First REIT's property in Singapore, Pacific Healthcare nursing home in Bukit Merah (Photo: REITsWeek)

First REIT has extended rental relief for May 2020 to June 2020 to all tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the additional relief, First REIT warned that available distribution income to unitholders for 1H 2020 is expected to decline by 40% to 50% from SGD34.2 million (USD24 million) in the corresponding period of 2019.

Accordingly, First REIT’s distribution per unit (DPU) for 1H 2020 is expected to decline by 40% to 50% from the 4.30 cents recorded in 1H 2019.

With these, First REIT’s total return after tax for 1H 2020 is expected to decline by 50% to 60% from the SGD30.9 million recorded in 1H 2019.

First REIT conducts property valuations on an annual basis, and its management has warned that there may be uncertainty relating to the carrying amounts of its properties as the last valuation did not account for the pandemic.

However, First REIT continues to be in a secure financial position and has adequate liquidity to meet its operational needs and financial commitments, said its manager.

The REIT warned further that more rental relief, similar to that announced for the first half of the year, may be considered and announced during the second half of the year.

First REIT will announce its half-year results on 22 July.

By Shariffa Al-Habshee

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