China may introduce its first batch of public Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, very soon, officials said.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange called a meeting on pilot public REIT projects with fund managers and brokers in March, sina.com reported, citing Wang Fang, a researcher from the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Hainan province, Xiong’an New Area and first tier cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, will be included in the pilot program.

Authorities have been working to introduce public REITs for over a decade, Wang said. The securities regulator stepped up the process in February, hoping to launch the first batch of products within this year, but some industry insiders said the launch date could be as soon as April.

Public REITs are likely to have an operating structure of public funds plus asset backed securities, industry insiders said. It means while the fund is publicly raised and traded, the underlying assets are securitized.

The underlying properties could be infrastructure projects, public utilities, commercial and residential properties, which are recognized by the securities regulator, it said.