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FAQs

Q

What is a real estate investment trust ("REIT")? ​

A
A REIT is a collective investment scheme constituted as a unit trust that invests primarily in income-producing real estate assets and uses the income to provide returns to its unitholders. Purchasing a unit in a REIT allows investors to share the benefits and risks of owning the real estate assets held by the REIT.​
 
Q
What is Link Real Estate Investment Trust ("Link REIT")? ​

A

 

Link REIT is the first (internally managed) real estate investment trust listed in Hong Kong, and currently Asia’s largest REIT and one of the world’s largest retail focused REITs in terms of market capitalisation. Wholly owned by private and institutional investors, and being internally managed, with 100% free float, Link REIT has been listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Hong Kong Stock Exchange”) since 25 November 2005.

As at June 2016, the portfolio owned by Link REIT consists of properties with about 10 million square feet (“sq ft”) of retail space, around 72,000 car park spaces, and a project under development in Hong Kong, as well as properties with about 1.8 million sq ft of retail and office space in Mainland China.

For more information, please refer to “Corporate History and Profile”.​
 

Q Who is the manager of Link REIT?
A
​Link REIT adopts an internal management structure whereby the portfolio of properties it owns is managed by Link Asset Management Limited (the “Manager”) which is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (the “SFC”) to conduct the regulated activity of asset management. Under the internal management structure, the Manager is a part of Link REIT.
 
Q
What are the benefits of investing in units of Link REIT?
A
(i) Certainty of business focus
All REITs in Hong Kong are governed by the Code on Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REIT Code”) issued by the SFC, which restricts REITs’ investment mandate to real estate only.
 
(ii) Promising total distributable income
The REIT Code also requires REITs to distribute no less than 90% of their distributable income for each financial year. Historically, Link REIT has distributed 100% of its total distributable income.
 
(iii) Financial and operating transparency
Link REIT adopts a statutory and regulatory corporate governance framework which requires the Manager to be licensed and regulated on an on-going basis by the SFC, while adopting an established internal corporate governance framework overseen by an independent Trustee and a Board comprising a majority of independent non-executive directors, including the Chairman.
 
(iv) Enhanced liquidity
Being listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Link REIT offers investors an opportunity to participate in the financial benefit of the rental income generated by the retail properties and car parks. The relatively large market capitalisation of Link REIT and its 100% free float also offer investors a relatively liquid investment in comparison to those with direct investment in real estate for rental income.​ 
  
Q
What are the voting rights of unitholders of Link REIT?
A
Under applicable laws and the provisions of the trust deed, Link Asset Management Limited will at least once in every calendar year convene a general meeting of unitholders at the Annual General Meeting. Link REIT will not hold any additional meetings for unitholders unless the trustee or the manager convenes a meeting or unless not less than two unitholders registered as together holding not less than 10% of the units for the time being in issue request a meeting to be convened.
 
Voting at a meeting shall be by way of a poll. Every unitholder has one vote for each unit it owns provided such unit is fully paid up. The trust deed does not contain any limitation on non-Hong Kong residents or foreign unitholders holding units or exercising the voting rights with respect to their unitholdings.
 
Q
Who are the major unitholders of Link REIT? 
A

Link REIT is owned by a large number of investors in Hong Kong and around the world and does not have any major or controlling investor. Many local charities, educational institutions and retirement funds own units in Link REIT, which means that the elderly, the young and those in need can benefit from our growth and distribution of returns.
         
For the list of major unitholders, please click here.​
 

Q What is the current investment strategy of Link REIT?
A
The current investment strategy of Link REIT is to invest in sustainable, income-producing retail and commercial properties (excluding hotels and serviced apartments) in Hong Kong and other overseas jurisdictions. With its investment strategy expanded in January 2015 to allow property development and related activities, Link REIT’s business model provides a full range of growth drivers encompassing:

(a) asset enhancement to properties with further income growth potential;
(b) asset management of the entire portfolio;
(c) acquisition of quality assets with both income and capital growth potential;
(d) capital recycling through disposal of non-core assets;
(e) property development to design, build and hold; and
(f) re-development of existing properties for long-term sustainable growth.

The ability to build retail and commercial assets, together with asset acquisition and disposal, enables Link REIT to accelerate the optimisation of the asset portfolio. These drivers complement each other by adding different capabilities at different points in time, and together they drive the growth at various stages of Link REIT’s development.

Link REIT aims to offer tenants, shoppers and communities with vibrant centres for modern living. These in turn provide unitholders with a prudently growing business and steadily increasing total return.
 
Q Why does Link REIT carry out asset enhancement projects?​
A Enhancing our malls allows us to provide a more diversified and up-to-date range of products and services for modern consumers. Our asset enhancement projects create more comfortable shopping environments, which lead to a more enjoyable shopping experience. In today’s competitive and fast-changing retail market, tenants benefit from increased traffic and business.
 
Q What kind of tenants lease space in Link REIT’s shopping centres?​
A Although we have a few large flagship shopping centres, our portfolio comprises predominantly small local malls, with 75% of their IFA less than 100,000 sq ft in size. These malls focus on serving the daily needs of those living in the neighbourhood, thereby revitalising the local community. The non-discretionary trade mix of our shopping centres (e.g. food and beverage outlets, supermarkets, fresh markets) has remained at around 60% of our portfolio since our IPO.​
 
Q
Can only large shops or retail chains afford space in Link REIT’s shopping centres?
A
A major part of our tenancies are occupying shops with size under 1,000 sq. ft. and operated by quality independent operators rather than chains or listed companies. We have been increasing the number of small stores to allow for more diverse businesses and to provide opportunities for local brands to develop. We invest both in upgrading our malls and marketing them to promote increased patronage, which encourages high-quality operators to establish and build their businesses in our shopping centres.​​
 
Q What is the distribution per unit of Link REIT?
A Please refer to Distribution for information on distributions.​
 
Q What is scrip distribution election?
A A distribution reinvestment scheme is available to unitholders who can elect to receive their distribution in the form of cash, in the form of new units of Link REIT or as a combination of both.​​
 
Q
When do I have to purchase units of Link REIT to be eligible for distributions? ​
A

For the purpose of the distribution, the register of unitholders of Link REIT will be closed for a period of time, during which no transfer of units can be registered. To qualify for the distribution, all transfers, accompanied by the relevant unit certificates, must be lodged with Link REIT's unit registrar (Computershare Hong Kong Investor Services Limited, Shops 1712-1716, 17th Floor, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong) for registration not later than 4:30 pm on a specified date.  Details of the arrangements and dates will be announced each year. Please refer to the Investors' Calendar for more information.​
 

Q
What should I do if I don't receive the distribution cheque?
A
 Unitholders should contact their stock brokers or Computershare Hong Kong Investor Services Limited (Tel: 2862 8555).​
 
 
Q
When is Link REIT's next distribution? ​
A

Under Link REIT’s distribution policy, two distributions will be made each year for each six-month period ending 31 March and 30 September. Distributions will be paid shortly following the publication of its year-end and interim results. It is anticipated that interim and final distributions will be paid in January and August of each year. Please refer to the Investors' Calendar for the latest updates to the distribution timetable.​
 

Q
When and where is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held?
A The AGM of Link REIT is usually held within three months after announcement of its final results in Hong Kong. For details of the AGM, please refer to the Investors' Calendar for more information.​​
 
Q What does Link REIT do to help people who are in need in the community?
A

Our Charity and Community Engagement programme, “Link Together Initiatives”, supports the well-being of the elderly and the disadvantaged, as well as the education, training and development of children and youth in nearby communities. We have offered shop space to welfare organisations at a concessionary rent. We have committed approximately HK$200 million to upgrading Barrier Free Access facilities across our portfolio.​
 

Q
Is Link REIT an environmentally responsible organisation?
A

We believe that sound environmental stewardship and resource conservation strategies must be fully implemented into our business operations. As part of our energy management strategy, we have adopted a 30/20 vision, which aims to reduce our annual energy consumption by 30% of the 2010 level by the year 2020.
 
We have been included in the highly regarded FTSE4Good Index Series, a first for Hong Kong-listed REITs. Link REIT is also the first Hong Kong-based business enterprise to be included in the FTSE4Good Index since 2009, confirming Link REIT’s compliance with internationally recognised social responsibility standards. 

 

 

 

 

 

Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2013 Best Investment Manager in Hong Kong 2015 Institutional Investor Most Honored Company in Hong Kong 2015 The Asset Triple A Awards Property Investor of the Year DJSI Asia Pacific FTSE4Good GRESB Green Star 2014 Hong Kong Awards for Industries: Customer Service Grand Award Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme