Philippines eases rules on REITs with lower public float

Manila, Philippines. Photo by Bash Carlos on Unsplash

Philippine real estate investment trust (REIT) companies will be allowed to maintain control of their firms and enjoy tax breaks under revised government rules to attract fresh capital to sustain property market growth, authorities said on Monday.

REITs have been available to investors in the Philippines since a 2009 law, but the market has failed to take off because a high public ownership requirement and transaction taxes turned off property companies.

Under the revised rules, REITs will only be required to sell 33% of their companies to the public, down sharply from the previously mandated 67%, the Department of Finance said.

Transfer of assets from the property firm to the REIT company will now be free of value-added tax, it added.

“We democratise wealth by opening access for thousands of small investors wanting to be shareholders in secure and profitable real estate projects,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a speech.

REITs will harness additional resources from the capital market to help finance and develop infrastructure projects, he added.

REITs manage real estate assets that regularly generate profits, which are distributed to shareholders as dividends.

Ayala Land Inc, among the Philippines‘ top property firms, said last year it was looking to list a $500 million REIT, but it did not say when.

Ayala Land is a unit of Ayala Corp, the Philippines‘ oldest conglomerate, which has interests ranging from retail, wind and solar energy and telecoms to banking, healthcare, automotives and utilities.

The Southeast Asian nation’s property sector is among the most vibrant in the region, with its office segment driven by business process outsourcing and online gambling, while retail continues to grow despite competition from e-commerce.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.