The MAB Gets Ready To Receive A New Wave Of Socimis

5 October 2017 – Expansión

Socimis have become the shining stars of the stock market and the undisputed protagonists of the real estate sector. Over the last four years, in addition to the large five listed Socimis – Merlin, Colonial, Hispania, Axiare and Lar España – , 40 vehicles of this kind have been incorporated into the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) and experts predict that, far from slowing down, the flood of stock market debuts is going to continue for the next few months at least.

Specifically, they estimate that around a dozen new vehicles are set to debut on the Madrilenian stock market. “We calculate that the total number of Socimis listed on the market could reach 50 by the end of 2017. At Armabex, we have 14 processes open for new Socimis, which will be making their debuts between 2017 and the first quarter of 2018”, explains Antonio Fernández, President of Armabex.

“You could say that we are facing the second wave of Socimis, but their growth prospects, until they reach the €40 million or €50 million mark, are still very broad”, explains Sandra Daza, Director General of Gesvalt. For Daza, the tightening of the access requirements to the MAB for Socimis, especially in terms of the diffusion of shareholders, will avoid the appearance of a distinguished group of small Socimis, focused solely on the fiscal benefits and not oriented towards the professionalism of their asset management.

Moreover, analysts expect to see greater specialisation in the field of the Socimis and consolidation of the sector over the medium term. “Gradually, over a period of three to five years, we will see the start of a new model of Socimi: those that arise as a result of mergers and acquisitions. This movement will result in the consolidation of the structure and the creation of some more heavyweight Socimis”, explains Fernández.

For Daza, the specialisation of Socimis in alternative assets within the real estate sector will be a process that will push ahead gradually: “For a Socimi to be a good investment vehicle, it requires a minimum size and a development plan that alternative assets do not always allow due to the small size of the market”.

Experts rule out that a bubble is being generated. “If we analyse in detail the history of the various Socimis listed on the MAB, the majority are the result of the restructuring of pre-existing real estate companies. In other words, there were not any previous transactions, they merely represented the adaptation of existing property portfolios to a new financial-fiscal environment, the Socimis, in which their respective real estate strategies fit better”, says Fernández. For Daza, in comparison with other countries, the size of the Spanish market and our GDP indicate that we are in for “a bright future in terms of the growth in the volume of Socimis over the next three to five years”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake