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Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust gets interim HK$45m insurance payout for Festival Walk attack

MAPLETREE North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) has received an interim payment from its insurers for the damage to its Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong during the protests late last year.

The insurers made a partial payment, without prejudice, of HK$45 million (S$8.1 million) in relation to estimated claims, the trust’s manager said in a bourse update on Wednesday night.

The manager added that an assessment of the full sum that can be recovered from insurance claims is still ongoing. It will continue to pursue its claims for both property damage as well as revenue loss from the interruption to business operations during the mall’s temporary closure.

Anti-government demonstrators had smashed glass panels at Festival Walk in November 2019 and set fire to the Christmas decorations, causing what was described as extensive damage.

The trust was then unable to collect rent from Festival Walk tenants for the period when the mega-mall in Kowloon Tong was closed - that is, from Nov 13, 2019 to Jan 15, 2020.

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The office tower at the mall was shuttered for a shorter time, until Nov 25, 2019.

Still, the manager has said that the loss of retail and office revenue during the closure is covered by its insurance policies, as is the property damage sustained.

Earlier this year, MNACT topped up its distribution to unit holders for the three months to Dec 31 by S$25.8 million, to make up for the impact of the mall closure on distributable income. There was another top-up of S$7.1 million in the next quarter, taking distribution top-ups to unit holders to S$32.9 million altogether for the six months. (see clarification note)

Units added half a Singapore cent, or 0.52 per cent, to S$0.97 on Wednesday, before the news.

Clarification note: This article has been updated for clarity, to state that the total top-ups in distribution amounted to S$32.9 million for the six months.

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