMIRT's manager said.

Essential services in the malls - such as supermarkets, pharmacies and clinics - will remain open with shorter operating hours from 11am to 6pm. Tenants can also choose to continue operations that serve online delivery orders.

Tenants of the closed malls will be exempted from rental fee payment during the closing period.

The remaining malls in the trust's portfolio will remain open with shorter operating hours from 11am to 6pm, and with additional safety measures such as the use of face masks and hand sanitisers.

LMIRT's portfolio consists of 23 malls and seven retail spaces in Indonesia as at Dec 31, 2019.

The trust's manager said distributable income will be affected negatively for the second quarter of 2020 due to lack of rental payment from tenants in the closed malls.

The manager added it is difficult to ascertain the full financial impact of the crisis as the situation remains uncertain.

"Nevertheless, the trust remains in compliance of its debt financial covenants and has adequate financial reserves to fulfil its obligations in the foreseeable future," it added.

To date, more than 30 retail malls, including the 11 from LMIRT, have closed or announced plans for temporary closure across Indonesia.

LMIRT units were unchanged at 12.3 Singapore cents as at 2.08pm on Thursday, after the announcement was made.