REITs propel property sector’s growth—DOF

Published August 12, 2021, 12:53 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) said the growing roster of real estate investment trust (REIT) offerings will propel the growth of the Philippines’ property sector beyond the pandemic, serving as one catalyst for the country’s quick and strong recovery.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the REIT has proven to be the ideal tool for raising funds required to boost property development while opening attractive and dependable investment opportunities for the average Filipino.

Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III

As with the previous REIT offerings, Dominguez said the latest to be listed by Filinvest Land Inc. in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) amid the pandemic underscores the confidence of investors in the economy’s solid recovery from the impact of the global contagion.

“I wish Filinvest the best and thank its board, officers, and staff for their confidence in the strength of our economy. This REIT offering will be among the catalysts for our quick and strong economic recovery,” Dominguez said,

The listing ceremony was held Thursday, August 12, for the Filinvest REIT Corp. (FILREIT) at the PSE.

Dominguez noted that FILREIT’s portfolio of “Grade A” office and commercial properties located in strategic areas and catering primarily to the business process outsourcing and information technology sectors will “surely provide attractive dividend yields for investors.”

Filinvest has also acquired a well-earned reputation for sustainable and green buildings, which should inspire other developers and set the standard for eco-friendly designs that will help achieve the country’s climate ambition of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

“With this REIT offering, I encourage Filinvest to further expand its portfolio of sustainable property developments, especially outside the Metro Manila area,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said he is “fairly certain” that the country has gone through the worst part of the COVID-19 induced crisis and is well on its way to recovery, as evidenced by the economy’s second-quarter growth of 11.8 percent, which is the best performance in more than 30-years.

“Despite the recent lockdown to contain the Delta variant, prospects for a strong economic rebound in 2021 remain promising. Our vaccination program, which is the most potent weapon we have against this unseen enemy, is proceeding at pace,” Dominguez said.

FILREIT is the third REIT offering in the country after Ayala Land Inc. and DoubleDragon Properties Corp. earlier listed their respective REITs in the PSE amid the pandemic.

Dominguez had strongly pushed the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9856 or the REIT Law since he assumed the finance portfolio in 2016.

When the REIT Law was passed in 2009, no company found its terms attractive, owing to what property players have listed as obstacles for the REIT to flourish in this country–friction costs, minimum public ownership requirements, and taxes.