Hong Kong shopping mall owned by Temasek-linked company suffers “extensive damage” by protesters

Festival Walk Mall, Hong Kong. Source: Mapletree

Festival Walk, a shopping mall in Hong Kong owned by Singapore-based Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust Ltd, suffered “extensive damage” in another round of protests on Wed (13 Nov).

Bloomberg reported Mapletree, a Temasek Holdings-linked company, as saying that protestors had “smashed” glass panels at the mall’s entrance, and that they had also “damaged the office lobby and balustrades on various levels” of the centre.

Festival Walk’s Christmas tree was also “torched” during the protests.

Mapletree North Asia Commercial’s fell 4.9 per cent to S$1.16 in early Singapore trade yesterday, which is the lowest in 10 months, according to Bloomberg.

Festival Walk is situated near the Kowloon Tong subway station. It houses over 200 retail stores and restaurants, including Apple, Marks & Spencer and Uniqlo.

Festival Walk was Mapletree’s first commercial property acquisition in Hong Kong, purchased for S$2.9 billion in 2011. As of Mar this year, Mapletree owns and manages S$55.7 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential and lodging properties, including four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and six private equity real estate funds.

Festival Walk incident follows student’s death last Fri during clashes 

The incident at Festival Walk follows another violent clash between protesters and the police, which saw a student succumbing to fatal head injuries last Fri (8 Nov).

AFP reported that while the exact chronology leading to 22-year-old Alex Chow’s fall are “unclear and disputed”, his death is “the first student fatality during five months of demonstrations”.

Vigils were held the same night to mourn Chow’s passing, and to call upon new rounds of protests over last weekend.

Joshua Wong, a prominent civil rights activist of the Umbrella Movement, tweeted: “Today we mourn the loss of a freedom fighter in Hong Kong”.

Police have repeatedly denied any allegations of wrongdoing in relation to Chow’s death, AFP reported.

The lead officer in the case, Superintendent Ewing Wu, told reporters: “As for the allegations that police chased the deceased or that we pushed him and caused him to fall, the police hereby make a solemn statement again that nothing of the kind happened”.

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