EPRA Chief Executive Philip Charls says he does not see thelisted property sell-off to 60% and 70% below net asset value atthe depths of the crisis as causing long-term damage. "I don't haveany indication that people say, 'Okay, this brings so muchvolatility in my portfolio with regard to valuation or in thebehavior of my stock that I'm not going to approach that market',"he says. More portfolios are being readied for flotation, but muchwill depend on short-term stock market performance. In markets suchas Spain, banks have taken over large swathes of real estate andmay use stock market IPOs to sell at least some equity.

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EPRA has most publicly been involved recently with a lobby tohead off the London-based International Accounting Standards Boardre-setting accountancy rules. In a loose alliance called the RealEstate Equities Securities Association (REESA) which includesAmerica's NAREIT, The Property Council of Australia, Asian PublicReal Estate Association and the British Property Federation, EPRAled resistance to IASB plans to require valuations and rentalincome to be removed from balance sheets and reclassified asfinancial assets.

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EPRA Director of Finance Gareth Lewis described the move as apotential shockwave. He says the issue now awaits a definitivedecision around the end of this month from the IASB and theFinancial Stability Board, housed in the Basel-based Bank forInternational Settlements. But he added: "We're very hopeful. Thereare still some board members, both at the IASB and FSB, who areopposed in principle to excluding a particular sector from newleasing rules… But it simply isn't appropriate for investmentproperty and we're just trying to address a few specific argumentsto make that clear… EPRA has led on this issue because it is such abig issue for European property firms."

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Another relatively recent initiative has been the release, by ateam led by EPRA Research Head Fraser Hughes, of data series on netasset value across Europe. These now allow comparisons of latestportfolio valuations with share prices, tracking the indices thatEPRA produces in concert with NAREIT and the UK's FTSE. "We nowcover all companies in the European part of the index - theEuropean part including the UK, in total around about 80companies," Hughes says. "We do a number of different splits thatdirectly mirror indices we run with FTSE. So for example we run aUK NAV index, we run a Europe ex-UK index, and we do Europe with UKand ex-UK pooled together. We also break that down into sectors andsplit it down between REITs and non-REITs. You can really slice anddice the European market as you like." Tying in with its work onbest practice, it is encouraging all European property firms toproduce an EPRA-based NAV and an EPRA triple-net NAV to allowdirect comparisons across firms, sectors and countries.

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

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