Regulator's nod for real estate investment trusts soon

Business Wednesday 16/November/2016 17:47 PM
By: Times News Service
Regulator's nod for real estate investment trusts soon

Muscat: Oman’s market watchdog Capital Market Authority (CMA), which is planning to announce a separate set of regulation for listing Real Estate Investment Trustas (REITs), said that it is willing to allow such investment trusts, even before announcing the legislation.
The Real Estate Investment Trusts are securities that sell like a stock on the bourse and invest in real estate directly, either through properties or mortgages. It provides investors an opportunity to participate in real estate projects even with a small fund size and offers regular income and capital appreciation.
Several investors have approached the Capital Market Authority for launching REITs in Oman. “We are willing to look at their application even before announcing the regulation. The draft regulation is already there. We have the legal framework structure (for allowing REITs) and we need to have bylaws. It has to go through a process (before announcing the same),” Abdullah bin Salim al Salmi, executive president of the Capital Market Authority, told the Times of Oman.
Al Salmi said that it would take some time to finalise the regulation required for REITs.
Elaborating on the advantages of REITs, the CMA chief noted that it would help the investing public to participate in real estate sector (despite relatively lower funds) and get a regular return. “It is something that is liked by the general public in Oman. There is a big potential for growth of this fund. It is also a good way to finance real estate projects.”
In fact, several countries in the Gulf region are introducing the fund in view of demand from real estate developers and investors. “Oman is trying to catch on this concept. The UAE has introduced REITs sometime back and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have recently introduced it,” said a senior market analyst, who does not want to be named.