Investor participation in funds that do social good has been slow even as asset managers such as Vanguard, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock's iShares have introduced exchange-traded funds focusing on environmental, social and governance factors. The launch of DWS Group's Xtrackers MSCI USA ESG Leaders Equity ETF may change that, as it is "best in class, and the companies that don't get into the index are motivated to improve," said Anna Hyrske, head of responsible investment for Ilmarinen, one of Finland's largest pension insurance companies and a backer of the Xtrackers ETF.
Record merger and acquisition activity last year doubled foreign investment in the US, with retail receiving the most inbound capital at $30.4 billion, according to a CBRE report. Office accounted for $20.3 billion, and multifamily accounted for $13.5 billion.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities has secured a 490,000-square foot lease from Pinterest at its planned 1 million-square-foot mixed-use project in San Francisco. Preleasing at 88 Bluxome St. is now approaching 60%.
Summit Healthcare REIT has acquired a stake in 14 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in Indiana for $125 million. Summit purchased the properties, which will be leased back on a triple-net basis, in a joint venture with a global institutional asset management firm.
First Industrial Realty Trust's year-end occupancy was 98.5%, a record high for the REIT, President and CEO Peter Baccile said. He said that last year, industrial transactions of more than $5 million totaled up to about $80 billion overall, adding that it's "tough from our seat to figure what's going to happen in 2019, but certainly the weight of capital looking to find a home in industrial continues to be significant, and so we would expect similar volumes."
Oregon's new statewide rent control law is limited in scope, but multifamily experts worry that as other state governments consider putting something similar in place, they will widen its applicability. "Once they have the law in place it is very easy for future lawmakers to simply decrease the amount that you can raise your rents," said John Sebree of Marcus & Millichap.
The US and China hope to sign a trade agreement toward the end of April at a summit at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, a US official says. Talks reportedly have stalled amid dissent over some issues, but US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will go to China next week with the aim of finalizing a deal.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's monthly fund manager survey shows equity allocations in February fell to their lowest point since September 2016 and reveals that a majority of managers are gloomy about global growth prospects. Of the respondents, 59% declared themselves bearish on the global economy's growth and inflation outlook over the next 12 months.
S&P Dow Jones Indices is offering four new indexes for real estate companies focused on sustainability performance. "With a significant amount of global carbon emissions being driven by the construction and operation of buildings, real estate is a particular industry of focus for environmental, social and governance investors," according to S&P.
Embassy Office Parks REIT's initial public offering was oversubscribed, with demand higher than expected from both institutional and noninstitutional investors. "The oversubscription of the REIT is a very encouraging sign for the real estate sector, and [e]specially for the commercial segment," said Shishir Baijal, the chairman and managing director of Knight Frank India, adding that "this is not just India's first REITs offering, but also the largest in Asia."
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