Horror stories sell, I suppose. I’m sure journalist Andy Mukherjee from Hong Kong knows a lot about the retail REIT scene in Singapore.
Cue the usual narrative. Threat of online shopping. Retailers closing physical stores. Rents scraping bottom. Insert a picture of an empty-looking building for additional impact.
Orchard Road was mentioned twice – Hmm, I wonder why.
Wait a minute. Didn’t the retail-REIT giants recently announced quarterly results?
- FCT 96.0% portfolio occupancy as at end-Mar 2019.
- CMT 98.8% portfolio occupancy as at end-Mar 2019.
What I am saying is that perspective and context matters. The retail REIT scene in Singapore, as a whole, is an unique beast that is one of a kind in this world. Trying to overlay the global perspective isn’t entirely wrong, but obviously it is more relevant to areas such as Orchard Road (and therefore Starhill/Suntec REIT etc). While grateful for the reminder to be careful, one can’t just apply the observations gathered globally and assume that it will be the same for Singapore.
If you travel occasionally, take a walk in the malls in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan or even Australia. How does it differ from what we see in Singapore? You will quickly find the answer by experiencing it first-hand.
I don’t blindly believe what I read. Thankfully I’ve learnt to think, see and feel for myself. The same horror narrative has been repeated over and over for years. How has the retail REIT scene in Singapore evolved? Do you notice the shifting tenants-mix in REITs vs non-REITs over the years? What makes some of the malls in Singapore different? Are the toilets clean? Are they stocked with toilet paper? Does the glass door fall off from the hinge? I wonder how many have stayed away from the retail REITs only to miss out on the past gains?
The first REIT I ever bought was CMT. Over the years, I added FCT, MCT and SPH REIT as well. Collectively, they make up about 1/3 of my dividend holdings.
Blog News & Stuff
I have updated my blog post on Ohm Energy with my first SP bill that included integration with Ohm. This means that there is no change to my existing billing arrangement which is to clock the payment to my DBS Altitude credit card. 1.2 miles per dollar is awarded. Not much, but I’ll take it.
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