Hektar REIT introduces tenant support programme

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 (Bernama) -- Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust (Hektar REIT) has introduced the Tenant Support Programme across shopping centres under its portfolio as a relief measure for tenants affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb COVID-19.

Executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Hisham Othman said the programme would be able to help the majority of the 600 tenants in six shopping centres -- Subang Parade in Subang Jaya, Selangor; Mahkota Parade in Melaka; Wetex Parade and Classic Hotel in Muar, Johor; Central Square in Sungai Petani, Kedah; Kulim Central in Kulim, Kedah; and Segamat Central in Segamat, Johor.

“Hektar’s Tenant Support Programme will help to ease cash flow challenges that tenants may be facing due to the sudden drop in revenue during the MCO,” he said.

The measures also included rental rebates, Hisham said during a virtual media briefing after the company’s annual general meeting here today.

He said the approval and arrangement for each tenant would vary, depending on the specific circumstances of individual tenants such as the severity to which the business was affected.

Hisham said following guidelines from the Health Ministry and Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), the management had implemented measures to manage the coronavirus outbreak, covering employees, shoppers, tenants and vendors, and to tackle key issues.

“Hektar remains committed to supporting public health and safety amid the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.

He said among the key issues were promoting awareness and safety guidelines, issuing real-time updates on email and messenger platforms and ensuring all staff were informed of the latest procedures; daily thermal scans and face masks for front-line and customer-facing staff; and restricting travel, training and events to minimise exposure and contact.

Other key issues are self-quarantine and remote work programmes; and frequent, routine sanitisation and cleaning measures of all public utilities and touch point areas.

“We have also developed Emergency Response Procedures to tackle live infection cases including case management and escalation procedures, communication to the media and public, control measures, collaboration with public health authorities and post-incident deep cleaning activities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hisham said the overall occupancy for 2019 remained steady at 92.5 per cent, marking the 13th year of an overall occupancy rate over 90 per cent, with visitor traffic at Hektar REIT’s portfolio remaining stable at 32.3 million visits -- slightly higher than the previous year.

“Rental reversions were positive in Wetex Parade with an increase of 24.8 per cent, Kulim Central with 15.6 per cent, Segamat Central with 10.6 per cent and Central Square with 9.2 per cent,” he said.

He added that the main decline was in Subang Parade due to initiatives in anticipation for the new supermarket anchor. -Bernama

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