Allianz invests €295 million in shopping malls in France.

For 395 million euros ($535 million), Allianz Real Estate has agreed to buy a share in five shopping complexes in France from Paris-based developer Altarea Cogedim.

According to a business announcement, the portfolio comprises Bercy Village, Toulouse Gramont, the Gare de l'Est shops, Espace Chanteraines in Gennevilliers, and the Toulon - La Valette development project, with a total asset worth of more than 800 million euros. Rent

The malls will be owned by the Allianz Group, Europe's largest insurer, which will own a 49 percent stake.

"This equity investment is our most significant investment in Europe this year, and we are happy with this long-term cooperation with a leading commercial real estate operator," said Olivier Piani, CEO of Allianz Real Estate. The portfolio "has the asset profile we're looking for and improves our real estate exposure in France," according to the company.

The properties in the portfolio will be managed and controlled by Altarea Cogedim.

Bloomberg writes that Allianz, based in Munich, has bought holdings in a shopping mall in Poland, office buildings in Italy, and a high-rise skyscraper in Frankfurt this year.

For foreign investors, London is at the top of the list.
According to Reuters, a new poll by the Association of Overseas Investors in Real Estate found that London offers the best prospect for foreign real estate investment.

Last year's top city, New York, was topped by London. According to the report, San Francisco was the third most popular city for international investors, followed by Houston and Los Angeles.

According to Reuters, the United States continues to be the most "stable and secure" country for investment, surpassing second-place Germany by 50 percentage points, the greatest gap since 2006.

The United States ranked first in terms of capital appreciation potential. It also topped the list of anticipated real estate purchases in 2014, with nearly half of poll respondents expecting a slight increase in their U.S. portfolio and 20% expecting a "significant" increase.

"Foreign investors' continued and growing interest in the U.S. real estate markets reflects fully functioning capital markets for both debt and equity that provide access to a broad range of investment opportunities," said AFIRE Chairman Steven Hason, who is also the managing director of APG Asset Management U.S. Inc.'s Americas Real Estate.

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