SECP Chairman addresses Virtual Roundtable on Revamping REIT Regulations

ISLAMABAD: Addressing a consultative roundtable, organized to discuss draft amendments to the REIT Regulations, 2015, the SECP Chairman, Aamir Khan reiterated the regulator’s resolve to reform the regulatory framework for REITs in the country, with the aim to move towards disclosure-based issuance, providing requisite support for growth of REIT schemes, reducing entry barriers and attracting PPP-based infrastructure projects into the realm of REITs.

A departmental presentation, delivered at the occasion, explained the major reforms proposed with regard to revamping of 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-based infrastructure projects under the REIT umbrella, etc. Additionally, the regulatory amendments include facilitating REIT companies with removal of a number of approval processes and rationalizing 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.

Mr. Farrukh Sabzwari, Commissioner, Specialized Companies Division elucidated 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, 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 finalization of the regulations.

The draft amendments have been placed on the SECP website for inviting comments. It is expected that once promulgated, the amendments would usher a new era of unprecedented growth in the REIT sector and the PPP infrastructure space.

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