While many south African property companies are trying to expand abroad to hedge their bets and diversify earnings, Atlantic Leaf Properties is quietly building its international profile and offering investors pound-based returns. CEO Paul Leaf-Wright says the group is on track to become a SA real estate investment trust (Reit) in the next few months and to list on the London Stock Exchange in the next two years. Its assets have grown more than tenfold since it listed in April 2014, from £27m (R521m) to £374m (R7.2bn). SA Reits distribute a minimum of 75% of their income as dividends. A Reit can deduct for income-tax purposes all qualifying distributions to shareholders, which deduction may result in the entity not being subject to tax. Atlantic Leaf already has listings on the JSE and the stock exchange of Mauritius. Its focus has shifted to industrial property, which now accounts for 70% of its portfolio. It recently posted financial results for the six months to August with earni...

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