Singapore REITsThe Singapore skyline, with a number of distinctive buildings owned by REITs. (Photo: REITsWeek)

Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced on 29 August that it has launched an index to track a basket of 30 REITs across the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan.

Known as the SGX APAC ex Japan Dividend Leaders REIT Index, it will be used as a benchmark for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) to be issued by Phillip Capital Management.

The index will feature a basket of 30 of REITs that pay the largest dividends within the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan. All constituent weights in the index are capped at 10% to ensure diversification.

The index’s total return over the twelve months to 29 July 2016 was 19.97%, demonstrating a yield over the same period of 4.53%, said SGX, adding that it currently captures over 70% of the Asia-Pacific region’s REIT universe by total capitalisation.

“The prospective ETF will offer investors transparent and low cost access to a diverse basket of quality REITs, many of which we have been investing in over the past decade through our actively-managed REIT funds”, said Jeffrey Lee, managing director and Co-CIO of Phillip Capital Management.

The new ETF based on the SGX APAC ex Japan Dividend Leaders REIT Index will be listed on the SGX in the later part of 2016.

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.