SGV shares REITs expertise with clients

Over a hundred SGV clients were briefed on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) on 28 September at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. Led by Transaction Tax Principal Atty. Veronica Santos, the briefing was held to generate valuable insights on the formation of, investment in, and operation of REITs. One of the objectives of the briefing was to help make Philippine REITs, and the Philippine capital markets, competitive with their regional counterparts.

Markets and Financial Services Organization Head Ding Nera hosted the briefing. SGV Chairman and Managing Partner Vic Noel welcomed the participants. Ernst & Young Oceania Real Estate Industry Leader Chris Lawton discussed REITs in the United States and in Australia, taking particular note of issues encountered by REITs in an economic downturn, internal versus external management, and capital raising strategies and limitations. Atty. Veronica Santos discussed the structuring issues which are crucial to the issuance by the Department of Finance of the Revenue Regulations governing the tax regime of Philippine REITs. Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) President Atty. Val Suarez announced the approval of the PSE REITs listing rules by the Securities and Exchange Commission which could cement the rise of the Philippines as one of the best performing markets in Asia. Former PSE President and ACCRALAW Senior Partner Atty. Francis Lim gave an overview of the REITs Law and discussed the various implementation issues which have surfaced since it took effect.

The briefing concluded with a lively open forum. Cocktails immediately followed, where SGV Real Estate Industry Leader Jessie Cabaluna, as well as the speakers, continued to answer questions from the briefing participants.

Left photo shows resource speakers (from left to right) Atty. Val Suarez, Principal Atty. Veronica Santos, Atty. Francis Lim and EY Oceania Real Estate Industry Leader Chris Lawton. Right photo shows guests mingling during the cocktails.