AREIT Inc. of Ayala Land Inc., the country’s first real estate investment trust company, successfully debuted at the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday despite the challenges brought about by coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Emilio Aquino said during the AREIT’s listing ceremony the listing of the country’s first REIT firm could pave the way for more similar issues and trigger potential boom in the capital markets.
He said three more property developers indicated their interest in forming and listing their own REITs on the PSE.
“This global pandemic has indeed plunged the world into a recession. However, the Philippine capital markets are still looking hopeful with the introduction of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) as a new investment product,” Aquino said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said AREIT’s listing was a vote of confidence on the domestic economy.
“Ayala Land’s REIT offering is timely. It signals that our markets is ready to resume business after all the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This public offering is a strong vote of confidence in our good economic prospects and in the resiliency of many of out industry sectors,” Dominguez said.
"It shares in the optimism that, notwithstanding the global economic downturn today, the Philippine economy has strong fundamentals to rise quickly from the devastation brought about by the global health emergency," he said.
Share price of AREIT, however, fell to P24.90 per share, down 7.8 percent from its initial public offering price of P27.
Dominguez said the country’s first REIT would deliver to the economy a “powerful financial concept” that aims to promote greater inclusiveness in the financial system among Filipinos as it will democratize wealth by opening for thousands of small investors the opportunity to invest in secure and profitable real estate projects.
He is optimistic AREIT’s public offering and listing will encourage more companies to form REITs that would “provide attractive and dependable investment opportunities for the average Filipino.”
AREIT’s portfolio consists of three Grade A properties in Makati City with a total gross leasable area of 152,755.80 square meters (sq. m).