Investment takes center stage at MIPIM 2011 (FR)

A key trend at MIPIM 2011: investors and financial institutions such as AG Real Estate, GE Capital Real Estate, Pramerica and Unicredit Group-Hypovereinsbank are joining the ranks of MIPIM exhibitors. This is a positive sign of investor willingness to seek greater visibility at the MIPIM and reflects a more active strategy from investors as they search for international real estate opportunities.

This tendency echoes the measured but real sense of investor optimism reported in the recent Jones Lang LaSalle forecasts for 2011; "a broad range of investors are targeting prime European real estate and significant capital raising activity is underway. 2011 investment volumes are projected to be around €130 billion, representing a 30% increase on the likely 2010 outcome." (Global Market Perspective, November 2010, Real Estate Outlook for 2011).

Investors will attend MIPIM with a variety of strategies, according to MIPIM Director Filippo Rean. "Obviously everyone is looking for a return on investment. However, while certain companies are seeking to invest directly in real estate projects, others will be searching for business opportunities and partnerships with other investors which might include pooling investment portfolios or looking for funds from institutional investors rather than taking the direct, project-driven investment road."

"MIPIM's goal is to stay in constant touch with the market. The world of real estate investment has changed considerably, both in its practices and geographic scope. To provide an appropriate response to the expectations of the 4,000 international investors due to attend MIPIM this year, we are introducing new formats in the conference program meetings, focused on the theme of investment," concludes Filippo Rean.

Among the new features at MIPIM 2011, the session entitled 'Investor's Power Meetings' will bring together a selection of 30 investors active in the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. 15 of them will act as sellers with three minutes to present their assets portfolio, while 15 of their counterparts will act as buyers. The aim is to rapidly kick-start targeted interactions between investor buyers and sellers. These contacts will then be followed up privately by each partner if there is mutual interest in the project. The investor participants involved will include institutional investors and large funds such Aviva Investors Real Estate France, Aberdeen Asset Management, Aeris CAPITAL and AEW Europe.

Another new format is the 'Investment Lab', a series of six interactive workshops that will review opportunities in high-potential markets such as Egypt, Brazil, Latin America, South Africa and Turkey. Each workshop will begin with 40-minute talks by experts and will continue with informal discussions with professionals from the regions concerned.

Lastly, 'Investor Quest' is an investment competition based on the popular British television program 'Dragons' Den', where entrepreneurs look for investment funds from leading businessmen. 'Investor Quest' will see a selection of developers, who are active in the United Kingdom, pitching their projects before a panel of investors. The winner will be the project showing the greatest potential.

The MIPIM conference program will also give pride of place to the theme of investment. Several sessions will be devoted to analyzing the development strategies of various categories of investors. For example, there will be one session on major German investors, and another on experts on Islamic finance laws. Yet another session, co-organized by ANREV, will concentrate on Asian investors targeting the international markets.

Last but not least, the conference cycle will also overview a number of countries such as Poland, Russia, Central Europe, Italy, and France from the real estate investment standpoint.

Source: Reed Midem

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