EUROPE - AXA Real Estate Investment Managers is to launch the first ever exchange traded funds in Europe focusing on real estate.

The ETFs, which were provisionally unveiled on January 13 by Roddy Sloan, global head of business strategy at AXA REIM, at the second annual London reception for the Amsterdam-based European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA), will track two of EPRA’s European real estate indices.

A final decision has yet to be taken as to whether these will be the EPRA Europe, Europe ex UK, euro zone or UK indices.

The new ETFs will be formally listed on Euronext later this year.

The AXA REIM ETFs will allow institutional and retail investors to access liquid and transparent European real estate funds with potential exposure to hitherto closed areas such as futures and swaps markets.

This product range will likely broaden in the future to include guaranteed and OTC derivative products as the market develops.

Nick van Ommen, CEO of EPRA commented: “This is a huge step forward for the European real estate sector. The introduction of an exchange traded derivative on the listed real estate sector will provide a more flexible and professional environment for both institutional and retail investors.”

Bruno Guiot, head of EasyETF development at AXA IM, added: “Such an innovation illustrates the maturity of the real estate sector and will enhance further the efficiency of this market by offering a liquid and transparent product.”