Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has said it will launch a new real estate investment trusts (REITs) platform in the coming months after publishing new regulation.
The emirate's stock exchange said the new regulation for REITs and investment trusts was in line with international best practices and had received approval from the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority.
This paved the way “for launching DFM’s REITs Platform during the next few months”, it said.
“As we officially publish this regulation, we are concluding our preparations for this significant step within the context of our 2021 strategy, which aims to diversify product offerings, providing various market participants with new investment opportunities,” said DFM chief operating officer and head of operations Hassan Al Serkal.
“Currently we are at an advanced stage of discussions with a potential issuer to list their REIT once they receive the SCA’s approval.”
The announcement comes after DFM signed an agreement with Dubai Land Department (DLD) to open up new opportunities in the real estate sector.
DLD said at the Cityscape Conference last September that it would soon issue new rules for both listed and unlisted REITs, which allow investors to gain a liquid stake in real estate without having to directly invest in property, including fees for investors when they enter and exit products.
The first UAE-listed REIT, Emirates REIT, joined the Nasdaq Dubai in 2014. It was followed in March last year by a trust from bank Emirates NBD.
Abu Dhabi Financial Group also announced plans to list a $816.7m Shariah-compliant REIT in 2017 and FIVE Holdings, formerly SKAI, said it was planning a $570m REIT for its hospitality assets.
The REIT market in the wider Gulf continues to expand with regulation now in place in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and most recently Oman.
In Saudi Arabia alone, the listed REITs exceed a market capitalisation of $2bn.
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