EUROPE - The European Commission has appointed an expert panel to advise on regulation of open-ended real estate funds.

The panel, which will meet until January 2008, comprises members including representatives of Crédit Agricole Asset Management, Swedish bank SEB, JP Morgan Asset Management and property consultancy Knight Frank.

Its findings will contribute to a paper scheduled for publication in summer 2008 on non-harmonised investment funds – those excluded from the UCITS passport.

The panel is charged with advising the Commission on the risk and performance characteristics of open-ended real estate funds and existing national regulations covering them and among its chief tasks will be the provision of a cost—benefit analysis 0f cross-border provision.

However, Catherine Bunyon, a spokeswoman for internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevey, said it was far from certain the Commission would find a problem to solve through additional regulation.

"The commissioner is well-known for not favouring legislation for legislation’s sake," she told IPE Real Estate.