Towards greater heights

Singapore remains competitive against emerging Asian REIT markets

In the last decade, Asia has been a significant contributor to the growth of the global REIT sector. The rapid development of selected REIT regimes in Asia has raised some questions about the potential impact on the Singapore market. How will the S-REITs market fare in the future?

Singapore now has 42 listed REITs and Property Trusts (S-REITs) with a combined market capitalisation of S$110.3 billion (US$81.1 billion) as of September 30, 2021. A unique aspect of the S-REITs market is the dominance of cross-border REIT listings compared to other REIT jurisdictions.

Of the 12 REIT markets in Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong, China and India stood out as potential rivals due to their rapid growth potential.

Investors and businesses have often compared Hong Kong's capital markets with that of Singapore’s as both are vibrant and established financial centres. Further, Hong Kong recently introduced changes to its REIT rules to revive the sector.

Meanwhile, Asia's two biggest economies, namely China and India, launched their REIT regime and listed its first REIT respectively in the last two years. Both are seen as fast-growth markets because their vast population and landmass will potentially help create a deep and sizeable REIT sector if investment conditions are conducive to foreign participation.

With the emergence of new REIT regimes, future sponsors with assets in these local markets could consider listing domestically rather than opt for a cross-border structure in Singapore. While the ultimate choice of the listing
destination will depend on the REIT manager's mandate, these new REIT markets are nevertheless creating competition for the city-state as a future sponsor will now have more listing options.

How does Singapore stack up against these markets? Together with views sought from experts in the industry, from the managers of listed S-REITs to SGX and bankers, we share our thoughts in this publication jointly released by Deloitte and the REIT Association of Singapore (REITAS).

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