Asian Market For Real Estate Investment Trusts Forecast To Grow

The Asian market for real estate investment trusts (Reits) is expected to grow this year after a strong showing in 2006 resulting from buoyant equity markets and robust economies, a property consultancy's report said on Thursday.

Twenty-seven new Reits floated in the first 11 months of last year boosted the total market capitalization of Asian-listed Reits by 66 per cent to 63 billion US dollars, up sharply from 38 billion US dollars at the end of 2005, said CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

"Asian Reits will likely follow their present expansionary trend in 2007," said the consultancy's executive director Danny Mohr.

Robust economic conditions support continued demand for property and a more benign interest rate outlook, he said.

With the market evolving, CBRE said Reits with hotels, hospitals and even infrastructure projects are being offered. These are diversifying asset types beyond conventional office, retail and industrial property.

While Singapore's conducive regulatory regime and competitive tax system favourably positioned the city-state to draw an increasing number of cross-border Reits listings, Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong were considered the laggards in the market.