UPDATE 1-Singapore's OUE picks banks for $800 mln hospitality REIT-sources

Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:01am EDT

By Saeed Azhar

SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters) - Singapore property firm Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) has chosen three banks for its planned $800 million listing of a hospitality real estate investment in the second half of the year, sources said.

The plan comes as 2013 is shaping up as a busy year for REIT IPOs in Singapore, which are attractive to investors looking for steady income streams.

OUE chose Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered to advise on the listing, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Led by Indonesian tycoon Stephen Riady, OUE revived plans for the REIT listing soon after it lost the battle to buy Fraser and Neave Ltd to Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, sources said.

OUE's hotel properties include Mandarin Orchard Singapore, Marina Mandarin Singapore, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi, Meritus Mandarin Haikou and Meritus Shantou China.

The firm, which owns commercial properties and hotels, had earlier planned a REIT in 2011, but it was delayed.

At that time Bank of America Merrill Lynch was roped in for the REIT, but the U.S. bank is no longer in the list of banks selected, one of the sources said.

Bankers see this as a surprising development because BofA had also advised OUE on the F&N deal.

Nomura analysts said in a note last week that primary equity raising in the real estate investment trust sector this year could surpass the previous record of S$2.1 billion set in 2007.

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust, a trust backed by Temasek Holdings Pvt Ltd, last month raised $1.3 billion through its Singapore IPO, selling shares at the top of a marketing range and becoming the city-state's largest REIT offering.

Singapore Press Holdings earlier this month said it is exploring the listing of a real estate investment trust.

OUE has been on the lookout for assets despite its failed bid for F&N.

Recently it bought U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, the tallest U.S. building west of the Mississippi, and related properties for $367.5 million.

The sources declined to be identified as OUE had yet to publicly reveal the names of the banks involved in the listing.

OUE did not reply to emails and phone calls seeking comment. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs declined comment. Standard Chartered wasn't immediately available to comment.

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