November 1, 2016 / 8:56 AM / 3 years ago

Social housing trust Civitas eyes London listing

LONDON (Reuters) - Civitas Social Housing said on Tuesday it was planning to list on the London Stock Exchange in November, as it seeks to become the first real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on social housing to join London’s elite stock market.

The company has been set up to acquire a diversified portfolio of social homes in England and Wales and has already identified “a significant pipeline” of potential opportunities in the 300 billion pound ($367 billion) social housing sector.

Spurred on by what it described as a substantial housing shortage in the UK, Civitas said income would be underpinned by long term leases and occupancy agreements of typically 10 to 40 years, supporting its targeted dividend yield of 5 percent.

“Meeting this need requires innovative solutions to support the current network of providers. This includes enabling providers to gain access to capital that is currently tied up in existing housing stock,” Paul Bridge, Chief Executive of Civitas Housing Advisors Limited said.

“Releasing this capital will allow providers to fund the additional developments required to increase social housing.”

More than four-fifths of the portfolio’s rental income is expected to be paid by housing associations and local authorities backed by the government, Civitas said.

It did not disclose details of its proposed valuation. Cenkos Securities and Zeus Capital are joint bookrunners.

($1 = 0.8173 pounds)

Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva, editing by Sinead Cruise

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