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Greek Reits wait for a green light from red tape

Reits and other areas of Greek property finance are likely to grow strongly if restrictive regulations are liberalized. Dimitris Kontogiannis reports.

National Bank of Greece is leading the charge to a €1 billion Reit

The Greek real estate market has been hot for many years but only a tiny portion of it is held in the public markets, providing ample room for Reits to grow if institutional obstacles are removed, bankers and executives at real estate companies say. "Reits have been relatively new to Greece but I expect them to do very well because they offer the kind of investment Greeks, who are very much attached to property, like," says Aristotelis Karytinos, deputy general manager of EFG Eurobank Ergasias and head of the real estate sector. "In addition, there are large institutional portfolios that could help the institution of Reits flourish."

There are two listed Reits in Greece so far and more are expected. Eurobank Properties, which was floated in April 2006 and raised €112 million, is the biggest one. The real estate investment company has a market capitalization of more than €400 million and is 55% owned by the Eurobank Group. Deutsche Bank Group has a 5% stake and listed real estate developer Lamda 10%.

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