Blackstone leads global surge in property investment

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Blackstone’s real estate business raced past the €200bn asset mark for the first time in 2018 in a surge that helped the New York-listed group keep its crown as the world’s largest property landlord for a third year.

Real estate has enjoyed a bull run lasting almost a decade but rising property values and huge investor inflows have fuelled fears of unsustainable pricing bubbles in some markets.

Assets managed by Blackstone’s property arm jumped by almost a quarter to nearly €202bn ($231bn) last year, according to an annual ranking by Inrev, the European association that represents investors in non-listed real estate vehicles.

Kathleen McCarthy, co-head of real estate at Blackstone, said “property valuations today mean we have to work hard to find good deals” but she was confident her unit would continue to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors.

“Our large real estate investment team, access to proprietary information and capacity to do deals that other managers cannot, help us to create value for our investors in any economic environment,” she said.

Four themes have been targeted for further investment: logistics where ecommerce businesses are increasing demand for warehouses; so-called innovation cities such as Seattle where tech companies need office space; rental housing in regions where there are supply shortages including the US west coast and Spain, and hospitality assets in order to meet the expected global increase in spending on travel.

Blackstone has created five “permanent capital” real estate investment vehicles that do not have a fixed expiry date unlike traditional closed end funds.

“Permanent capital vehicles allow Blackstone to hold real estate assets over a longer term which helps investors to compound returns,” said Ms McCarthy.

Toronto-based Brookfield, the number two ranked player, saw its property assets increase 27 per cent last year … Read More...

Review of bilateral investment‎ treaties to ensure improved benefits for Nigeria

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The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on Tuesday said its efforts to review as well as validate bilateral investment treaties entered by Nigeria with several other countries were to ensure Nigeria harvest maximum investment benefits from such bilateral trade deals.
Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary of NIPC, gave the information during an interaction with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
The executive secretary, who expressed concern that the commission during the review exercise noted that 17 out of 21 bilateral investment treaties scored less than 10 over 20 in ratings, as she noted that the review had become necessary to ensure Nigeria draw maximum benefits from various trade agreements.
“Some of the ‎investment treaties agreements was negotiative long time ago. Some of them need to be reviewed in line with sustainable development goals. Some of them were negotiated in early 90s and may not factor in some current challenges we are facing now, such as terrorism and illicit flow concerns,” Yewande explained.
She spoke of the efforts of the commission to review the NIPC Act, which she said needed some review to ensure it fitted into the demands of global investment promotion standards.
“‎The NIPC Act is certainly due for review‎ because it has been a long while since the Act was enacted in 1995, and the demands of modern trade and investment deals had necessitated the demand for a new investment drive,” she said.
The NIPC Act was drafted in 1995, and some of the demands of 2019 investment drive are not captured in the Act. Already, we are engaging the Legislators in terms of what is required to make the review and we are making progress, she stated.
The executive secretary informed further that the commission had embarked on and completed some initiatives that would Read More...