Investor Numbers and Confidence Up as MIPIM Approaches

Some 2,300 international investors, a 12% increase on the same period 2009, have already signed up for the 21st edition of MIPIM (Cannes from March 16-19), as executives report improved confidence in the real estate market and economic recovery opens the door to new investment opportunities.

According to Bernardo Retana, Senior Associate at QInvest (Qatar): "We foresee that this year's edition will prove that confidence is starting to come back among investors, developers and end-users. Moreover we are delighted to be present at MIPIM again. We expect to discuss interesting opportunities in real estate investment and financing and we look forward to seeing where the trend is going in 2010."

This positive feeling concurs with a recent report* from Investment Property Databank (IPD) - specialists in performance analysis for the owners, investors, managers and occupiers of real estate. Simon Fairchild, Managing Director, IPD North America, explains: "Global real estate markets are, once again, diverging from a synchronised trend." According to Fairchild, the first signs of the current recovery will occur at different times depending on the country and its economic situation. This kind of environment will therefore foster opportunities over the long term and enable informed investors to build diversified portfolios.

To help these professionals consolidate their development strategy and identify current investment opportunities, MIPIM will be featuring a cycle of five conferences entitled "Recovery positions," organised in partnership with IPD. Prompted by the crisis, investors are tending to go back to basics and take a hard look at their returns on assets and investment vehicles. The conference programme will therefore review various classes of asset such as distressed debt acquisitions, bank loans in the form of securities, and listed property companies.

Other major investment topics on the conference agenda include the presentation by Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (Saudi Arabia), who will talk about Islamic finance. In a global environment where the financial community is much discredited, strictly rule-governed Islamic finance is attracting considerable attention and will surely spur interest from institutional investors. Another highlight of this MIPIM will be the session on "2010: a decisive year for investment," which will scope the market on the basis of an opinion survey conducted by PwC and ULI of over 700 professionals.

The quality of the investors already registered for this year's MIPIM are setting the tone for the conversations that will take place in Cannes. Marquee companies attending the market include Allianz Real Estate GMBH, SEB Investment GMBH, Union Investment Real Estate GMBH (Germany), BNP Paribas, Natixis, Société Génerale (France), Aviva Investors, JP Morgan, The Royal Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom), Pension Danmark Ejendomme A/S (Denmark), Mutual Insurance Company Fennia (Finland), Niam Ab (Sweden), Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Islamic Development Bank Group (Saudi Arabia), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Paramount Group, Inc., Pramerica Real Estate Investors (USA) and La Caixa (Mexico).

* "Global trends begin to shed uniformity," by Simon Fairchild, Managing Director, IPD North America.

on March 10, 2010