GLOBAL – Europa Capital has teamed up with adviser Ilex Partners to take advantage of an anticipated influx of Chinese institutional capital into European real estate markets.
The pan-European investment management has entered into a "strategic partnership" with Beijing-based Ilex Partners, which advises Chinese investors.
Europa Capital said the move was "part of a long-term commitment to forge and maintain relationships with investors and property developers in China".
According to a statement, "Europa Capital and Ilex Partners and working closely together with China's leading institutional investors, life insurers and property developers to satisfy their growing appetite for overseas real estate investment."
Chinese insurance companies in particular are expected to become active in global real estate markets after regulators in China permitted them to invest in overseas property. Ping An Insurance's acquisition of the Lloyd's Building in London has been interpreted as setting the precedent.
A delegation of Chinese insurers recently visited Australia on an "investment mission", according to the Asian property association APREA, including Taikang Asset Management, Sunshine Insurance Group, Ping An Asset Management, New China Asset Management and China Pacific Insurance Company.
A number of APREA members gave presentations on the Australian economy, capital markets and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Charles Graham, a founding partner at Europa Capital, said: "Chinese capital will become an increasingly influential investor force in the European market in the years to come.
"Although, much of the recent international real estate investment activity has been focused on the UK and, in particular London, Europa Capital expects that the investment focus will steadily broaden in search of return to encompass mainland Europe."
William Stonor, CEO of Ilex Partners, said: "Chinese outbound investment has grown fivefold since 2005 to $77bn [€56.3bn] in 2012 and Europa Capital is an ideal partner for Chinese investors seeking to invest in the European real estate sector."
Ilex Partners was established in 2012 by Stonor, the son of British diplomat Lord Camoys.