London, 09 September 2009 – CB Richard Ellis (“CBRE”) and GFI Group ((Nasdaq: “GFIG) today announce the launch of a new screen-based secondary trading portal dedicated to unlisted real estate funds – Property Match.
The objective of the portal is to improve price discovery for buyers and sellers of unlisted funds, thereby enhancing both transparency and liquidity. After its first live trading day on 1st September, the screen saw pricing for more than 15 funds with more than £100 million firm prices.
Commenting on the new platform, Paul Robinson, Executive Director of CBRE Real Estate Finance, said:
“Over the course of the past few years, investors across the globe have had to sit on the sidelines watching the value of their investments erode, inhibited by the closed-ended nature of the vehicle, or by the suspension of redemption windows in otherwise open-ended funds. Throughout this cycle there have been investors willing to accept losses for liquidity and others willing to take on that risk at a price, but the mediums for communicating their interest have proved to be inadequate under the stress.
“As the market moves into a bottoming phase and risk appetite returns, having a pricing window will hasten the recovery process, narrowing bid/offer spreads and ultimately enabling managers to issue new equity. All other markets, whether listed or not, have some form of common pricing portal. Why should property be any different?”
Latest research from Property Fund Research estimates that the unlisted real estate market, predominantly made up of Property Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) and property unit trusts (PUTS), currently comprises £89 billion of assets (gross asset value), approximately half the size of EPRA. Whilst the latter trades more than twice the size of its free float annually, less than 10% of the unlisted sector will trade annually.
Welcoming the launch of Property Match, Phil Clark, Chairman of the Investment Property Forum Indirect Funds Group and European Head of Property Investment at AEGON Asset Management, said:
“This is a very important step for the indirect fund industry towards creating greater transparency and liquidity within the indirect property funds market. I am delighted about CBRE-GFI’s initiative in creating such a beneficial trading portal.”
About CB Richard Ellis
CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2008 revenue). The Company has more than 30,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CB Richard Ellis offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. CB Richard Ellis has been named a BusinessWeek 50 “best in class” company three years in a row and a Fortune 100 fastest growing company two years in a row. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.
About GFI Group Inc. www.GFIgroup.com
GFI Group Inc. (Nasdaq: “GFIG”) is a leading provider of wholesale brokerage, electronic execution and trading support products for global financial markets. GFI Group Inc. provides brokerage services, market data, trading platform and analytics software products to institutional clients in markets for a range of credit, financial, equity and commodity instruments. FENICS Software Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of GFI Group Inc.
Headquartered in New York, GFI was founded in 1987 and employs more than 1,700 people with additional offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Cape Town, Santiago, Dubai, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Calgary, Englewood (NJ) and Sugar Land (TX). GFI provides services and products to over 2,100 institutional clients, including leading investment and commercial banks, corporations, insurance companies and hedge funds. Its brands include GFI™, GFInet®, CreditMatch®, GFI ForexMatch®, EnergyMatch®, FENICS®, Starsupply®, Amerex®, and Trayport®.
About the CBRE-GFI partnership
CB Richard Ellis Group has been collaborating with GFI Group over the past five years in the development of a highly successful property derivatives business platform. Both parties believe there to be synergies for the development of this and other areas of the real estate business, with the indirect market being one such example.
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