Thursday, 24 January 2013

Citi prefers real estate stocks to physical property

SINGAPORE - Citi Private Bank is recommending property stocks as an alternative to physical real estate as the shares have been beaten down after the Singapore government introduced measures to cool the city-state's housing market.

Singapore and Hong Kong tend to attract flows and property is a favourite investment in both cities, said John Woods, Citi Private Bank's managing director and chief investment officer for Asia Pacific, told reporters on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the Singapore government imposed a higher stamp duty on foreign buyers, a new levy on sellers of industrial property and a limit on loan sizes, sending property counters tumbling.

"Property stocks have been unduly or unfairly penalized on the impact of physical markets," Mr Woods said, declining to name specific stocks citing compliance reasons.

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