Cytonn Investments yesterday announced that Cytonn Asset Managers Limited (CAML), its regulated affiliate, has been granted a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Manager License by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

This makes CAML the ninth Kenyan fund manager to be granted a REIT Manager License by CMA. Having the REIT Manager license will allow CAML to register their own REIT products, which include Development REIT’s and Income REIT’s, allowing them to access a pool of investor capital that wishes to take specific real estate exposure.

REIT’s source funds to build or acquire real estate assets, which they sell to generate development returns, or rent to generate income. The income generated is then distributed to the shareholders at the end of a financial year.

“Kenya’s real estate market has seen exponential growth over the years, and consistently delivered attractive returns to investors. However, a key challenge facing the real estate sector is access to financing away from the traditional sources of funding, which include bank funding. Financing structures such as REIT’s and real estate backed funds such as high yield fund, offer a capital markets-based solution to raising funds towards real estate development, and also a chance for eligible investors to invest and gain attractive yields, capital appreciation and above-average total returns” said Mr. Maurice Oduor, Principal Officer, Cytonn Asset Managers, on receiving the REIT Manager License.

Cytonn Asset Managers was also recently granted a license to manage retirement benefit schemes funds by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) in December 2018. CAM say deepening of the capital markets remains a key priority for Cytonn Asset Managers and the REIT Managers license is another positive step forward towards regulated product development.

“This is an important milestone for CAML because it allows us to bring investment grade real estate offerings to a wider pull of clients through regulated capital markets vehicles. This will be the first real estate backed high yield fund in the market and it demonstrates that our capital markets are open to innovation” said Mr. Edwin Dande, Chief Executive Officer, Cytonn Investments.

Kenya’s first REIT, Stanlib’s Fahari I which is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is currently trading at KES 10.10 as of February 14th, down -9.92% over the past 1-year according to afx.

Read; Can REITs solve the affordable housing challenge in Africa?