Wednesday, January 14, 2009

UK commercial-property firms need to raise $20 billion this year

Meanwhile, back in the UK property market.....

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. real-estate companies may need to be rescued by shareholders this year to stay afloat. The largest commercial-property firms need to raise as much as $20 billion this year to restore their balance sheets at a time when financing is scarce, according to estimates by Bernd Stahli, an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. in London. The FTSE 350 Real Estate Index fell 7.3 percent, the biggest slide since 1987.

The five largest real estate investment trusts -- Land Securities Plc, British Land Co., Hammerson Plc, Liberty International Plc and Segro -- have combined debt of 19 billion pounds ($28 billion), according to their latest reports. About 700 million pounds of loans are due this year, research by Nomura International Plc shows. The banks that granted those loans may now be reluctant to provide more credit.

That could spur another year of losses for REIT investors. The FTSE 350 Real Estate Index of 18 stocks fell 46 percent last year, the most since the index was created in 1986. The worst performer was Liberty, which declined 56 percent.

UK commercial property - it is the crash that rarely gets a mention in the regular media.


  1. I can see a debt-for-equity swap coming on.

  2. Which will the Government buy? LST has huge Government contracts so that would be pretty awkward if it went belly up.

  3. Check out the collapse of Workspace share price.............

    Surely there must be some job losses at the top.........