AUSTRIA/GERMANY - The €3.5bn Austrian real estate company CA Immo has decided to postpone the launch of a German Reit because of current market conditions.

The IPO had been planned for spring this year and would have been the first launch of this real estate equity vehicle, introduced in Germany last year, by a non-German company. (See earlier IPE Real Estate story: Austrian firm to launch G-Reit by spring 2008)

"In the current situtation on the capital market, the lights are on 'red' for new issues including Reits," Bruno Ettenauer, member of the management board at CAImmo, told IPE.

"Our Reit, with a stable portfolio, is too good a product to launch now when we could only offer it with a discount."

The next opportunity for possible launch is in the second half of 2008, Ettenauer said, but stressed no matter when the CA Immo REIT was launched, the company "will always play a role in the German market".

CA Immo acquired German company Vivico Real Estate at the end of last year, thereby increasing its real estate portfolio by €1bn so 40% of its portfolio is now invested in Germany.

"We like the Reit law as it fits our current portfolio and is a good opportunity for us on the product side," said Ettenauer.

He noted "no legislation is perfect when it is first passed" but it was better to have a law which offers opportunities than to have no attempt at new regulation at all.