REIT exchange traded funds (ETFs) made their debut on the Mainboard of Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited in 2016. There are now three listed REIT ETFs with the latest one (Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF) focusing exclusively on Singapore listed REITs. The three ETFs are:

  • NikkoAM-Straits Trading Asia Ex-Japan REIT ETF This ETF tracks the performance of the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Asia ex-Japan Net Total Return REIT Index, with CapitaLand Mall Trust, Ascendas REIT and Link REIT as its top 3 holdings as of September 2018. Click here for ETF Factsheet.
  • Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF Comprises of the 30 highest total dividend paying REITs in the Asia Pacific ex-Japan region, with Link REIT, Scentre Group and Stockland as its top 3 holdings as of September 2018. Click here for ETF Factsheet.
  • Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF This is the only S-REIT focused ETF and comprises of 28 S-REITs including CapitaLand Mall Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Mapletree Commercial Trust as its top 3 holdings as of September 2018. Click here for ETF Factsheet.

More companies are attempting to introduce such investment products in Singapore, riding on the trend of increasing investor interest in the real estate sector and receiving stable distributions and investment returns through passive investing in ETFs and index funds. With the tax change announced in the 2018 Singapore Budget to allow distributions from S-REITs to ETFs to be made free of Singapore withholding tax of 17% and for tax transparency treatment to be accorded to REIT ETFs, it is likely that more REIT ETFs may be listed in Singapore in the medium term.