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EPRA Monthly Brief
January 2018
Over 500 professionals from our sector came together for the already traditional Insight events in London and Amsterdam at the beginning of the year. According to industry leaders, investor confidence in the London office market and retail real estate continues to return following the Brexit referendum. In Amsterdam, the discussion focused on the works to be done on the potential changes to the Dutch REIT regime, as proposed by the new coalition.
 
I look forward to hearing further updates on our industry trends at the many events we are organising during 2018 and to discuss them in depth at the EPRA Conference on 4-6 September in Berlin. We already have an exciting programme of speakers, which will this year move the debate on technology and disruption closer to the sector.
 
Following another successful Asia Week in December, our investor efforts are gearing up with the Nomura Global Real Estate Forum in Japan and the German real estate investors’ conference in Frankfurt, as well as further meetings with specialist and generalist investors in Asia, London, Paris, Brussels and Rome. 
 
To help us shape our messaging, and to respond to investors’ growing appetite for ESG, we created a new video which highlights the 3rd edition of the EPRA Sustainability Best Practices Recommendations, and which can be found on our YouTube channel.

Dominique Moerenhout, EPRA CEO
EPRA news

Potential boost for the Italian REIT industry

The Italian 2018 Budget Law, which became effective on January 1st, amended an existing regulation concerning PIR schemes to include REITs as eligible. ‘PIR’, Piani Individuali di Risparmio (Individual Saving Plans), were created with the aim of channelling Italian households’ savings towards the Italian economy. PIR schemes have had a strong reception from Italian savers having raised approximately EUR 10bn in 2017. The PIR scheme mirrors, to a certain extent, other European schemes such as the ISA in the UK and the PEA in France. Portfolios must invest 70% of its AUM in companies with stable activities in Italy and REITs were previously not eligible for inclusion within the 70%. EPRA has also advocated for this improvement with a letter to the Italian Minister of Finance.

New EPRA research projects

The research projects commissioned by EPRA for 2017 explored key listed real estate trends such as effects of debt diversification on company performance, the impact of share buybacks and special dividends on REIT share prices as well as the long-term implications of ETFs on our industry and what it means from the perspective of investors, fund managers and real estate company executives. Find out more here.

EU strategy on sustainable finance: investors' duties

As part of the EU’s efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy on sustainable finance, the European Commission launched a public consultation to clarify the duties of institutional investors and asset managers in terms of how sustainability could contribute to a more efficient allocation of capital, and to sustainable and inclusive growth. EPRA strongly believes in the need of incorporating sustainability elements into Europe’s financial system. The latest estimates put the annual investment gap in real estate at EUR 1.77 trillion, out of which the biggest shortfall relates to investment in energy efficiency in buildings (74%). This is a very significant indicator demonstrating the potential of the real estate sector, and the need for investors to mobilise capital towards it. You can read our response here.  

Listed real estate – a large contributor to the EU economy

The EPRA-PwC project estimating for the first time the total employment footprint of the listed real estate sector for EU28 has now been finalised. Based on the companies’ latest financial reports, and including direct, indirect and induced jobs, the study clearly demonstrates that the listed real estate sector is key for the European Union in terms of jobs, investments and expenditure. The outcome will be used to raise the listed sector's profile with EU policy-makers. Download the infographic here.
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