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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


Egyptian developer mulls IPO; Blackstone unit closes OFFICEFIRST buy

* Cairo-based Misr Italia Group expects to sell between 20% and 25% of its shares on the Egyptian Exchange in an IPO by May, Bloomberg News reported April 1, citing the company's co-CEO. The stake sale would raise about 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds, equivalent to some $82.5 million, to complete new and ongoing projects.

* Blackstone Group LP completed the acquisition of IVG Immobilien AG's OFFICEFIRST Immobilien AG for an undisclosed amount. Concurrent to the closing of the reported €3.3 billion deal, CEO Michiel Jaski, COO Oliver Priggemeyer and CFO Fabian John decided to resign from their positions in OFFICEFIRST.

UK and Ireland

* Qatar Insurance Co. SAQ's unit Antares Underwriting Services Ltd. signed an agreement with Aldgate Developments and the City of London Corp. to lease the 21 Lime St. office development, which will more than double its presence in the city, Bloomberg News reported, citing a company statement. The company agreed to a 15-year lease for the entire 32,000 square feet of office space in the building that is expected to be completed in April.

* The (U.K.) Times reported that Liberty Living's roughly £460 million acquisition of a portfolio of student housing properties from Blackstone will place the company as the second largest student accommodation provider in the U.K. after Unite Group Plc, with more than 26,000 beds under management.

* Quintain is on the hunt for operators for its 42-unit expansion plan at the 85-acre Wembley Park asset in London, PW reported. The development will deliver 180,000 square feet of space across nine new buildings, including 5,000 residential units scheduled for completion over the next seven years, the report noted. Cushman & Wakefield and Nash Bond were appointed for the search mandate.

* Topland is marketing the sale of The Queen hotel in Chester, U.K., for £36 million, PW reported. The 218-room hotel does not have an existing brand and management, and has a potential for further development and asset management.

* For the first time in nearly two years, the U.K. witnessed a drop in house prices, The (U.K.) Guardian reported, citing Nationwide. The average price of a home slipped 0.3% in March to £207,308 after recording a 0.6% rise in the month before. As a result, the annual rate of growth fell to a 19-month low of 3.5%, the report added.

* The Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council turned down Irish Residential Ppts REIT Plc's proposed €170 million development of approximately 500 apartments at Sandyford in south Dublin, the Irish Independent reported. The councils called the plans for the three 14-story buildings "visually unacceptable," adding that the buildings would have an overbearing effect, the reported noted.

Germany

* UBM Development AG's subsidiary Münchener Grund has appointed Colliers International to offload the LBR20 mixed-use scheme in Munich for an undisclosed price, PIE reported. The development of the 22,000-square-meter asset will extend an existing hotel to 279 rooms from 131 rooms, and it will also deliver retail and office space upon its scheduled completion in mid-2018.

* Office vacancies in Berlin dropped to 3.3% in the first quarter as office take-up reached 190,000 square meters during the period, marking the second highest figure in the last decade, PIE reported, citing Cushman & Wakefield. Office space supply is expected to remain limited, the report noted.

Eastern Europe

* PropertyEU reported that German commercial bank Helaba loaned €354 million to CPI Property Group for the acquisition of four shopping centers in the Czech Republic and Poland. According to a previous report, CPI purchased a portfolio of 11 assets worth €650 million in Central and Eastern Europe from CBRE Global Investors LLC.

* Hungarian real estate fund OTP Prime Ingatlanbefektetesi Alap acquired the 25,300-square-meter Vaci Greens B office property in Budapest from developer Atenor for approximately €63.8 million, PIE reported. Additionally, Atenor agreed to lease 5,000 square meters at the building, which forms part of the six-building, 120,000-square-meter Vaci Greens campus.

Spain

* Wanda Hotel Development Co. Ltd. has extended the deal completion period for the sale of all the issued shares in Wanda Madrid Development S.L.U. to Baraka Global Invest S.L.U. The time period for the closing of the deal was extended to June 1.

Sweden

* Local retail company Trophi paid 500 million Swedish kronor to acquire two retail parks in northern Sweden from retailer Coop Nord, PIE reported. The two properties in the Umeå and Sundsvall regions offer 29,000 square meters of space, adding to Trophi's portfolio of 260 retail properties in Sweden and Finland.

Middle East

* A fire broke out at Emaar Properties PJSC's The Address Residences Fountain Views residential complex in Dubai, which is under construction, the Associated Press reported.

This is the second time a fire has broken out at one of its developments in as many years.

* According to CBRE's latest report, Dubai residential rental rates in the first quarter decreased by an average of 1% from the previous quarter, driven by a rise in housing options amid a limited demand, Arabian Business reported.

* DAMAC Properties said its mortgage unit has facilitated 600 million United Arab Emirates dirhams worth of home financing for hundreds of residential units across the U.A.E. so far in 2017, Arabian Business reported.

Other geographies

London-listed Asian Growth Properties Ltd. in a proposed reorganization, entered into a conditional sale agreement to offload the entire issued share capital of BSGL to majority shareholder SEA for HK$8.91 billion.

BSGL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Growth Properties and holds all the company's assets and liabilities outside the People's Republic of China through BSGL Group, including a commercial property at 20 Moorgate in London.

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The Daily Dose Europe, Real Estate edition, is updated as of 6:30 a.m. London time. Some links require a subscription. Articles and links are correct as of publication time.