(FROM LEFT) VREIT President and CEO Manuel Paolo A. Villar and PSE President and CEO Ramon S. Monzon; VREIT Chairperson Jerylle Luz C. Quismundo, Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. Chairman, Former Senate President Manuel B. Villar, Jr., PSE Chairman Jose T. Pardo and PSE COO Atty. Roel A. Refran; China Bank Capital Corporation President Ryan Martin L. Tapia, VREIT CFO Melissa Camille Z. Domingo, Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines COO Renee D. Rubio and PSE Issuer Regulation Division Head Atty. Marigel B. Garcia

By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, Reporter

VISTAREIT, Inc. (VREIT), the commercial real estate investment trust of integrated property developer Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., saw its share price finish unchanged on its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Wednesday.

The REIT shares closed at their initial public offering (IPO) price of P1.75 apiece. The stock will trade under the ticker VREIT.

“We are truly excited to bring VistaREIT to the public. What we offer is an elevated mall experience coming from our high-quality and world-class tenants. We believe that Filipinos deserve an experience that is at par with the best of the world and this IPO helps us to do just that,” Vista Land Chairman Manuel B. Villar, Jr. said in a statement.

The firm said it is anchoring its solid expansion program on the “robust, geographically-diverse pipeline of the profitable assets of Vista Land.”

VistaREIT President and Chief Executive Manuel Paolo A. Villar said the company is aiming to be among the leading diversified commercial REITs in the Philippines in terms of portfolio, profitability, growth, sustainability and dividend yield.

“We are optimistic about the prospect of a reinvigorated economy due to the easing of the restrictions, VistaREIT sees a robust foundation, its synergies with Villar-group retail ecosystem,” he added.

Analysts said that VistaREIT’s performance was mainly affected by dampened investor sentiment amid rising inflation and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, among other catalysts.

“VistaREIT had a lukewarm reception during its listing and would have finished much higher if not weighed by market sentiment as a whole, with the PSE index already drifting towards oversold territory,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said that rising inflation rates might trigger further interest rate hikes that could affect demand for REITs as the yield’s attractiveness goes down when lending rates move up.

“Aside from this, economic activity slows down when [a] rate hike is implemented to contain inflation but as long as yields are higher than [the] inflation rate, the demand remains attractive,” Mr. Pangan added in a text message.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort also noted that while the VistaREIT stock closed unchanged, it defied its intraday low of P1.59.

VistaREIT is the flagship mall and office REIT of Vista Land. The company has a portfolio of 10 community malls and two PEZA-registered office buildings with an aggregate gross leasable area of 256,404 square meters.

The malls are located in the cities of Las Piñas, Bacoor, General Trias, Imus, Antipolo, San Jose Del Monte, San Fernando, and Talisay as well as the municipality of Tanza in Cavite. The office buildings are located in Taguig City and Bacoor City.