Rev, only two left competing for the one-billion NPL portfolio

18 October, Il Sole 24 Ore

The procedure: awaiting the assembly on 24th October, the fair valuation is fundamental. Most of the portfolio is secured.

The negotiation for the transfer of approximately one billion non-performing loans by Rev Gestione Crediti is at a crucial point. The bad bank received 10.3 billion bad loans coming from Banca Etruria, Carichieti, Cariferrara, and Banca Marche. According to the rumours, yesterday the team led by the Ceo Salvatore Immordino and KPMG in the role of advisor opened the offers submitted by the three bidders, the American funds Bain, Fortress, and Cerberus, for the Project Rossini. The project was launched by Rev and it sees the transfer of one billion bad loans, mostly guaranteed by real estate and belonging for the most part to the former Banca Marche.

Moreover, the Board of Directors gathering on 24th October might already have a fair valuation by a consultant on the offers received. In any case, according to financial sources, only two offers would be analysed of the three arrived yesterday morning: those of Cerberus and Bain, judged economically superior, even if with different characteristics, compared to that of Fortress. It will take a couple of days to know the winner. This will be a fundamental step for Rev, which is about to sell the large-sized secured portfolio (guaranteed by real estate). However, the selling price will be determining.

The name of the dossier, Project Rossini (from the famous composer from Marche) has some specific characteristics: 65% of the bad loans belongs to Banca Marche, the remainder comes from Banca Etruria, Carichieti, and Cariferrara. Besides, 40% of the portfolio is secured by residential properties. It’s also interesting to note that 80% of the properties are located in the Centre of Italy, especially in Marche, Abruzzo, Lazio, and Emilia Romagna. The portfolio is composed of residential, industrial, and commercial properties.

The conclusion of the tender for Rev is fundamental to open a new dossier, after having sold during the summer a 300 million bad loans portfolio to the American fund Seer Capital Management. In fact, Rev must be already working on another project related to the launch of a 1.5-2.5 billion euro tranche of a securitisation which will use Gacs, namely government guarantees.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore (by Carlo Festa)

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

Cutting the ribbon for the Techpark in Bolzano

18 October, Il Sole 24 Ore

The official opening of the Techpark in Bolzano is for Friday, the project is promoted and funded by the Autonomous Province to develop the food technologies, automation, and environmental technologies industries, featuring labs and research centres. There are already 25 start-ups, 30 technology companies, and 500 researchers working in the complex.

The spaces originate from the broad industrial area previously belonging to Alumix, built during the fascist period, and for their planning, it was launched in 2007 an international tender which was won last year by the British firm Chapman Taylor together with the Bolzano-based studio Cleaa, founded by Claudio Lucchin. The architect has followed all the phases of the project and their implementation, both as planner and as director. The element characterising the complex is the “black monolith” accommodating the research centres.


Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

Vallecrosia, Fassi will be torn down: in its place a shopping centre and new houses

16 October, Riviera 24

The project includes also an area for events

The Fassi area will be demolished and reconstructed. It was agreed during the City Council assembly in Vallecrosia. The approval to start the strategic environmental assessment was unanimous, including also the update of the council urban plan of the area which will have immediate execution.

“The Region has suggested treating the case as an upgrade – explains the Mayor Giordano – the project includes the requalification of the Fassi area which will be torn down and rebuilt. In its place, commercial and residential facilities will rise”. The office for urban planning has immediately started the procedures for the requalification. The general opinion is positive, and the project is backed by the Region. The assessments concerning water supply were made, as well as the tests to see if there are any underground rivers, or wet zones, in the area or whether it’s exposed to elements. The company Rivieracqua has assessed that the piping is compliant and that there aren’t any problems connected with water. “There are no contraindications”, comments the Mayor.

The City Councillor Perri comments: “This is a delicate area; its requalification is a good idea. A demolition and the total reconstruction is the best and it will be faster. Analysing the whole project, we’ve noted that perhaps it lacks common spaces for the community. We’re worried about the little attention toward green spaces. I’d like to understand whether the already existing gardens will be reduced in dimensions. Whereas the project gives great importance to concrete, but I saw the number of parking lots in the plan, so that we can remove those in Via San Rocco. Does the quality of the project lie on the parking lots? The number of parking spaces in the plan is over the limit. I suggested making more gardens, along with better playground areas than those we already have. There will be 500 parking lots that will never fill. We believe that this is not the right way to requalify the area. You don’t need parking lots in front of schools, rather common spaces where to meet. The owners will tear everything down then they’ll start from the commercial area and only later they’ll do the residential part. What does that mean? We can’t go on in this way. It will take ten years and I don’t know the destiny of this project. In the plan, there is also a space for events and we’re a little sceptical about it. The Ottagono bar will move in that area and it will be called Bigauda 2, this is the same that happened in Camporosso. According to the plan, the event area is just beside the bar. Why mixing commercial and event spaces? How to manage all this? The nature of the two establishments are quite the opposites. We hope there will be events every week, otherwise, there will be no benefit in having a venue. Moreover, this area is not covered, hence there will be no events in winter and it’s fenced, so that it can’t be used during the day. What’s the point then?”

The Mayor replies: “The times to finish the project are dictated by the regulation. It’s in the interest of the company to finish the project as they’re responsible for the complete demolition. We have three years to start and two to finish. There are many projects, hence we need the adjoining parking lots. For what concerns the commercial activities, they need to be of high quality. The intention is to improve the territory and to make the most of the event area. It will an “urban park” open all day, with a ballroom, a stage, kitchens, and spaces for beverage vendors. It must be efficient, easy to operate. It’s a 5 thousand Sq m surface and it needs parking spaces. They’re a necessity since there will be no more cars parked on the sides of the streets and the urban traffic will benefit. We’re not going to reduce the already existing green areas”.

Perri, Russo, and Quesada abstained from the vote.

Source: Riviera 24 (by Elisa Colli)

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi



Tecnocasa: Palermo old town attracts investors

16 October, Monitor Immobiliare

In the first half of 2017, the property market in Palermo has seen a reduction of prices of 0.6%. Compared to the first semester of 2016, there is an increase of sales in the city as well as in the province, respectively of 14.6% and 5.0%

According to the Research Centre of Tecnocasa, the prices in the old town are unchanged and they register an increase for what concerns requests and sales. Here, buyers are spending amounts not over 100 thousand euro and they focus almost exclusively on the investment. To start a B&B business, they budget 50-60 thousand euro for properties to be renovated, located on the main streets and in historical buildings.

Source: Monitor Immobiliare (by E. I.)

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

Spoleto, new shopping centre at Panetto&Petrelli: debate between Barbanera and Cappelletti

14 October, Umbria 24

The President of Confcommercio writes to the Mayor: “The city is saturated, let’s talk about innovation”, the city councillor “there are no documents registered”

Confcommercio says no to a new potential shopping centre in the historical production site of Panetto&Petrelli, a glorious factory of Spoleto that closed over three years ago. The clarifications from the city councillor Antonio Cappelletti: “No formal request of operational plan or building permit has been submitted so far to our Building & City Planning offices”.

Confcommercio is opposed to a new shopping centre. To make its position clear, the president Tommaso Barbanera wrote a letter to the Mayor Fabrizio Cardarelli in which he expressed his “total dissent to any increase of space for commercial use, the city is already saturated of certain distribution models. There is no necessity at all for new shops, while I would rather like to talk about innovation, human capital, and new consumption trends”. Barbanera remarks also that the new guidelines of commerce are currently under review by the Region, and that they will contain also” the criteria for the establishment of medium- and large-sized businesses. For this reason, I think that evaluating a project of such dimensions in this moment is not ideal since we’ll have shortly a new complete regulation system enabling the City Council to plan accordingly the commercial development of its territory”.

Cappelletti: “There is no document registered”. The debate is inevitable. With a long intervention by the city councillor for the urban planning and the old town, Antonio Cappelletti, replies to the president of Confcommercio: “Let’s clarify that the building is not public property, therefore it’s up to the owners deciding what they want to do with it within the limits of urban planning. The business plan, as Barbanera may well know, is not accessible by the Municipality, but by authorities that made regulations and set that certain commercial structures may be built without being subjected to utmost discretion. Stating that a new shopping centre will suffocate the businesses of the old town is outdated since it’s evident these days that the selection had already happened and proved that specialization and service to locals and non-locals are the way for the few groceries stores still surviving. We can only agree with whom wants to implement in that area fantastic projects to serve the community, but we must not forget that the intervention of a private must have its own economic sustainability and that, if it’s not possible to achieve that sustainability, we risk creating new abandoned areas, as the site in question is already risking”.

Source: Umbria 24

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

Segrate, after the halt, the Australian giant launches the works for the mall

17 October, Corriere della Sera

The first milestone in 2018 and inauguration by 2020. Even reduced by one-third, it’s still one of the biggest malls in Europe

Its spaces have been reduced by almost one-third, but it’s still huge, and with a delay of three years on the initial schedule, the works have eventually started. In the next days, the Australian giant Westfield, together with the Percassi family, will officially request the authorization to build in Segrate, in the former Customs area, one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe. The first milestone is expected for the beginning of 2018, the opening is scheduled by the end of 2020.

Westfield has chosen Milan (and not Paris or London) to launch its shopping flagship and the numbers are impressive: a 1.4 billion investment and 10 thousand external parking spaces with a forecast of 25 million visitors per year and over 1.3 billion turnover. The commercial surface, which originally was meant to be 235 thousand Sq m, has been downsized to 185 thousand but it’s still huge. The area will accommodate 380 shops among which Galeries Lafayette, a French icon at its debut in Italy. There is then in the plan of an actual boutique district with Gucci and Armani among the names. Moreover, three food courts with fifty restaurants, a Uci multiplex with 15 cinemas, squares for events and choreographies that will change every season. According to the plan, the shopping centre will employ 17 thousand people (44 thousand if we consider the construction workers).

We’re far from the model of shopping mall that is in crisis in America, challenged by mobile shopping. The idea here is to create a “city within the city” dedicated to free time, more than to shopping. Let’s consider the restaurants: once they used to occupy no more than 5% of the surface, in Segrate, they may reach 15%. While the part concerning entertainment and services is still to be strengthened. The possibilities are plenty, from playground areas for children, gyms, and concert venues. It’s a fact that Milan and its hinterland seem to be a better choice than Rome or Florence for big-sized shopping centres: investment funds are betting on the recovery of consumptions and are ready to allocate capitals, also because the city has one of the highest per capita expenditure rates in Europe. But there must be all the conditions for a safe project, especially for what concerns infrastructures.

In the case of Segrate, for instance, the initial draft is dated back to 2009, Two years after, the agreement between Westfield and the Percassi group was signed. Since then, everything stopped.

One of the main reasons for the stop was the 6 kilometres Cassanese-Brebemi bypass that got stuck, with 200 million planning fees for the works pertaining to both Milano Serravalle and Westfield. The viability works for the hub are stuck at the moment, even though it’s not known when the project will be finished. The real estate project may start, then. But it relies on another uncertain infrastructure project: the M4, to which, in a couple of years, the shopping centre should be connected.

Source: Il Corriere della Sera (by Elisabetta Andreis)

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi



Students and elderly houses attract new investments

12 October, Il Sole 24 Ore

This is the moment of the Italian real estate market, especially for foreign investments, even if in a lighter form compared to the forecasts.

According to the figures recently published by Cbre, the property market closes the first nine months of the year with investments grown by 34%, for a value of 7.115 billion euro against the 5.239 billion of the same period of 2016. A result that shows volumes increased by 266% in the industrial and logistical segments, +44% for offices, and +75% in the segment including assisted living facilities, schools and telephone exchange buildings, as well as +25% for hotels. However, it’s not certain whether by the end of the year the volumes will reach ten billion euro. According to the report by Bnp Paribas Re, the volumes for the third quarter are set around two billion euro, about 6.8 billion in the first nine months with a forecast for the year’s end assessed around nine billion.

The global uncertainties are weighing on the outlook. Real estate must face important challenges and the fourth edition of “Quo Vadis Italia”, the annual forum organised by Dla Piper, will focus on the challenges connected to the changes in the Italian real estate industry. There will be the interventions of the main protagonists of the Italian real estate scene. The event will gather investors, asset managers, developers and users.

What are the perspectives for real estate? “We can say that the international investors are back and they’re still aiming at core assets – explains Olaf Schmidt, Co-Managing Director Europe and Middle East and Co-Responsible for Dla Piper’s real estate division – the problem is that the returns have significantly reduced and for many investors they do not reflect the country risk so that they prefer investing in competing countries”.

Olaf Schmidt makes the example of offices. “The average 3.9% offered by an office in Milan is not always enough to compensate a 3.4%, for instance, in Frankfurt. So that there are many requests, but only a few end with a sale”. On the other hand, there are more and more institutional investments for the so-called new asset classes, such as student accommodations and Rsa (assisted living for elderly), or health care: “In Italy we’re still at the first steps – continues Schmidt – but the returns and the potential are very interesting”. However, the real news concerns development, from which international investors used to keep away from due to the (too) many uncertainties. “There is more trust – explains Schmidt – just look at the Australian Lend Lease in Santa Giulia and the reconversions by Hines or the shopping centres developed with international capital. Finally, there is a huge interest for the real estate assets owned by banks”.

Dla Piper stresses how now banks are really selling the properties they own, mainly portfolios with a mix of some luxury assets and many smaller properties: “They’re so discounted compared to the market value that the investor doesn’t even do due diligence and he buys straight away, only to obtain the important assets contained in the portfolio”, concludes Schmidt.

What do the international players think about? “We’re positive – says Cyril Hoyaux, Head of debt fund management Europe of Aew Europe – not for the abundance of capital, rather than for the macroeconomic fundamentals and the low political risk. Compared to the United States and Asia, the European market offers more political stability and still convenient interest rates. Plus, it offers a good upside”. How Italy position itself in this scenario? “Milan is a different market from the rest of the country – he says – it’s the only one truly international. The rest is very fragmented”.

An important opinion on the matter is that of Ubs asset management, managing 642 billion euro assets, 75 of which real estate. “We’re positive regarding real estate investments – explains Thomas Wels, Head of Real Estate & Private Markets at Ubs Asset Management -, even though with a different perspective from the past. Today, real estate is still interesting if included in a multi-asset portfolio, even if we’ve started seeing some changes in the financial sector. This means that real estate is going back to the fundamentals and its profitability will be the main factor for the total returns of real estate assets, rather than capital gain”. Ubs is currently investing 45% of its real estate assets in the United States, 36% in Europe, and the remaining in other countries. How is Europe perceived? “It’s slightly behind in the real estate cycle compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, this means that there are still a lot of opportunities, even if focused on income growth – explains Wels -. We think that, in the short term, the euro will have better performances. We’re looking at Spain, while France has great potential if reforms will be implemented”.

What about Italy? “The economy is getting better – he explains – but with slower rhythms compared to the other countries in Europe. If we analyse the data at aggregate level, there hasn’t been any recovery in the Italian real estate market in the last three years. Still, there are differences at local level: the grade A office market in Milan has significantly grown for what concerns investments in the last three years. More in general, the investment activity in Italy is at very high levels because Italy is one of the main markets in Europe and it offers many opportunities. Moreover, the retail sector, still not very dynamic and liquid, is gradually opening to international investors and it may offer good chances in the North and in the South of the country, especially in tourist destinations and students cities. Ubs plans to invest in the Italian property market in the next 12 years, especially in offices in Milan and in retail in Northern Italy.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore (by Paola Dezza and Evelina Marchesini)

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

NPLs, Lone Star sells the Caf platform

16 October, Il Sole 24 Ore

A dynamic market with many active players. The world of companies specialised in the management of non-performing loans is heading towards its consolidation. Recently, the American Fund Lone Star has put on sale its subsidiary Caf (Centrale Attività Finanziarie), an Italian company operating in credit collections and bad loans management acquired in 2015. The platform is focused on the collection of banks’ credit. With its 200 associates, it manages about 8 billion gross NPL, 60% of which secured, mostly through a Reoco that repurchases the assets. There is also on the table the transfer of approximately 400 million NPL coming from Tercas. Lone Star, assisted by Kpmg, aims at collecting the non-binding manifestations of interest by the middle of November. Among the players invited to the tender, there are all the main Italian servicers, but also international investors, which may find in this way an access to the NPL market, which is very active now.


Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

Fanocenter shopping centre reopens completely renovated

16 October, Distribuzione Moderna

Popular fashion brands, the Apple official reseller coming up soon, an extended arcade with new restaurants: this is the new Auchan shopping centre in Fano (Pesaro), renamed Fanocenter.

Inaugurated on Thursday 12th October, 12 months after the start of the renovation works, the shopping centre has been expanded by 6,608 Sq m with a Gla of 11,200 Sq m, 31 new shops, 6 of which medium-sized, for a total of 53 businesses and a modern Auchan hypermarket of 6,950 Sq m on sale.

The supermarket offers fresh groceries, its own bakery, meat, deli, and a bar. Great attention has been given to local produce. The area dedicated to technology, electric appliances, phones, and TV has reopened.

The new medium-sized shops accommodate international and national brands: Terranova, Bershka, Stradivarius, Zuiki. Among the new entries, there are Zuiki, Aw Lab, Cotton & Silk, Jack&Jones, Conbipel, Hermitage. For children, there are Nucleo and Okaidi.

For sportswear, there is King Sport and for shoes, Il Laccio and Primadonna, while, concerning accessories, O bag, Anna Virgili, Pandora, and Bluespirit. For glasses, Grand Vision and Salmoiraghi & Viganò. Finally, for the house, Tiger and Thun.

The most relevant new entry is probably the gastronomic offer, with the Degu-Stazione food court (250 seats and 11 operators) included in the Emotional Food project.

The restaurant area, created in a joint venture with Vacanze Romane, is furnished like a beginning of 20th-century train station, with red bricks and vintage lamps. In the 8 compartments, it’s possible to taste the excellent food offer of the bars and restaurants: from hand-made pasta to fine meats, from gourmet pizza to wines.

The new shopping centre was implemented with an investment of 18 million euro. In this way, Gallerie Commerciali Italia, the Italian branch of Immochan (Auchan Holding) decided to continue promoting an arcade loved by locals, creating 200 new jobs.

The connection with the local community is confirmed also by the decision to let customers, business owners, and Facebook users choose the new name, Fanocenter, the result of a contest involving about 2,000 participants.

Edoardo Favro, Gallerie Commerciali Italia Ceo, concludes: “Fanocenter is an innovative shopping centre, where shopping is part of a 360 degrees experience, passing through a gastronomic offer, different from that of the other competitors. The new food offer is tailor-made, for a customer that seeks variety, quality, gourmet and traditional food”.

Source: Distribuzione Moderna

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

Palermo, the Community Hospital sells its properties

18 October, Repubblica

63 apartments, 17 warehouses, about 30 plots of land between Palermo, Messina, Catania, Siracusa, and Enna

For the first time, the Community Hospital of Palermo is selling its properties: 63 apartments, 17 warehouses, 14 offices, about 30 plots of land between Palermo, Messina, Catania, Siracusa, and Enna. A little treasure the company has decided to get rid of: too many expenses, no returns. For this reason, yesterday it published a “call for manifestations of interest”: all those interested in one of the Arnas properties can apply within 12 pm on 16th November. But this is only the preliminary act before the actual tender, when only the properties that received manifestations of interest will be put on sale.

All the properties registered in the 2011 Council decree are available. Shortly, Arnas will produce a second and more detailed census. “By December – explains the Administrative Director Vincenzo Barone – we’ll publish the public announcement to update the inventory. In the meantime, we’ll put on sale the properties which received manifestations of interest. Our office will set the price based on an auction, then we’ll proceed according to the most economically convenient bid”.

The Community Hospital has one of the largest real estate assets among the hospitals and healthcare facilities in Sicily. The most of it comes from the donations of the Palagonia family that left the facility established by Giuliano Maiali in 1470, a little treasure consisting of properties, land, and funds.

The core of the assets to sell is represented by the 63 residential apartments. They’re mainly apartments located in the areas of Oreto-Stazione, Ballarò-Alberghieria, Capo, and Monte di pietà Square. There are also many apartments in the old town, between Via Alloro, Via Scopari, and Santa Cecilia Theatre. They’re not only working-class apartments, but also historical buildings for civil use. There are also several warehouses (17) around the area of the Community Hospital and the old town. Finally, there are 14 offices, also located in the old town.

The land and the farmland are a different story. There are about 30 plots of land in Palermo (Malatacca, Alia, Bagheria, Lercara Friddi, Ventimiglia di Sicilia), Catania (Palagonia, Pindemonte Etneo, Calatabiano), Enna, Messina (Frazzanò, San Marco), Siracusa (Francoforte). Barone explains: “these are plots of land of not great value whose management for Arnas brings more risks than benefits and the company cannot support the costs. They’re not worth more than 200 thousand euro altogether”. Now, the company decided to get rid of the burden.

Source: Repubblica (by Giusi Spica)

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi