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The Wealth Effects of Property Acquisitions: Evidence from Japanese and Singaporean REITs

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Abstract

This article examines the wealth effects of 228 property acquisition announcements made by REITs publicly traded in Singapore and Japan, which are the two largest REIT markets in Asia. Adopting an aggressive growth-by-acquisition strategy, the newly listed REITs acquired a number of properties within a short time period. Despite their regular activities, we observe the acquisition announcements are associated with a significantly positive abnormal increase in shareholder wealth averaging 0.38% in a 5-day window around the event date. Controlling for the method of payment, buyer's acquisition strategy and seller's relationship with the acquiring REIT, the regression results show that the likely sources of economic gains associated with acquisitions are economies of scale and better management by acquiring firms. We also find strong evidence that the market reacts less favorably to acquisitions involving a portfolio of properties as opposed to a single property and weaker evidence that it reacts less favorably to mixed-use acquisitions. These findings suggest the presence of premiums on transparency and corporate focus.

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