Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, a member of the Standard Bank Group, has indicated its preparedness to support individuals and businesses interested in long-term investment in the real estate sector given its growth potential.
It described real estate as a key investment class, saying the industry could play a catalytic role in driving growth and development of the economy.
The financial group made the declaration at the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Real Estate Investment Trust Summit in Lagos. The event was co-sponsored by Stanbic IBTC.
Themed: ‘Real Estate Investment Trust in sub-Sahara Africa: The role of the capital market’, the forum brought together policymakers, regulators, government officials, private sector players, property developers, asset managers, dealing members, investors and thought leaders to share their experiences and explore growth potential and opportunities in the real estate market in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
The Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, Mr. Funso Akere, said in throwing its weight behind REIT and putting the sector on a stronger footing, the organisation was expecting to see exponential growth through the inflow of much needed capital from local and offshore investors.
Akere said Stanbic IBTC and Standard Bank Group would continue to engage stakeholders at different levels to develop a viable REIT market in Nigeria, adding, “Stanbic IBTC, given its deep experience and roots in Africa, has a duty of sorts to help highlight the huge potential in the real estate sector. By partnering other stakeholders, we desire to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders by leveraging on our expertise and experience.”
On his part, the Head, Real Estate Finance (West Africa), Standard Bank, Niyi Adeleye, pointed out that a well-structured and sustainable rental cash-flow was the most important driver of the value and quality of REITs and other real estate investments as opposed to the over-weighted attention on project construction cost, property appearance and perceived building quality.
According to him, real estate offers impressive returns and is quite helpful when an investor seeks to diversify, while also serving as a hedge against inflation.
Other speakers at the conference identified key areas that must be given priority to create investment grade real estate assets to include valuation, securitisation, liquidity, review of property and tax laws for equitable administration of the real estate sector, as well as institution of an efficient and transparent REIT legislation to govern the asset class.
They highlighted that achieving these core structural elements would lead to a more efficient and liquid REIT asset class, and thus be attractive to local and foreign investors.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, described the REIT summit as an important platform for stakeholders to discuss the current state of the real estate market in Nigeria and to be acquainted with relevant emerging trends, strategies and policies.
Stanbic IBTC Capital is an investment banking franchise in Nigeria with capabilities in advisory, capital markets and financial arranging.