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REITs to boost Thailand’s property sector

A new investment stream is set to pour into Thailand’s property sector with the upcoming release of real estate investment trusts (REITs), bringing the country into line with many of its regional neighbours

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A new investment stream is set to pour into Thailand’s property sector with the upcoming release of real estate investment trusts (REITs), bringing the country into line with many of its regional neighbours. Details are still unclear, however, on when exactly investors will be able to take advantage of the new tool.

Nevertheless, analysts are anticipating a development surge in the market when REITs launch. Nukarn Suwanikul, associate director for investment at Colliers International Thailand, said she believes the introduction of REITs will be a game changer for the real estate sector.

“REITs will help stimulate the property market by creating an environment for continuous investment, thus raising the bar for the market in Thailand and signalling its entry onto the international stage as a more mature investment destination,” Nukarn told local media in late July. “Due to improved transparency and liquidity, REITs should create more confidence among both local and foreign funds and investors.”

Suttipan Kreemaha, the executive vice-president for property funds at ING Funds Thailand, agreed, saying that REITs will change developers’ investment outlook, as they will shift from just building and selling on projects to developing income-generating assets for long-term holding. “REITs should be considered a favourable vehicle for property investment. They’ll benefit not only unit holders but also the market as a whole,” Suttipan said in June.

It is still unclear exactly when investors will be able to take advantage of REITs

since regulations for the trusts have been in the process of being drafted for five years so far. It was in 2007 that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began to lay the groundwork for the fund-raising schemes, at a time when many of Thailand’s neighbours were seeking to unlock the asset potential held within their own property markets.

Though REITs were set to be launched at the beginning of June, there are still some procedural measures that have to be undertaken before the trusts become available as financing tools. On July 11, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) issued a statement saying that a number of initiatives would be rolled out in the third quarter to boost attractiveness of the Thai stock market and facilitate fundraising for business. Among these would be rules to “support the listing of infrastructure funds and real estate investment trusts”.

As set out by the existing rules, those establishing REITs will be able to use trusts as investment vehicles and list trust certificates on the SET, granting them the ability to leverage debt of up to 50% of net asset value of the property or properties bundled together for the trust. Once the trust is set up, it must be listed on the SET within 60 days, with a minimum capital of at least $16m.

Taxation of REITs earning is yet to be decided

While REITs may be able to unlock value, some investors could be reluctant to turn the key if the government imposed an exorbitant level of taxation on earnings, some analysts have warned. According to Sorachon Boonsong, a partner at international law firm Baker & McKenzie, REITs may have to be made more attractive before they attract large-scale investment.

“The new property investment product may not be sexy among investors, particularly for foreigners who have a huge amount of capital to invest in Asia, if factors such as taxes collected by the Revenue Department and the land lease period fail to meet the expectations,” Sorachon told local media on July 18.

If tax rates on REIT earnings were set at around 10%, similar to those in other countries, and if the terms for land leases was extended beyond the current 30 years to anywhere between 70 and 90 years, there would be a greater incentive for investors, he said.

“If the new REIT regulations can come onstream soon, while the government imposes taxes on profits gained from REITs at the same international standard, investment in Thailand’s REITs will be attractive enough to draw foreign institutional investors to Thailand,” said Sorachon.

While a number of developers and companies have indicated they would be interested in forming REITs to advance their own property portfolios, any such moves still await the drafting of the final details by the authorities, leaving willing investors waiting just a little bit longer.

Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group

Note: This article was published on behalf of  Oxford Business Group, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of  Thailand Business News

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global publishing and consultancy company which produces original economic and business intelligence on markets in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.

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Tourism

Thailand welcomes first Finnair flight from Stockholm to Phuket

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Bangkok, 25 October, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) today welcomed the start of Finnair’s latest direct non-stop service from Stockholm to Phuket during the 2021-2022 winter season.

The welcoming ceremony was presided over by Mr. Piyapong Choowong, Phuket Vice Governor, and Mrs. Titiporn Manenate, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East Region, as well as representatives from the tourism-related public and private sectors.

Mr. Piyapong Choowong, Phuket Vice Governor, said, “Finnair’s Stockholm-Phuket flight marks a milestone for the reopening of Phuket to international tourism, following the successful Phuket Sandbox programme, which was launched in July under well-planned health and safety precautions, and has now become a model for the reopening of other Thai destinations.”

Finnair will operate on the Stockholm-Phuket route from 24 October 2021-24 April 2022, starting with 2 flights per week. It will increase to 3 flights per week from 29 November 2021-17 April 2022.

Also, during this winter season, the airline will operate on the Stockholm-Bangkok route with 2 two flights per week from 22 October 2021 to 21 April 2022.

In addition, Finair will be operating from Helsinki, Finland, to Phuket and Bangkok, with 2-4 flights per week during November this year and March next year.

Mrs. Titiporn Manenate, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region, said, “This latest Stockholm-Phuket flight also marks Finnair’s first non-stop service from Sweden to Thailand, allowing visitors from Sweden to escape winter and enjoy Thailand at its finest during the annual cool season. The flight also reiterates the airline’s confidence in Thailand as a destination.”

Sweden is Thailand’s largest source of visitors from the Nordic region. Also, Phuket is one of the most popular holiday destinations among the Swedish, whose spending per trip is averaged at 85,000 Baht per person and length of stay is 19 days.

Sweden and other Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway – are among the 46 approved countries and territories from where travellers may enter Thailand under the ‘Test & GO’ quarantine-free entry requirements from 1 November, 2021.

The post Thailand welcomes first Finnair flight from Stockholm to Phuket appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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Tourism

More COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed in Thailand from 16 October 2021

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Bangkok, 16 October, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update that more COVID-19 restrictions in the dark-red zone provinces have been relaxed while additional businesses and activities have been allowed to resume operations from today (16 October, 2021).

  • Restaurants and eateries, cinemas, theatres, shopping malls, sport stadiums, and public parks are now allowed to resume normal opening hours, but must close no later than 22.00 Hrs.
  • Convenience stores, fresh markets, and flea markets are now allowed to open for all types of goods with the opening hours extended for one hour longer or until 22.00 Hrs. All 24-hour shops must close nightly from 22.00-03.00 Hrs.
  • Day-care centres for elderly people are now allowed to resume operations.
  • Hotels, exhibition halls, convention halls, trade fair centres, or similar types of venues are now allowed to open for meetings, seminars, or other types of events and ceremonies up until 22.00 Hrs.
  • Shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments can also open for meetings, seminars, or other types of events and ceremonies up until 22.00 Hrs., but must not hold any sales promotional activities and continue to close the amusement parks, water parks, and gaming centres.
  • Public parks, sports stadiums, gyms, fitness centres, and all types of venues for exercise can resume normal opening hours, but no later than 22.00 Hrs.

Meanwhile, gaming centres in shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments that are not located in the dark-red zone province can now resume operations.

Curfew, Interprovincial Travel & Gatherings of people

To be in effect until 31 October, 2021, the night-time curfew in the dark-red zone provinces has been reduced from 6 to 4 hours, or between 23.00-03.00 Hrs.

Public and private organisations as well as people are still prohibited to organise any activities prone to the spread of disease, but the number of attendees has been increased for each zone. Dark-red zone: No gatherings of more than 50 people (from previously 25 people). Red zone: No gatherings of more than 100 people (from previously 50 people). Orange zone: No gatherings of more than 200 people (from previously 100 people).

Travel between dark-red zone provinces and other areas can resume normal operations but must apply social distancing measures.

Entertainment venues

All types of entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, and karaoke shops are to remain closed. However, the government mentioned that these businesses may undertake preparation to be ready for reopening.

Self-protective measures and distancing efforts

As usual, people nationwide are asked to continue abiding by the health and safety measures in place; such as, wearing a face mask at all times while outside of their residence, regularly washing hands with soap and water/cleaning alcohol, and avoiding unnecessary close contact with others.

TAT would like to remind all travellers to continue with D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.

Thailand’s colour-coding system for COVID-19 control are in place for the following provinces:

23 (down from 29) Maximum and Strict Controlled Areas or dark-red zone provinces

Central Region: Bangkok and 22 other provinces: Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ratchaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, and Saraburi; Eastern Region: Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, and Rayong; Northern Region: Tak, and Southern Region: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.

Chanthaburi and Nakhon Si Thammarat have been moved up from red to the dark-red zone.

30 (down from 37) Strict Controlled Areas or red zone provinces

Central Region: Ang Thong, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri; Eastern Region: Sa Kaeo and Trat; Northern Region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun; Northeastern Region: Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani, and Southern Region: Chumphon, Phatthalung, Ranong, Satun, Surat Thani, and Trang.

Ang Thong, Lop Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri have been moved down from the dark-red to red zone, while Surat Thani has been moved up from the orange zone.

24 (up from 11) Controlled Areas or orange zone provinces

Northern Region: Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, and Phrae, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, and Uttaradit; Northeastern Region: Amnat Charoen, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Loei, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, and Yasothon, and Southern Region: Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Phuket.

Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, and Yasothon have been moved down from red to orange zone.

The post More COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed in Thailand from 16 October 2021 appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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