Investors Chronicle: Bargain shares opportunities

Writing in the Investor’s Chronicle, Simon Thompson says he is “not concerned” by the “modest decline” in year-end net asset value (NAV), as this partly reflects the revaluation of several group properties which have still proved very strong investments. 

He also points towards our multiple income streams and relatively high recent rent collection rates, particularly in the UK, which points towards “the quality of tenants who account for two-thirds of third-party funds.”

Thompson concluded: “The company has generated annualised growth in net assets (including dividends) of 22.7 per cent a year over the past decade, the primary reason why the shares have produced a 155 per cent total return since I included them in my 2011 Bargain Shares Portfolio.

“On a modest price/earnings (PE) ratio of 9.5, offering a 4.5 per cent dividend yield, and on a 33 per cent discount to NAV, the shares remain on my buy list.”

Ben Habib, First Property Group: Contracts must be respected. Otherwise everything will fall like a house of cards

First Property Group Chief Executive Ben Habib gives an interview to Polish retail news specialist Retailnet.pl, in which discusses the recent economic and health crisis. 

“The Polish government must be praised for how it handled the current crisis,” he says. “They reacted quickly, and help was directed primarily to those sectors of the economy that suffered the most.”

Market Musings: Podcast No.26 with Ben Habib from First Property Group

Chief Executive Ben Habib appeared on the Market Musings with Fairbairn & Russell podcats, to discuss his career in business and the history of the company

“Since 2007, First Property Group… has had a cumulative growth in net assets of 25 percent per annum… from the peak of the last boom to the current position,” he told the presenters.

Ben Habib: There is Brighter Weather Ahead in Poland for Property Investor After the Covid Story 

First Property Group Chief Executive Ben Habib writes a column in The Property Chronicle magazine explaining why he continues to invest in Poland.

“The country continues to tick all the boxes; a virile economy, prudent spending, and sensible management of the COVID-19 crisis have maintained my faith in this economy, which I started to invest in back in 2005,” he writes.

“And amazingly, they are already able to start easing the crippling lockdown restrictions imposed across the continent, beginning last week. This is critical, as those countries which emerge earliest and with good balance sheets will do the best.”

Investors Chronicle: ‘First Property is a shrewd operator’

Simon Thompson analyses First Property Group’s recent announcements on sales we’ve completed, new leases we’ve signed, and our share price. The columnist reports the sale of our share in the CH8 tower in Warsaw “generating an eye-catching internal rate of return (IRR) of 63 per cent since its acquisition in 2014” and argues “there is still a glaring valuation anomaly still to exploit…”

He adds: “Effectively, you are getting a free ride on these investments and a fund management business that manages £602m of third-party assets even though the company has a track record of outperformance, delivering an IRR of 25 per cent (including dividends) since 2006.”

Press Release: Warsaw’s CH8 Tower sells for €44 million (£38 million): First Property Group PLC completes transformational sale as Polish market bucks negative trends

First Property Group PLC, the property fund manager and investor, announces the sale of its [50.3] per cent interest in the CH8 Tower – also known as Chałubinskiego 8 – in central Warsaw for €44 million (£38 million).

Chief Executive Ben Habib argues the deal reflects the strength of Poland’s economy as commercial property transactions hit record rates ahead of coronavirus crisis. The sale nets Group their largest ever cash windfall of £16.7 million (€19.6 million), substantially increasing their future purchasing power into the hundreds of millions.