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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

REIT firms targeting northern investors

GEORGE TOWN: Real estate investment trust (REIT) companies are now targeting investors in the northern region, particularly the high net-worth individuals and “men on the street.”

»They hope to channel some of these funds into REIT « GAN KIM KHOON

OSK Investment Bank Bhd (equity capital markets) director Gan Kim Khoon said there were over RM354bil in fixed deposits and savings of individuals in the country waiting for REIT companies to tap.

“They hope to channel some of these funds into REITs, which are high yielding and low risk in nature,” he told StarBiz after a one-day roadshow on REITs-Investors Outreach Programme recently.

The REIT companies from Kuala Lumpur that took part in the event included Axis REIT Managers Bhd, AmFirst ARA REIT Managers and AmanahRaya-JMF Asset Management.

“Outside Kuala Lumpur, REITs have little exposure from large companies, and participation by individual investors is also small,” Gan said.

Investment in REITs presently offered the best yield, ranging from 8.5% to 12% yearly, based on current earnings, he said, adding: “In such a challenging climate, there are not that many stocks that can give you such yields. It is better than putting funds in fixed deposits.”

Stewart Labrooy ... ‘After upgrading, the valuation increased to over RM140mil’

Meanwhile, Axis REIT Managers chief executive officer Stewart Labrooy said the company regularly implemented asset-enhancement exercises to increase the value of its assets.

“Last year we injected about RM3.5mil to upgrade one of our office buildings, Wisma Kemajuan, in Petaling Jaya. After upgrading, the valuation for the property increased to RM52mil, compared with the original valuation of RM29mil in 2005,” he said.

He said Axis REIT recently spent RM8mil on two of its commercial properties which were originally valued at RM106mil.

“After upgrading, the valuation increased to over RM140mil.

“Through such asset-enhancement exercises, we create more value-added space, which in turn attracts more tenants, and increases our income from rentals,” he said.

By The Star (by David Tan)

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