23 October 2010

5 rules of thumb on M-REIT investing

Unlike other countries, Malaysia REIT (M-REIT) has its own characteristic. Therefore, one has to master the following 5 basic rules before investing in M-REIT.

1. Management
Good asset management team will stand out from the rest, in case, there is a property bubble. There is cycle in real-estate industry, where required REIT managers to examine and act accordingly. For those experienced managers, any slowdown in real estate industry provided them the opportunities to enhance the trust portfolio.

2. Comparing dividend yield
The main purpose to invest in REIT is for its stable dividend yield. M-REIT is popular for its high dividend yield, which ranges from 7-9% currently. Of course, each REIT has its own figure due to different type of assets.

3. Choosing underlying assets
There is commercial, industrial, hotel, hospital, shopping mall and plantation REIT in Malaysia. Example, if pandemic flu occurs, hotel and shopping mall based REIT tend to under-perform, while hospital REIT will remain resilient.

4. Market capitalization
Size is the matter for Malaysia REIT, with most of them still commencing less than RM1bil market capitalization. Liquidity could pose a danger for investors to trade. Hopefully, with the emergence of SunReit and CMMT, M-REIT could become more attractive and liquid.

5. Compare with regional REITs
M-REIT tends to lag behind regional REITs, such as Singapore and Hong Kong. By tracking regional REITs, investors could predict the trend of M-REITs. This is because M-REITs are relatively young now.

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