Source: The Economic Times
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) could become a reality now and the first listing is expected in the next 12 months after markets regulator Sebi today eased norms to attract realtors and investors, according to property consultants. The relaxation is aimed at allowing these Trusts to invest more in under-construction assets and have a larger number of sponsors. "With this further easing of norms, I hope that REITs will now become a reality. Introduction of REITs in Indian real estate market will be a game-changer, especially in the current market situation," property consultant CBRE South Asia CMD Anshuman Magazine told PTI. REITs would bring in the much required liquidity in the real estate market with expected investment from retail and institutional investors, he added. JLL India Country Head and Chairman Anuj Puri said: "This is very pro-active and progressive of Sebi to understand and act on the requirements of developers and private equity to incorporate the changes allowing REITs to become a reality." Puri added: "The changes proposed by Sebi will help in easing the process and the first REIT would come in the next 12 months." According to EY Tax Partner, Real Estate practice, Maadhav Poddar, increasing the limit of investment in under-construction assets to 20 per cent from the current 10 per cent allows more flexibility to select SPVs and projects to be put into an REIT and reduces the time and transaction costs involved in a prior restructuring. Removing the restriction on the SPV -- only in the case of such SPV being a Holding Company -- to invest in other SPVs holding the assets ensures that existing structures can as such be migrated into REITs rather than first restructuring the shareholding, he added. "Both of these were specific asks of the industry and would go towards hastening listing of the first REIT," Poddar said.