At least it's stopped raining. No one likes the rain at MIPIM. It means you have to go into the Exhibition Hall, universally known as the Bunker, and that just wouldn't do. Ah, the Bunker. You can tell who's up and who's down by what is plastered to the front of it. I'm looking at a combination of Cushman & Wakefield, The Future Starts in Skolkovo (your guess is as good as mine) and the Qatar Urban Forum. I can also see a tiny little bit of Manchester and a little corner of Stockholm. You see, it's very international here.
Reading the MIPIM NEWS with my coffee this morning, it looks like the Russians are getting all the coverage. They've certainly spent the money. The headline is "Success story in Russia - overcoming Stereotypes" - with all the news coming out of the Russian elections, I expect they have their work cut out for them.
You have to look quite hard in the magazine for anything about the UK, notwithstanding that it is still one of the most active and established property markets.
When I first came to MIPIM, 16 years ago, I'd say that it was 80 percent British. It may actually have been more than that. A reflection of the - as then- fairly sleepy European property market, the Brits dominated. So did the banks. I regularly used to host lunches (I use the term loosely - they often drifted into dinners) for representatives of 20 or so banks. They were fairly raucous affairs and no business was actually done - it was all about the networking. Even if bankers are allowed to come to MIPIM these days (and few are) they will be keeping a fairly low profile and certainly won't be hosting any large parties on the beach, or hiring any yachts. It wouldn't look good in the Daily Mail.
But there is money here, and I'm here to talk to it. You may have heard many people say that MIPIM is better now; that the people down here actually want to do business and that it's more serious. I'd agree with that. After my various meetings with the money during the day, I'm jointly hosting a dinner with GVA, at which there will be represented borrower, lender, credit, mezz provider, lawyer and valuer. All of us want to know who else is there because time is precious and this year, we mean business.