2020 was a precarious year for property owners. Globally, travel has grinded to a halt, impacting hospitality properties. Even Retail, office and industrial properties have been affected to varying degrees, given the strict COVID-19 management measures.
2020 also feels like the harbinger of the new normal – accelerating trends to an extreme level. We already knew work-from-home was on the rise, online shopping growth was outpacing sales in brick-and-mortar stores, food delivery services were taking over F&B outlets and more.
For REIT owners, distribution income was affected due to various countries implementing some form of cost sharing initiatives as shutdowns and “circuit breakers” we enforced. More than that, REIT investors also have to consider the longer term impacts of COVID-19 and the #NewNormal.
How Singapore REITs Performed In 2020?
It was not all doom and gloom for REITs in 2020. After experiencing a sharp decline at the end of the first quarter of 2020, REITs rebounded sharply.
In 2020, the iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index SGD – which is comprised of the most liquid REITs on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) – dropped a modest 2.58% in 2020.
In comparison, Singapore REITs did better when compared to both the Straits Times Index (STI) – Singapore’s 30 largest and most liquid stocks – which dropped 4.65%, and global REITs, defined by the S&P Global REIT Index, which dropped 8.1%.
Of course, when compared against global indices, comprised largely of US stocks, both the S-REITs and STI returns pale in comparison. However, we have to note that S-REITs are meant to provide exposure to properties and provide a stable yearly income.
How Individual REITs Performed In 2020
|No.||All REITs, Stapled Securities And Other Trusts, And ETFs||Price (SGD)||Distribution Yield||Return In 2020|
|REITs and Stapled Securities|
|1||Cromwell European REIT (EUR)
|2||Elite Commercial REIT
|5||Keppel Pacific Oak US REIT (USD)
|6||Manulife US REIT (USD)
|7||OUE Commercial REIT
|8||Prime US REIT
|10||BHG Retail REIT
|11||CapitaLand Retail China Trust
|12||Frasers Centrepoint Trust
|13||Lendlease Global Commercial REIT
|14||Lippo Malls Indonesia Trust
|15||Mapletree Commercial Trust
|16||Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust
|19||Starhill Global REIT
|20||United Hampshire US REIT
|Integrated REIT (Retail + Commercial)|
|21||CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust
|22||AIMS APAC REIT
|24||ARA Logos Logistics Trust
|25||EC World REIT
|27||Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust
|28||Keppel DC REIT
|29||Mapletree Industrial Trust
|30||Mapletree Logistics Trust
|32||Soilbuild Business Space REIT
|33||ARA US Hospitality Trust
|34||Ascott Residence Trust
|35||CDL Hospitality Trust
|36||Eagle Hospitality Trust
|37||Far East Hospitality Trust
|38||Frasers Hospitality Trust
|40||Parkway Life REIT
|Other Property Trusts|
|41||Ascendas India Trust
|42||Dasin Retail Trust
|43||Hutchison Port Holdings
|44||Keppel Infrastructure Trust
|45||Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF
|46||NikkoAM-Straits Trading Asia Ex Japan REIT ETF
|47||Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF
Footnotes For Clarity
* Share prices based on SGX information (as of 11 February 2021); yield and return based on SGX chart (as of 14 January 2021)
+ From SGX (as of 11 February 2021)
++ From Bloomberg (as of 11 February 2021)
REIT Updates During 2020
In our previous 3rd quarter 2020 REITs Report Card article, we highlighted several government initiatives to aid REITs.
During the year:
- Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust (FLT) and Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) merged to form Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust (FLCT)
- CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) and CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) merged to form CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT)
- Accordia Golf Trust divested its entire stake of golf courses
5 Best Performing S-REITs In 2020
#1 Keppel DC REIT (KDC REIT): 38%
#2 ParkwayLife REIT: 21%
#3 Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust (FLCT): 21%
#4 Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT): 20%
#5 Mapletree Industrial Trust (MINT): 16%
As we can see, the REITs in the logistics space benefitted from the shift in work dynamics due to COVID-19. This could prolong in the future.
The best performing REIT, Keppel DC REIT, was also a beneficiary from COVID-19’s shift towards online businesses, while the second-best performing REIT was a stable healthcare REIT in PLife REIT.
5 Worst Performing S-REITs In 2020
#1 Eagle Hospitality Trust: Suspended
#2 First REIT: -75%
#3 Lippo Malls Indonesia Trust (LMIRT): -67%
#4 ARA US Hospitality Trust: -48%
#5 OUE Commercial REIT: -29%
The worst performing REITs mainly came under pressure due to COVID-19 and poor management. Eagle Hospitality Trust was mired in mismanagement that has ultimately left it having to file for bankruptcy.
Both First REIT and Lippo Malls Indonesia Trust are associated with the Lippo Group. First REIT was a former darling on SGX – providing stable returns from Indonesian healthcare exposure. However, poor management and an unsustainable structure left it having to raise capital and restructure payment terms.
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