More developers could raise funds through REITs: Colliers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2021 06:06 PM

MANILA— The success of listed real estate investment trust (REITs) could encourage more developers to raise funds using the same financial instrument, an officer of Colliers International Philippines said Friday.

Collectively, REITs have raised P60 to P65 billion, Colliers Managing Director Richard Raymundo told reporters.

REITs allow even small investors to earn from dividends. 

"That is a lot of capital that has been sourced from the market. I think most of the REITS that have been listed have held their values," Raymundo said.

"AREIT has probably gone up the most, but the most recent ones have held up. There are still some big developers who are not yet in the REITS. Let's see in the next 12 months if the other developers are going to jump on the REIT bandwagon," he added.

Ayala Land's AREIT was the first to list on the main index of the Philippine Stock Exchange. DoubleDragon, Filinvest Land, Robinsons Land and Megaworld have also launched their own REITs. 

Meanwhile, office space vacancies have hit 1.78 million square meters in Metro Manila or equivalent to 60 office buildings, Colliers data showed.

Rents have remained low due to pandemic vacancies, Colliers Office Services Director Dom Andaya said. 

Demand has increased driven by the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and the reopening of the US economy but are partially offset by work from home set-ups during the pandemic, Andaya said.

Companies have shifted to a hybrid set-up, where some work from home and some on-site, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The BPO sector is seen to grow by 7 to 8 percent this year, outpacing projections for the Philippine economy, which is expected to grow by 4 to 5 percent this year.

“Those BPOs that can bring employees back to the office sooner will be able to service their clients in a better way. We’ve seen some end clients move from one BPO to another because of service," he said. 

Demand for condominiums are expected to recover as workers go back to offices and as the economy reopens further, Colliers said.

Retail space demand could bounce back on the back of "revenge shopping and dining" once restrictions ease, Collier’s Head of Research Joey Bondoc said.

“Further easing of quarantine restrictions, more businesses reopening, more Filipinos returning to work whether on site or wfh, it really injects optimism in the market," he said.

Metro Manila will remain under Alert Level 3 until Nov. 14 but businesses are lobbying to lower the restrictions by Nov. 15 in time for the holiday rush, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier said.

— with reports from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News