European Transactions Director Paul Joubert told the BusinessImmo portal recently that France remains the first country in termsof capital disposition, concentrating 36% of assets by valuefollowing its sale of the Triangle of L'Arche of La Défense, anasset of around 37,500 square meters for a price that marketspecialists place at around €300 million. Investment last yearcompared to around €600 million of acquisitions in 2008 and €1.2billion in 2007. One of the more recent signings was a deal to buythe Radisson Blue Hotel in Hamburg for €155 million.

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The group acquired two properties in France at end-2009 for atotal of €145 million: City One in Lyons for €60 million – and thebiggest transaction on the French regional market in 2009 – and anoffice at 148 Rue de l'Université in Paris from the UK's Hammersonvalued at €85 million on behalf of a US discretionary portfoliomanager. Its most recent signing in January was a €37 million dealfor a retail and office building in a prime location on Avenue desChamps-Elysées in Paris, earmarked for a pan-European fund.

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Joubert said Invesco Real Estate halted investment in December2007 after completely allocating capital from the funds it manages.It concentrated instead on integrating the team, recruiting, andasset management - renegotiating leases and remarketing someassets. It restarted investment early last year.

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"This is for us the moment to be buying even if we continue tonote a new tension in prime products in London and especially inParis," Joubert said. "However this is not the case in theScandinavian market, in Germany or even in European cities andtowns that are smaller in size. Whichever way you look at it, inall the markets that we keep our eye on prices are at the momentbelow their historical average."

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Invesco RE's €17.5 billion AUM places it among the 15 largestreal estate managers in the world and in the top five independents."The particular uniqueness of Invesco Real Estate is to be a fundmanager that is independent of any bank network or of an insurancegroup," Joubert said. "Our activity consists uniquely in providingservices for the accounts of third parties and not in trying togain value for assets owned on our house balance sheet."

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The group's two stand-out elements are cross-border capacitiesand diversification. Invesco is present in 12 countries in Europethrough six offices and has been careful to develop pan-Europeanfunds with wide mandates in terms of markets and asset type. "Ourdiversification strategy at the level of risk permits us to benefitfrom different market timings and to therefore boost theperformance of our funds," he said. At the start of the last decadeInvesco acquired a portfolio valued at around €5bn in Europe,comprising 47% office, 27% retail, 11% logistic, 9% mixed use and6% hotel real estate.

AllanSaundersonis a managing editor of Property FinanceEurope and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

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