Portugal attracts a Spanish acquisition spree.

With Portugal’s 2011-14 debt crisis now firmly behind it, the Iberian economy has become an exciting destination for capital seeking higher returns thanks to the solid signs of an economic resurgence. The country’s property sector is fostering confidence among an increasing number of domestic and foreign investors. Last September, S&P Global Ratings affirmed the «BBB-» Foreign Currency LT credit rating of Portugal and revised outlook to positive from stable.

According to Steven Trypsteen from ING, the economy «has grown by 2.1% in 2018» after «quarterly growth rate in the first three quarters of 2018 averaged 0.4%». Despite the good performance, ING believes expects the economy to slowing down in 2019, following a higher GDP growth (of 2.8%) in 2017. Nevertheless, public debt and the budget deficit is expected to continue shrinking and unemployment, which hit 17.5 percent in 2013, has fallen to 6.6% since September 2018.

Spanish appetite for Portuguese is on the rise and this week has seen Spanish REIT, Merlin Properties SOCIMI pay 112 million for two office properties. Another Spanish fund, Mabel Capital, on the other hand has sold a plot of retail land it had purchased in early 2018.

According to elEconomista.com, Merlin Properties has bought «Art» and «TFM» two office complexes in the dynamic Avenida Parque das Nações (Expo) area with a combined GLA of 29,985m². The Art complex is comprised by 3 buildings with a GLA of 22,150m² and ample storeys which range between 1,380 and 3,190m². It includes 590 parking spaces and is 97% let to quality tenants including BNP Paribas, Huawei, Sage and DHL. On the other hand, TFM has a GLA of 7,835m² and 294 parking slots and is 100% let to service companies like Webhelp and Bold International.

Mabel Capital, on the other hand, has sold 186,000m² of land located in the town of Oeiras. The buyer is Jackyl, a fund launched in 2018 by former Meyer Bergman executive William Blake Loveless and headquartered in London, with offices in Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, and Nassau. This is Jackyl’s second acquisition in Portugal, after having bought 4 buildings in Rossio, in Lisbon, together with Mabel Capital and Harald McPike for €74M last year.

Mabel Capital and Jackyl plan to develop a shopping centre on the plot together.

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