AmBank Group's conventional unit trust AmMutual is confident of good opportunities to be found in Asian commercial real estate.
For the next 12 months, AmMutual will focus on the Asia Pacific region. The conventional unit trust belonging to AmBank Group is positive on the Asia Pacific real estate investment trusts (REITs) market and is seeking to expand its acquisitions in the region. However, the company said that it's buying decisions would also depend on the liberalisation of a country's REITs regulation.
Chief investment officer Andrew Yong said that AmMutual would buy properties for REITs investment in any Asia Pacific country as long as its REITs regulations were liberal, as this was a crucial consideration in the REITs business.
In addition, Yong said that the company would also consider countries with higher demand than supply for property REITs. Also considered would be regions with favourable liquidity requirements in terms of liquidity risk upon exiting.
Currently, AmMutual has property REITs in various Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The REITs are held under the company's wholly managed property fund, AmAsia Pacific REITs.
AmMutual is also looking at REITs in countries which are starting to thrive. Wong said that the upcoming Malaysian IGB REIT is one in which the company is interested in, adding that its exposure to Malaysia's REITs market is about 7% at present. AmMutual would also buy other suitable REITs.