Euromoney Conferences is set to join hands with Knight Frank, a leading independent real estate consultancy, to host a special one-day executive briefing on Saudi's real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the capital Riyadh.
Since legislation was passed clarifying the rules governing the listing of REITs in 2016, the sector has seen significant growth, with three REITs already listed in the kingdom and more in the process of being floated, said the event organisers.
REITs are investment vehicles that can be traded on a stock exchange and are primarily involved in investing and owning income-generating real estate assets.
Historically, REITs have generated significant investment from retail investors and long-term investors such as pension funds and insurance companies, they stated.
In Saudi Arabia, REITs have the potential to stimulate growth in strategic areas. By offering members of the public a new opportunity for investment, they are helping to diversify the economy and grow the financial sector.
Additionally, REITs could help to stimulate the housing and commercial sectors, in-line with the National Transformation Program’s (NTP) goal to increase the real estate industry’s contribution to GDP to 10 percent by 2020.
Saudi home ownership has fallen in recent years, from around 62 per cent in 2007 to 47 per cent in 2015, and REITs could play a role in reversing that trend.
Euromoney Conferences executive briefing on REITs will include a comprehensive introduction to the field delivered by senior representatives from Knight Frank: Stefan Burch, the general manager of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain; and Mikael Postila, REIT research consultant, as well as a special presentation and Q&A session with Hassan Abdullah Alshuaiby, the manager, Investment Products Issuance Department at the Capital Market Authority that will outline the CMA’s approach to REITs in the kingdom.
According to Euromoney Conferences experts, regionally, there is a growing interest in the field.
The number of REITs is set to grow across the Gulf region in 2017, with two REITs already launched and active in the UAE and Bahrain listing its first Sharia-compliant REIT in January this year.
Victoria Behn, Euromoney Conference’s head of Middle East and Africa, said: "One of our aims with conference is to cover new and emerging financial trends and investment opportunities that we feel will have a transformative impact."
"The introduction of REITs in the Kingdom was announced last year and is already gaining ground, so we are bringing together international aspects and national leaders to cover the subject in-depth in a dedicated executive briefing," she stated.
The executive briefing on Real Estate Investment Trusts will run on May 1, while The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference 2017 will be held from May 2 to 3 in Riyadh.-TradeArabia News Service