(May 6): On March 27, during Manulife US Real Estate Investment Trust’s Investor Day event, Ronald Tan, director of Equity Capital Market at the Singapore Exchange, asked the audience a few questions. It was to gauge the public’s reception to various asset classes. Who would want another office REIT, Tan asked. Almost the entire audience of 400 raised their hands. MUST is an office REIT and the audience comprised MUST unitholders.
How about multifamily? The response was sparse, perhaps because it was not a familiar asset class to Singaporeans. What about hospitality? A few hands popped up.
Tan explains away the lack of enthusiasm for US hospitality trusts as a lack of familiarity. MUST has been a success and is managed well, hence the better reception for office REITs. “It comes down to education, which is why I’m quite excited when two same-sector REITs go out to market [at the same time]. I take it positively. It’s about a differentiated product,” he says in a recent interview with The Edge Singapore. “In one week, investors are going to get into a deep dive into the US hotel sector.”