Real Estate Awards 2015: German lenders benefit by sticking to their knitting

Philip Moore

Two of the best performers in Euromoney’s ranking of global real estate loan providers this year are German lenders Helaba and Aareal Bank, names that have had their fair share of difficulties in this sector.

 
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Helaba jumped from 17th to 3rd in the rankings in this year’s survey while Aareal was placed fourth, up from ninth in 2014.

"As a senior lender to the commercial real estate sector, you have two options," says Dagmar Knopek, member of the management board responsible for the sales unit in the structured property financing division at Aareal Bank’s Wiesbaden headquarters. "You can either compete with the insurance companies and specialist debt funds that are increasingly coming into the market on the lending side. Or you can work in partnership with them. We prefer to do the latter."

As an example, she points to the financing of the recent acquisition by NorthStar Realty of a 186,000 square metre portfolio of offices spread across major cities in seven European countries valued at €1.1 billion. The senior financing tranche of €630 million was provided...