SPH taps demand for UK varsity dorms but watch for Brexit bump

By Michelle Zhu / The Edge Singapore | September 12, 2018 10:59 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (Sept 11): OCBC Investment Research is maintaining its “hold” call on Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) with an unchanged fair value estimate of $2.52, following the latter’s acquisition of a $321 million portfolio in the UK.
To recap, the portfolio comprises 14 buildings across six towns and cities in the UK and has a total capacity of 3,436 beds for student accommodation.
Its properties include 10 freehold assets and 4 leasehold assets, and are situated in established university towns and cities with large full-time student populations, including London, Birmingham, Bristol, Huddersfield, Plymouth and Sheffield.
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In a Tuesday report, lead analyst Joseph Ng says SPH’s acquisition move was as anticipated, as he has expecting SPH to explore the real estate management market in the UK, specifically education-related assets, to diversify its income streams.
Citing recent admission figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), he believes local demand for student accommodation in the UK should remain generally robust, although Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) data suggests demand of higher education places is generally determined by the size of the young population.
Read more on The Edge Singapore.