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UOB AM launches Reits fund in Taiwan

It will be the first fund in the market that focuses on Singapore-listed Reits.
Modern and luxury smart homes in Singapore, seen from above during a hot summer day at the Keppel Bay Yacht Marina area in the city centre.

UOB Asset Management has launched the United S-Reit Income Fund to retail investors in Taiwan, according to a statement from the firm.

The firm will be targeting investors who are looking for yield-based investments, with the fund aiming to provide a monthly dividend payout.

The fund, which is domiciled in Taiwan, will invest at least 60% of its assets in Singapore-real estate investment trusts (S-Reits). The rest will be invested in global Reits, according to the statement.

The firm claims that it will be Taiwan’s first fund that offers exposure to S-Reits. Within Taiwan’s locally-domiciled market, there are at least seven Reits funds offered to investors, though they are focused on global or regional markets, according to data from Morningstar Direct.

The United S-Reit Income Fund will be distributed by six firms, which include Yuanta Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, according to a Singapore-based spokeswoman for the firm.

UOB AM has been operating in Taiwan since 1997. It offers 21 funds in the market, including 16 offshore and five locally-domiciled funds, she added.

Elsewhere, UOB AM also offers a Reits fund in Singapore, which is the United Asia Pacific Real Estate Income Fund, according to data from FE Fundinfo.

Headquartered in Singapore, UOB AM and its subsidiaries manage around $23.2bn in client assets, according to the statement. It has other businesses within the region, including Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand.

Attractive asset class?

The firm believes that S-Reits provide attractive investment opportunities, having strong fundamentals, strong balance sheets and low debt levels, William Wang, UOB AM’s Taipei-based CEO for Taiwan, said in the statement.

“While their recent price performance was affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, their current valuations present buying opportunities and we are also optimistic of their long-term growth prospects,” Wang noted.

In terms of sub-segments, the firm is positive on industrial S-Reits.

“Industrial S-Reits with logistics assets will ride on the growing demand for e-commerce warehouses and distribution centres as consumers increasingly turn to online shopping for greater ease and convenience,” Wang said.

He added that the expanding digital economy, coupled with more people working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, has increased the need for cloud storage and data centres.

“We are also positive on the long-term outlook for retail S-Reits as economic activities gradually resume and consumers’ footfall at malls progressively return to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.