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MIPIM: What the retail investors said

Real estate investors are looking to place money this year but demands for investments which meet their “sweet spot” are increasing, said Henderson Global Investors director of shopping centres (UK) Myles White.


The fund specialist came to Cannes as part of its equity raising exercise, including for its Shopping Centre Fund, and White said that he sensed that the number and type of investor prepared to invest had broadened over the past 12 months.


He said: “One thing I have taken from MIPIM is that it is not only the type of investor but the number of countries from where those investors come which has really expanded over the last year. However, investors are very finely tuned as to the type of investment they want to make and finding their ‘sweet spot’ is what will motivate an investment.”


Miles also said that he believed the UK retail market remained a safe haven for international investors but said that there was still a lack of stock available.


Last week Henderson announced that assets under management grew to €14.4bn in 2012, with circa €1.7bn transactions completed over 2012. The company had €1.15bn in its current investment pipeline at year end, with €3.45bn in the current development pipeline. Henderson secured €575m of equity in 2012, plus an additional €805m secured via fund extensions.


Meanwhile, retail warehousing is the immediate target for fund manager Pradera, which has circa €170m to place over the next few months for its latest fund. Managing director Neil Varnham told RPA that the company was also progressing on a number of other projects, including the possibility of a “significant” European shopping centre deal.


The retail park fund is operated in a joint venture with Brockton Capital, created to selectively acquire a portfolio of retail parks throughout the UK. The partnership has jointly committed sufficient equity to enable a gross portfolio value of approximately €285m to be acquired.


Varnham said: “We are very open to how we progress with acquisitions, on our own, as joint venture partners or as a segregated mandate. I think what draws investors to us is that we are not a balanced fund, we are all about retail. That means going and seeing retailers week in week out to build relationships and to help understand what they want.”


However, Varnham also warned that placing investment was not easy in the current climate. “It is a process of weeding out the interesting deals,” he said. “It is an imperfect market. Some schemes are over-valued and some are under-valued, it’s a question of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Just because something is disproportionately cheaper than it was, that doesn’t mean you should go out and buy it.”


Speed has become vital to securing the best trophy real estate assets in Europe and the US, according to Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt. The New York-based equity boss said that despite the competition for such properties, decisive and quick action was at the heart of the company’s strategy.


“We’re in the business of buying and selling trophy assets and that requires being creative and aggressive during the process,” he said, citing the acquisition of the boutique luxury retail scheme on La Croissette, Cannes as an example of such a deal, where Thor was able to pre-empt the market.


Sitt was in Cannes with “a number of properties we are looking to sell, and also at potential acquisitions.” He said that economic growth in emerging markets had helped buoy investment in trophy real estate in the US because of the global nature of the market. “The US has been a beneficiary of the macro-economic situation, I feel that Europe is a little too Euro-centric and hasn’t benefited the same way.”


Souce: Retail Property Analyst, March 2013

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European real estate investment up 12% in Q3 2017

Total real estate investment in Europe reached €66bn in Q3 2017, representing a 12% increase on the same period last year, according to the latest report from global real estate advisor, CBRE.

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Wave of shopping centre closures in the US won’t be replicated in Europe

Europe’s retail market is ahead of the curve in dealing with global structural change, according to a new research report published by JLL. The report - ‘Structural changes in retail – why Europe and the US are different’ - says the wave of shopping centre closures in the US won’t be replicated in Europe thanks to smaller market size, less reliance on department stores and movement towards shopping experiences.

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Online giant blending offline and online grocery and it's not Amazon

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has stepped up its efforts to combine physical retail with online in the supermarket space. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth has opened three new membership supermarkets, under the Hema banner, in Beijing and Shanghai, that seamlessly blend offline features with physical retail.

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Rebound in UK investments

Europe posted a strong second quarter with over €74bn in investments. This brings the total for H1 2017 to €130bn, which represents an increase of 13% compared to the same period in 2016.

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Sustained strong investment momentum in Germany

The German Commercial property investment market set another record in the first half of 2017 with an investment volume of €25.8 bn, which represents an increase of 45% compared to the year-earlier period.

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Ragusa: Ibleo Shopping Centre