MOF, IRAS & MAS have announced new measures for S-REITs –
- distribution timeline extensions to qualify for tax transparency,
- leverage limit raised from 45% to 50% and
- defer implementation of a new minimum interest coverage ratio (ICR) requirement to 2022.
The measures are expected to support S-REIT managers in their capital management, adding further flexibility to manage cash flows. Focus will be on DPUs and industry outlooks as S-REITs report quarter earnings over the next few weeks.
The FTSE ST REIT Index opened up 3% on 17 April, after declining 20% in the 2020 YTD through to 16 April, trimming its longer term 10 year annualised total returns to 8%, which has been in-line with regional REIT Indices.
To support S-REITs during these challenging times, MOF, IRAS and MAS have jointly announced new measures on 16 April. These new measures include:
Extension of timeline for S-REITs to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income from 3 months to 12 months (after the end of FY2020) to qualify for tax transparency;
Increasing leverage limit from 45% to 50%; and
- Defer of implementation of a new minimum interest coverage ratio (ICR) requirement to 1 Jan 2022.
The new measures, together with enhanced share issue limit announced by SGX RegCo last week, will provide S-REITs more flexibility to access various funding options and manage cash flows. With active capital management by REIT managers, S-REITs have maintained an average Debt to Asset ratio of 35.3%, based on latest company data as of 31 March 2020. Raising the leverage limit may provide S-REITs more flexibility to manage their capital structure.
List of 10 S-REITs with highest debt-to-asset ratios
|Debt to Assets|
|OUE COMMERCIAL REIT||TS0U||2,218||1,765||4.9%||40.3|
|CACHE LOGISTICS TRUST||K2LU||573||1,502||2.9%||40.1|
|FAR EAST HOSPITALITY TRUST||Q5T||927||2,242||5.3%||39.2|
|EC WORLD REIT||BWCU||507||1,255||1.6%||38.7|
|KEPPEL PACIFIC OAK US REIT||CMOU||762||3,070||3.2%||38.5|
|SOILBUILD BUSINESS SPACE REIT||SV3U||469||980||2.7%||38.2|
|MANULIFE US REIT||BTOU||1,594||8,190||2.5%||37.7|
S-REITs 10-year annualised returns remains above global REITs average
In the 2020 year-to-date through to 16 April, the FTSE ST REIT Index declined 19.8%, in line with the average 22.2% decline among global REIT indices. Annualised 10 year total returns of FTSE ST REIT Index was also trimmed to 8.0% but remained slightly above the average of 7.2% for global REIT indices.
The FTSE ST REIT Index is currently trading at a Price-to-Book ratio of 0.96x (below its 10 year average of 1.01x) and a forward dividend yield spread of 5.15% against Singapore 10 year Benchmark Government Bond Yield, above the STI forward dividend yield spread of 3.92%.
S-REITs with majority of their retail properties Singapore
These 7 S-REITs averaged a decline of 29.2% for the 2020 year to date session through to 16 April. In the morning session of 17 April, they rebounded an average of 5.3% from the previous day.
by Asset Portfolio
on 17 April
|CAPITALAND MALL TRUST||C38U||6,553||100% SG||-28.0%||6.8%|
|SUNTEC REIT||T82U||3,723||89% SG, 11% AU||-28.3%||6.8%|
|MAPLETREE COMMERCIAL TRUST||N2IU||5,873||100% SG||-25.9%||5.6%|
|FRASERS CENTREPOINT TRUST||J69U||2,265||100% SG||-28.1%||7.4%|
|SPH REIT||SK6U||2,185||81% SG, 19% AU||-26.2%||3.2%|
|STARHILL GLOBAL REIT||P40U||1,064||68.7% SG, 15.9% AU,
12.6% MY, 2.8% CN & JP
|LENDLEASE GLOBAL COMMERCIAL REIT||JYEU||710||71.5% SG, 28.5% Italy||-34.9%||3.3%|
All eyes on upcoming S-REITs quarterly earnings
S-REITs are expected to release their March quarterly earnings in the coming weeks and focus outlooks on multiple areas, from continued maintenance of strong tenant relationships, to utilising balance sheets for the most effective cash flows. The new measure also requires S-REITs to disclose leverage ratios and ICRs in annual reports and interim financial results, to provide investors with timely information on their risk profiles.
Refer to weekly Economic Calendar for the latest S-REITs earnings schedule.
- Singapore REITs - DBS Research 2020-04-17: MAS Throws A Lifeline
- REITs - RHB Invest 2020-04-17: A Timely Relief; Maintain OVERWEIGHT