Skip to Content

3 Takeaway from Soilbuild Business Space REIT 1st Quarter Results

The industrial REIT space is proving challenging for investors looking for dividends. With the economy doing not so well, it has been a struggle for businesses to rent more space when business is affected.

This proved a challenging environment for the industrial REIT manager to retain their lessors, not to mention keep overall net property income good.

This will prove a good environment for the shareholders and prospective dividend investors to access the performance of the manager.

Soilbuild Business Space REIT is a relatively new industrial trust with much of its properties in business park with a average portfolio land lease of more than 45 years and weighted average lease expiry of 4.7 years.

It should compete with Cambridge, Sabana and Aims Amp in the smaller industrial REIT space. (Do check out how they fair in terms of net debt to asset and dividend yield at my Dividend Stock Tracker)

Here are some of my main take away from their latest 1st quarter review.

Limited Increase Supply in Business Park

The business park have become a very interesting segment in Singapore in that it is like a 4 room HDB flat. It act as the go to for the office commercial down graders while commanding a higher PSF versus other industrial properties.

About 60% of Soilbuild business’s assets are in business park so it is good that after this year, upcoming supply is limited. However, we should also note that the sector that has the greatest supply amongst the segment, single-user factory still comprises a sizable part of Soilbuild’s portfolio.

Counter-Party Risk: Relatively Large Composition to Oil and Gas Industry

While the WALE of the REIT is long at 4.7 years, which could help Soilbuild Business steer through the challenging excess supply, the problem have been its relative exposure to the troubled oil and gas sector.

11.9% of their gross revenue is attributed to Tuas Connection, which houses a fair bit of oil and gas companies.

In terms of trade sectors, 12% is attributed to oil and gas with their sale and lease back to Technics Oil and Gas being a big part of it.

When they did the deal, the lease was for 15 years and a great Internal Rate of Return, for an asset with the same amount of land lease left.

The issue just like chartering a ship to a shipper is that, in bad times when the shipper cannot pay you, there is nothing much you can do.

In this case while there are rent pre-payment, Soilbuild run the risk of having to find someone to rent the space in a short period of time, when there are excess supply coming online.

The saving grace is that the property is a waterfront property which might make it unique to rent out better. Still that will impact the return on investment originally calculated, and make this deal a negative mark on the manager.

New Leases and Renewal Leases Performance

Watching this area of the presentation gives us an idea to compare whether the managers are Soilbuild Business are doing ok, better or worse versus their peers.

It also gives us an opportunity to take stock of the demand and supply sentiments.

There are bright spots where the rent revision is 2%/yr but also that the manager is facing challenging prospects to renew leases in the face of competition.

This, when put together with the drop in occupancy again, should give you an indication that when you purchase the REIT, don’t expect a forward DPU increase but evaluate whether the DPU will go down!


Soilbuild’s DPU is down 4.7%.  Occupancy is falling to 94.8%.

The annualized dividend yield according to my Dividend Stock Tracker is 8.4%, which sits on the lower end compared to Viva (9.5%), Cambridge (8.1%), Sabana (9.2%), Aims Amp (8.4%). As a comparison, the large industrial REITs Ascendas dividend yield is 5.7% and MIT (6.7%).

The net debt to asset at 34% is reasonable, but if the value of properties go down, this could easily become 40%.

While we like that it has a proportion in business park, similar to Viva, and very unlike Cambridge, Sabana and Aims, some wargaming could be, what if they lost 10% of the tenants that they are unable to rent out, NPI falls by 12%, and so do DPU, would 7.5% be still a good enough return?

I think if that scenario happens, Soilbuild rather sturdy share price would take a beating so that the prevailing dividend yield then maintains at 8.5%.

If you purchase MIT and Ascendas, while the dividend yield is lower, you might not get such a concentrated risk. Then again we may be worrying too much.

There are much for you to think about, and different REITs suits people with different time management. There will be those who would actively sought out and try to get the highest yield, and then there will be those who wants to be more passive.

There are different level of risk, and it is a question is whether the reward is enough to compensate for the risk.

To get started with dividend investing, start by bookmarking my Dividend Stock Tracker which shows the prevailing yields of blue chip dividend stocks, utilities, REITs updated nightly.
Make use of the free Stock Portfolio Tracker to track your dividend stock by transactions to show your total returns.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 27th of December 2016

that "good opportunity" might be in 2017. I like the business-space focus, but there's so much of their client base which is exposed to the oil industry - in Singapore, the "offshore marine" sector is all supporting offshore oil & gas exploration/production. Similarly, one has to be careful that the "precision engineering" and "metal fabrication" clients arent overly exposed to oil & gas like many SMEs in the space are. Eg. there's a major tenant in Solaris which is finishing up all their projects at a local shipyard in 2017, with little in the pipeline to sustain a large projects team.


Tuesday 27th of December 2016

@Serendib Soilbuild is not alone there, even what i own like aims amp no matter how good the management i think in the face of this supply is going to be damn tough. Soil, aims , cambridge, viva, sabana will see fresh challenges.


Sunday 5th of June 2016

While the outlook for SBREIT's marine offshore and oil & gas tenants remain challenging, I believe it won't worsen; oil prices are higher now, and are stabilising.

In addition, SBREIT also collects security deposits (I think 18 months for master leases, and 3-5 months for multi-tenanted i.e. West Park and Tuas Connection), so this should mitigate any near-term vacancy risks while they search for new tenants.

Like what you said, it's easy to just buy Ascendas or Mapletree Industrial Trust - in fact, many brokers have them as top picks. Then again, those two are overplayed.


Sunday 5th of June 2016

Hi Jarrett,

Thanks for the opinions. Perhaps that is what the security deposits is for. At the REITs symposium, the Soilbuild representative shared that most of the oil and gas tenants are not directly doing oil rigs, they could downsize yes. soil build did a stress test, and in their stress test, if they lost the marine, oil and gas occupancy, they will not breach their loan covernants.

But then if you lose so much, i doubt you can maintain your share price. It will be a good opportunity for another time.

The 2 jumbo industrial reits are diversified. they are blunted from the downside systematically, but also the upside. However, AREIT manage to surprise us on the upside.

Silly investor

Saturday 16th of April 2016


So much truth and "unwritten words" when u talk about time frame and "passive" approach.

I prefer the passive way, having beaten in the game trying to outsmart Mr market (getting the high yield and getting out before it crumbles)

Hope all is well with u


Saturday 16th of April 2016

hi silly investor, i am well for this week. i think there are the very active management and then there are the do your work upfront to ascertain safety, and accept a lower yield for the safety route. This one fits more towards the former. and knowing clearly the kind of "wealth machine" you are looking for is rather important.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.