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Companies with 800 mln euros of property head to Athens bourse

While four real estate investment companies (REICs) are set to enter the Athens bourse with assets of more than 800 million euros, experts believe that due to positive momentum in the sector more REICs will be formed in Greece in 2020, with an emphasis on residential housing, as thousands of apartments will be taken over by funds and banks.

Four real estate investment companies (REICs) are set to enter the Athens bourse with assets of more than 800 million euros. Due to positive momentum in the sector, experts believe that more REICs will be formed in Greece in 2020, with an emphasis on residential housing, as thousands of apartments will be taken over by funds and banks and developed as investment products amidst a push by lenders to clean up their balance sheets from bad loans.

Two of the companies that will be listed come from large groups: Noval, a subsidiary of Violhalco, and Trade Estates, that belongs to the Fourlis group.

Noval is preparing for its formal establishment which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, as recently announced by Viohalco. The next step involves the listing of its shares on the Athens bourse, most likely within 2020, if conditions remain favorable. Up until then, the company will keep adding value to the group's real estate assets, such as the 25 million euro extension plans to the River West and Mare West shopping malls that are in full swing. In the case of River West, an additional 23,000 square meters are being built on an adjoining land plot to accommodate new stores and possibly entertainment and restaurant areas. At Mare West in Corinth, a 7,000 square meter sports and entertainment center is being built, boosting the range of services offered by the mall. At the same time, Noval is completing the construction of The Orbit office building that has been mostly leased by Taxibeat.

Trade Estates aims to be the first specialized REIC in Greece focusing on retail stores. The company has assets worth 178 million euros, however, its medium-term goal is to boost the portfolio to 356 million euros, possibly with the entry of a strategic investor that will contribute capital and properties. In any case, the company is aiming to double the size of its portfolio before being listed on the Athens bourse. The company is expected to be set up and operating in the coming days.

Another player in the sector is Orilina Properties, a company that was set up by fund manager Brevan Howard and is expanding the size of its portfolio. It started acquiring assets after gathering the necessary funds from its shareholders. Its first deal was in February when it purchased an office building from the Ellaktor group for 25.5 million euros. Today, Orilina owns eight properties, covering 57,522 square meters that are valued at 53 million euros. It is targetting properties of more than 200 million euros in the next two years. 

Ble Kerdos, a company belonging to the Efmorfidis family, is on a growth course and will go public by the spring of 2021. It was set up in March 2017 and Greek law states that REICs must be listed in the stock market within four years of being set up. Today the company owns 29 assets  valued at 75 million euros and cover 34,000 square meters.

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