Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd (Mapletree), the real estate, investment and capital management company backed by Singapore's state investor Temasek, has entered into a cooperation agreement with Chinese courier group SF Express to establish a long-term strategic partnership to collaborate in logistics networks, the Business Times reported.
Mapletree will provide quality solutions, and customisation of warehouse facilities to meet SF's business requirements, the report said.
In a statement the Temasek unit said it is expanding its presence to cover more areas within China.
Temasek investing into HNA?
Earlier this month, a Reuters report quoted sources as saying that Temasek Holdings, which is a majority shareholder of Singapore Airlines, had expressed interest in buying into Chinese conglomerate HNA's Hong Kong-based carriers, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express Airways.
An investment in the unlisted Hong Kong carriers by Temasek would, however, remain subject to a due diligence process that has yet to begin.
Temasek would likely emerge as only a minority holder in the Hong Kong airlines, which control valuable slots at Hong Kong's capacity-constrained airport, if a deal is completed.
Are Gategroup, Swissport part of the package?
Temasek and the debt-laden HNA, an aviation-to-financial services conglomerate, this month also signed a memorandum of understanding to explore potential investments in Swissport Group and Gategroup Holding, both owned by HNA Group.
Commenting on Mapletree's agreement with SF Express, the Business Times report said that the deal comes at a time when SF Express, the second-largest courier company in China after China Post, is aggressively expanding its overseas business.
SF Express currently has a fleet of 57 aircraft, including five Boeing 767Fs, to service millions of packages daily. It has also ventured overseas, providing courier services to 53 countries.
Mutual projects have shown satisfying results
Earlier this month, SF Express announced it had joined the “Malaysia-China cross-border e-commerce sharing platform” as an official partner.
The Business Times report quoted Lee Ark Boon, Mapletree CEO for logistics development in China, as saying that recent joint projects with SF Express have shown win-win results for both parties and that Mapletree aims to provide customers with "an edge in the competitive logistics industry."
"We are also hopeful in broadening the cooperation scope, to leverage on Mapletree's global resources and networks to support SF's expansion plans," he noted.
China is an attractive logistics market underpinned by favourable underlying fundamentals. Last week, Singapore-listed Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) and its sponsor Mapletree Investments jointly acquired 11 new Grade A logistics properties in China, which has a strong tenant base hailing from e-commerce-related sectors, including major express delivery companies like SF Express.
Nol van Fenema
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