General risk factors in the business field where the group operates
The value of an investment into real estate can fluctuate in the short-term depending on the general economic situation, real estate lease and sale prices, demand and supply fluctuations. Investments into real estate should be made for a medium or long period in order that the investor could avoid the risk of short-term price fluctuations. Investments into real estate are related to higher-than-average risk. If investments are not profitable or in case of other unfavourable circumstances (inability to pay creditors in time), bankruptcy proceedings can be instituted against the Company. Redemption of the Shares is limited, i.e., a shareholder cannot demand that the Company or the Management Company, which took over its management, would redeem the Shares. But a shareholder will have a possibility to sell Shares in the secondary market.
Real estate development risk
Real estate projects developed by the Company can take longer than planned or cost more than planned and return on investments of the Company may decrease for this reason. Managing this risk, the Company will assign sufficient resources for control over the budgets and performance terms of real estate development projects.
Risk of inflation and deflation
There is a risk that in case of inflation the value of a Share will grow slower than the inflation, which would result in the return lower than inflation. In such a case, the real return earned by persons who sold the Shares of the Company in the market from increase in the value of the Shares can be smaller than expected. In case of deflation, there would be a risk that the value of the Company’s investments will decrease by reason of the drop of the general price level.
Real estate development tends to follow the general developments in the macroeconomic environment. Interest rates, unemployment, inflation, private consumption, capital expenditure and other macroeconomic indicators have significant influence on real estate developments and hence the operations and the potential profitability of the Group.
Favourable developments in the macroeconomic environment increase demand for real properties, allow the real estate companies to increase rent rates of properties and other prices related to activities of the Group. Adverse developments increase pressure on real estate prices, rent rates and yields. Hence the Group’s results are dependent on general macroeconomic environment and adverse developments in the environment might lead to reconsideration of some of the Group’s development plans, negative pressure on prices and rents of the Group’s properties or other changes in relation to the Group’s properties that might have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, results of operations, financial condition and profitability.
Cyclicality of the real estate sector
Real estate development is a cyclical sector. The number of real estate related transactions fluctuates significantly depending on the stage of the real estate cycle. In the Baltic countries has been relatively high lately as a fast growth in prices fuelled by availability of cheap financing was followed by a steep decline as a result of financial crisis. In the future the Baltic real estate market might regain the lost momentum, again inflating the price levels, which might be followed by overheating of the market and downward pressure on the prices, thus, starting the next real estate cycle.
Risk factors characteristic of the group
Risk of the management and human resources
The success of the Company’s investments will largely depend on decisions taken by persons in the Management Company who are responsible for management of the Company and on experience and capabilities of the said persons. There is no guarantee that the same persons will always remain responsible for management of the Company, however efforts will be used that activities of the Company would always be taken care of by properly qualified persons.
Dependence on external financing
The Group’s cash inflows currently are sufficient to finance operating cash outflows and to pay monthly instalments of repayments and interests’ payments of bank borrowings. However, further development of the Group’s activities will require substantial amounts of capital to fund capital expenditures. For this reason, failure to secure adequate levels of external financing might limit the Group’s growth plans and place it at competitive disadvantage as compared to well-capitalized peers. Failure to obtain external financing may lead to forced sale of assets at unfavourable prices or even cause insolvency which may have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, results of operation or financial condition and may destroy the shareholders’ value.
Risk related to lease agreements
The Group’s lease agreements may be divided into two categories: non-cancellable fixed-term lease agreements and cancellable lease agreements entered for an unspecified term. For the cancellable lease agreements, tenants must notify the administrator 1-6 months in advance if they wish to cancel the rent agreement.
The Group seeks to use both types of agreements, depending on the market situation and the properties in question. Lease agreements entered for an unspecified term involve nevertheless a risk that many such agreements may be terminated within a short period of time. The Group aims at renewing the fixed term lease agreements flexibly in cooperation with its tenants. There are, however, no guarantees that the Group will be successful in this. To prevent tenants from terminating the lease agreements, the Group may also be forced to agree on the reduction of rent fees. The reduction of rent fees payable to the Group under a large number of lease agreements and/or concurrent termination of a large number of lease agreements could have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Reliance on the administrator of the Company’s property
On 2 January 2013 the Company has entered into an agreement with a third party for property management and administration services on part of Company’s asset portfolio. An agreement was terminated on 1 January 2018, after the Company’s subsidiary Proprietas, UAB and the Company signed a property management and administration agreement. The detailed list of buildings, administered, based on this agreement is provided in Section 2.3. of the Company’s consolidated annual report “Information about the Issuer‘s group of companies”. Under this agreement the third party, as an administrator of the property, is committed to increase Company’s value and maintain high quality of service for buildings’ tenants and employees. In case of change in administrative prices in the market, new contracts under less favourable conditions can be entered into with administrator, which may directly influence the increase in Company’s costs.
Interest rate risk
There is a risk that in case of fast recovery of the global economy or increase in inflation, central banks will increase interest rates and it will be more expensive to service loans in connection with the Company’s investments, therefore, the value of the Company’s investments can decrease. To avoid this risk, the Management Company shall seek that the Company would get most of its loans at fixed interest rates. If it seems necessary, the Company shall hedge against interest rate risk when entering relevant transactions.
Rising interest rates will increase the Group’s debt service costs, which will reduce the return on investment. If considered necessary, the Group will manage interest rate risk by entering financial derivatives’ contracts.
Leverage risk is related to possible depreciation of real estate objects acquired with borrowed money. The bigger the leverage, the higher probability of this risk is.
The Company has given and may have given loans to other companies, therefore, in case of deterioration of the financial condition of those companies, there is a risk that the Company will not get back all the loans granted by it.
This is a risk to incur losses due to low liquidity of the market when it becomes difficult to sell assets at the desired time at the desired price. In management of this risk, the Company will regularly monitor the real estate market, will get ready for the property sale process in advance, in this way reducing the liquidity risk. Acquiring Shares, the shareholders also assume the risk of securities liquidity – in case of a drop in demand for Shares or delisting them from the stock exchange, investors would find it difficult to sell them. In case of deterioration of the Company’s financial situation, the demand for Shares, as well as their price may decrease. Liquidity risk also covers the cash flow disruption risk incurred by the Company due to late payments and/or full default on monetary obligations by insolvent tenants.
Total investment risk
The value of the investment in real estate can vary in the short term, depending on the general economic conditions, rent and purchase prices of real estate, demand and supply fluctuations, etc. Investment in real estate should be carried out in the medium and long term, so that the investor could avoid short-term price fluctuations. Investing in real estate is related to higher than medium risks. Failure of investments of the Group or under other ill-affected circumstances (having been unable to pay for the creditors) can have a significant adverse effect on the Group’s performance and financial situation or in the worst-case scenario bankruptcy proceedings may be initiated.
Investment diversification risk
This is a risk that one bad investment can have a significant effect on the results of the Company. To reduce this risk, the Company will have a sufficient number of different real estate objects in its portfolio, in this way maintaining the proper diversification level.
The Company will seek to let real estate objects at as high prices as possible. Though currently the rent is paid in time (overdue obligations of tenants are very small and are not significant for activities of the Company), there is a risk that upon change (deterioration) of the economic situation the tenants will default on their obligations – this would have a negative impact on the profit and cash flows of the Company. In case of late performance of a large part of obligations, the ordinary business of the Company may be disrupted, it may be necessary to search for additional sources of financing, which may be not always available. The Company, in case of failure to earn planned income from lease or to maintain a high percentage of occupation of the buildings, can face the problem of costs that are not compensated by permanent tenants. This risk may manifest itself in case of big increase in the supply of rented premises and reduction in demand, drop-in rental fees. In case of a failure to let the premises at planned prices or in planned scopes, also in case current tenants terminate their lease agreements, the income of the Company could decrease, whereas fixed costs would remain the same. Accordingly, the profit of the Company would decrease.
Risk of valuation of the Company’s assets
The assets of the Company will be evaluated according to the main rules set in the Articles of Association and the Accounting Policy of the Management Company. Valuation of individual assets held by the Company shall be performed by the independent appraiser, however such valuation of assets shall be only determining the value of the assets, which does not automatically mean the exact sale price of an investment held by the Company, which depends on many circumstances, for example, economic and other conditions, which cannot be controlled. Thus, the sale price of investments held by the Company can be higher or lower than the value of assets determined by a property appraiser.
The Company, investing into investment objects, will compete with other investors, including, without limitation, with other investment companies or real estate investment funds. Thus, there is a risk that competition with other investors will demand that the Company would conduct transactions at less favourable conditions than it would be possible in other cases.
Risk factors related to the company’s shares (investments thereto)
Acquisition of Shares entails the risk to incur losses due to unfavourable changes in the Share price in the market. A drop in the price of the Shares can be caused by negative changes in the value of assets and profitability of the Company, general share market trends in the region and in the world. Trade in Shares can depend on comments of financial brokers and analysts and announced independent analyses about the Company and its activities. If the analysts give an adverse opinion about prospects of the Shares, this can also have a negative effect on the price of Shares in the market. In assessing Shares, non-professional investors are advised to address intermediaries of public trading or other specialists in this field for help.
Dividend payment risk
Though the Company has approved its dividend payment policy, payment of dividend to Shareholders is not guaranteed and will depend on profitability of activities, investments plans and the general financial situation.
Liquidity of the Issuer’s Shares is not guaranteed
It may be possible that in case an investor wants to urgently sell the Issuer’s securities (especially a large number of them), demand for them on the exchange will not be sufficient. Therefore, sale of shares can take some more time, or the investor may be forced to sell shares at a lower price. Analogous consequences could appear after the exclusion of the Company’s Shares from the Secondary List of Nasdaq. Besides, in case of deterioration of the Company’s financial situation, demand for the Shares of the Company and, at the same time, their price may decrease.