Sanctions on UK and EU-based Russian asset holders will add to downward pricing pressures, says Real Estate expert

Bayes Business School Senior Research Fellow believes actions against Russia could lead to more stringent asset financing.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has, as expected, triggered multiple sanctions in response – including the cutting off of Western services, banning from the SWIFT messaging system and the attempted seizing of Russian-owned domestic assets.

These assets include businesses and property. As the search for Russian Oligarch wealth continues, lending behaviours are already changing according to Dr Nicole Lux, Senior Research Fellow at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) and lead author of the bi-annual UK Commercial Real Estate Lending Report.

“From a lending perspective we are already seeing a change in lender behaviour towards assets where the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) or shareholder is of Russian origin,” Dr Lux said.

“Because these assets are no longer financeable, we have already seen certain European property companies and property funds being rejected for refinancing by banks.

“As part of their ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) processes, banks will complete checks on all directors and shareholders of organisations they lend to. At the moment it is fair to expect that companies and individuals related to specific activities like financing war, sales of weapons, terrorism or from a black-listed country of origin will not be financed.

“At this stage, it is too early to say how many companies are already being affected by this, but it is quite safe to say this could add to a growing list of property portfolios that have been liquidated in a short space of time.

“All this will add further downward pressures on pricing as organisations with such investments seek quick sales of assets.”

All quotes can be attributed to Dr Nicole Lux, Senior Research Fellow at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass).

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