Monthly Archives: February 2011

Immofinanz’s Zehetner strikes back

If you read German, or if you can deal with google’s translator, Immofinanz’s CEO Eduard Zehetner has jumped on the blog bandwagon with posts of this own. Interestingly, it’s being done on the company’s actual webpage. His latest posting was a rejection of allegations that appeared in the Austrian media about him allegedly engaging in insider trading. It gets tasty when he wonders aloud if the disgraced Immofinanz czar Karl Petrikovics isn’t in some way involved.

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CSOB profits down 22%

Profits for KBC bank’s Czech unit CSOB fell 22% to CZK 13.46bn, but bank officials have chalked this up to the extra money made in 2009 by the sale of CSOB’s Slovak division to KCB for CZK 6.8bn. Otherwise, the bank reported underlying net profit of CZK 13bn, a rise of 24%, due primarily to a fall in loan risks.

Union Investment acquires Zebra Tower in Warsaw

Union Investment has acquired the Zebra Tower office and retail building in Warsaw for approximately €76m. The seller of the class A building is Austrian developer S+B Gruppe. The building was completed during the fourth quarter of 2010 and is situated in the center of Warsaw. It has a total area of around 18,280 sqm on 17 floors, of which 75 percent has been rented to Samsung, Boston Consulting and the Cityboard Media advertising agency, among others. A three-year vacant space lease guarantee from the seller was reported. The property will be a component of the Immo-Invest: Europa institutional real estate fund. Union Investment has thus completed three property transactions in the Polish capital within a single year at a total volume of approximately €220mn.

JLL stocks rise on earning report

Jones Lang LaSalle had a good day at the exchanges after it reported far better figures than expected. Fourth quarter revenues for Europe rose 11% compared to 2009 to a total of $237m. The company expects real estate investments to rise up to 25% in 2011 to $380bn.

Aupark parking debate

Interesting. We were getting hundreds of hits on our Slovak awards report from a message board on sme.sk, the website of the popular daily SME. Turns out a debate had broken out about parking in Petrzalka, and someone linked (sarcastically) to the awards page post on the blog where it was announced that Digital Park won the Best Office Development prize. Not that we mind all the attention, mind.

HB Reavis had been planning to introduce paid parking at Aupark because as you’ll know if you’ve tried to park there in the past couple years, it’s pretty hard to do. With Incheba across the street on the one side, and the growing Digital Park scheme on the other, it seems a lot of people were using the mall’s parking lot for free. Aupark ironically then came in for a lot of criticism for not providing enough parking. Clearly, that’s too low a price for the convenience provided, so HB Reavis may end up implementing a paid parking service. Reasonable enough. But parking is a lifestyle issue, as it ends up determining if you begin your day in the car, on a bus, and it can cut into your budget at the end of the month. We’ll try to get a reaction from the developer on its take later on in the day.

Readings: Irish couple owes €886m in property loans

An interesting read in the Irish Times about a couple that went on a borrowing spree to acquire over €1bn worth of property. They’re now being sued by everyone from Morgan Stanley, to Bank of Ireland, to Aareal.

The couple also owe €97.7 million to AIB on an office block at 2099 Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House in Washington DC. They value the office building at €138.4 million.
A further €96.6 million in borrowings is listed but the statement does not identify the lenders. Continue reading

Orco Germany sells Leipziger Platz

Orco Germany has sold its unfinished project Leipziger Platz for €89m, to which €30m will be added upon completion. Of that total, €67m was paid today for the sole purpose of repaying “the bank”. The bank in question is not named in Orco’s press release.

“We are very happy that the sale of the Leipziger Platz project has been completed successfully andconstruction has started. We are convinced of the success of the project for both HGHI and Orco Germany” says Jean-François OTT, CEO of Orco Germany.

In November, Orco and High Gain House Investments announced they would be co-developing the project, once the sales purchase agreement was closed. Until that time (which is now), Leipziger Platz 12/13 was to be owned solely by Orco Germany.