INDUSTRY NEWS

Property bargain hunters look to raise cash

Further evidence that the commercial property market is bottoming out comes as Great Portland Estates prepares a rights issue to raise cash in order to take advantage of depressed property prices.

The London commercial property developer hopes to raise around £150 million – possibly the first publicly-listed company in the UK to do so with the aim of solely purchasing new property, rather than shoring up their ailing balance sheets, as numerous other companies have been forced to do.

Analysts suggest that Great Portland Estates will use the new money to continue their strategy of buying office space in central London.

Favourable exchange rates have meant that some European investors have started buying properties in London but, hampered themselves by the weak pound and the difficulties of staying afloat with limited credit and falling rents, UK investors have only just begun to follow suit.