The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Sydney, the overseas office of the DTI in Australia continues with its Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) webinar series to help Filipinos displaced by the pandemic.

The TNK is  an entrepreneurship and livelihood program of the DTI in partnership with other government agencies, private sector, academe and civil society organisations, to increase incomes by generating more jobs and promoting entrepreneurship. The program aims to popularize entrepreneurship as an alternative to unemployment, job-seeking or migration.

PTIC Sydney said that since the early start of COVID-19, they have so far organised five (5) webinars covering topics on franchising, trademark registration, investing in the stock market, proper budgeting techniques, saving and investing.

Yesterday, a webinar on real estate investment opportunities in the Philippines was organized in partnership with the Australia Philippines Business Council, the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney and the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne.

Consul General Ezzedin Tago of the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney expressed his support to the webinar series and said that it is a timely initiative especially at this time of the pandemic, while Acting Consul General Anthony Mandap of the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne observed that real estate investment

in the Philippines is intimately connected with income and the economy, peace order, political as well foreign relations, travel regulations, and dual citizenship.

Speakers from Arthaland Corporation, Ayala Land International, Megaworld International and COL Investment Management Inc., shared some of their experiences amid this pandemic and covered topics on the current situation of the industry as well as challenges and prospects of the Philippine real estate industry.

Manuel Arbues II, regional head of Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa of Ayala Land International shared that their sales were initially affected brought about by COVID-19 restrictions but sales started coming in again by June or July during the MECQ or when the easing of some of the restrictions were implemented.

This was despite a drop in unemployment, overseas remittances and the repatriation of over 100,000 overseas Filipinos, one of the growth drivers of their business.

Arbues noted that the unprecedented WFH situation highlighted the advantages for large scale, integrated, mixed-use and sustainable communities where the information technology, infrastructure and communication and e-commerce is not just a luxury but essential for the new living conditions.

The Philippines’ first  Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), the Ayala Land Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT) was also discussed and covered the basics of REITs and the benefits and risks of buying REIT shares.

Marvin Fausto, the president and CIO of COL Financial Investment Management, Inc., shared that a REIT or a company that owns and manages income-generating assets or real estate properties such as apartments, offices, malls, warehouses and hotels, are thought to be a more affordable and attractive form of investment that typically offers higher yields and stable income, although it also comes with some risks.

Although Ayala’s REIT share price fell on its debut, Fausto says REIT is a positive development in the country and believes that there are more real estate companies interested to list their own REITs.

“This is a good opportunity for investors, particularly the retail investors who cannot afford a large amount to invest in a real property, but can generate the comparative yield  and return by just buying REIT shares,” Fausto said.

“REITs can be used to diversify one’s portfolio and it has been proven historically in other parts of the world that REIT investors, over the long term, can get a very good yield above the normal interest rates,” he added.

The webinar ended with an invitation from PTIC Sydney for participants to attend upcoming webinars such as APBC’s webinar on updates in the Philippine economy and key PH-AU business insights, as well as future webinars on franchising. Also in the line-up are webinars on agribusiness and regional investment opportunities.

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