[photopress:property_UBS.jpg,full,alignright]Analysts predict a surge of investor interest Asian real estate this year and, as a direct result, the Swiss Bank UBS plans to hire four investment bankers for its Asian real estate business. It anticipates another wave of property deals similar to the flurry of real estate blockbusters issued last year, which have almost invariably outperformed.
(It is interesting that this is always seen as a plus. While one could see the under-performing would be a definite minus could it perhaps be argued the consistent overperforming suggests consistent initial underpricing?)
Mark Ebbinghaus, head of UBS real estate, lodging and leisure, said in a Reuters interview: ‘I can easily think of 15 Chinese real estate companies that could potentially raise money this year.’
UBS currently has 18 investment bankers in the region, who are focused on the property, gaming and the hotels sector.
Mark Ebbinghaus said: ‘We are expanding our headcount. This is a serious sector for us and we give it a lot of attention.’
Chinese property companies raised $10.2 billion last year through equity offerings, most of which were initial public offerings.
Banking sources said with China’s population increasing by eight million a year, at least another 15 initial public offerings from Chinese developers are in the pipeline and the growth shows no sign of slowing.
The news comes after rival Goldman Sachs (perhaps the best performing of them all) last month amassed a $2 billion fund to use for property investments in Asia, including direct purchases of buildings, in development opportunities and by taking equity stakes in listed property companies. Bankers say the move will spur other banks to bolster their Asia property funds and businesses.
Source: Financial News Online