Asian real estate board sees Singapore as major REITs centre

Singapore – The Asian Public Real Estate Association said on Tuesday told that a body which represents publicly traded Asia-Pacific real estate has set up a chapter in Singapore to ultimately serve as a major cross-border REITs centre.

Market capitalization of the city-state’s real estate investment trust (REIT) market amounts to 21.6 billion dollars, second to Japan with a capitalization of 46 billion dollars.

“For some players, 2008 will represent a period of good opportunities for companies that are well capitalized and don’t rely on credit, “The Business Times quoted Peter Mitchell, the association’s chief executive officer, as saying.

Hong Kong ranks as the third-largest REIT market with capitalization of 8.5 billion dollars, followed by Taiwan at 1.7 billion dollars, Malaysia at 1.l6 billion dollars and South Korea at 0.6 billion dollars.

Mitchell described the REIT sectors in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore as mature. The general downturn in the economy could see a return to fundamentals,” he told the newspaper.

Mitchell said projections of another 10 REITs being listed in Singapore this year seems a bit optimistic amid the US subprime crisis and global credit crunch, but there are still opportunities in Asia.

The city-state has the potential to become a major centre for the region, Mitchell said, mentioning upcoming listings of Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian REITs.
The Singapore chapter follows those set up in Hong Kong and Japan.

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