No reason to tax speculation on Reits

Real estate investment trusts (Reits) have, again, been labelled as agents of wicked high rentals ("Is Singapore the new sick man of Asia?"; Dec 24, 2016 and "Tackle high rent issue to spur S'pore economy" by Mr Lionel Loi Zhi Rui; Dec 28, 2016).

But Reits do not have a monopoly over rental properties.

They may own the more rentable ones, but it is because they worked to improve their assets to make them attractive and profitable for lessees.

Reits offer a regular income as an investment instrument and often behave like bonds. While one may speculate on them, their price gyrations are not as wild as normal shares on our bourse.

There is no reason to exert a new discriminatory tax on Reit speculation.

Rentals of private and commercial spaces in Singapore have always been subject to market forces. It is a willing buyer and seller trade.

Intervention by the authorities would merely serve to distort true worth and value, and encourage the flourishing of the black market and other shenanigans, with dire consequences and ramifications.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)