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More banks are clubbing together to fund commercial real estate according to first annual league tables for syndicated CRE loans

A new set of league tables have been launched highlighting the resurgence of syndicated commercial real estate (CRE) lending across EMEA.

Credit Agricole CIB, ING and HSBC are at the top of most of the categories for 2014, which have been collated by Dealogic on behalf of more than 25 lenders.

The data cover deals worth ca. €30 billion excluding REITs and ca. €45 billion including them – around 80 percent percent of the sector’s syndicated and club deals.

ING Syndicated Finance was instrumental in gathering industry support for the initiative and defining measurement and reporting criteria, supported by the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Europe. All 3 leading information vendors, Bloomberg, Dealogic and Thomson Reuters were involved in the initiative.

CREFC Europe hopes the move will promote a growing level of transparency across the CRE lending market.

Loan syndications – where a group of banks pool balance sheet capacity to participate jointly in a large loan – long a dominant feature of the corporate debt market, have become an increasingly important part of the CRE landscape since the crisis. Syndication is a valuable tool for originators, allowing them to manage balance sheet capacity and capital constrains efficiently. In turn, it allows a wide range of lenders to participate in loans they didn’t originate themselves. Overall syndication facilitates the effective flow of credit to the real economy, supporting urban regeneration schemes and transactional activity in the real estate market.

League tables should provide greater transparency about the size of the CRE lending market and its key participants, something that industry figures hope will increase the attractiveness of the sector to banks and non-banks seeking fixed income returns. As the tables become established, accuracy and completeness should increase, potentially also encompassing more bilateral, unsyndicated loans, which represent a larger proportion of the real estate lending market than they do in the wider debt markets covered by other league tables.

Jean-Maurice Elkouby, managing director at ING Syndicated Finance said:“We’re delighted to see these first league tables, which we believe reflect at least 80 percent of the syndicated market. The initial focus has been on secured non-recourse commercial loans, as opposed to unsecured corporate facilities for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) or Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities. In the future, we hope both to broaden the universe, and to further improve coverage within it.”

Peter Cosmetatos, chief executive of CREFC Europe, said: “Better CRE lending market information is vital if we are to improve both the perception and the reality of liquidity, especially for non-originating investors. League tables have an important role to play alongside other initiatives – particularly given the trend towards larger syndicated facilities financing whole portfolios and the participation of an expanding range of lenders in the syndication market.”

Laurent Chenain – Global Head, Real Estate and Hotel Group at Crédit Agricole CIB, said: “We are glad that Dealogic, supported by CREFC, initiated these first CRE financing league tables. They provide a valuable opportunity to provide greater transparency to all constituents of the real estate market and generate a better understanding of the sector. For CA-CIB, the opportunity to evidence our strong presence and long term support to the industry, is welcome.

Matt Webster, Global Head of Real Estate at HSBC, said: “HSBC is delighted to welcome the inaugural league tables for Real Estate Finance in EMEA, which demonstrates our continuing commitment to and leading position in the CRE marketplace. We believe the CREFC sponsored initiative to develop these league tables will introduce an increased level of transparency and become an important benchmark for lenders and clients alike.”

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