REAL ESTATE - Standard & Poor’s has launched nine new Property and REIT Peer Indices - designed to give a more accurate reflection of global property and REIT investment trends.

The launch coincides with S&P’s seventh annual GICS index revision.

The S&P/Citigroup Property and REIT Index series now goes beyond the GICS sub-industry level in classifying both Property and REIT constituents at a fifth level known as Peer Groups, said an S&P release.

“This structure more appropriately reflects the global Property & REIT investment landscape by more closely defining narrower baskets of real estate companies which share common economic drivers and profit breakdowns.”

According to the performance analysis of S&P/Citigroup Property & REIT indices, Europe topped listed property companies in Q1 2006 with a record 20.4% growth.

Furthermore, Europe’s REIT market performance brought in a stronger 22.9% over the same period, said S&P.

“Property and REITs afford diversification through relatively low volatility and lesser correlation with other asset classes, in addition to consistently demonstrating higher dividend yields than traditional equities.”

It added that Japan Post – the world’s largest financial institution with $3tn in assets under management – recently made public a new mutual fund line-up based on the S&P/Citigroup World REIT Index.