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LATEST ARTICLES

  • It’s back to basics for US and UK mortgage financing, with more transparency, a better alignment of risks through a mortgage’s life cycle, and attempts to revive sound securitization. Rachel Wolcott reports.
  • European property funds have taken a battering over the past 18 months and investors have sought to cash out. A temporary freezing of redemptions has given managers breathing space and they’re using the time to convince investors to stick with them. Rachel Wolcott reports.
  • Substantial amounts of equity are piling up for commercial property. But the price needs to be right and the difficulty of accessing leverage is a serious impediment to mobilizing funds. Phil Moore reports.
  • The vast market in distressed commercial real estate debt expected at the end of 2008 has yet to materialize not least because banks have been unwilling to offload their holdings. Potential investors are still in line for bargains. Phil Moore reports.
  • Al Madina A’Zarqa, one of Oman’s largest developments, is part of the Sultanate’s plans to diversify its oil-centric economy. This project has already fallen behind schedule. Richard Russell, its newly appointed chief executive, speaks to Chris Wright about getting back on track.
  • Logistics: Everything in its proper place
  • As the UK market limps to the end of 2008, property valuations have once again come in for criticism. Opinion differs on whether values dropped too far, too fast or still have some way to go. Has valuers’ reluctance to face up to reality prevented the market from bottoming out and delayed a recovery? Rachel Wolcott reports.
  • Real estate investment trusts’ performance has seen better days. Julian Marshall considers which sectors have problems or potential.
  • UK property: Valuers come under fire
  • While much European commercial real estate is struggling, the logistics and warehousing sector has been comparatively buoyant. But in uncertain times, is the sector’s relative strength sustainable? Laurence Neville reports.
  • Over the past five years the world’s biggest investment management firms have increased allocations to property, propelling the asset class into the mainstream. Now the sector has stumbled, will they desert? Rachel Wolcott speaks to the largest asset managers active in real estate.
  • Once a property paragon, Singapore’s CapitaLand has been confronted with fundamental questions about the viability of its business model. Will the complex structure that has served it so well ultimately diminish the company’s standing in Asian property? Chris Wright reports.
  • Two of the world’s leading logistics developers have reached a turning point in their fortunes. ProLogis is restructuring its business in the face of the global downturn, while Gazeley’s new Middle Eastern owners could catapult the company into the big league. Stuart Watson reports.
  • Investors are busy in the country’s many retail, residential and hotel development opportunities, but in one source of funding – nearby Greece – local real estate investment companies are keeping money closer to home. Philip Moore reports.
  • So far, the country’s economy has not been hit by the global downturn but analysts have been predicting trouble for some time. The country’s real estate sector will probably not escape unscathed. Philip Moore reports.
  • Firms with large real estate portfolios are turning to specialists to manage their holdings and realize cost savings. Outsourcing is gaining in popularity as the global economy worsens – a boost for those companies up to the task of handling clients’ complex portfolios. Laurence Neville reports.
  • James Buckley as been appointed head of Asia property multi-manager at Schroders, a new position in the firm.
  • Jon Lekander is the new head of the combined Indirect Investment Management team at Aberdeen Property Investors. This follows Aberdeen’s acquisitions of DEGI and Goodman Property Investors. Lekander was previously chief investment officer of Aberdeen Property Investors. Andrew Smith, former head of strategy at GPI, becomes chief investment officer. Rickard Backlund continues to lead the business.
  • The onset of winter has brought cold comfort for the world’s two largest commercial property services companies. Shares in CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) have taken a beating because of weak third-quarter results and fears that the real estate market might deteriorate further.
  • When setting out to raise capital during one of the worst financial crises of the past 100 years, it helps to have a strong bank as a big shareholder. That’s what Klepierre, a French retail property specialist, found when it raised €356.2 million through a rights issue completed at the end of November.
  • Alison Carnwath is the new chairman of Land Securities, replacing Paul Myners who has left to become minister for the City after two years with the firm.
  • International derivatives exchange Eurex will launch property futures in the first quarter, a move that could improve liquidity. The first contracts will capture the annual returns on the IPD UK All Properties Total Return index. With the introduction of IPD Index futures, Eurex aims to work with present market participants to provide the benefits of an exchange-traded contract and to attract new market participants and liquidity.
  • Peter Hansell has joined Cairn Capital from Lehman Brothers’ global real estate group.
  • A year ago Gulf economies were touted as being so uncorrelated with those of the rest of the world that they had little to fear from the credit crunch. Now even Dubai – which for so long seemed to operate under different economic forces from the rest of the planet – is facing a property crash.
  • The impact of the credit crunch has been far-reaching, with global property markets left severely damaged. What started off as a largely isolated problem of the US sub-prime mortgage market and some structured credit intensified and spread across the globe over the course of 2008. The repercussions will continue to impede business and thwart growth in property throughout 2009.
  • The decline in valuations in developed markets is causing some investors to take another look at opportunities in the US and UK but not necessarily at the expense of emerging market allocations.
  • Land Securities has abandoned plans for a demerger and slashed the value of its portfolio by £1.7 billion. The UK’s largest property company had been planning a three-way split. However, announcing the company’s half-year results on 14 November, chief executive Francis Salway revealed that while the sale of its Trillium outsourcing division would go ahead, further demerger plans had been shelved.
  • Chinese real estate: the worst-performing sector in the worst-performing stock market in the worst-performing continent in the world this year. It was little surprise that a large part of the stimulus package China launched in October was designed to put local property back on an even keel.
  • It has been an annus horribilis for most property professionals. However, closer examination reveals the odd patch of clear sky in an otherwise gloomy outlook. While most traditional property fund managers have been struggling to cope with collapsing asset prices and a flood of investor redemptions, the reverse is true for property hedge funds.
  • Guy Powdrill has joined CB Richard Ellis from Goldman Sachs.
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