SECP to reform REIT rules framework

ISLAMABAD: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Aamir Khan has reiterated the resolve to reform the Real Estate Investment Trusts’ regulatory framework in the country.

The initiative is aimed at moving towards disclosure-based issuance, providing requisite support for growth of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) schemes, reducing entry barriers and attracting PPP-based infrastructure projects into the realm of REITs.

Khan’s remarks came during a consultative roundtable, organised to discuss draft amendments to the REIT Regulations 2015.

A departmental presentation, delivered on the occasion, explained the major reforms proposed with regard to revamping the conventional REIT model, allowing REITs to invest either in real estate directly or through investments in special purpose companies, introducing the concept of public-private partnership (PPP)-based infrastructure projects under the REIT umbrella, etc.

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Additionally, the regulatory amendments include facilitating REIT companies with removal of a number of approval processes and rationalising requirements for submission of various documents.

An engaging discussion followed the presentation that covered the entire spectrum of REITs and its regulatory and operational framework.

Specialised Companies Division Commissioner Farrukh Sabzwari said that the draft amendments were being proposed on the back of an extensive stakeholder consultation exercise over the past eight months.

The draft amendments incorporate majority proposals by the stakeholders during the prior consultation exercise for both the conventional and infrastructure REIT models.

However, the SECP is open to any further feedback/improvements, which is why it is pertinent for the stakeholders to submit their comments in this final consultation round for timely consideration and early finalisation of the regulations.

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