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Communication and transparency are vital

Companies should share timely, quality information, say two winners of the Best Investor Relations awards.

Mr Tan says CRCT engages investors regularly to understand and address their concerns.
Mr Cerf stresses the importance of maintaining open and transparent communications with investors.

INVESTORS in Singapore are getting more vocal and real estate investment trusts (Reits) are adjusting their communication strategies to meet the demands of this new breed of investors, the head honchos of two Singapore-listed Reits said.

CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) chief executive officer Tony Tan said investors are becoming more sophisticated and express greater interest in the company's strategies, development initiatives and investment outlook. "Many are also well informed on macro economic developments and are vocal in providing feedback on the management's strategies."

Its communications approach has evolved to meet these new demands, he said, adding that CRCT engages their investors regularly to understand and address investor concerns better. For instance, it hosts mall tours to give investors a first-hand experience of its malls' operations.

CRCT, which owns retail properties in China, nabbed gold for the Best Investor Relations prize in the Reits category at this year's Singapore Corporate Awards.

Mr Tan said he places emphasis on maintaining constant communication with investors amid a more crowded landscape for Reits in Singapore. "To get investors' attention in a busy marketplace, we have to find the right positioning and articulate our unique value proposition clearly," he said. "It is also important for us to stay in touch with the investing community through as many channels as possible in order to maintain visibility and reach out to a wider group of investors."

Similarly, Cache Logistics Trust chief executive Daniel Cerf stressed the importance of maintaining open and transparent communications. Cache, which owns industrial properties in the Asia-Pacific region, took home bronze in Best Investor Relations under the Reits category.

"Investors and analysts know that we are very approachable and are doing our very best to understand and address concerns they may have," he said. "We strive to keep our investors well informed of our strategy, performance, market trends and the latest developments."

Mr Cerf said the growth in the number of Reits and stapled trusts in Singapore meant that Cache's ability to reach out to its desired number of investors was limited. "The Reits space is definitely crowded . . . It is a competitive investor relations landscape as every S-Reit wants to be out there and heard by investors.

"Nevertheless, we constantly stay in touch with investors and research analysts, whether or not they invest in, or have research coverage on Cache," he said, adding that it participates in seminars organised by industry organisations such as the Singapore Exchange to extend its reach to more investors.

Mr Tan said the biggest challenge CRCT faces was that "nowadays, there are many channels proffering information, guidance and tips to investors". He added: "Unfortunately, not all of the information in the market is complete, accurate or applicable to the environment we are operating in."

CRCT thus makes it a priority to engage investors regularly and share timely and quality information about its business sector and market outlook, he said, adding that it stood ready to correct misinformation as and when it appears in the market.

The silver winner for Reits in the Best Investor Relations category was Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust which recently appointed a new CEO, Chia Nam Toon, on April 1 this year.