(MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune) The Kingdom has made a foray into the Global Real Estate Transparency Index for the year along with 25 other nations. The Kingdom was in the middle of a major construction boom with the current projects valued at 7.4 billion and another staggering 18.3 billion worth of projects on the way.
The Global Real Estate Transparency Index is jointly compiled by LaSalle Investment Management, a leading global real estate investment manager with 50.4 billion of assets under management and Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm specialising in real estate, covering 82 countries, territories and administrative regions on six continents.
This is based on a transparency survey that assesses five key attributes of real estate transparency - performance measurement, market fundamentals, listed vehicles, legal and regulatory environment and the transaction process.
The scores range between one and five, with one being the highest level of transparency and five being opaque. Countries are grouped into the following broad bands - Highly Transparent (Tier 1), Transparent (Tier 2), Semi-Transparent (Tier 3), Low Transparency (Tier 4) and Opaque (Tier 5).
The Kingdom was placed in the semi transparent group.
Emerging markets have significantly improved their levels of real estate transparency, according to the survey.
The survey reveals that in 2008, eight countries moved up a full transparency tier since the last index in 2006.
Dubai, Romania, Ukraine and Russia showed the biggest improvements in transparency over the last two years.
The Index, which provides a rigorous framework for comparing the level of real estate transparency in 82 markets around the world, shows that nearly half of the countries surveyed in 2006 demonstrated a significant improvement in their transparency score two years later.
Transparency levels globally are improving as governments seek to streamline regulatory and legal hurdles to aid cross-border movement of capital and corporate facilities.
Only Venezuela posted a lower transparency score this year compared with 2006, principally due to changes in government regulations and new taxation policies targeting foreign investors.
Dr Lee Elliot, a Director in Jones Lang LaSalle's Research team said: "The steady improvement in transparency, particularly over the last four years, is closely linked to the forces of globalisation that drive investors to move across borders in search of higher risk-adjusted returns.
This movement of both capital and corporations around the world has created an even greater need for information about markets.
It has also created an incentive for governments to streamline bureaucratic practices which prevent the free flow of capital into and out of global markets."
"Many cross-border investors focus on more mature, open and transparent real estate markets such as the UK, Canada, Netherlands and Hong Kong.
However, opportunistic investors will consider the emerging, less mature, less open and semi-transparent markets, but will require higher returns to compensate for the higher risks associated with lower transparency.
Only the most opportunistic investors will consider semi-transparent markets found in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia."