- September 1, 2011: Vol. 3, Number 8

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Clear and Simple: Greater Standardization and Transparency Measures for Asian Real Estate Markets Would Make Portfolio Management Easier

by Alex Frew McMillan

The global financial crisis showed that many investors were operating in the dark in terms of the information they received about their real estate investments. Now they’re seeing the light. The calls are getting louder for the real estate industry in Asia to be more transparent, more standardized and more consistent in the way it reports information. Achieving those goals will require a lot of hard work. But a sea change may be inevitable.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it — so the saying goes. The financial crisis laid bare numerous problems with tracking property fund performance in institutional portfolios, with investors feeling they were shut out by the people managing their money. Risk exposures, comparable returns and even just basic information on how individual properties performed suddenly proved highly relevant — and shockingly hard to come by.

The issue is particularly troublesome in Asia, where markets are fragmented, differ

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