U.S. property companies assess damage in Japan

By Reuters
Posted March 14 at 5:55 p.m.

U.S. real estate companies said on Monday they were trying to assess the damage that last week’s earthquake and tsunami may have inflicted on the hotels, warehouses and outlet centers they own in Japan.

The companies, including four real estate investment trusts (REITs), are expected to incur some property damage from the disaster. With a highly dense population in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, Japan is a favorite among U.S. real estate investors.

The worst-hit areas are mostly northeast of Tokyo, in the prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba, according to financial data provider SNL Financial. Japan’s 47 prefectures are akin to U.S. states.

All local employees of warehouse and distribution center owner AMB Property Corp (AMB.N) were accounted for, the San Francisco-based company said. It said the earthquake caused pavement to buckle and minor cosmetic damage at its properties in Tokyo.

AMB expects greater damage in the devastated city of Sendai. AMB said it has yet to have access those properties.

AMB said its properties in Japan are insured against tsunami and earthquake damage. It expects its insurance deductible to be less than $10 million.

About 60 percent of that is likely to be related to the properties the REIT owns. It expects the other 40 percent to be related to the properties belonging to the funds AMB manages for institutional investors.

ProLogis (PLD.N), which is set to merge with AMB, has four properties in the five prefectures, according to SNL. It did not return phone calls seeking information.

In afternoon trading AMB was down 2.1 percent at $34.20, while ProLogis fell 1.5 percent, at $15.23. Both underperformed the benchmark MSCI U.S. REIT Index .RMZ, which was off 1 percent.

Simon Property Group Inc., said it owns eight outlet centers in a joint venture with Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd. One of the outlets is located in Sendai. Its shares were off 1 percent, at $105.85.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. said its Westin Sendai suffered no structural damage and would be closed over the next few days due to lack of utilities. All guests and staff were all accounted for, the company said in a statement. Its shares were up 0.2 percent at $57.96.

CBRE Investors, which as a part of global property services company CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. manages funds that have $37.6 billion of assets, declined to comment. It has $400 million of assets under management in Asia. CB Richard Ellis shares were down 1.1 percent at $27.01.

LaSalle Investment Management, part of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., declined to comment, citing difficulty obtaining information about its properties in Japan. It manages $43 billion of investments around the world. Jones Lang shares fell 2.1 percent to trade at $97.82.


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One comment:

  1. Jack3d March 19 at 4:13 pm

    Pretty much all i’m able to state is that all of this really is a terrible occasion that may come with world wide results.