Starhill Global REIT's Ngee Ann City property. (Photo: REITsWeek)

In a widely expected move, Starhill Global REIT has announced that it will also utilise a tax transparency extension, and retain its distributions for FY 2019/20.

As reported by REITsWeek in April 2020, retail REITs have largely retained earnings to utilise the extension, which has been granted by the Singapore government amid COVID-19 difficulties.

Related: Singapore retail REITs brace for impact of COVID-19 measures bill

The retention would allow the REIT to “prudently manage cash flow and maintain financial flexibility, in the interests of unitholders”, said Starhill Global REIT in an 11 June statement.

Therefore, Starhill Global REIT’s upcoming distribution for the 6-month period ending 30 June 2020 is expected to be below 90% of taxable income for FY 2019/20, the REIT added.

“The manager will determine the appropriate amount of distributions having regard to funding requirements, operations and debt repayments, and other capital management considerations”, it said.

Starhill Global REIT is currently trading at a discount of approximately 40% to book value, as tracked by the Singapore REITs table.

By Shariffa Al-Habshee

Shariffa joined REITsWeek in 2017, and monitors Asia-Pacific REITs for the publication.