BNP REIM announces two new office funds, expansion to three European countries

KUALA LUMPUR: Property advisory firm BNP Paribas Real Estate (BNP REIM) announced on Oct 5 its intention to expand its international investment management work to Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain and two new office funds in Europe.

As part of this expansion, Fortis Private Real Estate CEO Christian Fabert will soon join the executive committee of BNP REIM to oversee business development in the three countries.

With the addition of the three countries to supplement its coverage, the firm now manages a total of nearly €10 billion (RM50.6 billion) in assets invested in European property. Of this amount, €1.8 billion is from Fortis Private Real Estate.

"BNP Paribas Real Estate is now seeking to reinforce the European presence of its international business line dedicated to investment management, offering clients (institutional investors, public and private) expertise and quality service in the six countries where the business is now present," the firm said in a press release.

The firm has also announced two new office investment funds -- Next Estate and a French public real estate investment trust (REIT).

Next Estate is a pan-European fund which will invest in offices that meet high sustainability criteria throughout the Euro zone and the UK.

"It aims to invest up to €600 million, with a maximum 50% gearing. Its first close is expected at end-1Q2010. This will be BNP Paribas Real Estate’s third institutional investors fund advised by BNP REIM," it said.

Meanwhile, the OCPI (French REIT), which is still pending approval, will invest in offices in France and Europe. It will start raising capital in 2010.

"The fund will provide a securitised way of accessing property, providing long-term protection against inflation," the firm said, adding that it will be managed by BNP REIM in France.

BNP REIM is also considering a new fund outsourcing in Italy.


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