Alternative Investments/Real Estate: UOB Launches APAC-Focused, Green REIT ETF

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Singapore’s UOB Asset Management brings a new ETF on the market after a hiatus of over a decade.

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank ( UOB ) Asset Management has launched the UOB APAC Green REIT ETF (GRE SP), which has been listed on Singapore Exchange and provides ESG-tilted exposure to high-yielding real estate investment trusts (REITs) listed in Asia Pacific and Oceania. The fund is said to be the first of its kind in the world that brings investors access to sustainable investments in real estate in the region. (Financial Times)

In a reflection of the strong investor interest in passive income through REITs, the fund received in excess of S$80m (US$58.5 million) during the initial offering period.

UOB APAC Green REIT ETF (GRE SP)

The ETF will invest in REITS that provide lucrative dividend yields and at the same time exhibit strong ESG performance in areas such as energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and green building certifications.

The ETF will track the iEdge-UOB Apac Yield Focus Green Reit Index, created jointly by UOBAM and the Singapore Exchange earlier this year.

Investible REITs must be listed in Asia Pacific and Oceania, have market capitalizations above $1 billion, and trade average daily volumes greater than $400,000.

This index delivered a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 4.25% according to ETF Strategy.

Thio Boon Kiat, CEO of UOB Asset Management, commented: “The UOB APAC Green REIT ETF gives investors an opportunity to participate in the development of sustainable real estate taking place across Asia Pacific so they can invest for profit and purpose. Backed by our three decades of investment experience in Asia, we believe we are helping investors buy into quality green REITs that will strengthen over time and also receive stable and regular income. We believe that there is no better time to be part of the green wave sweeping across the region’s real estate industry.”

According to research by UOB Asset Management, green offices will soon assume high priority for tenants amidst a office space market with the potential to grow 65% in the next decade to 1.35 billion square feet.

Furthermore, the fund is expected to be highly attractive to the larger institutional investors with an ESG angle tied to their investing mandates.

Related Story: The First “Green Building” ETF From Invesco Will List Today

Image Credit: School of the Arts (SOTA), Singapore (Wikimedia Commons)

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