SEC issues new requirements for REIT fund managers
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued new requirements for fund managers of real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Under the proposed amendments to the implementing rules and regulations of the Real Estate Investment Trust Act of 2009, majority of the members of the board of the REIT fund manager must be independent directors, “at least two must have working knowledge of the real estate industry, fund management, corporate finance or other relevant finance-related functions.”

A REIT fund manager can either be a registered domestic corporation, a trust entity with an existing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas license or a foreign corporation duly licensed to do business in the Philippines.

“ A fund manager is deemed to have complied with the track record requirement of the Act if its chief executive officer and a majority, but not less than two, of its full-time professional employees have a track record and experience in financial management as well as experience in the real estate industry for at least three years prior to their employment. The CEO shall be a resident of the Philippines,” the SEC said.

The proposed amendments to the REIT IRR also call for a lower minimum public ownership (MPO) requirement of 33 percent as what the law provided.

Under the law, the MPO on REITs is 40 percent in year one and this will go up to 67 percent in year three.

The proposed amendments will also require the reinvestment in the Philippines of proceeds realized from the sale of REIT shares or other securities, enhance controls over related party transactions and impose administrative sanctions for violation of the rules.

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