REIT regimes now total 34, says EPRA
The recent introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Ireland and South Africa has taken the number of countries offering the vehicles to 34, according to the EPRA Global REIT Survey 2013.
REITs worldwide now have a total market capital capitalisation of USD 1.1trn.
Philip Charls, EPRA chief executive, says: "Ireland's entry into the survey and South Africa’s new regime are just the latest striking examples of how more and more governments are realising that they can draw in the private investment they desperately need in our cities and reach their sustainability targets by facilitating the expansion of REITs. These are companies that develop, own and operate property. REITs play a major role in contributing to their local economies through job creation, providing accommodation for businesses and citizens, investments in improving the urban environment, and adopting cutting edge environmental standards and technologies in their buildings.”
The EPRA Global REIT Survey has been tracking REIT regimes by country for over a decade and is a resource for analysts on the make-up of a particular country's REIT legislation. It is compiled by EPRA using the on-site tax expertise of a number of EPRA member advisory firms. The survey is published annually in September.
This year's survey documents major improvements in the efficiency of existing regimes, most notably:
• The UK's removal of the conversion charge for real estate companies attaining REIT status.
• UK AIM companies' ability to convert to REITs. AIM is the London Stock Exchange’s market for smaller growing companies.
• Spain's new zero per cent corporation tax rather than its previous 19 per cent, which was a significant barrier for companies wishing to convert to REITs.
EPRA finance director Gareth Lewis says: “These changes reflect the growing awareness among governments that the REIT concept is an effective policy tool for channelling professionally managed capital into the business of delivering and operating the built environment.”
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