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Investment in REITs: SBP reforms regulations to facilitate Banks/DFIs

This investment in REITs will boost housing and construction sector.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been taking various regulatory steps to enhance banks/DFIs participation through their financing in the development of these sectors in line with the Government of Pakistan’s initiative for the development of the housing and construction sector.

The SBP has further made changes to certain provisions of existing Prudential Regulations for Corporate & Commercial Banking to encourage enhanced participation and investment of banks/DFIs in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

REITs are basically asset management companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors. These asset management companies raise funding from the general public and institutions by floating various kinds of funds.

REITs deploy funds by investing in real estate properties thereby enhancing the investment in the housing and construction sector to contribute to economic growth and development. The units of listed REITs, are tradable on stock exchanges and offer a number of benefits to investors.

The changes in SBP regulations would enable banks/DFIs to make higher investments in REITs to the tune of 15% of their equity as against the existing limit of 10% of equity. This move will not only bring more capital towards REITs but would also enable banks/DFIs to diversify their investments.

In addition, SBP has also relaxed restrictions, in existing regulations, on seeking financing against shares of listed group companies. It will enable investors in raising liquidity for further investment in new business opportunities and ventures leading to greater economic activity.

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