This «is an industry that is constantly changing and adapting. We need to change every day, it’s an ongoing evolution and we must prepare so we won’t miss the train», explained Fernando Domínguez, Head of Real Estate Asset Management Iberia at DWS, Deutsche Bank’s real estate branch, during the event.
Francisco Horta e Costa, Managing Director at CBRE, believes that «standing still is not an option». Investors are looking for anything that is 'out of the box'. It will be fundamental to see that happening in other shopping centres», he added.
The climate indicates change, but according to Francisco Horta e Costa «the international investors’ interest on the Portuguese market» will remain. He also disclosed that CBRE, in particular, is involved in «a few operations which will be carried out soon».
Eric van Leuven, Executive Partner at Cushman & Wakefield also agrees that «the Portuguese shopping centres have always had very high standards», and he notes that «during the last few years it was the vulture funds that sold more shopping centres and it was the insurance companies and institutional funds that bought the most, it is a very natural and healthy movement from the market», he commented.
Rents and asset assessment are still one of the biggest question marks, in particular concerning e-commerce. «'one size fits all' rents won’t work anymore», believes Eric van Leuven.
Investors will have to live with uncertainty
«The main factor is disruption, hence uncertainty. Investors’ caution is not related to the macroeconomic essentials, but to this issue», remarked Francisco Cavaleiro Ferreira, Managing Director for Portugal and Spain at Multi.
Fernando Guedes de Oliveira, Sonae Sierra’s CEO, attests that «there is a sentiment of mistrust from investors concerning retail, fed by the situation in the United Kingdom and the United States», but he considers that these are circumstantial issues, not so much related to e-commerce, which he believes is «not a threat to Iberia».
They both agree that more foreign investment on the Portuguese retail market is inevitable since there «isn’t enough domestic capital to invest», sustains Mundicenter’s executive director Fernando Muñoz de Oliveira.
Photo: Irina Sedlar / APCC