Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A), an investment management firm based in Canada, is seeking discounted assets in Europe given the volume of sales happening in the region, according to Brian Lawson, chief financial officer of the company.
In addition to Europe, the investment management firm also believes there are opportunities in Latin America, and the commodity sector.
Brookfield Asset Management investing in Europe
During an investment conference in Montreal, Lawson said Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) is now focusing its investments in Europe because it is an attractive market. He emphasized that the economic situation in the region improved.
Earlier this month, analysts at Citi Research released a report indicating that Spanish banks will be selling their problem assets at discounts of around 10 percent to 15 percent by 2018. In the second quarter of 2013, 16.9 percent of domestic assets of Spanish banks are problem assets (forecloses real estate, substandard loans, non-performing loans, etc.). Citi Research projected that the banks in the country will reduce 30 percent of assets under such category until 2016, and the peak of asset sales will be next year.
Cheap investments in Spain
Given the situation of assets in Spain, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) might look around in the country for cheap investments. The investment management firm had been investing in the energy sector, infrastructure assets in the emerging markets, and real estate in the United States over the past five years.
According to Lawson, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) is now comfortable investing in Europe. “For the past while we’ve been buying non-European assets from European owners that are deleveraging. Now we’re a lot more comfortable…in buying assets on the continent,” said Lawson.
Brookfield’s asset under management
At present, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) C$7 billion assets under management in Europe and Middle East compared with C$114 billion in the United States. Its global portfolio has a market value of approximately $180 billion.
In Latin America, the investment management firm found opportunities in countries suffering from capital flights and declining currencies such as Brazil and Chile. Lawson explained, “All that money flowed in there and then it flowed out, and any time capital’s fleeing is a good time to be thinking about entering.”