BL sees more debt for secondary assets

British Land is the latest investor to say that liquidity in the lending market is increasing for good secondary assets. Chief finance officer Lucinda Bell said: “We see the lending market particularly improving for good secondary property.

“It is unquestionably the case that the availability and pricing of debt has improved noticeably in the last six months, which is good for real estate”. British Land has a new five-year £290m unsecured revolving credit facility, provided by a syndicate of seven banks, three of which are new lenders to the REIT.

In addition to British Land’s main relationship banks, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, the syndicate includes JP Morgan, Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank, Bank of China, Scotiabank and Mega International Commercial Bank, headquartered in Taiwan.

Lloyds was the facility agent and coordinator. “A quarter of the amount comes from Asia,” said Bell. “We are very pleased to have a new relationship with Mega International Commercial Bank.” Scotiabank, Canada’s third largest, is also a new lender.

The facility, which carries an initial margin of 135p, was oversubscribed, prompting BL to increase it from the initial €200m planned; it remains open to other banks who might want to join within a month.