6 REITs currently yielding more than 8%

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The current environment of uncertainty, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, has continued to depress valuations of many REITs.

In return, distribution yields are elevated as investors fear the worst.

We previously wrote about three REITs that had distribution yields of more than 8 per cent.

This has become a more and more common sight as the virus continues to spread across the globe.

Do note that the REITs' high yield may not always be an attractive feature as it may or may not be a symptom of deep underlying issues with the REIT.

Here are another three REITs that are yielding more than 8 per cent right now.

Sasseur REIT (SGX: CRPU)

Sasseur REIT is a retail outlet mall REIT with four properties located in China.

These properties are located in Chongqing, Hefei and Kunming with a net lettable area of 312,844 square metres.

Sasseur's share price has fallen 36 per cent year-to-date to $0.58. Based on the fiscal year 2019's distribution per unit (DPU), the shares offer a distribution yield of 11.3 per cent.

On Jan 27 this year, Sasseur reported that it was closing all its outlet malls in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in China.

The situation has improved significantly in China ever since, and Sasseur announced on 9 March that it will reopen its Kunming outlet mall on 11 March 2020.

A day later, the REIT announced the reopening of Hefei outlet mall on March 13, 2020.

By March 16, 2020, all four of the REIT's outlet malls had been reopened.

Management estimated that the financial impact to Sasseur REIT will not be material as it continues to receive the fixed component of its income from the sponsor.

On March 17, 2020, the REIT reported encouraging sales at all its four outlet malls. The first day combined sales were 129 per cent higher than the relevant corresponding periods.

That said, there is always the risk that the REIT will have to close its malls again, should the Covid-19 rears its ugly head in China again.

Cromwell European REIT (SGX: CNNU)

Cromwell European REIT has a portfolio of 103 properties that are used primarily for office, light industrial/logistics, and retail purposes.

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These properties are spread out across European countries such as Denmark, France, Germany and Italy, to name a few.

Cromwell's share price has declined by 34.5 per cent year-to-date to EUR 0.36 (S$0.57). DPU for the fiscal year 2019 was EUR 0.0408, therefore, the shares offer a trailing 12-month distribution yield of 11.3 per cent.

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in Europe, with countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany and France reporting rising numbers of infections and deaths.

As Cromwell's portfolio is located in Europe, investors would naturally feel worried.

The REIT had, on March 13, provided an update on the REIT's business and prospects.

The portfolio is well-diversified across 1,000 tenant-customers, with no country accounting for more than 30 per cent of the portfolio by valuation or more than 28 per cent by net property income.

Furthermore, the REIT has no debt facilities maturing until the second-half of 2021.

While this does provide assurance, the Covid-19 situation remains dynamic and investors should continue to monitor developments in Europe.

ESR-REIT (SGX: J91U)

ESR-REIT invests in income-producing industrial properties across Singapore. As of 31 December 2019, the REIT has a portfolio of 57 properties with an aggregate property value of $3.04 billion.

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The REIT's share price has tumbled 42.6 per cent year-to-date from $0.54 to the current $0.31.

Based on the trailing 12-month DPU of $0.04011, the shares offer a distribution yield of 12.9 per cent.

ESR-REIT's properties are diversified across four different sub-sectors with over 328 tenants. This mitigates the risk of any single client negatively impacting the REIT's rental income.

Rental reversions for the properties have also steadily improved, from negative 15.8 per cent in the fiscal year 2017 to 0 per cent in the fiscal year 2019.

The weighted average lease expiry (WALE) is short, though, at 3.8 years.

In effect, 17.6 per cent of rental income will be due to renewal this year, and another 17 per cent due in 2021.

With the current deterioration in the economy, investors need to be mindful that rentals may slide, and vacancy rates may also jump.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This article was first published in The Smart Investor. All content is displayed for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional financial advice. Disclaimer: Royston Yang does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.