January 28, 2020 / 2:12 AM / 22 days ago

Singapore-listed Sasseur REIT shuts China malls as Wuhan virus spreads

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Sasseur Real Estate Investment Trust (SASS.SI) said on Tuesday it has temporarily closed its four outlet malls in China to help prevent the spread of a coronavirus that has killed over 100 people.

The REIT's units were down 8% on Tuesday morning, while the broader market .STI was down more than 2%. Its malls in China are in Chongqing, Bishan, Hefei and Kunming.

Seven other outlet malls owned or managed by Sasseur Cayman Holding Ltd - Sasseur REIT’s majority shareholder - in Hangzhou, Changsha, Nanjing, Lanzhou, Xian, Guiyang and Changchun have also been progressively closed from Jan. 26.

While local authorities have not imposed any regulations to direct the closures of malls, the manager of the REIT said Sasseur decided the outlets should be temporarily closed due to the severity of virus.

Sasseur said that while it could not ascertain the financial hit of the crisis on its financial performance, the impact should not be material if it was resolved in the short term.

It said it will aim to re-open the malls as soon as it is appropriate.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Tom Hogue

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