CapitaLand The Interlace

SINGAPORE: The CapitaLand Investment CLI CEO says 2023 is ‘unusually difficult’, but he’s ‘confident’ of “what is to come” because of what he sees in his people.

“Already, we are seeing some interesting opportunities emerge which would not have been available when times were good. The key is never to waste a crisis. We will continue to ensure we have the balance sheet and stand ready to make bold moves to bring a step change to our businesses,” he said.

“We will focus on meeting the needs of our customers, and in so doing, we will build a base of recurring fee income and strong enterprise value in line with our vision to be the preferred global real asset manager, creating positive, sustainable impact,” he added.

CapitaLand Investment is expected to incur asset valuation losses for the fiscal year 2023, as stated by the group’s CEO, Lee Chee Koon, in a New Year message to staff. Despite facing an unusually difficult year, CLI has maintained a resilient underlying operating performance, The Edge Singapore reports.

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On Dec 8, 2023, CLI announced its anticipation of fair value losses on its portfolio of investment properties.

These losses primarily stem from investment properties in China, Australia, Europe, the UK, and the US. CLI clarified that these non-cash fair value losses are attributed to higher capitalization rates and weaker market sentiments.

Mr Lee acknowledged the impact of these non-cash losses on CLI’s full-year results.

In his New Year message, he said, “Even though these losses may be non-cash, they will still impact CLI’s full year results. This is despite the fact that our underlying operating performance continues to be resilient and our business units continue to position strongly for the future. Our operating profit also remains strong, driven by our fee income, and we are moving in the right direction.”

Mr Lee attributed CLI’s challenges in 2023 to geopolitical and economic headwinds, citing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and the unfolding crisis in the Middle East.

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He expressed concerns about navigating a persistently high-interest rate environment and a politically divided world, suggesting potential struggles for many companies in such conditions.

Despite the challenges, Mr Lee adopted an optimistic outlook, emphasising the importance of turning challenges into opportunities.

He stated: “Am I discouraged? No, absolutely not. Instead, I am optimistic.”

He noted the emergence of interesting opportunities during challenging times, which might not have been available in more favourable circumstances.

Mr Lee stressed the need to capitalize on crises, ensuring a prepared and bold approach to positively impact the business.

“Am I confident about what is to come? The answer is a resounding yes.

What gives me motivation to power on is what I see in our people. I have said many times that an organisation is only as good as the people and culture we have…

I see many colleagues prioritise our company’s goals and demonstrate a genuine willingness to collaborate, learn, and grow together.

Collectively, I know we are making better and more informed decisions. We are continuing to build a strong, diverse and global team with a winning mindset that works closely together to drive results.”

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As of Jan 2, at 4:59 p.m. SGT, CLI shares were valued at S$3.13. /TISG