AREIT aims to double leasing portfolio in Metro Manila, Cebu

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2021 01:09 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2021 01:36 PM

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MANILA - Ayala Land's AREIT Inc. will double its leasable portfolio "in the next couple of years" as they hunt for commercial properties in the country's key growth areas, its president Carol Mills told ANC Market Edge on Tuesday.

The company has 344,000 square meters of leasable space from its 4 properties, valued at P37 billion.

AREIT recently acquired Ayala The 30th mall and parts of industrial land Laguna Technopark.

"We do plan to inject more assets, more offices, and eventually malls as they stabilize. And if other opportunities arise, [we will look at] other asset classes as well," Mills said.

AREIT will concentrate on "key growth areas" such as Metro Manila and provinces like Cebu, but not on risky investments such as properties involving Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), she added.

The property needs to be "stable, with high occupancy, long term contracted leases with escalation" for AREIT to consider buying, she noted.

Mills added that AREIT's properties only amount to 10 percent of Ayala Land's office and malls portfolio.

The company's buildings are 99 percent occupied, and their leases expire on an average of 6 years.

"REITs [real estate investment trusts] are really an attractive investment this time. It's a balance between fixed income and equities, a hybrid. One can expect the regularity in dividends guaranteed by law and capital appreciation driven by the growth of REIT itself," Mills said.

"We have a lot of potential for REITs in the Philippines. We had the listing of first REIT despite the pandemic, and we expect others to eventually follow," she added.

The 4 REITs seen to list this year include DoubleDragon's DD Meridian Park, and Robinsons Land's 25 office buildings.

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