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Suntec City to waive rents for mall tenants for April

SUNTEC City said it is waiving the rents for its mall tenants for a month, in line with the government's call to boost support for businesses and protect jobs during the circuit-breaker period.

The waiver of rent from April 1 to April 30, 2020 will be funded entirely by the landlord. It will also extend this rental waiver to tenants providing essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, food and beverage outlets and banks.

Suntec City said it will also pass on the full savings of the property tax rebates to all tenants in May 2020. A portion of the savings had been passed on in March, and the balance will be passed on in the form of rental rebates for the period from May 1 to May 31, 2020.

This amounts to about another month of rental reduction for most tenants in May, Suntec City said.

Together with the one-month cash security deposit that mall tenants can use to offset rent, almost all tenants will enjoy cash flow relief equivalent to three months’ rent, it added.

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The new rental assistance measures will replace the rental assistance package announced on March 27, which comprised a half-month rental rebate for each of the months of April, May and June 2020.

Suntec City is owned by Suntec Reit (real estate investment trust), which owns 59 per cent of Suntec City Office Towers, 100 per cent of Suntec City Mall and 60.8 per cent of Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Separately, Suntec Reit's manager said on Monday that it has completed the acquisition of a 100-per-cent interest in a freehold Grade-A office building in Sydney, Australia. It paid a total amount of A$295 million (S$257.0 million), comprising a purchase price of A$119 million and a development fee of A$176 million.

Units in Suntec Reit ended trading at S$1.18 on Monday, up 4 Singapore cents or 3.51 per cent.

 Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the rental waiver applies to all tenants. The article has been amended to reflect that the waiver applies to mall tenants.

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