Recorded secured commercial real estate (CRE) syndicated lending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) reached €28.9bn in 2014, in the inaugural attempt to measure market volumes on a consistent basis with broader global bank syndication markets.
ING Syndicated Finance led the initiative, supported by the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Europe, to gather industry support and define measurement and reporting criteria equivalent to precedents in investment grade and leveraged loan markets globally.
Dealogic, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters collaborated in the first-of-its-kind league table data collection, in an initiative which is seen as the first step in increasing transparency in CRE syndicated lending markets and, potentially, stimulating further liquidity.
Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC and ING Syndicated Finance claimed the top three places for mandated lead arrangers by deal volume in 2014, recording €2.9bn, €2.1bn and €1.8bn, respectively.
ING Syndicated Finance, Credit Agricole CIB and Bank of America Merrill Lynch claimed the top three spots for bookrunner deal volumes in 2014, recording €2.3bn, €1.9bn and €1.2bn, respectively.
In the UK, HSBC, Barclays Bank and Wells Fargo claimed the coveted top three places as last year’s most active mandated lead arrangers, syndicating €2.6bn, €1.9bn and €1.4bn, respectively.
Full tables are published at the end of this article.
These two sets of figures exclude, and the headline €28.9bn annual tally for 2014, exclude syndicated volumes from REITs as these loans are almost entirely corporate unsecured loan.
EMEA syndicated lending, including loans to REITs, increases by €15.8bn to €44.7bn. Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC and ING Syndicated Finance claimed the top three spots, with €4.2bn, €3.3bn and €3.0bn, respectively.
ING Syndicated Finance, Credit Agricole CIB and Naxtis were the three largest bookrunners in EMEA last year with €2.5bn, €2.4bn and €2.1bn, respectively.
The German pfandbriefbanks are notable by their absence in the league tables as is Deutsche Bank which syndicated one of the largest loans in Europe last year, the €805m AG Facility which was one of the two loans in €1.5bn refinancing of IVG last autumn, in a process dubbed Project Surrogate.
As the tables become established, accuracy and completeness should increase, potentially also encompassing more bilateral, unsyndicated loans, which represent a larger proportion of the real estate lending market than they do in the wider debt markets covered by other league tables.
More than 25 lenders took part in the inaugural findings – which will in future be published bi-annually – with H1 2015 figures slated for a July publication and the subsequent 2015 year-on-year numbers planned for a February 2016 release.
Jean-Maurice Elkouby, managing director at ING Syndicated Finance said: “We’re delighted to see these first league tables, which we believe reflect at least 80% of the syndicated market.
“The initial focus has been on secured non-recourse commercial loans, as opposed to unsecured corporate facilities for REITs or CMBS. In the future, we hope both to broaden the universe, and to further improve coverage within it.”
Peter Cosmetatos, chief executive of CREFC Europe, said: “Better CRE lending market information is vital if we are to improve both the perception and the reality of liquidity, especially for non-originating investors.
“League tables have an important role to play alongside other initiatives – particularly given the trend towards larger syndicated facilities financing whole portfolios and the participation of an expanding range of lenders in the syndication market.”
Laurent Chenain, global head, real estate and hotel group at Crédit Agricole CIB, said these first CRE financing league tables provided “greater transparency to all constituents of the real estate market and generate a better understanding of the sector”.
Matt Webster, global head of real estate at HSBC, said: “We believe the CREFC-sponsored initiative to develop these league tables will introduce an increased level of transparency and become an important benchmark for lenders and clients alike.”
(Click tables for higher resolution).