By The Nation
The index provides investors and corporate occupiers with data and analysis critical to transacting, owning and operating in global markets, besides assisting governments and other industry organisations interested in improving transparency.
In the 2012 report, Thailand ranks 39th among the 97 markets covered. While this is the same as in the 2010 report, the Kingdom’s real-estate market showed continued improvement in its transparency score.
The scores in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index range between one and five, with one representing the highest level of transparency and five being opaque. Thailand’s real-estate transparency score has improved to 2.94, from 3.02, 3.16 and 3.40 in 2010, 2008 and 2006, respectively.
"Higher transparency in the country’s capital markets, specifically in relation to real estate, continued to be a major factor in improving real-estate transparency," said Suphin Mechuchep, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle in Thailand.
The number of companies listed under the property development sector on the Stock Exchange of Thailand has risen from 60 in 2010 to 63 at present, while the number of property funds which trade on the SET has grown from 26 to 38.
These listed vehicles are subject to strict governance and regulation, as well as regular and standardised reporting, thus providing more transparency to Thailand’s real-estate market, she said.
This trend is being reinforced by the introduction of real-estate investment trusts into Thailand this year, which will allow for investment in more asset types, such as hospitals, education and golf courses, she added.
Chris Fossick, Jones Lang LaSalle managing director for Singapore and Southeast Asia, said the real-estate markets in Southeast Asia had made significant inroads in improving their transparency over the past two years.
Three out of the top 10 improvers globally are from the region – the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. All three countries have improved on the back of greater availability of market data and changes in the regulatory and transaction processes, he said.
With the exception of Vietnam, most Southeast Asian markets are either in the transparent (Singapore and Malaysia) or semi-transparent (the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia) bands.
This finding is echoed by the recent rise in direct foreign investment into Asean, especially into Indonesia and the Philippines. The rise of FDI into Asean is testament to global investors’ confidence in the long-term growth potential in the region, he added.