Best investor event: How Manulife US REIT won in South East Asia

Mar 12, 2019
Singapore-listed real estate investor was voted top at the IR Magazine Awards – South East Asia 2018

This profile is taken from the report Award-Winning IR – Asia 2018. Click to download your copy now.

Manulife US REIT is the first pure-play US office real estate investment trust (Reit), and listed on Singapore Exchange’s main board on May 20, 2016. Its investment strategy is principally to invest, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing office properties in key markets in the US, as well as real estate-related assets. 

One of the firm’s key challenges was to educate investors on the key differences between US and Singaporean office properties, including location, sub-markets, rental escalations, lease structures and tax treatment. With more than 90 percent free-float and 46 percent retail investors, Manulife is constantly exploring ways to engage and reach out to the investment community to provide deeper insights and understanding of the US office market. 

To bring the investment community closer to the Reit’s portfolio, the company organized annual US site visits for targeted media and analysts to visit the properties and meet with the Reit’s sponsor, acquisition team, local appraisers and leasing agents. Manulife is also the only Singapore Reit to showcase videos of all its properties on its website. 

Its inaugural Investor Day 2016 was well attended by around 200 unitholders. DBS Research opened the session with a presentation on the overview of the Singapore Reit landscape, followed by the CEO’s presentation on Manulife’s Q3 2016 performance. The event ended with a Q&A session and buffet dinner, where participants engaged in an informal dialogue with the Reit management team. 

Following the successful inaugural Investor Day, Manulife held its second Investor Day in November 2017; this was attended by more than 360 unitholders, a significant increase on the previous year. Eighty percent of the attendees were first-time participants, indicating that evening sessions attract a different crowd that may be unable to attend AGMs/EGMs held during the day. This event provided an opportunity for Manulife to receive valuable feedback from these participants. 

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