The European Commission has appointed the members of an expert group that will assess the EU market for open-ended, retail-orientated real estate funds, which provide investors with access to professionally managed investments in commercial and other types of property.
The group will meet on several occasions until January 2008 and then produce a report on its findings, which will be discussed with regulatory bodies and other stakeholders in order to test the implications of any recommendations from a broader public interest perspective. The report and the reactions to it will provide valuable input for the Commission's forthcoming paper on non-harmonised investment funds, due summer 2008. The group was proposed by the Commission White Paper on investment funds and the appointment of its members follows a call for interest in March 2007.
Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "This expert group will help us to assess whether there is a clear-cut case for EU action on open-ended real estate funds. Would it create added value for investors and new opportunities for businesses? The group will put forward an evidence-based assessment of the current market, an appraisal of the different national regulatory regimes, and an analysis of the likely costs and benefits of any proposed solutions. I am confident that these important contributions to the debate will help us to form a clear view on the most appropriate and effective way forward."
The expert group's report will provide important input to policy reflection and serve as a starting point for debate and discussion with Member State authorities and other stakeholders. The report will represent the majority views of the experts and will not be considered as reflecting the views of the Commission. The group's task will be to advise the Commission by providing the following:
- Description of the European market for real estate funds, notably open-ended funds;
- Examination of the risk and performance characteristics of real estate funds from a retail investor perspective;
- Analysis of the existing or likely future costs and benefits for providing open-ended real estate funds across borders;
- Examination of the barriers to cross-border development of open-ended real estate funds;
- Evaluation existing national regulatory (including tax) approaches to open-ended real estate funds;
- Analysis of the different cost-effective options for providing the possibility for open-ended real estate funds to be offered across EU borders.
In compliance with the Commission decision on the composition of this group, experts and observers have been selected on the basis of nominations received from 67 individual applications. Representatives from all EU Member States that nominated candidates for the group have been included in the final composition.
The Commission will also involve representatives from the retail investor community and financial regulators in the work of the group. This will bring these important perspectives to the table and will help in the articulation of a considered response from these stakeholders to the final report of the expert group.
Click here for the list of the expert group.
Source: Directorate General Communication of the European Commission