The Complete Guide to REITs in Malaysia

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

I’m sure most of you have, at some point in your investing journey heard of a REIT. REITs are a type of security that invests in real estate and are often listed publicly on stock exchanges. REITs in Malaysia and around the world receive special tax considerations and usually offer higher dividend yields compared to other companies.

The first REIT was created in the United States back in 1960, giving investors the opportunity to invest in huge real estates. The first REIT formed in Malaysia is Axis REIT all the way back in 2004, a good 44 years after our friends in the USA. From here on out, we will be discussing REITs in Malaysia.

What are REITs?

REITs in Malaysia

REITs are all around us, in fact, one could even say that almost every Malaysian has been in contact with a REIT in one form or another. You’ve surely walked into shopping malls, office buildings, hotels, factories warehouses.  Well, lo and behold! REITs own and manage these properties.

Recall your favourite malls from your younger days: Mid Valley and Sunway Pyramid, they belong to IGB REIT and Sunway REIT respectively and have been solid performers in my Freedom Fund.

When explaining what are REITs to people, I like to compare them to mutual funds. The beauty of a REIT is that it allows small-time investors like us to acquire and own a slice of the pie in an otherwise impossibly expensive piece of real estate.

REITs are a very underrated security in Malaysia. Though they have been gaining traction for the past few years as a good defensive stock for every portfolio.

They are perfect for beginners due to their low risk nature as well as high dividend yield. Further advantages of Malaysian REITs will be discussed below.

How do I invest in REITs in Malaysia?

Why would I even bother including this in the article? You’d be surprised how many times I’m asked this question, most Malaysians aren’t even aware that REITs are listed on our stock exchange. Yes! You can own real estate through Bursa Malaysia.

For all intents and purposes and to make things simple for all, REITs are shares. You buy REITs exactly like how you purchase shares.

REITs in Malaysia

Tax Advantages of REITs in Malaysia

The Malaysian government has constantly been introducing tax incentives to promote REITs in the capital market. One huge tax benefit of a REIT is that most income earned by it is exempted from income tax. As long as REITs in Malaysia distributes at least 90% of its current year taxable income, the REIT will not be levied the 25% income tax. This allows the REIT to distribute its income on a gross basis.

With this tax system, most Malaysian REITs (if not all) distributes at least 90% of its taxable income. Coupled with the absence of a 25% income tax, dividend payments from REITs are always expected to be well above other shares.

However, as REITs are publicly listed companies, investors can range from your average local investors to foreigners and foreign entities. Malaysia’s taxman will be hard-pressed to keeping track on tax payments by all these investors, hence you may notice that REITs charge a withholding tax on their dividends. Although Malaysia’s withholding tax rate is considered one of the lowest in the world, we are still behind a few countries – mainly our neighbour Singapore.

Another huge advantage of Malaysian REITs is the exemption of tax on the moving of properties. When a Malaysian REIT acquires properties, it doesn’t have to fork out for stamp duties, normally fixed at a maximum of 3% of the purchase price. When REITs in Malaysia dispose of their assets, they do not have to pay real properties gain tax (RPGT) as well. Imagine the amount of savings REITs are afforded, I’m sure you can come up with your own calculations.

I’ve written an extended article on the tax treatment on Malaysian REITs HERE for further information.

Why Invest in Malaysian REITs?

Let’s compare REITs to other corporations on the stock market as well as physical properties.

1. 90% Distribution = Huge Dividends

As mentioned earlier, in order to take advantage of the tax system, REITs will almost always distribute at least 90% of its earnings. That’s right, 90% of all rentals collected from all those colossal buildings will be distributed to shareholders. The savings on stamp duty and RPGT alone run into the millions, those savings will eventually be transformed into dividends for investors like us.

More often than not, the dividends distributed by REITs in Malaysia will be higher compared to other corporations. Which is why I always see REITs as more of a defensive stock due to its investments in physical properties and its high dividend yield.

2. Diversification

There are so many ways REITs offer diversification for your portfolio. For example, just by investing in Sunway REIT, your funds are already spread out among several properties types and also geographically. Your funds are invested in malls, hotels, offices across several states in Malaysia.

If you were to purchase a physical property by yourself, at most, due to the constraint of time and availability of funds, you’d have 3-4 properties in your portfolio. Which sounds better?

3. Low Initial Investment

With as little as RM1,000 you can add shopping malls, office towers, industrial warehouses and even hotels to your real estate empire. Although I mention RM1K, please note that ideally, you’d want to start off with at least RM3K, with RM7-8K being the most ideal due to brokerage fees. Read more on it here on How to Start Investing.

4. Liquidity

Compared to a physical property, you’re able to buy and sell shares in Malaysian REITs in a few minutes. I cannot emphasize this enough, think of the hassle you have to go through just to sell an apartment unit now. The lawyers, agents, potential buyers, it’ll be at least a few weeks before you’re able to rid yourself of that apartment unit.

Whenever you find yourself in a pickle and you need cash fast, you will realize how important liquidity is. Emergencies aside, liquidity will save you a huge amount of time when disposing of REITs not to mention the fees.

5. Let the Professionals take care of it

Malaysian REITs
Leong Kit May – CEO of Axis REIT 

Just lay back and let the actual real estate experts handle and manage your properties. Who do you think owners of an RM1 billion shopping mall like Mid Valley and the Gardens will hire to manage their properties? The managers will, of course, be the very best in the field and have tons of experience. With expertise like that on your side, you leave the acquisitions, the disposals and the management of your properties to true professionals.

How many REITs are there in Malaysia?

There are a total of 18 REITs in Malaysia as of October 2016. Of these, I currently own 3 – Axis, IGB and Sunway REIT.

REITs in Malaysia

REITPortfolioStock Short Name
Amanah Harta Tanah PNBRetail, OfficeAHP
Al-Aqar Healthcare REITHealthcare, HotelsALAQAR
Al-Salam REITOffice, IndustrialALSREIT
AmFirst REITOffice, Retail, HotelsAMFIRST
Amanah Raya REITIndustrial, Office, Hotel, RetailARREIT
Atrium REITIndustrial, Warehouse, OfficeATRIUM
Axis REITIndustrial, Office, WarehouseAXREIT
Capital Malls Malaysia TrustRetailCMMT
Pavillion REITRetail, OfficePAVREIT
Quill Capita TrustCommercial, Carparks, Office, IndustrialQCAPITA
Starhill REITCommercialSTAREIT
Sunway REITRetail, Hotels, OfficeSUNREIT
YTL Hospitality REITHotelsYTLREIT

My Investment in Malaysian REITs

I currently own 3 REITs in my portfolio. Axis REIT, IGB REIT and Sunway REIT.

Their performance in 2018 for me personally are as follows:

1. Axis REIT

Dividends (2018) – RM1,359.45

Dividend Yield (2018) – 3.96%

Axis REIT has been deteriorating since 2017 with yields dropping from 4.72% to 3.96%.


Dividends (2018) – RM2,865.43

Dividend Yield (2018) – 7.09%

Huge jump in yields from 4.42% in 2017 to 7.09% in 2018.

3. Sunway REIT

Dividends (2018) – RM1,179.94

Dividend Yield (2018) – 5.95%

Steady dividend yield from SunREIT. Decreasing slightly from 6.07% in 2017.

Among the 3 REITs I’ve invested in, clearly, IGBREIT has been the best performer. I’m satisfied with SunREIT’s yields for the past few years as well.

As for Axis REIT, I’ve been considering reducing my holdings there and reinvest in other more productive REITs in 2019.

REITs make up a huge proportion of my Freedom Fund and are my dividend cash cows. May they provide for you as they have for me. Looking for a more general guide to stock investment? Head over to my article on A Guide to Stock Investment in Malaysia.

What are the REITs you’ve invested in?


I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on REITs in Malaysia. I am not against anyone purchasing a physical property on their own. Instead, one should always make their decisions based one as much information as possible and I believe REITs are a very viable option in Malaysia.

REITsPhysical Property
Dividend yield: 5 - 7%Rental yield: 3-5%
Low transaction costs, doesn't take up timeHigh transaction costs, time consuming
Managed by expertsSelf-managed mostly
Highly diversifiedVery little chance at diversification

Physical properties are so hyped in recent years because you have every tom, dick and harry bragging about how they earned RM100K or RM1 million by buying and selling properties. Yes, this may be true but why? Well, because you are actually borrowing 90% from the bank to finance that deal, you could earn that same amount with stocks if any banks were crazy enough to lend you that same amount.

At the end of the day, REITs are a form of investments and has its own risks. They are susceptible to all forms of market risks and you should conduct your due diligence before making a decision.

REITs are a defensive stock and are less volatile compared to other stocks. I love them due to their high dividend yield and REITs will continue to be a big part of my portfolio.

As it has always been my mantra, I say – To each his own. Invest in what you know and what you feel comfortable in. If it is properties, by all means, invest and plough your trade in the property market. However, for the rest of you, please give REITs your consideration the next time you are making an investment decision. I have been advising my clients to invest in REITs for years now and there have been no regrets.

Let me know if I’ve missed out anything important on Malaysian REITs. I will be continuously updating this page when I come across any relevant information so don’t forget to subscribe to the site, bookmark this page and check back often.

As always, thank you for reading! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for weekly dividend updates!

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187 Replies to “The Complete Guide to REITs in Malaysia”

  1. Hi Leigh, finally my CDS is up for trading, thanks for your sharing & guidance. I wish to buy igbreit & sunreit, could you please advise whether their current prices are overvalued? Thanks much for your kindness. Happy investing.

  2. Thks sir, you really open my eye about REIT before this I only heard about it but never keen to further explore.
    May u suggest how can I learn more before I jump into this investment.
    Thks in adv.

    1. Hi Fir,

      REITs are like any other stocks. If you’ve gone through the articles here, I’d suggest taking a look at my Recommended Books section. Hope it helps!

  3. Hello Mr, thank you for your knowledgeble information. I already have trading account and already make stock trading. But what i want to know, can i buy any REIT directly without involving remiser or my trading account. For example, i want to buy KLCC REIT. Can i just contact KLCC Property Holdings Berhad for the purchases. Thank you.

    1. Hi RIQ,

      Nah you can’t just contact the company. What u need to do is create an account with a broker. Do it online yourself, no need to go through remisier.

    2. Hi Leigh, thanks for your selfless devotion of sharing with us, especially the newbies, appreciate it!
      First of all, could you share with us what’s your opinion on Nestle, is it a worth to invest into it looking at its current high price. And what’s your view on Air Asia, Scientx, Homeriz & F&N? Keep up with your good work and thanks again for your sharing

  4. Hi Dividendmagic,
    I’m new to investing and still try to figure out about it. As u said the best is to start off is 8k, is it will be the best if i buy in 8k during my next purchase? i hope u can understand my poor english.
    Thank you for you information really appreciate it!!

  5. Hi Leigh,

    I have some newbie questions here:

    1. Currently I’m thinking should I open a trading account from Rakuten or Hong Leong? Which one would u suggest or recommend for a newbie?

    2. Is Rakuten and Hong Leong can buy REITS as well?

    3. If the stocks or REITs’ price are drop, but I did not sell it out, is this consider I won’t losing any money? I means we won’t physically losing money? I will only lose the money when I sell out the stock or share? It will just cause the dividends might become lesser right?

    Hope can get yr advise. Thanks for answer all my silly questions.

    1. Hi Agnes,

      1. Both Hong Leong and Rakuten are fine.
      2. Yes both are brokers. Essentially the same and you can buy REITs with both.
      3. If you don’t sell, its called a paper/unrealized loss. Dividends usually stay the same for REITs. Unless the company has a significant drop in profit.

  6. Hi, I’m a complete beginner.
    My friend who have more knowledge than me, share that Normally those dividends that you get will be sucked into their new property takeovers. When they wanna acquire new properties. They will ask shareholders for money.

    What does it mean? Will I get suck up to invest more than I initially invested?

    1. When new listing is required, ie; new purchase of IPs (investment properties), REIT will either financed the acquisition via issuance of new shares or seeking loan from banks or conduct any other type of monetizations strategy. This is what we called fund raising part.

      It involved only with a bunch of new unitholders and no affecting the existing unitholders. But there will be some accretisation or dilution to share of course because that is depending on the volume if new issuance.

      If it is diluting, meaning share are issued at larger units compared to the potential income generation from new listing (new assets) then your dividend yield will decline or vice versa.

      But rest assured, they will not seek the existing unitholders to pump in additional fund. You are unitholders of a listed assets, not shareholders of private company.

  7. Hi Divvy, I wish to clarify something as in like the payout duration of the Reit. For example, if they pay the dividend in march and I bought it in the middle of march. Do I still get the dividends?

  8. Hi Leigh,
    How do you target the entry price to buy REIT stock ? Or should I just buy with the current price considering I will make up the “losses” with the dividend ?

  9. Hi, i need some help on the dividend count.
    For example I bought 100 unit of a REIT by price of 1.77 per unit. Dividend declared for this quarter was 2.25 cent per unit.
    How does it count technically ? My calculation was 2.25/1.77 = 1.27%
    I heard that from investing REIT u get dividend of 5-10% annually. Does my calculation goes wrong ? Any idea ?

    1. Hi Calvin,

      Well that’ll be the first dividend. Wait for one whole year and you should get more.
      Btw that 5-10% is not guaranteed. It depends on the price you bought and what reit it is.

    2. Dividends are payout on several tranches during the 12-month period. The idea of investment is that investors loved timely divident payment and kept money within their hand for reinvestment else where rather than waiting at year end only. This is liquidity management to investors

  10. Hey Dividend Magic,

    I’m inspired by your postings and enjoy myself reading your website and portfolio.

    Just want to check with you, is it normally for reits for trade at Price to book at 1 due to their constantly revaluing of their property?

    If so, does it means that once reits trade below its book, it is considered undervalued?

    1. Hey,

      Appreciate the kind and nice words.

      This is a good question. You could consider it undervalued if it falls below book value, all stocks are essentially considered that. On paper.

      But the truth of the matter is, most REITs don’t dispose off their assets that often, we look more to a REIT’s income compared to the value of their properties.

  11. Hello Leigh, its encouraging seeing your blog, with some major tips i really overlooked and it hooked me up. should have visited here earlier.

    i invested in some REIT (unfortunately i over diversify), but i have a question. for example i bought a 5000 unit for rm1 each, let say holding it for few week, if the prices drop by 0.05 daily should i be worrying in long run considering they do give dividend but downturn in share price kinda scary for new trader like me

    1. Hey Poonky,

      If you’ve done the homework and research, price drops shouldn’t worry you. Although, you should know why it dropped in the first place?
      Fluctuations in the share prices are every day occurrences. So if you’ve done your due diligence, there’s nothing to worry about. If however, you’re just shooting in the dark, then yeah you should be worried.

  12. What is the difference between REIT and property trust fund? Which yield higher investment returns and in term of risk which is lower? What are some of the property trust funds in Msia? Thanks.

    1. REIT is listed and PTF is unlisted. REIT is macro managed and PTF is micro managed by the asset management company

  13. Hi Leigh,
    Buying reits is just like buying shares ? And the dividend will automatically bank in to our cds account ? Btw thanks for your informations!

  14. Hi , may i know where to buy reits online ? If i have CDS account and i choose to buy online do i need to charge by the broker? Sorry im new investor and still in learning stage

  15. HI Devy,
    This is exactly what i was looking for to start off. I have opened up the account via Rakuten which was the easy part. Now the hard part is to decide which one to pick for the 1st investment in REIT. which one would you recommend, AXIS, IGB, KLCC or MQ REIT and what do you think should be a good initial investment.Thanks in Advance

      1. Hi, you said “I’ve never recommended Rakuten Trade.” Does it mean that Rakuten is no good? As far as I know, it charges the lowest commission. It is a well-known, reputable online stock trading platform, especially popular in Japan. I currently use HLeBroking, but I am thinking of signing up with Rakuten.

        1. Hi,

          The only reason I don’t recommend it is due to them only offering Nominee accounts. I’d always go for Direct accounts which they don’t offer.
          HLe and the other local banks are better. Fee wise, they’re all similar.

  16. Hi Divvy,

    I’m a new fresh guy for investment.
    I love your blog, it’s so useful!!

    Can i ask, If I buy blue chip stock or REITS, do i need to pay for income tax in Malaysia?
    Currently I working in Singapore, but I’m a Malaysian.

  17. Hi Leigh,

    Thanks for the awesome sharing! It is very helpful for a beginner like me.

    I have some question. If I have a lump sum of money let say RM20, 000. I want to invest in stocks with dividend payout. Could you advise whether to invest the money in multiple stocks to diversify to reduce the risk or invest in one stocks like REIT?

    Keep it up!

    1. Hi Ivan,

      You can invest the whole RM20K in a single stock. Or split it up into 2 or 3 different stocks. Ie. RM10K x2 or RM7K x3.
      As I’ve mentioned, its cheapest in terms of transaction costs to invest RM7K and above per transaction per stock.

      Hope this helped!

  18. Hi Divvy, newbie investor here. Very helpful site here, cleared most of my doubts. Just a question from me, does we have to pay income tax for what we earning from dividend?
    Thank you for the awesome posts and happy investing.

  19. Hi, was wondering if there is any regulation to protect REIT investors against REIT companies putting non performing properties into a REIT. I heard some REIT companies hide properties that only generate 2% rental yield in the REIT.

  20. HI, thanks for your writing. I just want to ask, is QCAPITA and STAREIT still exist? I just google it and find out QCAPITA changed it name to MQREIT and STAREIT change name to YTL reit, is it true? So currently Malaysia has 17 REITs instead of 18, am I right? I am new to REIT, thanks for your time!

    1. Hi Jam,

      Yea I think you’ve got it right. I don’t have the means to check now though. Maybe some of the readers can help.

      Hope this helped and sorry for the late response.

  21. Hi Divvy, great article which truly clear many doubts for REIT-newbie like me.

    You impressed me because of the transparency on your investment thought and thinking, especially on the port folio sharing.

    I recently did a liability restructuring via refinancing and reconciliation. Would like to invest in REIT which i known for long but never get involve and learn any further.

    Now i know RM7k is the most cost-effective way in buying REIT share, as of now.
    Thank you.

    Be well and happy,
    Soon Yuan

  22. Hey Divvy,

    I’ve been following you for the past two years. You are doing great with your website here. You inspired me to invest in shares. But I just wanna know. How much time you put to think about your portfolio and how often you do it? I just feel that although share market has higher returns( if you do it correctly), it makes check the news often, think about your shares almost every weekend whether it’s doing well, understanding annual reports and statements and also not to forget the risk of share market collapse. Put all this together, don’t you think it’s much simpler to spend some time finding property/ unit trust for one period of time and then just think of it once in awhile. Not everyone has the time to study companies and see their growth and etc etc frequently. This is just my thoughts about investing in shares. Also do you agree that share market is only for people who has plenty of free time ?

    Thanks for your time Divvy.

    1. Hi Mubarak

      Thank you for the kind words!
      I review my portfolio on a monthly basis. But that is because I have a website to update. Typically, a normal investor can do it quarterly.

      If you’ve done your homework, you don’t have to check on your stocks often. Yes, the news, maybe login once a week to see check on the share price etc.
      Yes and no. This is your hard earned money, if you don’t put in the effort and let some fund manager handle your money, you’re courting trouble.

      I always tell people to invest in what they know, be it properties or other assets. But not unit trusts. PLease. XD

      Hope this helped and sorry for the late response.

  23. Hey , great article there ! May I know if i buy the REITs on its distribution day , am i still entitled to this dividend or do I have to wait for the next distribution ? Thanks !

  24. Hi Divvy, i am confused. Looking at your dividend payout yield <6%, are they lower than the EPF dividend payout ? Meaning if i invest in EPF, my return is more? Sorry i am new to stock investing. Thank you much for the awesome blog anyway 🙂

  25. Hi, when you mentioned “you’d want to start off with at least RM3K (or ideally RM7-8K)”, do you mean investing all RM3K in one REIT to start with, or spread the RM3K capital across multiple REITs?

    Great article by the way. Thanks!

  26. Hi Divvy,

    Thanks for your sharing.

    I am about to invest in REIT. Would like to know does it need to declare tax for those dividend income we yield?

    thank you in advanced for answering my question as i am a newbie

      1. THis means that if I invest in REIT, the dividend paid to me will not be subject to individual tax and I will not need to declare it in the tax submission. is this the same for unit trust/mutual trust dividend payout, i.e. not subject to individual tax? thanks!

  27. Hi, good article. REIT market has been on a downtrend recent years due to RE oversupply in Malaysia. This includes recent BNM OPR rate hike which weighed down on REITS. When do you think there will be a turnaround?

    Thanks, much appreciated

  28. Hi, do you mind to explain how does dividend is calculated? For example, recent IGBREIT announce
    “4.90 sen per unit comprising 4.79 sen taxable and 0.11 sen non-taxable for the second half of 2017”

    If I have 10,000 (does this means I have 100 lots?) in quantity, how does the dividend yield is calculated?

    I’m new to stock investment.

    1. Hey Steven,

      Your 10,000 is already in units. ie. you have 10,000 units OR 100 lots. So 4.9 cents per unit would be RM0.049 * 10,000 = RM490 (your dividends).
      Your yield would be RM490 divided by the investment value of your IGB REIT.

      Hope this helped.

      1. Hi Divvy,

        As Steven mentioned above, IGB reit announced ” 4.90 sen per unit comprising 4.79 sen taxable and 0.11 sen non-taxable for the second half of 2017″, so your calculation is just times with the sen that they provided, are there any tax needed to deduct from the dividends and why they would want to split to taxable and non-taxable?

        Because I’m holding HEKTAR reit, my dividends came with a 10% withholding tax, so my final dividends need to minus 10%. In this case, does IGB reit need to minus a percentage of tax for taxable sen amount?

        I just get into REIT investment and still not sure how tax works in REIT. Other stocks that I held dont have any tax before. Hope you can help in this. Thanks!

    2. Total dividend receivable= ((4.79×90%)+0.11)x10,000=44210 sen=RM442.10
      Note: 10% withholding tax apply for individual tax resident

  29. Hello Divvy,

    Enjoy reading your articles.
    Realisng most of the REITs price trend are going south.
    Is that a good sign to buy low?
    What is your thought?

    I bought syariah compliant REIT

    1. Hey Hanifah,

      Yea some of them are going down. Before you decide to buy, you’ll have to do your own research and due diligence.
      Whether to buy or not depends on your valuation of the stock.

  30. what are the steps for me to invest in buying REITS my self instead of getting a broker to do it due to cut cost. mind to explain the steps (i.e brokerage account and buying it online) in details as i know you’re already an investor in REITS.

  31. Hi Divvy,

    Just checking in with you as I am about to start buying reits for long term investments. As you said, the price of reits do not fluctuate much, but do you think it will reflect the rate of inflation? Having ~5% yield a year with an increasing stock price in 10 years looks like a safe haven.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Depends on what you think Malaysia’s inflation rate is.
      I’d say around 3 – 3.5%? Realistically.

      You yield should more than cover it. Not including capital gains of course.

    1. Hi,

      REITs, as mentioned, are stocks/shares. So open a brokerage account and buy it online yourself. Alternatively, you can get a remisier to place orders for you but you’ll be charged more.

  32. Hi Leigh,
    Very informative piece you have here.
    Wish to get an advice from you. If I’m utterly sure that I can be getting rental return of 5.00% from investing in a property with an average annual capital gain of 10%, is it still better for me to put my money in that property or I shall go for M-REIT? Thanks in advance.(I understand that it is personal preference like what you had mentioned. Just trying to get your expert advice).

    From : Teh

    1. Hey Teh,

      Thanks for writing in.
      Is the 5% net of all costs? Ie. is your property generating positive yields. 5% means nothing if your costs are 10%. So what is the net gain from it.

      Let me know and from there I can better answer your question.

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply.

        Is the 5% net of all costs? Ie. is your property generating positive yields.

        Assuming the property purchase price at 1.5mil and rental at 8.5k. After ducting maintenance fee, utilities, etc net rental at 8k per month.

        1. Hey Teh,

          Alright gotcha. You’re buying cash? If so, here’s the comparison:

          In terms of yield, REITs are in the 5-6% range. It goes up in the long term, every year mostly.

          In terms of capital appreciation, if you’re 100% sure you have that 10% capital gain. Then the 1.5m property wins.

          I’d say go for the property if you’re 100% certain of the 10% gain. If not, then you’ll have to consider that REITs don’t give you the headaches that come with property management.

          Does this help?

          1. This advice certainly help and giving me a peace of mind indeed. Many thanks again for your kind advice !!!! Happy investing..

  33. Hi,
    Anyone looking to invest in Investment Bank, can contact me at +6017-3569452 (Azeemi).
    This investment start up amount at RM500 K, which is 12% return paid twice a year.
    Please do contact me for presentation.


    1. I’m approving this comment so people will have a clear example of what a scam looks like. Note the (not very well though of) email address:
      Mr Azemi, if you’ve got that good of an investment, please do share it with all of us here.

      Goes without saying but – Please do not contact him.

  34. Hi Leigh,

    Nice article!

    I had my emergency fund saved up and now looking forward the next step to achieve financial freedom.

    Where should I park my money first? In REITs or Stocks or any other? If invest in both or more then the amount would be depleted.

    Can I have your opinion on which sequence and proportion of investing is better of?


    1. Hey Wincent,

      Thanks for writing in!

      As a beginner, I’d suggest you take the time to understand the companies you want to invest in. It’s always a good idea to look for companies whose industries you’re familiar with.
      Ie. if you’re working in the banking industry, look at banks!

      Btw, REITs are stocks 😉

      Hope this helped.

    1. Hey Andrew,

      There are a hundred and one ways to evaluate a stock. Have a look at my Resources tab on the site. Plenty of material to get you started there. You’ll have to identify which one fits you. As for myself, I’m a fundamentals kinda guy.

      Hope this helps!

  35. This article relieves me a bit actually. I just love the fact that I can invest in property in the form of REITs rather than physical property, and the rules for dividend payouts is quite clearly stated as well. Keep it up Divvy! I just quite impressed a lot to see you posting the dividend payments especially the photos of your letters you received 🙂

  36. Hey there. Im a novice whose knowledge is very much nil, but very much interested in REIT. May i know any sources to begin reading and investing?

    1. Hey Azman,

      There really isn’t many resources on Malaysian REITs. You can start reading the REITs’ annual report. Learn about the company and the properties they own, and then start investing!

      Hope this helped.

  37. Hi Leigh, I’m new in investment world. I am lanning to start my investment very soon. However, I was wondering should I hire a remisier or purchase the stock byu myself as I have a full time work which I think it is hard for me to buy selI the stock by myself. I need your advice regasrding on this. Thank you.

    1. Hey Keith,

      If you’re investing for the long term and in fundamentally sound companies, just invest on your own. No need for remisiers and high fees. If you’re investing the right way, you won’t spend every hour of the day worrying about your investments. It’ll be more like checking up on your companies every other month.

      My advice? Do without the remisier. Invest in companies you understand and like. And trust your judgement.

  38. Hi Dividend Boss,

    Your articles are very informative and inspiring. Between, am a newbie to stock investment. I look forward to your upcoming posts.

      1. Hi Leigh,
        I have read most of your recent articles and other linked articles before dropping you a message. Keep us posted. Hope I can enter the market soon and meet you during one of the AGMs 🙂 Master Leigh

        1. Hey Annie,

          Thank you for reading and writing in! I really hope my articles helped.
          Hope to see you during the AGMs. I regularly announce which AGMs I’m attending so if you’re going as well please drop me a msg!

  39. Hi Magic Boss,

    Recently KiP REIT has listed on Bursa Malaysia, yet it is quite different from the REIT that we used to know. I wonder have you heard about it before? How do you think about this REIT?


    1. Hey James,

      Thanks for writing in and please call me Leigh.

      I’ve heard and read about them when they went for their IPO. Not very exciting at all, assets are mostly in suburbs. The businesses run on the premises, however, are more promising.

  40. Hi Magic Boss!

    Thank you for your great article! Very interesting and helpful 🙂
    After completing reading the whole article and doing quick research, just wondering on 2 issues:

    1) Is there any penalty involved when we invest in REITs/IREITs (Eg. If we would like to cash out earlier than the maturity date? (in the case of it has the maturity) And if there is penalty on it, may I know where can I get such information?

    2) Apart from having the capital of RM 1k for eg and buying the shares (REITs). What else financial cost that we might incur in order to invest in REITs/IREITs? (Eg. Service charges?)

    Sorry for these ‘silly questions’.. I am totally new in this market.

    Tqvm! 🙂

    1. Hey Nur,

      Thank you for writing in! And thank you for your kind words.

      First of all, many of your questions can be answered here in this article. Hope you enjoy it!

      I’ll go ahead and answer your questions anyway =D

      1. No penalty at all. REITs are shares / stocks, you can exit anytime. The only cost you bear are the transaction costs. Each time you buy and sell.

      2. Read the article I linked to above, I’ve broken down the costs involved when buying shares.

      There are no silly questions! Please feel free to ask more my friend.
      Hope this helped and see you around!

      1. Tq so much for your clear explanation, Magic Boss! Will definitely follow this blog for my future reading 🙂

  41. Hey! Thanks for the post!

    I’m wondering how would you suggest to invest in REIT? In one lump sum/monthly/quarterly?

    1. Hey Mandy,

      Thank you for writing in! Let me point you to one of my articles:

      In the article, I recommend one invest in one lump sum, quarterly. the most efficient amount would be above RM7-8K per transaction. However, if this is beyond your means, please go ahead and do RM3K -5K whenever you can.

      Hope this helped

  42. I retired recently and have to rely almost entirely on interest or dividend income. I have heard of REITs before, but unaware of their high-yield dividends and their special tax treatment, until I read your post, which is an eye-opener to me. Strangely, all those investment gurus, including InvestTipster, never even mentioned REITs when they listed the “highest dividend yielding stocks in Malaysia to buy”, as in I wonder why. They purposely ignored REITs? Or are they just ignorant?

    1. Hey Lai,

      Well I don’t want to presume to know what is on the author’s mind but his/her stock picks are based on undervalued stocks (I think). I noticed they did include Sunway REIT in the list though. So I guess there is a REIT there.

      Most sites list the ‘highest’ dividend yielding stocks based solely on the historical yields found on Bursa. Yields can be low because the stock price has tumbled. So using a ‘list’ like that can be very dangerous. I could just as easily procure such a list with a few clicks but the list won’t mean a thing. Instead, look for companies that are genuinely giving good yields even when they are priced correctly.

      Also, congrats on your retirement and financial independence! May I ask if this is an early retirement?
      As a retiree relying on income from your investments, it would be wise to go defensive now. REITs will do just fine. You might want to look at some other well-established companies, good dividend paying companies ie. Nestle to put into your portfolio as well.

      1. Yes, to be fair, they did list Sunway REIT. Many thanks again for your reply. I am 64 now and of course have to be ‘defensive’. But I wonder how you determine at what price you would buy, say, Sunway Reit? Recently I read a book on dividend stocks picking. The method proposed by the author: Find out the historical dividends of a share for the last five years and their average. If the average is 16 times of the current share price, then it is at its ‘low price’. If the average is 20 times, then the price is ‘reasonable.’ More than 20 times, it is ‘expensive.’ The aim is to achieve 6.25% DY.

        Take Sunway REIT as an example. Its last five-year historical average dividend is 8.41 cents per share. At its current price 1.70, the yield would be 4.95%. But its current price 1.70 is slightly above its ‘theoretical’ low price 1.35 (8.41×16) and its reasonable price 1.68 (8.41×20). A little expensive.

        But the Axis REIT, which is also in your portfolio, seems to be a great bargain. Its last five-year historical average dividend is 15.4 cents. At its price today 1.66, the DY is 9.28%. Moreover, its current price 1.66 is still well below its ‘theoretical’ low price 2.46 (15.4×16) and its reasonable price 3.08 (15.4×20). Looks like a great buy. What do you think? Your comments most welcome.

        P.S. I got my historical dividends from this website:

        1. Oh, sorry. There is an error in my wording. “If the average is 16 times of the current share price, then it is at its ‘low price’. If the average is 20 times, then the price is ‘reasonable.’ More than 20 times, it is ‘expensive.’ ”

          This should read: “If the current share price is 16 times of the historical avearage dividend, then it is at its ‘low price’. If the current share price is 20 times of the historical average dividend, then it is ‘reasonable.’ More than 20 times, it is ‘expensive.’

          Moreover, ‘theoretical’ low price should read ‘ideal’ low price’ etc.

          1. Hey Lai,

            That’s certainly one way to value your investments. I won’t tell you how to value your stocks though sorry.
            I will leave you with this, this way of valuation is based on historical prices. It’s fine but maybe you should try looking forward and into the future as well.

            Hope this helped!

  43. I enjoy very much reading your elegant, “authentic” English prose. Not many Malaysians could write that way. Just one question: Dividends always come to an investor in the form of dividend cheques sent by post? Could they send dividends directly to our CDS or Trading accounts? What if the dividend cheques were lost in the mail? It seems to me that dividend cheques involve a lot of paperwork and are not efficient enough.

    1. Hey Lai,

      Thank you for writing in and your kind words. I of course always try to keep it real.

      Dividend vouchers come in the mail. These are just for your record keeping. The dividends itself are banked directly into your savings account (which you would’ve linked to when you open your brokerage account).

      Fun fact though, companies did in fact, send your dividend cheques via traditional mail. It’s all done electronically now, so don’t worry about your dividends getting lost in transit.

      Hope this cleared everything up!

      1. Many thanks for clearing this up for me. I just opened my CDS and trading account, waiting for my first dividend from Maybank (ex-dividend date May 4).

    1. Hey Amy,

      I’d suggest you have about six months of your salary / expenses saved up as a buffer for emergencies. If you’ve done that already, with RM1K you can invest in most REITs and/or stocks. Just do your research.
      Although I’ve mentioned the most cost efficient way is to save up to about RM6-7K per transaction. Although sometimes not staying invested will lose you more money. So by all means, go ahead and invest that RM1K!

      1. Hi Leigh, I having the same thoughts as Amy here. I wanna start invest with RM1K in REITS *read so much good reviews* but with this amount I will only manage to get few lots. Do 4lots worth to get or i should invest in other stocks ?

        1. Hey Janet,

          Thanks for writing in!

          The only disadvantage of investing amounts less than RM7K per transaction are the higher fees per unit of stock you’ll have to pay. My advice is to ignore this, in the long run, you’ll lose out more by not staying invested.
          So go ahead and invest that RM500 or RM1K or 3K, you’ll be better off (by a long shot) for the long term.

          Btw the price of a stock shouldn’t deter you, it doesn’t matter if the price is worth RM0.50 or RM50. You’re still investing RM1,000. So a 10% increase in price is still a RM100 gain for you no matter the price. This is a common misconception for many many new investors. So, again, buy the stocks you think have the fundamentals. Always for the long term.

          Hope this helped!!

  44. Hi Dividend Magic boss,

    Is the method use to analyse REIT is the same method use to analyse stock of a company?

    Besides, books recommended by you, should we read them in this particular order?

    1. A Random Walk Down Wallstreet
    2. The Four Pillars of Investing
    3. The Intelligent Investor
    4. Security Analysis
    5. Value Averaging: The Safest and Easy Strategy for Higher Investment Returns

    Which book do you recommend to start with?
    As I came across some reviews mentioned book (3) & (4) are harder for beginner to understand. (I am a newbie & noobie in investing, I’m afraid I can’t understand well because I don’t have any basics)

    Many thanks ya ! =)

  45. Hi Magic boss,

    Is the method to analyse REIT the same as method use to analyse a stock of a company?

    Besides, books that you recommended should we read them in this particular order?

    1. A Random Walk Down Wallstreet
    2. The Four Pillars of Investing
    3. The Intelligent Investor
    4. Security Analysis
    5. Value Averaging: The Safest and Easy Strategy for Higher Investment Returns

    Which book do you recommend to start with?
    As some reviews mentioned book (3) & (4) are harder for beginner to understand. (I am a newbie and noobie in investment, I’m afraid I can’t understand the books without any basic haha)

    Many thanks Magic boss ! =)

    1. Hey Lim,

      Thanks for writing in.

      There isn’t really an order you should go by. Only for The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis though, start with The Intelligent Investor. That’s for new investors.
      If you need the motivation to get you started on savings, please do give The Millionaire Next Door a read. Staunch supporter here.

      You’re most welcome buddy and do write in to let us know how you find the books!

      1. Hey Leigh

        I just bought a Kindle edition of The Millionaire Next Door from Amazon. Truly inspiring! It is in fact written by two professors presenting their research findings on how American millionaires live and spend, frugally. Solid research. Thanks for your recommendation.

  46. Apart from good dividend, another benefit is the potential property gain much like when you own a physical building. True that REITs alaready fair valued their properties, but do note that for valuation purpose, valuers use soemthing like 8% dividend yield to derive the FV based on the rental income. You will know by now that for most properties be it e gocondo or shops, market value gone up so much that you can only expect 4% or max of 5% rental yield. What it means is, when the REIT decide to sell the property (Axreit does it), profit will get a shot in the arm. This benefit however, may not be applicable for a fund such as pavilion reit when the promoter is unlikely to sell it. But still, as the real value of the property appreciate, there will come a time when the value will be unlocked thru a VO or with some rich funds coming in to offer a price that the promoter just cannot refuse.

    1. Hey Sone,

      Bursa Malaysia is the most reliable. There are several other sites that compile data like that as well. Can just do a google search.
      Do note that these are historical dividends and you’ll have to make your own judgment if it is sustainable. A stock isn’t good just because it gives good yields, in fact, it is quite the contrary.

  47. Hi, I am totally new to the investing game when I came upon your post.

    So in order for me to start investing in REITs, I first have to

    1. Find a bank/agent
    2. Open a CDS account with them
    3. Pick a REIT to invest in.

    Is that right? As a newbie, what do I need to look at before picking my first REIT to invest in? Could you give some advice? Thank you so much.

    1. Hey Shin,

      Yup you’re totally spot on regarding the steps. As for picking the shares you want to invest in, I don’t do recommendations or teach people how to pick their stocks. You’ll have to do your own homework. My advice, take a look at some of the recommended books I have. Watch videos on youtube etc.

      Remember, it’s better to stay invested so do your homework quick and get started on investing. Time is our ally

      1. Thank you for replying. So if I have a diverse portfolios of REIT, it can become a tool that generates passive income? I don’t quite understand. When they payout the dividend, do we take out the cash or we can reinvest it in addition to the initial capital we first put in, much like FDs in banks?

        1. Hey Shin,

          Yes REITs are mainly valued for their high dividend yields and stable share prices.
          The dividends will be paid to your bank account. You can then choose to reinvest it or enjoy it. Right now, not many companies offer automatic reinvestment of your dividends.

  48. Boss,

    My second year in REITs. With an increasing price and lowered yield, should I do anything with the 30% capital gain? Long term is one thing but surely it’s not buy and never let go.

    Appreciate your input.

    1. Hey J,

      2nd year! =D

      30% gain but what do you think the stock is valued at? Is it overvalued? If so by how much?

      I have stocks that are at a 150% gain which I still hold. And I’m looking to add more even at this price.

      You should determine if the share you own is grossly overvalued, and if you don’t see a long-term future for it, then sure, sell it. If you’re just selling because it is up by 30% then you’re doing it wrong.

      Hope this helps!

  49. Hey,

    I doubt that why IGB reit’s dividend yield was lower than other retail reit? Every time i visit midvalley i’ve saw a lot of people shopping there. Just curious about this.

    1. Hey again Jimmy,

      Do you mean IGB REIT’s yield is lower? Well when people like a stock, the price will increase. Subsequently decreasing the dividend yield.
      IGB is in demand. So it is expensive.

      Hope this clarifies. =D

  50. can the witholding tax be claimed in our malaysian return form as the dividend income from reits is tax exempt.

  51. Hi Divvy,

    Thanks for the great post! I would like to know if you have the annual dividend rates for all the REITs in Malaysia since inception? I’m curious to look at the numbers and see how they fared over time. Thank you.

  52. Hello,
    Is REITs dividend paid monthly?
    How do we calculate the divident payout and charges incurred.
    I’m very interested in this type of investment.
    Thank you

    1. Hey Kenny,

      First of all, I hope you understand REITs are shares. They are shares in a company that invests in Real Estate.
      So, like shares, different REITs pay out their dividends at different times. Some pay twice a year, some quarterly. So far, I’ve never seen any that pays every month though.

      Hope this helps. And please, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate.

      Thanks for reading!

      1. Hello,
        Say REITS pays out dividend every quarterly, how long do I need to stay in before they started giving out dividend to me ? Say I brought in May, and by June they are paying out their quarterly dividend. Am i in? Or the next full quarter at September, only i would receive their dividend payout?

        Truly appreciates your response, thank you Leigh !

        1. Hey Terry,

          Good to meet ya!

          To receive dividends, it’s all about the Ex-dividend date. A company’s Ex-dividend date comes part and parcel when a company announces it’s dividend. If you purchase a stock on its ex-dividend date or after, you will not receive the next dividend payment.

          Hope this helped!

    1. Hey Leong,

      First of all, if you’re referring to Ms Leong Kit May, she is the CEO of Axis REIT. There are many REITs in Malaysia, she is just one of them. You can try emailing her but I doubt she would respond. XD

      You can instead post your questions here, I’ll be more than happy to help you in any way I can.

  53. Really interesting article! I’m an expat just started working in Malaysia for a few months, but will definitely stay here for the next 5-7 years. Could I be able to invest in REIT here? Would love your help sir, thank you and happy new year 😀

    1. Hey Vinh,

      As far as I know, you can just head to any banks / brokers and talk to them about opening a CDS account. The steps should be relatively similar for locals albeit with a few extra documents required.
      I’m not really sure myself though so please do update us.

      REITs would be a good start to get exposure and diversification in Malaysia’s property market.
      Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Wong sifu!

      No wonder.. I tried looking it up on my HLB account but couldn’t find anything.
      Got the list through BURSA, might be outdated. They didn’t have YTL REIT listed.

      Thanks for this, will update accordingly!

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