So, we noticed an article on a Romanian site that claimed GTC was considering closing down some of its mall in Romania. That’s hardly unprecedented, when you think that Immofinanz is currently doing just that in Arad with one of the disasters it inherited from Immoeast when that company imploded (more on that in the Sept. issue of CIJ). But that’s not only a difficult process, time -consuming and sensitive, and it’s not really something one speculates idly about in an earnings report.
The news seemed to be related GTC’s release of financial data for the second quarter, in which it’s pretty up front about the fact that it’s rough in Romania at the moment (its portfolio there took a €14m valuation hit, apparently the victim of Romania’s it’d-be-funny-if-it-weren’t-so-serious political squabbles (hopefully over, now?) But closing malls seemed a bit extreme, and there wasn’t much hint of such a move when we last spoke with GTC.
So when we got through to them headquarters in Bucharest, they weren’t any too thrilled by what they called rumors, nor could they figure out where they were coming from (outside of the usual suspects). In any case, while admitting that times are indeed difficult in regional Romania, CEO Shimon Galon derided the reports, calling them nonsense and saying there are no plans to close anything.