The REIT regime — comprising SIICs, Sociétés d’Investissements Immobiliers Cotées— that came into force in France on 1 January 2003 is widely perceived by market participants to have proved a great success. As the “SIIC Ranking by Market Capitalisation” chart below shows, there are now 45 SIICs in France, representing an overall market capitalisation of Ä33 billion and, as of 31 December 2008, Ä101 billion of property GAV.
The main reasons for the success of the French SIIC market are twofold. First, the initial regulations provided flexibility and an investor-friendly framework, with very few constraints. Second, the introduction of the regime corresponded to a time of strong appeal of real estate as an asset class, as well as bullish stock markets, at least up to February 2007. T