BRIEFING: Brexit is going to benefit CEE

It is still not clear what impact Brexit will have on the UK, but it is clear that it will benefit Central and Eastern Europe, delegates heard at Investment Briefings’ CEE and Europe Outlook panel, which was held in Warsaw lastweek.

‘Is Brexit going to benefit CEE? The answer is yes,’ said Luke Dawson, Managing Director & Head of Capital Markets CEE, Colliers International. It will probably not increase investment volumes by €1 bn, but we will see a few investors come and look that wouldn’t otherwise have come here.’

Some investors are taking a wait-and-see attitude to the UK and will deploy at least part of their capital in the CEE region, where markets have matured and are now more liquid and more attractive.

‘A place like Poland is filling that gap,’ Dawson said. ‘It is something between Western Europe and an emerging market. The returns are pretty attractive but, as our markets continue to mature, investors are also more comfortable with the levels of risk.’

The risks associated with Brexit are also putting political issues in Poland and Hungary in perspective. ‘The political situation in Poland has become less of an issue,’ said Janusz Dzianachowski, Attorney-at-law and Partner, Linklaters. ‘Big investors in our country, like the South Africans, are not very concerned, as they have a very different idea of political risk from ours. Now it is all about Brexit and how we can benefit from it.’ 

There is another, less positive side to Brexit that some investors worry about, said Rainer Nonnengässer, CEO, International Campus: ‘They focus less on the benefits and more on the uncertainty that it will bring and the negative impact on the European economy that could affect the real estate sector as well.’ This worry is particularly acute in Germany, where the economy is already slowing down.

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