[A] Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) report … warned that a rise in rates will hit Reits – and lower their dividends.
Reits own a portfolio of property and pay investors regular dividends out of their income – the property rentals received.
The central bank’s financial stability review noted that Reits need to distribute 90 per cent of any taxable income to unitholders.
So these vehicles have limited retained earnings and are dependent on capital markets and banks to meet their financing needs.
The MAS estimated that the ease with which Singapore-listed Reits would be able to pay their interest bills would fall markedly once interest rates headed north.
The median “interest cover” for Singapore-listed Reits would fall from 6.8 to 3.5 times if interest rates were to rise by 3 percentage points, the MAS estimated.
The interest cover is a ratio used to determine how easily a company can pay interest on its debt – the higher the ratio, the easier the interest can be paid.
The MAS also warned that higher interest rates would likely increase interest expenses and lead to lower dividend payouts. Reits might then appeal less to investors, capping their ability to raise more cash from capital markets.
On the bright side, the debt maturity profile of Reits is better now than before the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.
A smaller proportion of borrowings by Reits are due for refinancing in the next two years.
The MAS also issued a warning over the larger corporate sector.
“If interest rates were to rise from their currently low levels, firms’ debt-servicing burdens could increase significantly.”
Don’t blame govt if Reits tank after you buy buy.
Possible gd alt to Reits for the KS: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/temaseks-fab-5-spore-blue-chips/. While the yields are not as high, some pretty lowish in fact, they are not highly leveraged and have maintained steady pay-outs. And think ComfortDelgro and even SMRT (fare rises leh)