Sometime in mid-2012, under the auspices of the MAS & SGX, several members from the sponsors, reit managers, trustees, financial and legal advisors were invited to sit on the S-Reit Working Group, or SRWG, to collectively brainstorm ideas and strategies to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of the S-Reit industry for all stakeholders. One of the SRWG’s recommendations was the formation of a Reit Association, to promote and to enhance the S-Reit business, and the operating and regulatory environment. Nine founding members came together in response to this call and officially registered REITAS in December 2013.
The first S-Reit, CapitaLand Mall Trust, CMT was first listed on the SGX in 2002 with a market capitalisation of S$708 million. Thirteen years later today, there are 34 S-Reits with a total market capitalisation in excess of S$67 billion.
Singapore has developed a solid foundation for the reit industry, with a pro-business and supportive regulatory environment; a well-developed equity and debt capital markets which reits can access; the requisite professional players; responsible sponsors and reit managers; a growing local and international investor base; and increasing interest from overseas promoters who are attracted to list their assets here.
The aim of REITAS is therefore to strengthen the S-Reit industry in terms of size and number of players; to enhance the transparency and governance issues so that investors can make their choice in investing; to engage the regulators and relevant agencies to make policies and regulations more salubrious for the growth of the industry; to improve the level of professionalism as well as general public education; to keep the S-Reit environment attractive and competitive for global/ international players.