Australia-based real estate investment trust (REIT) Qualitas Real Estate Income Fund (QRI) has entered a trading halt ahead of an upcoming capital raise.

QRI shares have been paused until further details about the raise are released to the market, with nothing emerging on how much the company is aiming to raise or where the funds will be spent.

The REIT has managed more then $3 billon of committed capital since being established in 2008, with QRI focused on investing across the capital structure and risk spectrum.

QRI is currently active across all major capital cities in Australia, with an objective to provide monthly income and capital preservation by investing in a diversified portfolio of investments that offers exposure to real estate loans secured by first and second mortgages.

In a performance update released in February, the REIT stated unprecedented low-interest rates and the RBA’s stance on not increasing rates over the next few years was driving investors confidence in the property markets and demand for credit.

“The manager considers the continued retreat by APRA regulated banks from commercial real estate lending is being amplified by their general risk and portfolio management issues resulting from COVID-19 concessions made to borrowers across all lending sectors and loan types,” the company said.

The existing 120,000sqm former Ford assembly building

The existing 120,000sqm former Ford assembly building will be refurbished

Earlier this month, Qualitas Real Estate Income Fund also announced a partnership with Melbourne developer Pelligra for the creation of a $500m mixed-use industrial precinct, Assembly Broadmeadows, located on the former Ford site at 1727 Sydney Road.

The project, which will be developed in a 50/50 joint venture between Pelligra and Qualitas, will see the existing 120,000sqm former Ford assembly building refurbished to provide advanced manufacturing facilities for multiple operators.

Stage One of the masterplan also includes a convenience retail precinct which will commence construction mid-this year, along with future plans for further modern logistics and industrial buildings and a designated office precinct adjoining the Upfield train line.

Further site development opportunities to complement the precinct in the coming years include a 100-room hotel, supermarket, gym and on-site childcare centre. The masterplan will offer a range of industrial tenancies suitable for manufacturing, automation, logistics, warehousing, technology, trade supply, food production and large-format retail, delivering over 305,000sqm of GLA once complete. 

“The industrial market has demonstrated its resilience over  recent times in the face of changing global economies and supply chains, but that does not necessarily mean the sector represents a value opportunity,” the company said.

“Our approach is not to take a generic bet on a sector or market to deliver value and returns for our investors – we are much more focused on finding opportunities where, along with our partners, we have a competitive edge that is supported by great fundamentals.”

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