4 Singapore REITs to Watch for in June

Forklift with Pallet
Forklift with Pallet

The REIT sector continues to be an attractive one for income-seeking investors.

Despite the twin headwinds of high inflation and surging interest rates, REITs are still reliably paying out at least 90% of their earnings as distributions.

Hence, investors who are looking for a dependable source of dividends can build a portfolio of REITs and watch as the money flows into their bank accounts.

Some investors, however, may look for REITs that can grow both their distribution per unit (DPU) and asset base.

This growth will provide unitholders with a steadily-rising payout over time and should also lead to a higher unit price as the REIT grows in size.

Here are four Singapore REITs to watch for this month that either reported higher distributable income or undertook corporate actions to increase their DPU.

Mapletree Industrial Trust (SGX: ME8U)

Mapletree Industrial Trust, or MIT, is an industrial REIT with a portfolio of 85 properties in Singapore and 56 in the US valued at S$8.8 billion as of 31 March 2023.

MIT has quadrupled its portfolio value from the initial S$2.2 billion in fiscal 2011 (FY2011) through nine acquisitions, five build-to-suit projects, and three asset enhancement initiatives (AEIs).

The industrial REIT had just reported its FY2023 earnings which saw gross revenue rise 12.3% year on year to S$684.9 million.

Net property income (NPI) increased by 9.7% year on year to S$518 million but DPU dipped slightly by 1.7% year on year to S$0.1357.

MIT maintained a decent occupancy rate of 94.9% and had a healthy aggregate leverage of 37.4%.

Last month, the REIT announced its first acquisition in two years, a 98.47% stake in a data centre in Osaka, Japan, for S$500.1 million.

Management expects MIT’s FY2023 DPU to rise by 2.1% to S$0.1385, surpassing the prior year’s DPU of S$0.138.

Additionally, the industrial REIT has also completed the redevelopment of Mapletree Hi-Tech Park at Kallang Way and has secured occupancy of 44% as of FY2023.

The income from committed leases is expected to benefit the REIT in FY2024.

CapitaLand Ascendas REIT (SGX: A17U)

CapitaLand Ascendas REIT, or CLAR, is an industrial REIT with 229 properties worth S$16.7 billion as of 31 March 2023.

The REIT reported a solid set of financial and operating metrics for its 2023’s first quarter (1Q 2023) business update.

Portfolio occupancy came in at a healthy 94.4% while the REIT also clocked in a positive rental reversion of 11.1%.

Like MIT, CLAR also announced an acquisition last month of a property called “The Shugart” for S$218.2 million.

This acquisition should help to lift the REIT’s DPU from the current S$0.15798 to S$0.15908.

Apart from this recent acquisition, CLAR also completed two acquisitions worth S$296.7 million in Singapore for 1Q 2023.

Elsewhere, the industrial REIT also has ongoing projects, three of which are slated to complete this year.

One is an acquisition under development in Australia, another is an AEI in Singapore and the third is a convert-to-suit property in the US.

iREIT Global (SGX: UD1U)

iREIT Global invests in office, retail and industrial properties in Europe.

The REIT’s portfolio comprises five freehold office properties each in both Germany and Spain and 27 freehold retail properties in France.

iREIT Global reported a stable performance for 1Q 2023 with a relatively low occupancy at 87% and a healthy positive rental reversion of 3.4%.

A 15-year lease with the German federal government body secured for 25.0% of Darmstadt Campus in Apr 2023 would improve iREIT’s overall occupancy rate to 89.0% and weighted average lease expiry (WALE) to five years on a pro forma basis.

Aggregate leverage stood at 32.3% with a low weighted average cost of debt of 1.9% as of 31 March 2023.

Just last week, the REIT announced the acquisition of 17 retail malls in France for around €76.8 million.

These malls are fully let out to retailer B&M France with a high initial NPI yield of 7.9% and a WALE of 6.8 years.

The REIT manager estimates that DPU will rise from €0.023 to €0.0235 post-acquisition.

Aggregate leverage is expected to rise to 33.3% and the REIT is also proposing a preferential offering to partially fund this acquisition.

Daiwa House Logistics Trust (SGX: DHLU)

Daiwa House Logistics Trust, or DHLT, is a logistics REIT with 16 properties located in Japan valued at JPY 87.5 billion as of 31 December 2022.

The REIT’s portfolio has remained resilient despite the economic headwinds.

For 1Q 2023, the portfolio occupancy rate stayed high at 98.6% with a relatively long WALE of 6.9 years by gross rental income.

DHLT reported a steady financial performance for 1Q 2023, with rental income rising 5.3% year on year to JPY 1.36 billion.

NPI inched up just 0.1% year on year to JPY 1.15 billion but distributable income rose 2.5% year on year to S$9.1 million.

DHLT is poised to remain resilient as its gearing stood at just 35.9% as of 31 March 2023 with a very low borrowing cost of 0.99%.

The REIT also has no refinancing requirements till November 2024 and has hedged all of its loans to fixed rates.

Not sure which REIT to put your money in? Use our 7-step REIT checklist to find one that fits into your retirement plan. Checklist is inside our latest FREE report “Singapore REITs Retirement Plan”. Click here to download it now.

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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of Mapletree Industrial Trust.

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