Monte Paschi and Hines in Italian property fund tie-up

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ITALY- Monte Paschi Asset management SGR, the asset management branch of the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has formed an alliance with international real estate manager Hines to create a ‘value-added’ fund for institutional investors called MH Real Estate Crescita.

The launch of Crescita, said the two managers, was prompted by the relatively stable Italian real estate market.

Banca d’Italia is expected to approve Crescita in the second quarter of 2004.

“The investment strategies of HM Real estate Crescita will be to invest in Italian redevelopment” the partners said.

A ‘core fund’ in addition to the ‘added value’ being launched, has also been devised, although the managers said the strategic decision to start with an added value fund was based on evaluation of current macroeconomics forecasts.

Hines, which is to act as strategic real estate advisor to the fund, said:
“The present cycle of Italian real estate market is expected to be relatively stable going forward with a persistent shortage of high-quality office buildings in key cities, compared to other European office markets.”

Manfredi Catella, managing director of Hines Italia, added: “ This is the first time our group finalises an agreement with a bank to promote high quality innovative services for institutional investors. We have chosen Monte Paschi for their long history of quality, well established image and solid track record ”

Nicola Romito, managing director at Monte Paschi, said the joint venture allowed them to diversify their activities as well as using their finance competency on the new product.
“ We believe that Italian real estate funds in line with the important changes and reforms introduced in the last two years, are very attractive, especially to institutional investors.”

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