Analysts expect big 2H earnings for M-REITs

PETALING JAYA: TA Research remains upbeat about Bursa Malaysia’s Real Estate Investment Trusts (M-REITs) prospects for the second half (2H) of the year, but believes valuations will be hit by higher interest rates, weaker consumer purchasing power and the impact of higher financing costs.

The research house expects a significant earnings recovery for M-REITs in the second half of the year, underpinned by the strong recovery in the economy.

However, it warned that higher interest rates, due to further increases by Bank Negara in November and next year, would impact purchasing power and retail spending in 2023.

Dividend investors could also lose interest in the asset class in a higher interest rate environment, it warned.

TA Research expects Malaysia’s central bank to raise its overnight policy rate by 25 basis points (bps) in November, followed by two more 25bps hikes in the first half of 2023 to take the rate to 3.25%.

This will be done to manage inflationary pressures in a strong economic recovery phase post Covid-19.

“We believe the recent increase in the 10-year Malaysian Government Securities yield and the expectation of rate hikes in November and beyond will make yield-based investments less attractive,” TA Research noted in a report yesterday.

Thus, TA Research has reduced its target prices for M-REITs by 4% to 8%, and is “neutral” on the asset class.

The firm added that Capitaland Malaysia Trust and KIP-REIT are largely insulated from the expected rate rises due to their high proportion of fixed-rate debt and low need to refinance.

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