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Kenyan REITs help property investors resolve capital challenges

NAIROBI, (The Southern African Times) – The introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Kenya has enabled local and foreign property owners and developers to address finance constraints, Geoffrey Odundo, the chief executive of Nairobi Securities Exchange said.

He noted in a statement on Tuesday after an investors meeting in Nairobi that REITs in Kenya have opened up a new investment asset class that is accessible not only to large investors, but also retail investors.

In 2013, Kenya became the third African country to establish REITs as an investment vehicle with the country’s regulations providing for three types of the assets.

Wycliffe Shamiah, Capital Markets Authority chief executive, observed that REITs have helped unlock the value of the real estate sector in the east African nation by facilitating developers’ access to capital that can help boost growth of the capital markets.

Through REITs, he added, investors get an opportunity to diversify their investment portfolios.

The NSE currently has three REITs that are the ILAM Fahari I-REIT, which started trading in November 2015, the Acorn Student Accommodation I-REIT and D-REIT launched in February.

Kenya’s REITs market, according to analysts, has the potential for vast growth and to transform the country’s property sector.

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