Articles

New Act on Regulated Real Estate Companies published in Belgian Official Journal

New Act on Regulated Real Estate Companies published in Belgian Official Journal

New Act on Regulated Real Estate Companies published in Belgian Official Journal

30.06.2014 BE law

 

The Belgian Act of 12 May 2014 on regulated real estate companies (the “REITs Act”) was published in the Belgian Official Journal today.

The complete text of the REITs Act can be found here.

Overview

The REITs Act follows the recent publication of the Belgian Act of 19 April 2014 on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (the “AIFM Act”)1. The REITs Act introduces a new category of regulated real estate company (“société immobilière réglementée”/“gereglementeerde vastgoedvennootschap”) (“SIR”/“GVV”) which will not fall under the scope of the AIFM Act.

For the purposes of the REITs Act an SIR/GVV is (i) a company incorporated for an unlimited duration, (ii) whose business activity is exclusively the placing of real properties at the disposal of users (i.e., for their purposes of these users’ raising, renovating, developing, acquiring, selling, managing and exploiting of real properties) and, as the case may be and within the limits set forth in the REITs Act, the holding of real estate certificates, shares or units in real estate investment companies or funds, and (iii) is licensed as such by the Financial Services and Market Authority (“FSMA”).

The SIR/GVV must pursue a business strategy enabling it to hold its real properties on a long-term basis. When exercising its activities the SIR/GVV must focus on active management, which implies that it must, amongst other things, exercise its activities by itself without the possibility of delegating them to third parties.

The REITs Act distinguishes between two types of SIR/GVV:

  • a public SIR/GVV, whose shares are admitted to trading on a regulated market, and it raises capital by means of a public offer; and
  • an institutional SIR/GVV, which is under the exclusive or joint control of a public SIR/GVV, and it raises capital solely from eligible investors acting on their own behalf and whose securities may only be acquired by such investors.

The REITs Act lays down rules regarding conditions for authorisation (such as governance, management structure, organization, real estate expert, etc.), operational conditions (inter alia risk management, remuneration, conflicts of interest, insurance coverage, prohibitions, inventory and valuation, periodic information, accounting rules), and supervision which are largely similar to the rules that applied to existing closed-end real estate investment funds (“sicafis”/“vastgoedbevaks”) before the AIFM Act’s entry into force .
 

Pursuant to the REITs Act, the existing closed-end real estate investment funds (“sicafis”/“vastgoedbevaks”) will have the option of converting itself into an SIR/GVV within four months after the REITs Act enters into force, as a result of which they will avoid falling under the scope of the AIFM Act while maintaining the benefit of the existing tax regime for sicafis/vastgoedbevaks. It is important to note in this respect that the REITs Act gives an exit right for shareholders who vote against the adoption of the new SIR/GVV status during the shareholders' meeting whereby such shareholders can request the real estate investment company to buy back up to €100,000 of its shares.

Entry into force

The date of entry into force of the REITs Act will be set by Royal Decree (which is yet to be published).

Footnote

  1. For further information on the new AIFM Act, please refer to our Banking and Finance Letter of 17 June 2014)

All rights reserved. Care has been taken to ensure that the content of this e-bulletin is as accurate as possible. However the accuracy and completeness of the information in this e-bulletin, largely based upon third party sources, cannot be guaranteed. The materials contained in this e-bulletin have been prepared and provided by Stibbe for information purposes only. They do not constitute legal or other professional advice and readers should not act upon the information contained in this e-bulletin without consulting legal counsel. Consultation of this e-bulletin will not create an attorney-client relationship between Stibbe and the reader. The e-bulletin may be used only for personal use and all other uses are prohibited.

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Related news

11.10.2021 NL law
Vervolgonderzoek van de AFM naar incidentmeldingen door asset managers

Articles - Sinds de uitbraak van het coronavirus wordt ook in de financiële sector meer op afstand samengewerkt. Dat brengt specifieke risico’s met zich mee. De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) gaat daarom vervolgonderzoek doen naar het melden van incidenten door asset managers. De reden is het uitblijven van een stijging van het aantal incidentmeldingen ondanks herhaalde oproepen daartoe.

Read more

15.10.2021 NL law
BRRD II implementation in the Netherlands

Short Reads - Recently, the Dutch bill for the implementation of BRRD II (i.e. Directive (EU) 2014/59 establishing a framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions and investment firms, as amended by Directive (EU) 2019/879) in the Netherlands was submitted to Dutch Parliament, where it is currently under debate.

Read more

14.10.2021 NL law
NFTs: New legal challenges on the horizon

Short Reads - Non-Fungible Tokens, widely known as NFTs, have recently gained much attention due to their role in the transfer of digital artworks. The market for NFTs grew from USD 13.5m in the first six months of 2020 to USD 2.5bn in the first half of 2021 and is still growing at an expansive rate. Notwithstanding their increasing popularity in the world of art, NFTs have many potential applications. In this blog Maciek Bednarski, Annemijn Witkam and Roderik Vrolijk explain what NFTs are and describe some of the legal challenges they will bring about.

Read more

07.10.2021 NL law
Intrekking van natuurvergunningen en de praktijk: de stand van zaken en de rol van significantie van eventuele effecten

Short Reads - Onherroepelijke natuurvergunningen lijken anno 2021 geen rustig bezit meer te zijn. Bij provincies liggen op dit moment verzoeken voor om tot intrekking van (onherroepelijke) natuurvergunningen over te gaan. Intrekking zou een noodzakelijke passende maatregel zijn ter uitvoering van artikel 6, lid 2 Habitatrichtlijn. Jurisprudentie geeft inmiddels enige duidelijkheid. Maar de praktijk blijkt weerbarstig en laat zien dat de nodige vragen onbeantwoord blijven. In dit blog bespreken wij de stand van zaken.

Read more