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Asia: Market round-up

Singapore: REITS get more sophisticated A series of recent transactions from Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in Singapore, the de facto non-Japan Asia centre for the specialist property investment vehicles, are proving not only the popularity of the asset class with investors but also their flexibility as funding vehicles for real estate assets.

In May, BNP Paribas launched a $237 million CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities) issue for Ascendas REIT, collateralized by a loan secured on 23 Ascendas-owned industrial properties in Singapore.

Another CMBS deal earlier this year from Singapore-listed CapitaMall Trust saw the mall-owner raise $195 million in a similar five-year deal. Suntec REIT, another Lion-city property trust, has also tapped the CMBS market with a $250 million issue of its own.

Indonesia: probe claims bank CEO scalp

Investigations continue into a $1.3-billion loan scandal at the country's largest lender, Bank Mandiri.

The revelation of the loan scandal, the investigation of which prompted the dismissal of Bank Mandiri CEO ECW Neloe and two other senior officials, means that any sale of Bank Mandiri shares is off the table. The government has sold 30% of Mandiri's shares in the past two years.

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