Monthly Archives: May 2011

News (RO): AFI and UMB

AFI Palace Cotroceni rental income falls
AFI Europe saw its rental income fall 8 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared with the same period last year. It collected just €5.8m in the first three months of the year compared with €6.2m last year. The company is gearing up to develop another shopping center on land it bought from Laromet in 2007. AFI Europe agreed to pay €78m in all for 156,000 sqm plot (€500 per sqm), but it apparently took threats of execution by the vendor before final payment was made.

UMB Spedition will build Radauti ring road for €82m
UMB Spedition is to build a 16 km ring road around the northern Romanian village of Radauti within 36 months. The builder, which is controlled by Dorinel Umbrarescu, signed the €82m contract for this key infrastructure project in Suceava with the Regional Direction president. The company will also be modernizing the road from Suceava to Botosani.

News (PL): Metro and the motorway

A2: The Chinese funding gap
Covec, the Chinese consortium working on the A2 motorway construction has begun making payments to striking subcontractors who had endangered the road’s timetable. The Chinese contractor claimed it had run into cost overruns, but the Polish state (via the GDDKiA) had been refusing to finance the gap. Covec won the tender in large part because of the price it bid in the tender.

Metro station construction permit granted
Warsaw’s governor Jacek Rostkowski has approved the construction permit the Świętokrzyska station of the new metro line. It’s a key step in the delayed project, as the station will be a transfer point with the existing metro line. The permit for the Dworzec Wileński station still awaits approval.

Echo sells Bełchatow scheme
Eleven years after its completion, Echo Investment had sold its shopping center located in Bełchatów, near Łódź. The company signed a PLN 44m contract for the 9,300 sqm retail development with a Cyprus-based company. Echo will continue to carry out facility management of the center.

Banks’ hopes rise for Basel III relief…briefly

Bank stocks have jumped after hints that some of the toughest bits of the Basel III regulations could be lifted. Apparently they might not be forced to go to their shareholders and beg for more cash. It’s the uncertainty over how much equity banks will have to raise to meet the new regulations that’s been depressing the outlook for profits in the banking sector.

Hold your horses! says the European Union’s internal market commissioner Michel Barnier. Basel III will NOT be watered down. His statement reads as follows:

A few weeks ago, some people were accusing us of damaging the economic recovery by implementing rules which would be too tough for banks because they would impede their lending to the real economy.

Today, others seem to accuse us of the opposite with suggestions Europe would not be implementing Basel properly, thus not learning all the lessons from the crisis. Both criticisms are unjustified and simply factually wrong. And they will not affect my determination. I will not be swayed by various pressures.

Europe will implement Basel III: we have said it before and I confirm it to you today, the Commission’s proposals to implement Basel III will respect the balance and level of ambition included in Basel 3

JLL buys King Sturge

The rumors, now a couple days old, were correct this time. JLL has bought King Sturge for a reported GPB 98m, to be paid out over five years. Christian Ulbrich, JLL’s CEO  for EMEA said that strategic and cultural similarities between the companies “makes this a logical and very attractive proposition for both firms.” It’s a huge shake-up of the industry with far-reaching consequences. How will this be handled in CEE? One assumes the way such things are handled everywhere, and along the lines outline the press release:

All 43 King Sturge offices and businesses across Europe, including 24 in the UK, will become part of Jones Lang LaSalle and will operate under the Jones Lang LaSalle brand.  Integration of business lines and teams, and the full rebranding of all business activities, will begin immediately.  

What’s been written about this deal so far? Click here to read it all.

News (RO): Colas and Cosmopolis

Colas back to work with contract at Suceava
SC CF Iaşi-Grup Colas (part of the Bouygues group) has won a €6.1m
contract for work on the Suceava by-pass. It’s significant because the contract is the first it’s been awarded since being taken off the job building 20 km of highway between Medgidia-Cernavoda because of delays.

Cosmpolis offering family homes
Opus Land Development (part of the Buyukhanli group) is selling 8 2-storey family homes, each of which feature two 3-bedrooms. They’re part of the Cosmopolis project begin built in Stefanestii de Jos, a small town near Bucharest. The homes are expected to fetch around €90,000 each. Cosmopolis has enjoyed considerable success, as its first phase of 586 flats and its second phase of just 48 units have all been sold. Another 125 are to be completed by the end of the year.

GTC sells its stake in Galeria Mokotów

Globe Trade Centre signed a preliminary agreement for the sale of its 50 percent stake in its Galeria Mokotów project based on an asset value of €475m. The purchaser is an affiliate of Unibail-Rodamco, which already owned the other half of the mall.

“The transaction is in line with the GTC’s strategy of rebalancing its property portfolio, including the sale of mature assets and reinvesting in further expansion. As the real estate investment market continues to improve, we proceed with the recycling of capital and we’re planning new investments in the commercial sector in Poland,” said Eli Alroy, Chairman of the GTC Supervisory Board.

Located in Warsaw, Galeria Mokotow was completed in 2000. The mall comprises 62,000 sqm of net rentable retail space.

News (PL): Rank Progress, Echo and the stadium

Echo building outlet scheme
Echo Investment has begun construction on its newest retail scheme, Outlet Park Szczecin, which it claims is the first outlet center in western Poland. Along with 70 stores, the project will include a Helios cinema and an electronics store, to be delivered in the first half of 2012. A further 60 units should be added in its second phase, which will bring the total GLA to 24,000 sqm. Echo claims the first phase is now 50% leased.

National Stadium delays
Design errors for the electronics system mean that the National Stadium won’t be delivered on time, with the completion date not expected before March 2012. According to daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, the National Sports Center has accused the consortium of contractors for not fulfilling its contractual obligations, while the builders (Alpine Bau, PBG and Hydrobudowa) has shot back saying the investor should take the blame. The paper writes that with huge financial penalties and careers on the line, the stakes are high.

Rank Progress plans

This year developer intends to deliver three new retail developments this year, while starting work on two others schemes. Rank Progress has also purchased three plots of land in Olsztyn, Kielce and Warsaw, on which it plans to develop 30,000 sqm shopping centers. The company is aiming to deliver from three to four schemes each year says Jan Mroczek, chairman of Rank Progress.