Since REITs began listing in Singapore in 2002, they have experienced at least one Great Recession following the Global Financial crisis of 2008-2009 and one pandemic, which we are still fighting against. Yet, over the two decades, REITs have delivered some of the best gains compared to other asset classes.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first S-REIT to be listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). CapitaLand Mall Trust’s (CMT) IPO price in July 2002 was 96 cents and its IPO yield was around 7%. Fast forward 20 years. On Nov 3, 2020, CMT merged with CapitaLand Commercial Trust and became CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust.
While the CapitaLand group provided the spark for the securitisation of real estate, it was ESR-REIT that led the REIT consolidation wave. In 2018 (see Table 1), it announced plans to acquire Viva Industrial Trust (VIT), making ESR-REIT and VIT the first two REITs to merge.