Most investors buy into REITs because of the attractive yield that they are providing to the investors. The question is whether the yield is sustainable when the interest rate hiked. So far we only invested in Singapore REITs before but not Malaysia REITs. When you look at the REITs, you may want to ask yourself the following question:
1. What is the yield the REITs is providing?
2. What is the percentage of their debt level?
3. Are their debt finance through fixed interest rate or floating interest rate?
There are two type of loan, The first one is what we called fixed interest rate which means that the REITs pay a higher interest rate than the current interest rate. the advantage of fixed interest rate is the interest rate does not fluctuate and is fixed for a period of time. Hence, the REITs is able to buffer how much to pay for the interest for that period. The second one is called floating interest rate where the REITs pay interest rate based on the current interest rate. So if the interest rate is low they pay a low interest rate but if the interest rate hike they pay a higher interest rate. Floating interest rate are generally going to be affected when the interest rate hike.
For example, if the REITs, you are investing give you a 7% yield and currently paying their debt using the floating interest rate. If the interest rate increase, the dividend that the REITs is giving you may decrease because they have to pay a higher interest rate. Hence, the 7% yield you getting now may possibly be reduce due to the interest rate. Like I had mentioned above, Investors invest into REITs because of the attractive yield that they are providing, if the dividend start to reduce which give a lower dividend yield may result in selling pressure on the REITs.