Monthly Archives: January 2012

Bosch in Romania?

A local paper in Romania is reporting that the German automobile electronics supplier Bosch is considering investing as much as €60m into an industrial park in a Cluj-Napoca factory. The article says the company could hire up to 2,000 people to work at the facility.

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P3 signs Noack Electric and Topsteel

PointPark Prague D8 has a pair of new tenants to attend to now: Noark Electric Europe and Topsteel. Both companies have moved to building DC03. Noark Electric signed up for 878 sqm of warehouse space and 95 sqm of office, while Topsteel signed a contract for 1,747 sqm of warehouse and 358 sqm of office. PointPark Prague D8 currently offers 7,500 sqm of completed space with option to add further three buildings totaling 62,300 sqm, most likely for BTS solutions.

DSV extends at Panattoni Park Teresin

DSV Group extended a crucial lease at Panattoni Park Teresin, news that will be welcomed by the park’s owner  Standard Life Investments. After all, the company has no less than 35,600 sqm of space under lease in the scheme, developed by Panattoni Europe, from where it conducts business in logistics and transportation. The lease contract, mediated by Colliers International, has been extended by another 5 years. In all, DSV occupies 55,000 sqm of space at other Panattoni logistics parks in Pruszków, Kraków and Łódź.

CMBS in USA inching up

No doubt there’s still bad news around the corner, but it’s encouraging to see positive news as well. Not only is unemployment down to 2009 levels while the housing market is genuinely showing signs of bottoming out, but CMBS lending is creeping up. From WSJ:

Standard & Poor’s said the issuance of U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities improved last year, though issuance fell below its expectations due to uncertainty and volatility resulting from the European debt crisis and other macroeconomic events.

Aggregate CMBS issuance for 2011 was $32.7 billion, below S&P’s forecast of $35 billion. S&P noted CMBS activity increased significantly early in the year, but the pace of issuance has since slowed.

For 2012, S&P again projected $35 billion in CMBS issuance. While global economic headwinds are expected to temper the near-term expansion of CMBS issuance, S&P credit analyst David Mollin said commercial real estate fundamentals have improved modestly in recent years and noted securitization will continue to play a significant role in the sector’s recovery.

Epstein begins Star Foods warehouse

Epstein Architecture & Engineering has begun building a finished good warehouse for Star Foods on the southern edge of Bucharest. The €2.5m scheme is an extension of the company’s existing manufacturing facility and will include a 4,500 sqm warehouse for finished products. Completion is expected by the middle of 2012. Improvements to the entire facility will be made at the same time, such as upgrading fire water supply, a new guard house and truck facilities.

Is Orban backing down?

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban seems to be softening his stance on his government’s latest idea for how to control the economy (sic), but it’s not at all clear this will be enough to calm markets in the near-term.

Markets welcomed the shift which allowed Hungarian assets to regain some of the strength lost during the earlier days of the week but this didn’t stop Fitch Ratings from completing Hungary’s hattrick of junk-rankings at major rating firms.

Mr. Orban met in the morning with central bank governor Andras Simor, Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy, Tamas Fellegi, Hungary’s lead negotiator in talks with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, and chief of staff Mihaly Varga, to discuss economic issues and the country’s bid to secure financial backing from the EU/IMF duo.

Besides the accord of Messrs. Orban and Simor that Hungary’s best interests are best supported by a quick agreement with the EU/IMF, it also marks an attempt at reconciliation between the sides, after a series of open rows, most importantly about the country’s new central bank law. The regulation — criticized internationally as an infringement on the central bank’s institutional independence — appears to be the most hotly contested issue and may prevent Hungary from receiving the support it seeks.

Hungary’s 15 minutes

Much as we hate to start the year on a downer, 2012 looks set to begin with considerable international media coverage of Hungary. All last year, when Greece was grabbing headlines any time Italy managed to fall off of them, we kept thinking how fortunate it was Central Europe wasn’t (directly) involved.

It is now. We know how sensitive people can be about jumping on the bad news bandwagon, but you’ll have to send us some feel-good story ideas. Otherwise, we’ll be left with news about the falling forint, and with this sort of commentary from FT Alphaville (quoting Nomura’s Peter Attard Montalto)

The government thinks it has enough cash to last it through any short term difficulties and take it to the other side of the Eurozone crisis. That is not the case… That is the catalyst. We are here because of bank deleveraging caused by Hungary’s own policies alienating the banks, by its anti-growth policies that have alienated FDI investors, by its unsustainable fiscal policy with a budget that hides a huge underlying deficit this year of close to -8%, policies around MNB independence etc, and above all investors scratching their heads and questioning the government’s credibility. That is why we are here.