CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust's East Coast Mall in Kuantan. The country is seeking public feedback to strengthen the REIT sector. (Photo: CapitaLand Malaysia Malls Trust)

The Securities Commission Malaysia has released a consultation paper seeking public feedback on proposed enhancements to its guideline on Malaysia-listed REITs as part of the country's efforts to facilitate growth within the sector.

In its media statement, the commission said that it wants to promote stronger governance practices and instil greater market confidence in REITs as an investment.

“One of the key aspects of the proposed changes is to allow REITs to invest in a wider range of real estate asset classes – they will be allowed to acquire vacant land and to undertake property development subject to a cap of 15% of their total asset value", it said.

Under the current guidelines, REITs are prohibited from developing properties or acquiring vacant land, although exemptions may be granted.

Other proposed changes include streamlining the post-listing requirements for REITs with listed corporations as backers.

Feedback on these measures can be submitted online on the securities commission's website before 13 September 2016.

By Anushia Kandasivam

Anushia Kandasivam is REITsWeek's Asia-Pacific writer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She writes on a broad range of topics and is especially keen on financial matters.