AXA Real Estate Investment Managers completed EUR 2.13 bn of transactions in Europe on behalf of its clients in the first half of 2011.
In accordance with earlier forecasts, the total transactions over the first half increased significantly across Europe, with 80 deals comprising EUR 1.19 bn of acquisitions and EUR 939 mln of sales completed during the period, compared to EUR 2.7 bn transactions for the whole of 2010.
Axa REIM said its transaction activity underwent a geographic shift in H1 this year, away from France to other core markets in , and the UK in particular, reflecting the strategies of major clients.
This resulted in 46% of acquisitions taking place in the UK, compared to 25% last year and 19% in France compared to 18% last year. In addition, over 60% of sales undertaken in the first half were in France.
The change in geographic focus was underlined by the announcement in July of a joint venture between AXA France Insurance Companies and the EUR 390 bn Norwegian Pension Fund – Global.
In the deal AXA Real Estate, on behalf of its client, sold a 50% interest in seven assets from a Central and Paris region office portfolio with a total value of EUR 1.4 bn to Norges Bank, asset manager of the Norwegian pension fund. AXA France Insurance Companies intends to reinvest the equity across Europe to create a more geographically diverse portfolio.
AXA REIM is the largest property fund and asset manager in Europe with EUR 39.4 bn of assets under management at end-March 2011.