The investments in these two companies have proved to be a good one. Recently, the stock price of these two companies went up one after the other.
Croesus Retail Trust
This was written in November last year before the run up.
The whole motivation behind investing in Japan's real estate is fundamentally due to economic reasons. As readers would know, Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe has launched Abenomics which is a combination of measures such as quantitative easing (QE), increased public infrastructure spending and the devaluation of the Yen. All these stimulate growth which will increase asset prices. Investing in Japanese property may be a good choice if growth does set in and bring the Japanese economy out of a decade of deflationary economy.
Croesus and Saizen were the two Japanese companies that are listed in Singapore. Investing in them was the way to gain access to the Japanese market. Let's take another brief look on Croesus retail trust and Saizen Reit to understand what they do and whether its still a good investment at the current price?
Saizen Reit has a portfolio of income producing real estates. These properties are mostly residential properties. To date, it has 139 properties spread across 14 cities in Japan. Occupancy rate is at 91.1% in 3Q FY2014. As home ownership is low at about 60% in Japan, rental properties are still in strong demand there. Rental prices are set to rise as Japan's economy recover.
The NAV of Saizen Reit is $1.17 as at 31 March 2014. At the current price of $0.96, this still represents a discount to NAV of about 18%. The annualised dividend yield is about 6.67% at the current price. It's gearing ratio is about 38% as at 31 March 2014. This represents the total debt it has to its assets.
Moving forward, will Saizen Reit be able to maintain or even increase its dividend payouts? This is an important question to ask for investors investing for income. The first dividend payout this year was comparable to the first dividend they gave out last year. All else remaining equal, we should still see dividends in the range of 6.5% for FY2014.
At 6.5% dividend yield, is it still a good offer? I personally would prefer a yield of at least 7%. But with the stability of Saizen Reit which owns residential properties, the yield is still quite a good offer for investors.
Croesus Retail Trust
Croesus retail trust is a business trust which owns shopping centres in Japan. Currently, it has 6 shopping centres all located in Japan. When i invested in it, the trust had only 4 shopping centres and recently it acquire 2 more shopping malls located in Tokyo city itself.
The NAV for the trust is at 88cents. At the current price of 94.5 cents, this represents a premium to NAV of 7.4%. The gearing ratio is at 53.5% which is rather high. The gearing ratio was 41.8% before it acquired the 2 properties in Tokyo. With this, the annualised dividend yield is 8.2% at the current price of 94.5cents.
The trust has manage to declare higher dividend yield than what they previously forecast. They will pay out 100% of their distributable income for the first 2 years ending June 2015 and at least 90% of distributable income thereafter. After June 2015, if rental yields remain constant, the annualised dividend yield should decline to below 8% at the current price.
Now, is it still a good investment if dividends decline below 8% and gearing ratio remain high at more than 50%? I would think the risk is higher as any investor who buys now is buying at a premium to NAV. Buying at fair value of 88cents may be a better choice but anyway, nobody will know how the stock price will move thereafter. It may move up or it may move down. I cannot foretell the future.
I believe Japan will continue to benefit from the monetary policy that they are embarking on now. The Yen has fallen significantly boosting exports and attracting investors into the country. QE has worked in the US, UK and also for the European region. It cushions the impact of a full fledge crisis. Of course there will be side effects such as inflation rising too fast which is the main concern. But Japan is in deflation so i don't think inflation is any concern as of now. It's still interesting to see how the situation will unfold in the future. For now, its just taking the ride up by investing in Japan.
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1. Looking to invest in Japan's real estate
2. Short interview with Jeremy Yong, Co-founder of Croesus Retail trust