SET-listed Bangkok Airways (BA) kicked off trading on Wednesday of its real estate investment fund on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, offering a first-year return of up to 8% during a period of low interest rates and high inflation.
BA Airport Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (BAREIT) invests in Samui airport leasehold properties, making it the first trust in Thailand to invest in airport properties. The trust should benefit from a recovery of the tourism industry in Thailand, especially in Koh Samui, which is a major destination in the country, said BA president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth.
He said BAREIT will continue to build on its growth in the future, including the potential of property at Samui airport, which is a gateway to world-class tourist attractions. It is an international airport, supporting both foreign and domestic flights with a strategic location that is important for tourism and easily connects to major cities in the region, said Mr Puttipong.
The regional carrier predicts that by 2024, the number of travellers arriving at Samui airport will return to the pre-pandemic level, providing a boost to holders of BAREIT, he said.
During 2010-2019, Samui airport received a total of 2.6 million tourists and more than 30,000 total flights annually. The REIT receives income from the sublease of assets to Bangkok Airport Management Co Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Bangkok Airways.
Leelapat Leelahavanich, managing director of Bangkok REIT Management, said BAREIT made its first investment in leasehold properties used to operate Samui airport. The company is confident the REIT will have a consistent income over 25 years.
Sawit Srisarunyapong, head of investment banking at Kasikornbank, a financial advisor and underwriter of BAREIT, said REITs are a popular investment because they offer consistent dividends in the long run.
The REIT estimates the rate of return paid to unitholders four times a year at a rate of not less than 90% of net profit. This makes it one of the most attractive rates of return for a REIT listed on the SET, he said.
"It is an option for investment diversification under the current volatile market conditions," said Mr Sawit.