Axa plans to sell real estate holdings in France-report

PARIS, March 25 Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:18am EDT

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PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - French insurer Axa is planning to divest a portion of its French real estate holdings, which include offices, shops, and commercial buildings, over the next two years, according to the Financial Times.

Pierre Vaquier, who heads Axa Real Estate, told the paper in an interview that France was suffering from series of issues, including higher capital gains taxes put in place by the Socialist government, that made it "less attractive" for real estate investment.

As a result, Axa plans to divest some French real estate holdings to focus more on Germany, the UK and Scandinavia. One-third of Axa's real estate portfolio, which is worth 42 billion euros, is in France.

"The fundamentals of the economy are poor and there has been a lack of comprehensive reform compared to what has been done elsewhere in Europe. is becoming a middle of the pack economy," said Vaquier. (Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by David Holmes)

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