The measure adopted by the Superintendence of the Stock Market hopes to adapt the rules to the current financial and economic crisis to promote investment, especially in the construction sector.
Article 75 of the General Regulation of Administrative Agencies and Investment Funds currently says the following: "Net minimum assets - the property investment funds should have a net minimum assets of $5 million or the equivalent in Costa Rican Colones at the exchange rate used by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. This net assets is applicable for all new funds that are set up.:
Regarding the minimum amount of shares, article 76 states: "The minimum amount for the funds that only invest in property located withing the national territory is $1000 or the equivalent in Costa Rican colones at the exchange rate used by the Central Bank of Costa Rica.
In the case of funds that invest in property outside of the country, the minimum amount is $5000 or the equivalent in Costa Rican colones at the exchange rate used by the Central Bank of Costa Rica.
The minimum amount an investor can acquire is 1 share.
Real-estate development funds are a novelty in Costa Rica's financial markets and they have been slow to take off.
Although the market regulator, Sugeval, has authorized 13 projects to far, only one is actually under construction.
Market specialists say that investors are wary of any new concept, but some complain that the system involves too much red tape.
Initial expectations for the placement of shares in real estate funds worth $2 million was far surpassed, with a total of $9 million in the first year.
Laprensa.com.ni reports that "... the success of the FII is based on the fact that these pay a better percentage for the investment (from 6.5 to 8 percent a year), much more than is usually paid by the financial system on savings, but also offers fewer levels of risk for investors. This has recently allowed other economic groups to prepare similar products. "
Costa Rican financial group Interbolsa is looking for a partner to invest in its main asset, Interbolsa Sociedad Administradora de Fondos de Inversión.
50% of Interbolsa’s portfolio is composed of Real Estate Investment Trusts, considered the group’s key assets.
Interbolsa’s CEO, Danilo Montero, told Elfinancierocr.com that “they have been considering this possibility since last year, but there is nothing concrete yet”.
The $90 million invested in property in 2012 represented an increase of 86% compared with purchases made during 2011.
According to the Superintendency of Securities (Sugeval), until the last half of May this year, real estate portfolios had under their administration $871 million in net assets (including properties and some securities), 7% more than in the same period in 2012.
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