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Rising Debt Costs Hit Income At Brookfield Property

Canary Wharf in east London

Brookfield has marked down the value of its stake in the Canary Wharf estate in east London by £202M ($231M), as the company’s real estate portfolio saw the funds it generates hit by the rising cost of debt across the world.

In a quarterly filing for the three months ending in September, Brookfield Property Partners said Canary Wharf Group was valued at just under $3.3B at the end of September, compared to $3.53B at the start of the year.

For context, the Canary Wharf valuation is still higher than the $3.2B at which it was valued in September 2019. Brookfield owns the estate in a joint venture with the Qatar Investment Authority

Brookfield did not go into detail as to why the value of the estate had dropped. But when outlining the performance of its global office portfolio, it said funds from operations for the third quarter were $43M, compared to $153M for the third quarter of 2021. FFO is a measure of cash flow used by real estate companies. 

That big drop was a result of paying more interest on its debt due to higher interest rates and because Brookfield sold more apartments in Canary Wharf in Q3 2021 than in Q3 2022, the company said. 

The net rental income from its office portfolio only dropped from $266M to $263M between Q3 2021 and 2022. On a same-property basis, it actually increased from $252M to $263M. 

But that increase was overridden by the rise in interest payments. Across its whole portfolio, Brookfield paid $707M of interest in Q3, compared to $616M in Q3 2021.

Brookfield has $36.3B of secured debt, $2.7B of which comes due for maturity in 2022, $11.2B of which matures in 2023, and $9.8B of which matures in 2024. 

The company said it was confident of refinancing the debt coming due over the next few years, but highlighted it had stopped making payments on 1.2% of its debt, about $360M, and was in restructuring talks with lenders. 

Brookfield Property Partners’ portfolio comprises $60B of assets, including 132 office properties, 111 malls and stakes in the opportunity funds Brookfield manages. The company was privatised in 2021 and is owned by Brookfield Asset Management