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Philippines issues revised guidelines for REIT law implementation

The Philippine government issued the revised implementing rules and regulations for the Real Estate Investment Trust Act, The Philippine Star reported.

The country's Department of Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Philippine Stock Exchange signed the amended guidelines Jan. 20.

Emilio Aquino, SEC chairperson, said the issuance of the revised implementing rules and regulations signals the birth of the country's REIT industry. It formally lowered the minimum public ownership of REITs to 33% and gives property trusts access to tax incentives including the exemption to a 12% value-added tax for the transfer of properties to a REIT entity, according to the publication.

In 2019, Ayala Land Inc. confirmed plans to list its AyalaLand REIT Inc. subsidiary with a 26 billion-peso commercial property portfolio. Fellow developer DoubleDragon Properties Corp. also commenced preparations to list a REIT but could not finalize the timeline prior to the release of the revised implementing rules for the law.

With the passing of the new guidelines, the first listing of a Filipino REIT may happen within the first quarter, the Jan. 21 report added.

As of Jan. 20, US$1 was equivalent to 50.98 Philippine pesos.