This was a subject of the last debate at Portugal Real Estate Summit, which took place on 19th and 20th of september, in Estoril. This event brought together real estate investors with global reputation, and all agree that creating such a regime will benefit the sector’ scenario.
Keynote speaker of the exclusive dinner event, Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, António Mendonça Mendes, has shown to agree that «at this point it is important to attract and hold investment», emphasizing the importance of promoting new investments and the development of alternative ways to attract investment. The Government plans to «attract investors with different profiles» and «introduce new ways of investment, developing partnerships, promoting the development of partnership companies, capable of stimulating the investment», said at the time, claiming that the Government is working on the creation of a REIT’ regime.
David Brush, Chief Investment Officer at Merlin Properties, believes that «there are already many models of REIT, let us not reinvent the wheel». In the case of Merlin, «we searched for what was already successful and well made, and developed our own model based on that», he declares. And in Spain «the regime has been successful regarding the attraction of foreign capital».
The Socimi is already committed with Portugal, with an investment of €250 million, a country where it wants to grow, but the manager mentions that «a higher tax transparency and a REIT regime would facilitate the investment in this market». And he reminds that in the initial prospectus of Merlin’ public offering, it was expected that Portugal represented 20% of its portfolio, which today, at market values, worth more than €10,000 million. This would raise the investment in our country to €2,000 million.
While the regime is not created, he considers that Portugal may «look to the several models and analyze those working or not, and why». He also warns that too many restrictions may not be worth the effort: «We don’t have issues with the regulations, but restrictions as to the type of asset or investment amounts may be a problem for the investors».
On the other hand, APFIPP also agrees with the development of this vehicle. Manuel Puerta da Costa, Board Member of the Association, reminds that «this has been debated in recent times. The idea of public markets for real estate and more transparency should be defended by Left or Right parties». And ends by saying that «we also consider important that most of the savings of these companies should be dedicated to the real economy of the country».
In the same debate also participated Tim Kesseler, Analyst Investor Outreach of EPRA, whom defends «good practices and the raise of transparency in the market», at a time when Portugal is experiencing «exciting times» in this segment. «The activity of companies such as Merlin show that this model has a positive outcome». And, «if we can convince the regulators that it's a type of company that will create jobs, that it serves a public purpose, we may show that it's a regulated alternative, which is quoted on the stock exchange».
Second edition of Portugal Real Estate Summit welcomes 330 attendants
Considered a success by the event organization - Iberian.Property-, the second edition of Portugal Real Estate Summit welcomed at Hotel Palácio Estoril 330 attendants, around half of whom were international real estate investors, whose presence proved the growing interest towards Lisbon and Portugal in the global investment map.
On the 19th and 20th of September, the attendants discussed some of the main current topics of this sector, such as financing, investment opportunities in Lisbon, macroeconomic scenario of the country, or the specificities of each assets’ class.
Portugal Real Estate Summit gathered a wide range of supports from the real estate industry. The sponsors were Abreu Advogados, Aguirre Newman, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Deloitte, JLL and the law firm Morais Leitão Galvão Teles e Soares da Silva, from Vilamoura, in addition to the Grupo SIL. As for institutional sponsors, the event will have ACAI, APAF, APFIPP, APPII, ASPRIMA, EPRA, RICS, Thomson Reuters and ULI.