Simmons & Simmons has advised HSBC Trustee (Hong Kong) Limited in its role as the Trustee of the The Link REIT, anticipated to be the world’s largest real estate investment trust (“REIT”). The initial public offering of units in the HK-REIT, Hong Kong’s first, was launched today and is expected to raise over US$3 billion. The Link REIT is planned to make its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 16.
The Hong Kong Housing Authority will place around 1 million sq m of retail space and nearly 80,000 car parking spaces into the REIT, enabling both small and large investors to invest in these assets.
REITs are closed-end listed funds that hold a portfolio of real estate assets under professional management. REITs originated in the US but have become increasingly popular in Asian markets, particularly in Singapore and Japan, enabling retail investors to buy a stake in commercial properties.
The deal was led by consultant Rolfe Hayden.
Rolfe Hayden commented:
“We are delighted to have represented the trustee of The Link REIT in their establishment of Hong Kong’s first REIT, which presented a number of interesting challenges. In particular, it was good to work with HSBC Trustee, given their leading experience as trustee of the S-REITs launched in Singapore.”