Hong Kong mulls easing restrictions on REITs

Business | Victor Zhong 26 Nov 2020

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po yesterday said the government aims to promote real estate investment funds by offering more investment choices.

To this end, the government is considering relaxing the investment restrictions of REITs, broadening the investor base, facilitating market operation through legislative and regulatory enhancements, and stepping up market promotion and investor education.

This came as the Securities and Futures Commission said it will announce the results of a consultation on relaxing restrictions on REIT investing in properties soon.

In addition, the Financial Services Development Council said it welcomed the strengthening of Hong Kong's status as an international financial center.

Dickie Wong, the executive director of research at Kingston Securities, said the proposal, which depends on the results of the consultation, was not concrete, adding that he could not see the purpose behind it.

Although investment limits were relaxed in 2014, when the SFC allowed REITs to invest no more than 10 percent of the gross asset value of the fund in property projects, The Link has only one development project in East Kowloon with Nanfung.

The company will continue to manage risk and volatility in a resilient, non-discretionary retail-focused portfolio, Link chief executive George Hongchoy told The Standard.

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