AYALA-LED AREIT, Inc. is preparing to put up as much as P15 billion in debt securities.

The country’s first real estate investment trust (REIT) told the stock exchange on Monday that its board approved an upcoming filing of the debt notes with a three-year shelf registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This will provide AREIT the ability to leverage for future acquisitions while preserving cash for dividend distributions,” it said.

The company is set to release P0.59-per-share dividends from the first two quarters of the year on Sept. 15.

“AREIT provides investors regular dividend income derived from prime commercial properties, higher than most fixed-income instruments,” AREIT President Carol T. Mills said.

The REIT firm has a portfolio of three Grade-A properties in Makati City: Ayala North Exchange, Solaris One, and McKinley Exchange, which cover a total gross leasable area of about 153,000 square meters (sq.m.) with a 99.9% total occupancy rate.

It has also decided to pay out dividends on a quarterly basis. The planned distribution dates will be on or before March 31, June 30, Sept. 30 and Dec. 31 of the calendar year.

The REIT Act of 2009 provides for a distribution of at least 90% income of a REIT company to investors each year. AREIT’s dividend ratio, the company said, is higher than the prescribed minimum.

Meanwhile, AREIT said it is on track to buy Teleperformance Tower Cebu, a business process outsourcing (BPO) office property in Cebu IT Park, from Ayala Land, Inc.’s ALO Prime Realty. Upon acquisition, AREIT’s portfolio will rise to over 170,000 sq.m. by yearend.

Shares in AREIT soared by 7.68% to close at P25.95 on its third regular trading day. — Adam J. Ang