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NEW YORK CITY-Most distressed investors or funds, both here and abroad, are very selective in today’s market due to the amount of opportunities. So said panelists at Thursday afternoon’s “Opportunities for Buyers and Sellers in Sales of Distressed Assets” session at the Distressed Real Estate Investing Summit here.

“Investors are flooded with opportunities,” explained panelist Alex Moglia, president of Moglia Advisors. “They want easy deals,” he added, noting that many investors are still holding back and waiting for assets to get cheaper.

Lorie Beers, managing director of KPMG Corporate Finance LLC agreed with Moglia. “There is still liquidity in the market,” she said. “There is also great opportunity for foreign investors in US real estate to take advantage of the hedge. It is a currency play, but you still need solid fundamentals.”

Beers continued that these foreign investors or foreign funds are looking at the long-term investment as opposed to the US investor. “The US investor is looking for the ROI (return on investment) from the get go.”

When moderator John Collen, partner of Quarles & Brady LLP asked panelists how investors actually find out about opportunities, most responded that it is all about meeting people and marketing. “Marketing, marketing, marketing,” Moglia said. “Find out where the loan may be in an earlier stage than others. You should be mining those relationships from financial institutions.”

Beers said that if investors want to invest in distressed arenas, they need to make sure they are in that deal flow. “Investors have to get on investment banker’s list for when assets or portfolios come up.”

Alec Ostrow, a shareholder at Stevens & Lee PC explained that there are other ways to acquire assets than just buying the assets itself. “Purchasing a loan or a buying a lien is an indirect way of getting to land. In bankruptcy, we have discovered all kind of things that can trade such as unsecured claims, mortgage claims, liens and more,” he said. “There are enormous opportunities if investors buy the debt instead of the asset.”

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