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It is a great pleasure to be entrusted to lead EPRA and its professional team. I look forward to meeting as many members as possible and getting your feedback on our priorities. Philip Charls has done a great job over the past 10 years and there is clearly a vision for where the association should be going.
 
The listed real estate industry is growing strongly and is increasingly viewed as an investment asset class in its own right. Having said that, we are facing challenges, both political and economic, which we will explore in greater detail at our Annual Conference in London in September. I am very pleased to announce that Niall Ferguson will open the main day with his keynote speech on populism and former UK Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP will review the event with his insights on Brexit and the way forward for the EU.
 
I also believe meeting our peer associations and exchanging best practices is vital to our success. In this view, the international property event in MIPIM mid-March, the Real Estate Equity Securitization Alliance network meeting this week, the visit to China with the  top three companies in the European Index at the end of this month and the Reporting & Accounting summit in April are an excellent opportunity.
 
It is your association. So please feel free to contact me or members of my team with any initiatives.
 
Dominique Moerenhout
EPRA CEO
EPRA NEWS

CMU mid-term review: an opportunity to reframe actions

As part of its efforts to achieve a Capital Markets Union (CMU), the European Commission recently consulted on the CMU mid-term review. We at EPRA consider the CMU mid-term review to be important. The Commission now has the chance to assess what actions could be reframed in the light of evolving market circumstances. EPRA believes that we need a more neutral and investment-friendly tax system in Europe, work smarter to fill the pensions gap, invest more in listed real estate and look closer at how the withholding tax refund procedures prevent cross-border investments. EPRA responded to the consultation and took the opportunity to promote the listed sector towards the Commission and emphasise its importance as an asset class to investors. Indeed, EPRA’s research showed that including listed property investments in the portfolio of unlisted real estate can enhance the returns (UK and German examples). Moreover, listed real estate is found to serve as a good hedging tool against the inflation in the long-run. This should be considered ahead of the upcoming pan-European personal pensions products initiative; investing in right range of assets can be as important as saving enough. The full text of EPRA’s contribution to the CMU mid-term review can be accessed here. The full text of EPRA’s CCCTB position can be viewed here.

Building investors’ confidence in the BPR standards

At EPRA we continuously focus on improving professional standards and the transparency of financial reporting in the listed real estate industry. These efforts have brought in 2016 great improvement in compliance with the EPRA Best Practices Recommendations (BPR). EPRA has now finalised and implemented its BPR copyright legal framework project. This means that our industry-leading BPR reporting now rests on a solid copyright base. It will help us maintain and improve their quality and further build investors’ confidence in the reporting benchmark standards. It is now our ambition to further improve the sustainability Best Practices Recommendations (sBPR) and we are very pleased to welcome Gloria Duci as EPRA’s new ESG Officer, who will strengthen our expertise in this domain. Read more about EPRA’s efforts to enhance the quality of financial and sustainability reporting by European listed real estate companies.

Developed Europe Real Estate Index growing

UK Custodian REIT and GCP Student Living as well as Belgian Retail Estates were included in the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Europe Index, the leading benchmark for real estate, raising the total number of its constituents to 104 with EUR 198 billion market cap. In order to qualify for inclusion in the Index the companies had to pass the EPRA criteria in accordance with the ground rules. Read more here.

RE-think real estate with us in London

Come and join us in London, September 5-7, for the event to be listed in – EPRA Annual Conference! This year’s edition will reflect upon the global socio-political movements, technology developments and consumer behaviour as well as climate change impact on cities - all under the major theme of the conference – RE-think. Our speakers line-up include Hoover Institute, Stanford Professor Niall Ferguson, the Executive Director at Singularity University Salim Ismail, and MIT Economics Professor William Wheaton. And while in London, make sure you do not miss former UK Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP discussing Brexit and the EU. We are only days away from opening registration - make sure you keep an eye on our website in the upcoming weeks and secure your seat. Do not forget to join the conversation on Twitter #EPRAConf. We are grateful to all our early sponsors for their support: Unibail-Rodamco, Affine, TLG, Credit Suisse, Green Street Advisors, Cofinimmo, CA Immo, Hispania and RealFoundations. Want to be in the sponsorship spotlight? Contact us here.
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