The U.K. Financial Services Authority is investigating ICAP regarding possible manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate. The regulator might be attempting to determine whether ICAP passed information between banks.
San Bernardino County in California plans to hold a public meeting today on the idea of using eminent domain to seize certain troubled mortgages. Experts have been raising concerns about the idea since it was first proposed last year.
Starwood Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group LLC are buying LNR Property LLC for $1.05 billion.
Starwood Property will pay $856 million for most of the distressed asset manager's business units. That includes LNR's special servicing unit and half of its stake in Auction.com.
Debt is becoming available to a broader segment of the commercial real estate market, participants at the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council conference said. The B piece is also strengthening. Some reservations were expressed, though. "It seemed like most attendees felt as though the market is headed in the right direction in 2013, but there is still some nervousness," said Marielle Jan de Beur, managing director and head of structured products research CMBS and real estate research for Wells Fargo Securities.
There is plenty of opportunity in commercial real estate and REITs now, says Host Hotels & Resorts President and CEO Ed Walter, who is the new chair of NAREIT. In large part this is due to the robust debt and equity markets, he says. "Admittedly, cap rates are lower, and part of the reason for that is we have both an optimistic outlook on growth and an abundance of capital. When you look at CRE pricing compared to alternate investments, there's a pretty healthy premium."