RealCast: Retail threat from UK covid U-turn, data centres in spotlight, logistics train rolls on

Nicol Dynes, Dan Innes, Paul Strohm and Richard Betts

In the spotlight this week:

The UK government’s U-turn on Christmas covid plans highlights the vulnerability of the retail sector following the pandemic. This week, retail-oriented Shaftesbury revealed a pre-tax loss of £700 million and that the value of its assets has fallen by a fifth.

It did, however, raise £300 million recently which is cause for some optimism as was the fact that Capital & Regional this year achieved 30 leasing deals, despite covid.

Elsewhere, Finnish retailer Stockmann is to seek sale and leaseback deals on its stores to pay off €750 million of debt.

Also in the Nordics, Swedish listed company Heimstaden celebrated the biggest deal in the region this year having paid €1.6 billion for a Danish residential portfolio, and Pictet and Brunswick real estate formed a platform to target sustainable data centres across the Nordic region.

Logistics again looms large. While Hines has announced that it is to invest €1bn on green logistics centres in Italy, focusing on last-mile assets and the use of electric delivery vehicles, Nuveen announced it too is to invest €2bn in Italian logistics assets, but also student housing.

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Kennedy Wilson are ready to invest $1billion in the sector in the UK, Patrizia has sold a €500 million logistics portfolio in Germany to an AEW fund, and Axa Investment Management Real Estate has paid €720 million for a logistics portfolio in the US.

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