Saturday, 3 October 2009

REITs coming to Philippines; developers optimistic


MANILA - Philippine property developers are optimistic the local take up of real estate investment trusts (REITs) would be robust, allowing more funds to flow to the sector once the law takes effect late this year or early next year.

The Philippine Congress ratified the bill creating the legal and regulatory framework for REITs this week. It is now awaiting the signature of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Implementing rules and regulations should be out 90 days after the president signs the bill into law.

"It should be good for the industry and the Philippine capital market in general and ultimately the economy," Jaime Ysmael, Ayala Land chief finance officer, told Reuters.

"Hopefully, it will spur a lot of economic activity given the liquidity (it will attract) and that will allow developers to pursue more projects," Ysmael said.

REITs have been widely adopted in the United States, Australia and more recently Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

As of June 2009, the market capitalisation of REITs in Asia stood at $55.86 billion dollars, with Japan accounting for the biggest share, data from the European Public Real Estate Association showed.

"We have to wait for the implementing rules first but I am sure that property companies will take advantage of this legislation if and when market conditions (become) attractive," Frederick Go, president of Robinsons Land Corp, told a press conference on Wednesday.

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