Fitch: REIT Share Buybacks Could Impair Credit Quality

As share buybacks are becoming more appealing for equity REITs, ratings firm Fitch Ratings is warning that they pose risks to the companies’ credit ratings.

Despite outperforming the broader market in the first quarter, shares of equity REITs in general continue to trade below net asset value (NAV), making share buybacks “an intriguing use of capital,” according to a report released by Fitch on April 29. As of the end of 2013, REITs traded at a 7.2 percent discount to NAV. In the previous year, pricing was essentially in line with NAV, according to Fitch.


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