S-Reits with no exposure to the UK and EU likely to outperform general market: Religare

Union flag banners hang across a street near the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 25 after the announcement that the UK had voted on June 23 to leave the EU in a national referendum.
Union flag banners hang across a street near the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 25 after the announcement that the UK had voted on June 23 to leave the EU in a national referendum.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Britain's vote last week to leave the European Union has roiled financial markets, but Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) could yet benefit, especially those without exposure to Britain or the EU.

That is the assessment by Religare Institutional Research in its latest report out on June 27.

"As global investors rush towards safety following the Brexit vote, S-REITs - widely recognised as safe-haven investment tools - are likely to outperform the broader market over the coming months," Religare said.

However, Reits with exposure to Britain and the EU could face pressure on their net asset value (NAV) as consensus forecasts are for the British pound to tumble 15 to 20 per cent post-Brexit.

Religare said S-Reits with such exposure are: CDL Hospitality Trusts, Ascott Residence Trust, IReit, Keppel DC Reit, Frasers Hospitality Trust.

"If British pound and Euro were to correct by 10-15 per cent, the NAV of these Reits could dip by an average of 0.5-2.8 per cent over the near-to-medium term due to volatility of these currencies against Singdollar; the most severe impact would be on IReit given its 100 per cent exposure to the EU," it noted.

Religare said it favours "defensive bets" such as Ascendas Reit with a target price of $2.44, Mapletree Logistic Trust with a target price of $1.09 and Capitaland Mall Trust with a target price of $2.20, owing to S-Reits' stable earnings profile coupled with the likely delay in rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.

Other Reits that could benefit are AIMS AMP Reit, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, Starhill Global Reit and Soilbuild Business Space Reit, it added.

"Reits with no exposure to the UK and EU should continue to offer stable distribution per unit payouts over the next 12 months. This coupled with a stable SGD should result in outperformance of the S-REIT sector as investors continue to look for safe havens," it said.