“Winning In Competitive Times” will be the theme for the 6th Annual REITs Asia Pacific Conference 2019 – Asia’s top and longest reigning REITs and real estate securitisation event. It is also co-hosted with Asia’s most prestigious industry recognition event – “The Asia Pacific Best of the Breeds REITs Awards™ 2019”.
Against an environment of lower yields and buying opportunities, the landscape for the Asian real estate investment trust (REITs) market in 2019 has become more challenging and competitive. As a result, Singapore REITs and developers have been investing outwards and deploying their capital in Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe and US. According to CBRE data, Singapore has emerged as the largest source of Asia Pacific outbound investment in the first half of 2018, with US$9.06 billion of capital deployed. Europe was the favoured destination for Singapore investments amounting to US$3.4 billion in the first half of 2018.
The recent US$448 million REIT listing of an American 11-office portfolio in the Singapore Exchange underlies the trend to seek higher returns further offshore especially in the United States, Europe, and Australia. The Singapore REIT market has also seen some M&A activities with the consolidation amongst smaller REITs. There are a few bright sparks in the market, with opportunities brought by digitalisation technologies, offering retail owners new ways of engaging customers and increasing operational efficiency. The new economy of technology startups and the growth of regional distribution warehouses and data centres are holding up the logistics and office REIT market. Interestingly, the digitalisation wave has also created a new form of funding called Securitised Token Offering (STO) or Digital Share Offering (DSO) as an alternative to REIT listing. How it will fare against the well-established REIT market, remains to be seen.
In India, the market is anticipating the first REIT initial public offering (IPO) this year. Embassy Group’s 33 million-square-foot business park portfolio will be Asia’s largest REIT by gross floor area (GFA). Meanwhile, China’s experiment with “quasi-REITs” for nearly two decades has not been successful with creating a real domestically listed REIT. However, in other parts of Asia such as the Philippines, its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking significant measures to jumpstart the REIT industry once again by relaxing stringent regulatory conditions and working closely with the MoF on removing previous regulatory hurdles.
Against a competitive landscape in 2019 for REITs, market players will need to devise new winning strategies to thrive and deliver consistent returns to investors. This will be the agenda and discussion theme for The 6th Annual REITs Asia Pacific Conference 2019 where established REITs players and investors will outline their winning strategies for the year. The event will also witness the crowning of Asia’s best performing REITs at “The Asia Pacific Best of the Breeds REITs Awards™ 2019”.