Asia’s well established REITs and real estate securitisation event, REITs Asia Pacific 2018 is back again for the 5th edition. The prior REITs Asia Pacific conferences were trailblazers and were instrumental in developing investor interest in the Singapore REIT market. This year, building on a successful comeback in 2017, the event will continue play host to the Asia Pacific REIT industry recognition event – “The Asia Pacific Best of the Breeds REITs Awards™ 2018”.
Despite expectations for REITs to materialize in India and to a lesser extent, Philippines in 2017, both scenarios did not play out. China, for another, despite its potential, remained bogged down by the unresolved tax exemption issue. Singapore, on the other hand, continued to cement its position as the de-facto centre for Asian REITs, with the recent Cromwell European REIT listing and the Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF. The Cromwell REIT listing is one of the largest Asia Pacific REIT offering in recent years, attracting about U$376 million in subscriptions while the Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF is a first ever ETF that tracks the performance of 30 actively traded REITs in Asia Pacific ex Japan. Still plenty of excitement in the Asian REITs sector.
Moving forward into 2018, against the reality of rising interest rates which places a dampener on REITs’ prices and challenges in the retail sector, there are plenty of bright sparks in the horizon. Retailers are experimenting with new business models and concepts and utilizing technology to gain an edge. E-commerce has created a demand for Industrial properties and Industrial REITs. Increasingly, deal makers are looking offshore and even to Western markets for opportunities for REITs listings in Asia. There could be some buyout situations for the purpose of consolidation in Asia. We could also witness some interesting strategies and developments by the other leading REITs markets such as Japan, Australia and Hong Kong in their bid to take the pole position. And therefore, it is befitting that the theme for REITs Asia Pacific 2018 would be:” “Entering New Horizons, Breaking Frontiers”.