In the midst of the hand shaking, deal making and the all-around merry-making, one thing stood out at this year's MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France. While there was plenty of “cautiously upbeat optimism,” there was little talk (except for a dour assessment by keynote speaker and former German minister of foreign affairs Joschka Fischer) about the economic crisis affecting much of Europe, including the full scale Greek debt crisis that now threatens to envelop both Italy and Greece. It was the elephant in the room of which no one spoke, and business continued as usual.

In the meantime, major lending institutions in countries such as Germany and Ireland are bringing record numbers of loans to market. Jones Lang LaSalle predicts the European note sale market will rise to more than $20 billion this year and be characterized by larger portfolio sales and recovery rates meeting or exceeding book values. This is because European lenders will face increasing pressure to deleverage themselves of the large volume of debt coming up for refinancing through 2013.

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