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Allianz turns lender to boost property investments

Reuters Tribune
Allianz logos are pictured in front of the headquarter of German insurer Allianz AG in Munich (Alexandra Winkler Reuters, REUTERS / June 22, 2006)

Allianz logos are pictured in front of the headquarter of German insurer Allianz AG in Munich (Alexandra Winkler Reuters, REUTERS / June 22, 2006)


MUNICH (Reuters) - Allianz , Europe's largest insurer, is taking advantage of banks' diminished appetite for lending against real estate by offering loans to boost its investment in property.



The loans offer a similar return to the rental yields on acquired buildings and help Allianz to overcome a scarcity of prime real estate investment opportunities, Olivier Piani, chief executive officer of Allianz Real Estate, said.

Declining margins on assets traditionally considered safe, such as German or U.S. government bonds, have sent investors, including Allianz, rushing to put their money into property.

"Margins (on loans) were traditionally too low, but they have caught up so that lending against real estate is similar to buying real estate," Piani told Reuters.

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