Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Swiss Life Asset Managers continues to grow its European real estate business

Swiss Life Asset Managers continues to grow its European real estate business

The asset manager has reported positive results for its real estate business in the first half of 2018, with total managed real estate across Europe to a total of $82.06bn in the first half of 2018

This corresponded to an increase of $3.41bn (plus 4% compared to end-2017).

Stefan Mächler, Group CIO of Swiss Life, stated: “We have grown in all real estate units. In the months ahead we aim to launch new pan-European real estate funds in our core markets and beyond. This includes a European healthcare property fund that takes up the company-wide guiding theme of a longer self-determined life. In addition, by signing the Principle of Responsible Investment and becoming a member of GRESB, we have also further strengthened the role played by sustainability in our investment decisions. These are further steps towards our goal of affording customers unique access to the European real estate market.”

Swiss Life Asset Managers is aiming for a further incremental expansion of its real estate holdings in Switzerland by purchasing outstanding properties and participating in development projects in top locations in the residential, office and retail sector. In addition to acquiring new properties, aggregation potential for the existing portfolio will also be pursued.

Key current acquisitions in Switzerland include the office property at Bellerivestrasse 241 / 245 and the Widder Hotel in Zurich, the commercial and residential property at Rue du Rhône 57 / Quai du Général-Guisan 38 in Geneva and the further development of the SBB headquarters, with modern workplaces for some 1800 employees, in Bern-Wankdorf.

Other acquisitions include:  two hotels in Milan, an office building in Brussels and two retail properties in Germany. A retail portfolio comprising 13 properties in Madrid, Valencia, Burgos and San Sebastian was also purchased for three existing real estate funds, Swiss Life Asset Managers’ debut on the Spanish market. Furthermore, an OPCI public fund this year reached $227mn in assets under management and received four industry awards.

Near the end of 2018, another five funds accessible to institutional investors are to have been launched in the hotel and healthcare real estate sector. In addition, Swiss Life Asset Managers in France has been mandated to develop two further investment products.

 Swiss Life also completed the acquisition of Beos at the end of August. With the German investment manager, Swiss Life Asset Managers can continue its growth strategy in investment business for third-party customers and expand access to new institutional clients. At the end of 2017, Beos had real estate to the value of $2.95bn with a mixed use rental space of over 2.6 million square metres.

Swiss Life has stated that in response to high customer demand, the company further plans to expand its real estate fund volume.

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