Retail Reits chalk up 13.7% returns

Average dividend yield of the eight Reits over past 12 months was 6.1%

SINGAPORE'S eight listed retail Reits gave average total returns of 13.7 per cent over the past 12 months, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) said yesterday.

These real estate investment trusts (Reits) maintained an average dividend yield of 6.1 per cent, the bourse said in a statement through its SGX My Gateway education portal.

Among them, Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, Starhill Global

Reit, CapitaLand Retail China Trust and CapitaLand Mall Trust had the highest price gains this year thus far, averaging 6.8 per cent. Total returns are calculated by adding dividend yields to price gains on the SGX.

The good news for investors of these listed trusts comes at a time when retail sales in Singapore have been languishing, owing to lukewarm domestic economic growth.

Retail takings in Singapore increased 5 per cent in April compared to the previous year, but if vehicle sales are excluded to give a better indicator of underlying consumer demand, sales would have fallen 0.7 per cent.

The total retail sales value for April stood at $3.3 billion, up from $3.1 billion a year ago, according to the Statistics Department on Monday.

Retail trusts are businesses that engage in the acquisition, development, leasing, management and operation of shopping malls and neighbourhood shopping centres.

According to the Global Industry Classification Standard, eight such Reits are listed in Singapore.

The SGX said dividend distributions of these eight boosted their year-to-date returns to 9.8 per cent. This brought their average one-year and three-year dividend inclusive returns to 11.6 per cent and 43.4 per cent respectively.

These Reits have a combined market value of $21.7 billion currently, or about a third of the Reit sector's market capitalisation.

The Singapore retail trusts are trading at 11.2 times average price-to-earnings ratio.

Those trading closest to their 12-month highs, SGX said, are Starhill Global Reit, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust, SPH Reit and CapitaLand Mall Trust.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2015, with the headline 'Retail Reits chalk up 13.7% returns'. Print Edition | Subscribe