Having recently built up its portfolio of serviced residence units to 40,000 units globally, Ascott is targeting to add a further 2000 units to its global portfolio. It seeks to establish an international footprint, with a target in excess of 42,000 units distributed across 94 cities across 26 countries. The four latest additions are all under the Citadines brand
Of the four new properties, Citadines Han River Seoul will be the first to welcome guests from 1Q 2016. The remaining three properties will be ready in 2018 – Citadines Punaka Yogyakarta, Somerset Arcadia Miri and Citadines Central Binh Duong.
The new management contracts grant Ascott’s a presence in Yogyakarta, (Indonesia) and Miri, (Malaysia), as well as the entry of an international serviced residence brand in the city. In addition, Ascott acquired contracts to manage properties in in Binh Duong, Vietnam and a second serviced residence in Seoul, South Korea.
Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s CEO, said: “This year, we have grown faster than before by extending Ascott’s footprint to five new cities and adding about 4,700 units to our global network, which is almost double the units secured in the same period last year. Such an expansive growth demands an intimate understanding of the market and an ability to establish the right local alliances.”
Lee added, “We have forged strategic partnerships to ensure that Ascott remains the industry leader and we are in a strong position to accelerate our growth. Ascott’s entry into a joint venture with Qatar Investment Authority to set up a $600 million global serviced residence fund will provide us with the financial backing for acquisitions as we strive for our target of 80,000 units globally by 2020.”
According to Lee, Ascott is capitalising on growth opportunities in the technology space, having recently led a consortium to invest S$120 million in Tujia, China’s largest online apartment sharing platform. This is part of Ascott’s efforts to benefit from the growing O2O (both Offline-to-Online and Online-to-Offline) commerce space in China.
Ascott has also formed a strategic partnership with Samsung Asia to jointly develop smart homes that are able to support Internet of Things (IoT) appliances in their serviced residence.
Lee explained: “By harnessing our wealth of knowledge and experience in managing over 250 properties across 94 cities, we are able to take advantage of economies of scale across our global footprint to reap operational efficiencies and cost savings while delivering the highest quality in services and products.”