MREIT, Inc. said it might exceed the target it set for asset infusions this year as it plans to acquire P20-billion worth of office properties.

“We earlier announced an additional 44,300 square meters (sq.m.) by end of the year, but we are working to further bulk it up with more assets as we continuously look for ways to increase dividend yields for our shareholders,” MREIT President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a statement on Thursday.

MREIT is the real estate investment trust (REIT) firm of Tan-led property company Megaworld Corp.

MREIT said it expects a 34% increase in portfolio value to P78.5 billion from P58.5 billion once it acquires new assets this year.

“These new assets may include some of our ‘built-to-suit’ properties, which are considered superior in both quality and lease tenure,” Mr. Tan said.

“These new properties have a multinational tenant base, which include large financial, healthcare, technology, and consulting firms,” he added.

The property infusions will be funded via equity and through debt. MREIT said its debt versus total deposited properties percentage stands at 12%, which is below the 35% limit provided under the country’s REIT law.

MREIT just acquired four commercial properties in December for P9.1 billion, which added 55,700 sq.m. of gross leasable area (GLA) to its portfolio.

As of end-2021, the company’s portfolio includes 14 prime, Grade A buildings that collectively span 280,000 sq.m. of GLA. These are located in Megaworld’s Eastwood City, McKinley Hill, and Iloilo Business Park.

MREIT aims to be “one of the largest REITs in Southeast Asia.” The company is targeting to have a portfolio with 500,000 sq.m. of GLA by 2024, and doubling it before the end of the decade.

“We are currently looking at several properties for potential acquisition, not just in these three townships but also in two more new Megaworld townships,” said Mr. Tan, who is also the chief strategy officer of Megaworld.

“We are very optimistic of our very long growth runway considering that Megaworld is building more offices and even launched new townships last year,” he added.

In a disclosure last week, Megaworld said it plans to buy three parcels of land from the Manila Jockey Club, Inc. The sale is priced at P1.89 billion for 22,143.50 sq.m. of land in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Mr. Tan said the properties will “surely be part of [Megaworld’s] township portfolio expansion in Metro Manila.”

MREIT shares at the stock market climbed 0.23% or five centavos to close at P22.15 apiece on Thursday, while Megaworld shares declined 1.58% or five centavos to P3.11 per share. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte