Citigroup Inc. has been named by the Wall Street Journal as the top equity underwriter for real estate investment trusts (REITs) in 2012, displacing longtime sector leader Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Citigroup ascended from a sixth place ranking in 2011, coordinating 45 deals with a combined value of $6.5 billion. The bank attributed its REIT dominance on the strength of its balance sheet.
‘We decided we were going to increase our capital commitment to the REIT sector because we felt confident we could manage the risk,’ says Thomas Flexner, global head of real estate for Citigroup.
According to the Wall Street Journal, REITs raised approximately $40 billion in equity last year, a new record. REITs accounted for 15% of the $258 billion in total equity issuance for all financial companies during 2012.