2 Under the revised Appendix, REITs will be required to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) once every calendar year and not more than 15 months from the last preceding AGM, with effect from 1 January 2010. This means all REITs will have held an AGM by 31 Dec 2010. In line with SGX's rule on the timing of AGMs for other listed issuers, REITs will have to hold their AGMs within 4 months from their financial year end. MAS has also revised the Appendix to remove the requirement for REIT managers seeking authorisation for a new REIT to submit information in a prescribed form given that REIT managers are now subject to the capital markets services licensing regime.
3 In mandating AGMs for REITs, MAS had considered the following merits:
(i) Mandatory AGMs will enhance corporate governance for REITs by providing an important channel for communication between REIT managers and unitholders, allowing REIT managers to be more accountable to unitholders.
(ii) AGMs will provide a regular opportunity for REIT managers to seek general mandates from unitholders for the issuance of new units and thus accord greater flexibility for equity raising.
4 MAS' revisions took into account feedback from our public consultation in May this year and our discussions with REIT players. Our responses to the comments received from the public consultation are published on the MAS website (Click here to view) (20.1 KB). MAS will continue to engage industry players and ensure that our regulatory regime remains progressive and keeps pace with the market's development and growth.
Notes to Editor:
The first Singapore REIT was launched and listed on the Singapore Exchange ("SGX") in July 2002. Singapore is now the largest REIT market in Asia ex-Japan, with 19 listed REITs and a total market capitalisation of more than S$23 billion as of September 2009. Singapore-listed REITs offer investors access to a diversity of real estate assets including retail malls, office buildings, industrial properties, hotels, serviced apartments and hospitals.
MAS Capital Markets Services Licensing Regime: The Securities and Futures Act was amended on 1 Aug 2008 to implement a licensing regime for REIT Managers. The admission requirements for REIT Managers are set out in the Guidelines on the Criteria for the Grant of a Capital Markets Services Licence and Representative's Licence, available on MAS' website.