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SIGI: Portugal «joins the most important markets in Europe»
23 September 2019 | Ana Tavares

The newly created SIGI – Sociedades de Investimento e Gestão Imobiliária (Real Estate Investment and Management Societies), the Portuguese version of REITs, will be one of the main themes during the VI edition of the Portugal Real Estate Summit, an event organized by Iberian Property which will be back this Thursday and Friday at the Hotel Palácio Estoril.

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The event brings to Portugal the main global real estate investors, gathering operators from 16 countries on the 26th and 27th of September. This event takes place at a time when the first changes to the newly created SIGI come into effect and when the projections indicate a year where direct real estate investment should again come close to 3.000 million euro in trade.

In this context, the opportunities generated within the domestic market with the introduction of this alternative investment vehicle will motivate one of the event’s main debates, with the presence of Dominique Moerenhout, EPRA’s CEO, an association which represents the European REITs, who says he is «looking forward to participating at the Portugal Real Estate Summit, so as to understand what are the local players’ expectations after the introduction of the SIGI regime and to see how we can further help in order to attract investors and further promote the Iberian market».

Dominique Moerehout considers that «the introduction of the REIT regime is a very relevant step for Portugal and it will benefit both the Iberian and the European markets in the mid and long term». He believes that with this initiative, «Portugal now joins the most important European markets», which shows that the «regulators understand that listed real estate can play a very positive role in attracting foreign capital and in the economic recovery».

Moerenhout reminds that «when Spain changed its REIT regime in 2013, the Spanish listed real estate market’s total capitalisation increased tenfold the following year, with a significant slice of that investment being foreign investment. Ireland and Italy also had an impressive growth following successful REIT legislations. With this in mind, it seems there is no reason to doubt that Portugal will enjoy similar benefits».

Concerning competition with the Spanish market, Dominique Moerenhout defends that a new REIT regime in Portugal doesn’t have to compete for the same resources: «up until now, new REIT regimes in neighbouring countries aren’t shrinking the cake, but the opposite: the new REIT regimes in close territories attract even more investment, as long as they are created with attractive and internationally accepted structures».

The SIGI debate round table will take place during the first day of the conference, between 15h45 and 16h30, with moderator Roger Cooke, the Conference’s Chairman and one of the most reputed real estate professionals in Europe. Besides EPRA’s CEO, this panel includes Filipa Franco, Listing Director at Euronext Lisbon; Alexandre Fernandes, Asset Management Europe Director at Sonae Sierra; David Brush, CIO at Merlin Properties; and Miguel Ferre, Vice-President at the Global Corporation Center from IE- Instituto de Empresa and one of the main proponents for the creation of a REIT regime in Spain.

Find the event’s full program here.