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Manulife US Reit inks 2 tenant-leasing agreements in the US

MANULIFE US Real Estate Investment Trust (Manulife US Reit) has secured a US real estate enterprise as a long-term tenant at its Plaza office building in Secaucus, New Jersey, it said on Wednesday.

On March 13, the new tenant signed the lease for roughly 53,000 square feet (sq ft) for its headquarters with a 12-year tenure and positive rental reversion, the Reit said.

The tenant has a portfolio of more than 260 properties primarily on the East Coast.

Separately, insurer AXA in January renewed about 40 per cent of its expiring 100,000 sq ft lease at Plaza. This was a result of a right-sizing exercise by AXA, Manulife US Reit said.

As a result of the new tenant's lease deal and AXA's renewal, 3.5 per cent of leases by net lettable area (NLA) and 3.9 per cent by gross rental income will expire in 2020 versus 5.7 per cent by NLA as at Dec 31, 2019, the Reit said.

It has executed about 138,000 sq ft of leases, or 2.9 per cent of its portfolio by NLA as at March 13, with tenures averaging 7.8 years and rental reversions of +8.1 per cent.

Its portfolio has an occupancy rate of 96.4 per cent and long WALE (weighted average lease expiry) by NLA of 5.7 years as at March 13.

No individual property contributes more than 16.5 per cent of its net property income, the Reit noted.

Jill Smith, chief executive officer of Manulife US Reit's manager, said: "We are convinced as to the resilience of (our) Trophy/Class A office properties.

"We remain cautiously optimistic that our high-quality and well-diversified tenant base will be able to ride through the current Covid-19 pandemic."

Manulife US Reit units were down 0.5 US cent or 0.7 per cent to 69.5 cents during Wednesday's midday trading break.