By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI/KARACHI: Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management Limited and Central Depository Company (CDC) with Memon Professional Forum(MPF) organized a seminar on Insight on REITs on June 2, 2023 at ICAP Auditorium, Karachi. Real Estate Investment Trust is a company that owns and operates income-producing real estate for retail and institutional investors under the supervision of regulators. Asif Ismail of Commecs in his welcome address introduced Commecs, MPF, and the seminar.
Muhammad Ejaz, CEO of Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management Limited briefed the audience about REITs and informed that Pakistan launched and listed the first REIT in 2015, and after amended REIT Regulations in 2022 registration of RMCs and REITs are gaining popularity. Badiuddin Akber, CEO of CDC highlighted the role of the Central Depository in the development of Pakistan’s Capital Market and CDC digitalization drive expanding its reach to the retail investor.
Abdul Qadir Memon highlighted the tax implications of REITs and their positive impact on improving the tax-to-GDP ratio. Arif Habib, Chairman of Arif Habib Group a special guest appreciated the role of SECP as regulator and CDC as a Trust for developing the REIT ecosystem in Pakistan, Arif Habib emphasized REITs inclusion for boosting economic growth and real estate development in private and public sectors. He also emphasized the professional development of accounting, finance, legal, engineering, and project management professionals.
Akif Saeed, Chairman SECP as Chief Guest highlighted the digital drive of SECP for enabling and improving ease of doing business in Pakistan. Shoaib Ibrahim of MPF announced the launch of REIT Academy and invited REIT Academy founder Engr. Naeem Ilyas Khanani to introduce this initiative. Naeem Khanani told the audience that as the REIT gains in size and popularity, the time has come to enhance the level of understanding of the REIT structure and what makes it work so well. There is a void in executive and professional development education in the REIT industry in Pakistan, responding to such market demand REIT Academyis being launched under the patronage of Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management Ltd and other stakeholders. Expected academic partners are IBA Karachi, Karachi School of Business & Leadership, Usman Institute of Technology University, and others.
President Memon Professional Forum, Irfan Amanullah informed that MPF is probably the only such forum of all professionals in Pakistan involved in the dissemination of knowledge to professionals and providing opportunities to young professionals for leadership development. A well-attended program by professionals, investors, bankers, and real estate developers with live streaming for audiences outside Karachi and Pakistan.