Reit route for Terminal 5 can be a win-win

It was reported that the Government is looking into new ways of funding Changi's Terminal 5, which is expected to cost tens of billions of dollars ("Who will pay for and run Terminal 5?"; May 20).

A good way to fund Terminal 5 is to structure it in the form of a real estate investment trust (Reit). The benefits are numerous.

First, the public and institutional investors get to invest their money in a high-quality asset.

Second, the Reit introduction can aid in spicing up the financial markets in Singapore.

Third, control can be retained by the Government or private companies based on their ownership in the Reit. Special clauses can also be introduced to allow the Government to have certain controls over the future of the terminal.

Fourth, should more money be required for expansion or upgrades, the financial markets can be tapped, instead of tapping only the Government. This can be done via a rights issue or a one-time external investment into the Reit.

Finally, being listed on the Singapore Exchange also aids in boosting the transparency of the companies managing our airports.

Ng Chee Siang