(Or “S-Reits: Is an amber light flashing?”)
Regular readers will know that I’m up to my eyeballs in Reits (AMP, Fraser, Lippo and Ascendas India, ya I know AI is a biz trust, but it’s a Reit except in form). Greedy for the yield, what with inflation at above 5%. And no high salary to fall back on. In fact no salary at all. (((
Generally Reits are up 10% in 1Q, and taz without taking into account the payouts! So I’m not complaining.
But I’m getting concerned abt future total returns (price + payouts) when the expected appreciation of the S$* is given as a reason to buy Reits. “If they [investors] expect the dollar to appreciate … there will be more interest in Singapore-dollar-denominated assets … Reits that are listed in Singapore and traded in Singapore dollars will benefit as well,” someone senior from SIAS Research was quoted by MediaCorp as saying recently. And remember that SIAS is the self-proclaimed watch dog for retail investors!
WTF, ever heard that quite a number of Reits are diversified geographically, or are exposed to a specific country like India, China or Indonesia? If a Reit has oversea income, that income would be “reduced” when translated into an appreciating Singapore dollar.
Anyway, as of last week, DBS Vickers liked Mapletree Logistics Trust, Ascendas India Trust and Frasers Commercial Trust. These were Reits to accumulate ahead of payout declarations because it expected the payouts to exceed mkt expectations.
CIMB favoured CapitaMall Trust and Frasers Centrepoint Trust for their retail exposure and strong growth potential. And OCBC prefered industrial REITS, which offer yields in excess of 8% to outperform.
But do remember that unlike companies, Reits have by law to payout out 90% of their income. There is no such thing as keeping something for “a rainy day”. Something that “dividend stocks” like Haw Par, SPH or F&N do. With a Reit, if income drops, the payout drops and the share price will drop to reflect the reduced payout.
As a Reit investor, you got to sell when the going gets good, or be prepared to hold it through down-cycles and be prepared to cough up monies then for rights issues to shore up the financials. Net-net, could use up the payouts you got in gd times.
*Following the recent announcement by the central bank to allow the Singapore dollar to appreciate at a faster pace.