Brazil real estate funds: A local affair

Mar 1, 2013

Brazilian real estate funds are maturing – but getting international accounts involved is no easy task

By Ben Miller

While other asset classes in Brazil languish after a disappointing year, investment in Brazilian real estate funds shows little sign of letting up following record growth in 2012.

The market is poised for yet more expansion as investors flock to the sector, which offers the comfort of regular income and a diversity of projects in need of funding.

The real estate fund, or Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário (FII), nevertheless remains an asset for the domestic retail market. Thanks to the attractive tax exemptions, more than 87% of investors were individuals as of October 2012, according to market research firm Uqbar. Analysts say broader institutional participation could provide the spur for transforming the asset class.

Brazil’s government scrapped the IOF tax on FIIs in February, in a bid to draw in more buyers. But, like real estate trusts in many countries, Brazilian FIIs must pay out 95% of...

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