ITALY - BNP Paribas REIM is to sell nine assets from its €600m closed-end Patrimonio Uno fund as part of a planned disposal ahead of the fund's liquidation in 2017 - but fund manager Marco Luoni has not ruled out bringing new investors into the fund in the second half of the year.

Seven of the nine assets now for sale are leased to public sector bodies, under a renewable nine-year master lease agreement signed with the state property agency.

An eighth is leased to public sector healthcare offices.

The ninth, in Siena, is fully vacant, but Luoni said there was a possibility of converting it into a hotel.

"The assets have a good combination of credit standing and solvency," said Luoni. "In the current market, the most likely buyers will be Italian private investors, but some of the others - such as the Florence asset, which is a good-quality, large asset in the town centre - might be of interest to international investors."

Patrimonio Uno fund has sold assets worth €120m since it started its disposal programme in 2008, three years after it was set up to manage 75 state-owned properties transferred by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Only 39 of the fund's original 75 assets remain in the fund, which has an average vacancy rate of 10%.

Almost 30 of the remaining assets are leased to the state property agency.

A small proportion of the remaining assets - around 2% - are assets in the capital, Rome, that fall outside the master lease agreement.

"We'll keep on with the disposals because they're part of the business plan, but we also have part of a portfolio that is let," said Luoni.

"It's a difficult market environment, but we'll keep on working to find potential investors. We anticipate new interest from the market in the second half of the year.

"But, you know, in the current environment, you have to stay in the market with the product for 12 months to find investors."