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Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunway adds shine to REITs

The real estate investment trusts market is expected to be an attractive investment with positive macro economy numbers and higher disposable income.

More property groups are likely to set up real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Malaysia this year as the market continues to stay attractive, said the manager of a major property trust.

"With positive macro economy numbers and higher disposable income, we expect the REIT market to be an attractive investment," said Datuk Jeffrey Ng, the chief executive officer of Sunway REIT Management Sdn Bhd (5176), the manager for Sunway REIT.

Sunway REIT is Malaysia's largest REIT, and it is also the largest REIT initial public offering in Asia, excluding Japan, since 2007.

It was launched by Sunway City Bhd and Sunway REIT Management last July, with eight assets worth RM3.7 billion.
Sunway REIT is expected to double its asset size to RM7 billion in five years, which will comprise 60 per cent of retail properties.

Ng said it is looking for properties to buy, but he declined to elaborate.

Pipeline properties include the two new phases to Sunway Pyramid mall, now known as SP3 and SP4.

Ng said Sunway REIT has helped to bolster the equity market and made it more attractive to foreign institutional players.

"Before the entry of Sunway REIT, the Malaysian REIT (M-REIT) market was never on the international radar screen as the players were too small to attract foreign investors.

"With Sunway REIT coming in, I think we have been catalytic to put M-REIT back on the global funds' radar," he said on Friday in Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

Sunway REIT's assets are Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Sunway Carnival Shopping Mall, SunCity Ipoh Hypermarket, Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Pyramid Tower Hotel, Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya and two office towers.

Sunway REIT is 58 per cent held by institutional funds like the Employees Provident Fund, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Government of Singapore Investment Corp and Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd. Some 26 per cent of the trust is held by foreign unit holders.

By Business Times

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