Johannson Yap, CIO, says the trust wants to get into France andGermany because those are the two largest industrial markets inEurope, and both are seeing a growth in intra-country freighttravel, meaning that distribution and warehouse facilities willbecome more needed than ever before. "There's ever-growing supplychain activity in these markets, a lot due to changes in theEuropean Union. A lot of countries are developing pan-Europeansupply growth for international trade."

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He says the company's method of entry into a market is alwaysusing local experts. The company has hired Christophe Chauvard ascountry director for France, and Oliver Drecker as country directorfor Germany. Acquisitions will be made using the balance sheet, aswell as a $475 million FirstCal Industrial Europe joint venturewith CalSTRS, Yap says.

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In France, the trust will concentrate on investment activity inIle-de-France, a 4,600-square-mile area that includes most ofParis, and Lyon, at the southern end of the logistics corridor.Nearly 190 million people can be reached by truck within four hoursfrom Ile-de-France, and Lyon is home to the largest inlandcontainer port in France, Yap says.

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Investment in Germany will be focused in the Rhine/Ruhr area, aswell as Hamburg and Bremen, Yap says. "There's a lot of containercargo going through Hamburg, it's the second largest port inEurope," Yap says. Germany is the largest country in the EuropeanUnion, in both the economy and population, with more than 82million people. Also, German companies are now more interested insale-leaseback deals to raise capital, Yap says. "We do a lot ofbusiness for corporations," he says. "These types of dealsaccounted for 40% of transactions last year, offering us greatopportunity."

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