REAL ESTATE – The Belgian federal state is selling off government property, among which some historic buildings, to balance this year’s budget showing a €500m gap.

In a notice of sale the Belgian Federal State today announced that it wants to sell nearly all of its shares in Fedimmo, a federal real estate department to manage the buildings which is currently being set up by the government for the sale.

The government, which said the real estate portfolio comprises of 62 buildings principally for office use, "occupied with a few exceptions by the State", hopes to sell and then lease back the properties.

Belgian news reports stated last week that the property list includes many properties which have great historical and-or architectural value, such as the Capa-pavillion of the Museum for Central African Art in Tervuren and the Royal Mint in Brussels.

In the notice of sale, the government said today that "The real estate assets have been valued by a specialised real estate firm," at over €574m.

Offers from potential bidders for the purchases of the shareholding in Fedimmo must be sent to the Societe Federale de Participations et d’Investissement (SFPI) by December 22, however, in order to access the "data room" potential bidders have to pay €5,000 to prove their genuine interest.