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Ascott set to boost serviced apartments

THE Ascott Group Ltd, a member of Singapore-based CapitaLand Ltd and one of the largest international serviced residence owners and operators, said yesterday it plans to open 10 additional properties on the Chinese mainland by the end of next year.

"The number of rooms under operation, covering Ascott, Somerset and Citadines brands, is expected to increase to around 5,300 by the end of 2010, compared to our current size of more than 3,000,'' said Wang Hwee Wen, manager of corporate communications at Ascott International, a member of the group. "We will continue to grow our footprint in the country by securing more management contracts and through selective acquisitions.''

The latest contract the company has signed is with Shanghai Li Xing Real Estate Development Co Ltd to manage a serviced residence at Hong Kong Plaza on downtown Huaihai Road in Shanghai, its fifth property in the city which is scheduled to open next year.

With the 10 new properties, the firm's footprint will grow to 12 cities in the country.

The company currently operates 17 properties in 10 cities on the Chinese mainland. Nine properties are located in Beijing and Shanghai.

Ascott is not alone with ambitious expansion plans despite falling demand and reduced housing budgets from corporate clients, the dominant guests at serviced residences.

Frasers Hospitality announced in late March it will double its China presence to 13 properties in one year.


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