Singapore’s Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) market grew significantly in 2006 with eight new REITs listed on the SGX and five follow-on offerings by existing REITs. Among the new REITs were Singapore’s first hotel REIT as well as Asia’s first healthcare REIT. As at end April 2007, there were 16 REITs with an aggregate market capitalisation of S$27 billion listed on the SGX, making Singapore the largest REITs market in Asia outside Japan.
The success of the REITs market is due to Singapore’s robust yet pro-business regulatory framework and competitive tax framework. This makes Singapore an attractive location for the securitisation of both domestic and offshore real estate assets in the REITs market. Cross-border REITs have emerged as a strong trend in 2006, further consolidating Singapore’s status as a regional REITs hub. These REITs give investors exposure to properties across the Asia Pacific including Singapore, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines and Australia. Singapore-listed REITs have been large issuers of commercial mortgage-backed securities, contributing 20% of all issuance of mortgage-backed securities in Asia ex-Japan in 2006.