BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – sold all its investments in the Polish real estate business and closed its Warsaw office on May 31. The company will continue to monitor the Polish market using resources within Europe and the exit will not affect its retail mutual funds business in Poland, a BlackRock spokesman said.
The company sold its last office investment in Warsaw’s flagship Rondo 1 tower for about EUR300m. At the end of 2014 had USD22bn in real-estate assets under management. “In line with current strategy and due to the current property market fundamentals, the business does not view Poland as a core investment market for deploying capital over the short term and as a result closed our office effective 31st May, 2016,” BlackRock wrote in a statement sent to Eurobuild CEE.
“As with other non-core markets, we will continue to monitor the Polish market using our resources within Europe. This does not affect any other offices in the region,” the company – which has two other offices in Central Europe (Bratislava and Vienna) – said.
“Investors, particularly from the US and Canada, are looking to diversify into European real estate,” said Thomas Mueller, a portfolio manager who joined BlackRock’s London office in February to oversee an increase in investment focused on office buildings in France and Germany. “The devaluation of the euro is clearly an interesting play for them.”