AXA transacts €2bn of deals in 2011 so far

The Paris-based insurer says it has transacted more than €2bn of deals in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, it says there has been an investment shift among clients from Paris to other core markets.

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers clocked up €2 billion of deals in the first half of the year it revealed today, while it also suggested clients had shifted focus from France to other core European markets.

The Paris-based firm, which has €39 billion of real estate assets management, split the volume of transactions  €1.1 billion of new investment deals and €939 million in property sales. This compared with €2.7 billion of transactions for the whole of 2010, suggesting the firm will have a busier transactional year in 2011 than last year.

Outlining highlights such as the creation of a €1.4 billion joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management in which Norges bought a 50 percent stake in seven assets from a central and Paris region office portfolio, the firm added that in line with the strategic objectives of major clients, there had been a shift in geographical focus compared to 2010.

AXA said investment flows had moved away from France into other core European markets, in particular towards the UK. Underlining the point, in the Norges partnership, its client AXA France Insurance Companies expects to reinvest the proceeds from the Paris property sale elsewhere in Europe to create a more geographically diverse portfolio.

Some 46 percent of AXA’s acquisitions took place in the UK, compared to 25 percent in 2010.  In addition, over 60 percent of sales undertaken in the first half were in France.

Other deal highights included the purcahse of 20 Gresham Street in London and a portfolio of 28 petrol stations in northern Spain on behalf of the Alternative Property Income Venture.