Three Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK)-listed REITs have banded together to form the Hong Kong REITs Association Limited (HKREITA).

It consists of co-founders Link REIT, Yuexiu REIT, and SF REIT.

Correspondingly, the founding presidents of HKREITA are, George Hongchoy CEO of Link REIT, Lin Deliang CEO of Yuexiu REIT, and Hubert Chak CEO of SF REIT.

The organisation has been formed to “propel the Hong Kong REITs industry to greater prominence in the global capital market”, reads a statement from HKREITA on 25 August.

At its inauguration ceremony, HKREITA cited a survey of 1,000 Hong Kong residents, which indicated that only 6% of the respondents were investing in REITs.

Furthermore, a total of 53% of the respondents who said they were not interested in REITs identified “not familiar with Hong Kong REITs” as the major reason.

The survey also showed that after learning about the characteristics of REITs, 46% of the respondents indicated a likelihood to invest in REITs in the next 12 months, with an expected return of 6.3% on average.

“More effort from the industry is needed to foster investors’ understanding of REITs and their ability to deliver both stable dividends and capital growth potential”, said HKREITA in its statement.

It aims to do this by enhancing public awareness towards Hong Kong REITs and promoting Hong Kong REITs to a broader investor base.

The association also calls on all market stakeholders to join hands to elevate the Hong Kong REIT market through multiple channels, such as including REITs in Stock Connect between the Mainland and Hong Kong.

By Shariffa Al-Habshee

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