Anticipation Lures Flood Of Capital Into Massive Far Eastern REIT

With one week left until it hits the market, the world’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) is fueling strong demand in Hong Kong. The REIT—which plans to go public on the Hong Kong exchange on December 16—consists of 180 government owned properties. Bloomberg news reports that more than 200 people lined up today at single bank branch to purchase shares in the Link REIT (it is managed by The Link Management Ltd.).

More than 4 million application forms to buy shares of the REIT were printed, which is three times the number of working Hong Kong residents. Link Management promises dividend yields as high as 6.85%. According to Bloomberg, that compares favorably to the miniscule 0.01% paid on Hong Kong bank deposits.

The Link REIT has 950,000 square meters (roughly 2.85 million sq. ft.) of retail space and 79,000 parking spaces in Hong Kong. American International Group (AIG) and eight other investors will reportedly buy $572 million of the shares in the IPO (roughly 18.8% of the 1.97 billion units). Singapore’s CapitaLand Ltd—its largest property fund—will invest $180 million into the REIT.

Link Management may decide to sell another 216.7 million units based on future demand. That would boost the IPO into $3 billion territory.

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