First time at the Reits Symposium organised by share investor. Personally I think the symposium acts much like a mini AGM where investors get a chance to hear from the CEO’s of the major reits listed on the SGX. Held in May, the symposium was also a good place for the reits to showcase/offload their old inventories of past annual reports.
For a novice investor like myself, the symposium was a platform to get to know some of the reits better. For example, BHG reit and Straits Trading Company are now 2 new stocks that I will be looking into following the symposium.
Being a public/retail investor symposium, the reits were not able to be as technical as they would have liked to be. Even during the panel discussion they were centered on several, I thought, were rather over asked questions such as rising interest rates, rise of e-commerce and other forms digitization which may threaten retail or hospitality reits.
Overall, the overriding theme that I got from the symposium was that the securitization of property here in Asia is only beginning to take root. Compared to elsewhere, Singapore listed reits as an asset class have only just begun to gain wider acceptance. (The first reits listing on the SGX was in 2001). And as compared to other reits listed in the region, the yields seen on the SGX listed reits are generally higher than those on other exchanges. I think that that in itself represents an opportunity for all of us to take advantage of.
Good investments always come at a premium to price, picking quality assets with good potential for enhancement and good management should be a cornerstone of any potential reit investors philosophy. This was underscored in the individual CEO presentations for their respective reits, most CEO’s have a gameplan to unlock value for unitholders and have also highlighted their track record in creating value for unit holders.
With that I would say that the reits symposium was a good experience for myself and I would definitely encourage anyone who is interested in reits as an asset class to attend.
P.S: On a side note, I think sometimes as investors we also need to learn how to be more pleasant. I felt a little bad for the lady from K-reits marketing team, who was asked why they didn’t have any freebies to give away. Such an in-your-face question to front line staff really serves no useful purpose at all, considering that this is a public event and not an AGM and really shows off how giving you are too.