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Norway proposes increased real estate share in sovereign wealth fund

* Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, couldsee its real estate investment allocation increased from the present 5% to 7%,or by around US$17 billion, Bloomberg News reported.The country's finance ministry has proposed the increase, along with aseparation of the real estate assets from the overall portfolio.

*Catella research shows that the European residential market continues to seehigh demand that outpaces supply, and rising purchase as well as rental prices,"with no end in sight," PropertyInvestor Europe reported.The firm evaluated 18 locations for the research, including London, Paris, theSwiss metropolitan regions and the German cities of Munich, Hamburg andStuttgart.

U.K. and Ireland

*U and I Group PLCsaid it has secureda funding commitment from Ashby Capital for the 2 Brunel Placebuilding in Slough, U.K. The 99,862-square-foot development is meant tokickstart the wider Brunel Place regeneration, part of the £450 millionHeart of Sloughregeneration. The company added that the Brunel Place commercial quarter willcomprise three buildings with nearly 358,000 square feet of office space withan investment value of around £200 million. 2 Brunel Place is set to completein the first quarter of 2018.

*CBRE Global Investors has acquired an industrial portfolio in the U.K. from IMProperties on behalf of the Malaysian state pension scheme, Malaysian EmployeesProvident Fund, for £200 million, PropertyWeek reported.The portfolio, dubbed Project Phoenix, has 18 assets located on business parksand industrial estates throughout the U.K., and has a total area of 2 millionsquare feet.

*Cain Hoy Enterprises has snapped up a 48,000-square-foot mixed-use property inLondon's Mayfair for nearly £80 million, PWreported.The 19 South Audley St. asset comprises five stories with retail, office andresidential space.

*Osprey Equity Partners has acquired a 178-unit apart-hotel project in Aldgate,London, from Reef Estates and the Sharma family in an £80 millionforward-funding deal, CoStar U.K. reported.Reef Estates will develop the 21-story asset, which will be managed by servicedapartment specialist, Go Native, the news outlet said.

*The City of London Corp.'s Planning and Transportation Committee has the rights of lightdispute for the 22Bishopsgate development by taking over the project via Section 237 of the Townand Country Planning Act 1990. The decision will allow the 62-story project tomeet its construction deadline of 2019 without the risk of an injunction.

*The total London office footprint for banks, at 19.5 million square feet, is atthe lowest level since 2000, a reportfrom London's Financial Times noted,citing Cushman & Wakefield data. The publication touched on how globalbanks are slashing spacein the British capital amid factors including high rental costs and successivelosses.

* Onthe same note, a CoStar U.K. report,citing Carter Jonas, said total occupation costs at Grade A office space inLondon's West End have increased 16.1% since the first quarter of 2015, whilethose in the City of London have increased 10.5% during the same period.

*Deka Immobilien has completed an approximately £105.3 million acquisition inthe Exchange District of Edinburgh, Scotland, from the city's council, CoStarU.K. reported.The two acquired buildings, called the Atria, include nearly 200,000 squarefeet of office and retail space. The company offered to buy the properties inNovember 2015, as reportedearlier.

*Office take-up in Birmingham, U.K., witnessed a record first quarter with283,697 square feet leased in 36 deals, CoStar U.K. reported,citing figures from the Birmingham Office Market Forum. The take-up level is morethan 100,000 square feet higher compared to the previous first quarter recordset in 2010, the report said.

* Inlight of the leaked Panama documents, a number of world leaders, criminals andbillionaires are confirmed to have invested "hundreds of millions ofpounds" in London property holdings through offshore companies, The (U.K.) Times reported.

*Over in Ireland, a portfolio of four shopping centers, with three located inDublin and one in Waterford, is coming to market for a more than €80 millionguide price, reflecting a 6.44% return, TheIrish Times reported.The assets could be sold individually if a buyer does not emerge for the entire22,950-square-meter portfolio that includes 37 commercial properties and 12apartments.

*The Boland's Quay development on south Dublin's Boland's Mills site is expectedto commence in September with the construction tender for the €170 millionproject expected to be issued in the next four weeks, The Irish Times reported.The scheme will provide around 36,851 square meters of office, residential,retail and cultural space.

* Commercial property deals in Ireland reached €600 millionduring the first three months of 2016, the IrishIndependent reported,citing figures from JLL. A wide increase in sales of less than €10 million, andof properties outside Dublin was observed, hinting at increased portfoliorealignments by investment funds that previously grabbed large chunks ofproperty since the crash.


* Alstriaoffice REIT-AG is issuingan additional corporate bond with a nominal value of €500.0 million, afteroffering its first corporate bond, for the same amount, in . The unsecured, fixed-ratecorporate bond has a maturity of around seven years.

* AccorHotelshas acquired five hotels in Munich and Hamburg for €130 million in severaltransactions through its HoteInvest subsidiary, PIE reported.

* Frankfurt-based investment and asset manager Kintyre hastaken over AQuAM Deutschland, a Hamburg-based real estate manager, according toa PIE report.Financial details of the takeover were not disclosed.

* Real estate investment returns increased by 2% to reach arecord 8.1% in Germany during 2015, PIEreported,citing MSCI's IPD Germany Annual Property Index.

France and theNetherlands

* The French regulatory body AMF has exempted shareholders Caisse desDépôts et Consignations and Groupama from filing a full bid for Icade as theduo plans to set up a new shareholder agreement related to an ongoingmerger, PIE reported.

* German lender pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank has issued a€72.5 million loan to French insurer Crédit Agricole Assurances Predica,Belgian property firm AG Real Estate and REIT/SIIC Frey to finance the trio's€143.5 million joint acquisition of nine retail parks in France, PIE reported.The assets have a total leasable space of 76,800 meters, the report said.

* French REIT Frey has acquired the47,500-square-meter Villebon 2 retail park in the Paris region for €159 millionin a club deal, PIE reported.Hammerson Plcpreviously agreed to sell the asset to an unnamed French consortium, asreported earlier. TheREIT is also mulling a European expansion after €300 million worth ofco-investments in 2016 so far, the report noted.

* MCAP Global Finance, U.S.-based Marathon Asset Management'sU.K. subsidiary, has nabbed a 140,000-square-meter 14-asset Dutch propertyportfolio from Credit Suisse, PropertyEUreported.The purchase price was not disclosed but the news outlet estimated the cost tobe "in the region of €380 million." The portfolio mainly comprisesoffices, along with retail, hotel, logistics and educational space, the reportsaid.

Nordic Countries

U.K.-based Valad Europe has acquired four regional shoppingcenter assets in Sweden and launched the Valad Nordic Retail Partnership, PIE reported.The acquisition price or the seller of the 50,000-square-meter assets was notdisclosed.

Middle East

Singapore-based CapitaLandLtd.'s The Ascott Ltd. inkedmanagement contracts for two serviced-residence developments in Al Khobar, anew market for the company in Saudi Arabia. The Ascott plans to open the172-unit Ascott Corniche Al Khobar in 2018 and the 133-unit Somerset DowntownAl Khobar in 2019. The company plans to launch seven properties in the regionover the next three years.

Now featured

Hires andFires: European, Asian real estate moves through April 5: S&P GlobalMarket Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of recent significant managementand board changes and personnel moves in the European and Asia-Pacific realestate industries.

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