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Ascott caps record growth year over 21,000 newly added units with its first foray into Africa

Secures two properties – Ascott 1 Oxford Street and Kwarleyz Residence – in Ghana’s capital of Accra, one of the top African cities for investment.

SINGAPORE – CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), is boosting its record growth this year with its first foray into Africa. It has secured contracts to manage two properties in the heart of Accra, one of Africa’s top cities for investment. The 220-unit Ascott 1 Oxford Street Accra will open in phases from 2019, while the 40-unit Kwarleyz Residence will open in 4Q 2018.

Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to close a record year of growth for Ascott with the successful addition of another continent, Africa, to Ascott’s global footprint. Ascott added 18 new cities across nine countries and secured a record of over 21,000 units in 2017. This is not only twice the increase in 2016, but also Ascott’s largest ever portfolio expansion in a single year. As these properties progressively open and stabilise, we can expect more fee income contribution to Ascott annually. Ascott is set to surpass its target of 80,000 units well ahead of 2020 as we continue with this growth trajectory, expanding through strategic alliances, management contracts, franchises and investments.”

Mr Lee added: “Ascott has been managing world-class serviced residences globally for the last 30 years and we see huge opportunities to bring Ascott into Africa, the world’s second fastest-growing economy after Asia1. Africa’s economic growth is fuelled by massive infrastructure development, favourable investment policies and a young population. Ascott is bringing an internationally renowned, well-loved brand to the heart of Accra, the capital of Ghana. We expect strong demand from the influx of business and leisure travellers as foreign direct investment continues to increase rapidly in this economic and administrative hub.”

Mr Thomas Wee, Ascott’s Deputy Managing Director for India, Middle East & Africa, said: “The serviced residence industry in Africa has significant untapped potential. Managing Kwarleyz Residence gives us quick time-to-market as it is already under development, while we design our second property under our premier Ascott The Residence brand, which will offer top business executives luxurious living in an exclusive environment. Ascott 1 Oxford Street Accra will be one of the tallest towers in Accra, within walking distance to the financial district, recreational and retail outlets, while Kwarleyz Residence is in an upscale residential area surrounded by embassies. With the properties’ prime locations and Ascott’s award-winning hospitality, both properties will be a huge draw for business and leisure travellers.”

The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Africa’s economy will be the second-fastest growing in the world with an annual growth rate of 4.3% from 2016 to 20202. With a current population of over one billion, Africa will be home to the world’s largest working-age population in less than two decades2.

Ghana is one of Africa’s most attractive investment destinations. According to the World Investment Report 2017, foreign direct investment in Ghana increased by 9% to a record US$3.5 billion in 20163. The World Travel & Tourism Council expects the tourism industry in Ghana to expand by 5.6% in 2017 and maintain an annual growth rate of 5.1% from 2017 to 2027, and that the country will attract over two million international tourists in 20274.

Ascott has embarked on an aggressive expansion this year as it acquired an 80% stake in Synergy Global Housing, a leading accommodation provider in the U.S., and increased its stake in Quest Apartment Hotels to 80% to establish itself as the largest serviced residence provider in Australasia. Coupled with other investments and management contracts, Ascott’s portfolio has increased from more than 51,000 units at the end of last year to close to 70,000 units.

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