REITs will be defensive again despite correlated sell-off, says Principal Global Investors

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Singapore investors witnessed a relatively significant REITs sell-off in mid-March 2020, amid the worsening COVID-19 outbreak globally, and a price war between the oil-producing stalwarts.

This confluence of factors temporarily de-coupled REITs from an oft-observed correlation, where prices of REITs tend to rise in the face of interest rate cuts.

But despite emergency cuts from the US Federal Reserve that month, prices of REITs headed south in line with the broader market.

We interviewed Koh Shern-Ling, portfolio manager at Principal Real Global Investors, to understand why this correlation failed to manifest according to market expectations, and also find out his take on REITs in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

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