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Equity star capitalises on Catalan vote to up Spanish property

Equity star capitalises on Catalan vote to up Spanish property

Top rated manager David Robinson has upped his exposure to Spanish real estate amid concerns caused by pro-independence parties winning the regional elections in Catalonia.

Robinson said he increased his position in Inmobiliaria Colonial in September against the backdrop of pro-separatist parties topping polls on 27 September.

The Citywire AAA-rated manager, who previously championed attractive ideas in the Spanish market, made the comments in an update for the Melchior Selected Trust European Opportunities fund.

‘Following the recent acquisition of a holding in Merlin Properties, the fund also took advantage of an attractive entry point that arose form technical pressure from a forced seller, as well as concerns about Catalan independence ahead of the regional elections in Catalonia, to increase materially our holding in Inmobiliaria Colonial’ he said.

‘In addition to a fine portfolio in Paris, Colonial has some of the best commercial real estate assets in Madrid and Barcelona. This was a good opportunity to add to the position at close to a highly conservative net asset value and just as Spanish prime commercial rental values are starting to turn up.’

Spanish property has emerged as a hugely popular theme among European equity managers over the past year, with the likes of Dean Tenerelli at T Rowe Price and SW Mitchell Capital’s Stuart Mitchell having highlighted opportunities here.

This is while domestic investors have also strongly backed the sector, as showcased by a Citywire Global analysis carried out in June.

Top-performing Spanish equity managers such as Jose Ramón Iturriaga of Abante and Javier Ruíz Ruíz of Metagestión were revealed to be holding real estate firms, notably Merlin Properties, among their largest positions.

The Melchior Selected Trust European Opportunities fund has returned 70.2% in euro terms over the three years to the end of September 2015. This compares with a rise of 36.6% by the MSCI Pan Euro TR EUR, its Citywire-assigned benchmark, over the same period.

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