December 12, 2007

GE Real Estate Central and Eastern Europe (GE Real Estate), one of the owners of Mall of Sofia and Mall of Plovdiv, might open an office in Sofia or in Bucharest in 2008, Karim Habra, company’s managing director for Central and Eastern Europe, said.

Habra said that GE Real Estate saw favourable business opportunities in Romania and Bulgaria, especially in the retail sector. GE Real Estate would seek cooperation with local partners to penetrate the market.The company had already partnered with Romanian entrepreneur Helios Phoen in 2007. GE Real Estate had also teamed up with the US-based Tishman International for the development of Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport Centre, a multi-purpose project comprising office, logistic, retail and hotel space, said.

GE Real Estate was currently studying new investment opportunities in the region and was likely to open an office in Bulgaria or Romania as long as it would succeed to strike a few more deals in the two countries over forthcoming months.Bulgaria and Romania offered good opportunities, especially in the retail properties markets, quoted Habra as saying. GE Real Estate planned to look for partners on the local markets, he said.

The company was planning projects in the residential property markets of Bulgaria and Romania too. Its first projects in this market segment were in Poland and Czech Republic, through the acquisition of local construction companies, said.

GE Real Estate intended to carry out parallel investments in Russia over the first quarter of 2008, most probably in warehouse areas and retail units. The company arrived on the Russian market in October 2007, when it invested 50 million dollars in the investment fund Heitman Russia Property Partners (HRUPP).


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