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Monday, November 29, 2010

HSBC Amanah: Islamic REITs drawing Gulf investors

DUBAI: More syariah-compliant real estate investment trusts (REITs) will come to market in Asia in early 2011 as cross-regional Islamic investors increasingly embrace the product, HSBC Amanah Malaysia's new head said.

Singapore's first syariah-compliant REIT, Sabana REIT, listed last Friday, has drawn a mixture of both conventional and Islamic investors, a quarter of them from the Middle East, chief executive officer Rafe Haneef said last Friday.

"The take-up (among Gulf investors) for future Islamic REITs will be a lot greater than that," said Haneef, who is also managing director of global markets for HSBC Amanah.

"At the moment there is no timeline for when other issuers will come out with Islamic REITs, but I would expect more in the first or second quarter of next year," he said.

HSBC Amanah was exploring other Islamic REIT opportunities in Malaysia and Singapore, Haneef said, noting it was financial adviser for the Sabana REIT initial public offering (IPO).

Sabana REIT sold 508 million units at S$1.05 (RM2.51) each in its IPO last week. The IPO was 2.5-times subscribed. Sabana REIT's shares closed at S$1.02 (RM2.44) on the Singapore stock market, after being weighed down by jittery market sentiment.

By Reuters

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