Working closely with clients the banks’ approach in France

Banks in France are currently concentrating on managing their portfolios and remaining close to their clients to accompany their journey and to discuss topics like refinancing early in the process, said Serge Bacconnier, deputy head of the Paris office or Berlin Hyp.

Speaking to Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts he said: “We are all hoping for new transactions and the market to pick up. Unfortunately, 2024 has really been a transition year with very low volumes in the office and retail sectors.”

Logistics and residential have been two sectors more activity, however and residential is a risk that Berlin Hyp is willing to take. “We see a lot of demand and there are interesting development projects,” Bacconnier said. “There’s investor appetite for this type of asset class and I think the banking sector is also keen on financing that type of project so that’s clearly one of the asset classes which has performed well in 2024.”

He added that logistics is also more dynamic than either offices or retail. “We have looked at several transactions, portfolios and sometimes single assets. It’s a case-by-case basis.” He said that it maybe a case of working to lower LTVs but there is interest in the sector.

“On the office side, it has been very calm. I think one of the interesting aspects of the office sector is when we are looking at refinancing there are a lot of transformations or capex required on those those assets and banks are really willing to accompany clients.”

Berlin Hyp has put transformation loans in place which can make the asset class interesting still, including capex and ESG capex. However, new acquisitions are of less interest, Bacconnier explained.