17 Feb 2010

Concern about removal of depreciation allowances

12:05 pm on 17 February 2010

ING Medical Property Trust is the latest property investor to express concern about Government plans to remove depreciation allowances on buildings.

The listed healthcare property investor, which owns hospitals, health centres and research facilities, says the potential move will force up rents and deter Australian investors who provide much needed capital.

It says it will be particularly hard on the healthcare sector, where an aging population means more investment will be needed.

The Trust outlined its concerns as its profit rose to $6.8 million in the six months to December, an increase of 15% on the same period a year ago.

General manager David Carr says rising demand for medical care means its 14 properties are almost full.

A downturn in the property market has forced the trust and many other listed landlords to sell assets to reduce debt and bolster their financial position.

Mr Carr says it's still considering selling some properties to focus on higher value hospital facilities or medical centres.

Its debt to total assets ratio stands at 34%.