Hammerson sees UK shop lettings uncertainty

Dundrum Shopping Centre

UK shopping centre landlord Hammerson — which owns the Dundrum Shopping Centre here — said the impact of Britain’s decision to leave the EU on property valuations was still unknown, but the lettings and investment markets were facing a period of uncertainty.

The company, which partly owns the Brent Cross Shopping Centre in London, said its external valuers had said that the probability of their valuations exactly matching the price achieved if Hammerson sold its assets had reduced after the Brexit vote.

Concerns have risen that prices for commercial properties may fall after the vote, with some investors worried that international retailers and banks may move some operations to other EU locations, hurting demand for property.

Lawyers and brokers have told Reuters that buyers, predominantly private equity players, were managing to secure “Brexit discounts” on property of up to 10% since the vote, as some sellers agree to let go of assets for less.

Hammerson’s shares have lost about 7% of their value since June 23, the day when Britain voted to leave the EU.

Hammerson, however, said yesterday that demand to rent had stayed strong for high-quality retail property and that it had signed 20 leases for higher-than-estimated rental values after the referendum.

“We have been reassured by the level of leasing and investment activity post the EU referendum... highlighting continued appetite for high-quality retail property,” chief executive David Atkins said.

The company’s adjusted profit, which best reflects earnings and excludes changes in valuations, rose 6% to £112.6m pounds in the six months ended June 30.

Hammerson intended to pursue a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange by early September to ensure that it has access to a “wider pool” of international capital, the company said.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen Asset Management said market gains after Britain’s surprise vote to leave the European Union had boosted its funds, more than offsetting the impact of customers withdrawing their money in favour of less risky investments. 

Emerging markets, in which many of Aberdeen’s funds specialise, have bounced in recent months after three years of weakness amid persistent concerns about global growth, particularly China, and the prospect of rising US interest rates.

That recovering trend, driven by prospects for central banks taking monetary measures to support growth, has helped boost Aberdeen shares in recent months.

Many investors remain nervous towards emerging markets, however, and continue to pull money from the asset class, a trend also seen in a recent update from rival Ashmore which reported a quarterly net outflow of £700m (€835m).


Lifestyle

There is just one universally heard buzz word in the wine world these days and that is ‘sustainability’.Wine List: The top sustainable wines to buy right now

Esther N McCarthy finds funky fabric and Bantry baskets as well as exploring virtual galleries. Wish List: In pursuit of funky fabric and Bantry baskets

Pubs have been closed across this island for over two months. Can you imagine if they were closed for 14 years? To mark the centenary of the introduction of Prohibition in the US, Robert O'Shea selects examples of its cultural legacyWhat did Prohibition ever do for us?

Des O'Driscoll looks at some of the top picks on the TV today.TV highlights: A new 'make-under' dating show and Kevin McGahern paints celeb protraits

More From The Irish Examiner