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Polish Mall Investor To Pour 1.5b Euro In Central, Eastern Europe By 2009

Poland's real estate developer Globe Trade Center (GTC), which has mall projects in the Bulgarian cities of Stara Zagora, Varna and Bourgas, as well as several plots in Sofia, has announced plans to invest about 1.5 billion euro in new projects across Central and East Europe (CEE) in 2008/2009, reported. The company’s activity will be directed primarily towards acquiring land and developing new projects.

GTC's profit in 2007 stood at 261 million euro, a 32 per cent mark-up on 2006. The company’s profit for the last quarter of the year alone recorded a 376 per cent year on year increase, peaking at 60 million euro. Company officials commented that this could be attributed to the completion of new office buildings in Serbia and Poland, comprising a 46 000 sq m net leasable area.

GTC’s total portfolio of projects, either completed or in the pipeline, embraces 2.1 million sq m of net commercial and residential space.

In 2007 GTC completed nearly 100 000 sq m of net space. In addition to office buildings completed in the fourth quarter, the company delivered the Newton office building in Krakуw and luxurious houses in the Phase 3 of Osiedle Konstancja in Warsaw. In June, Avenue Mall in Zagreb was completed, attracting 800 000 shoppers every month after its opening.

Among 17 new retail projects pending are those in Romania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia.

The leasing momentum in GTC’s office buildings appears robust. All existing buildings are 100 per cent let and new projects are nearly always fully leased upon completion. New office projects include a total of nearly 700 000 sq m of net leasable area, of which the majority will be completed within the next three or four years.

In 2007, GTC’s residential projects enjoyed strong demand from buyers, as 60 per cent of apartments offered for sale have already been sold. New projects in Belgrade (Park Apartments), Bucharest (Rose Garden and Felicity 1&2), Prague (Prague Marina1 and Green City1&2), Warsaw (Konstancja 4), Budapest (Sasad Resort 1) and Bratislava (Vinohradis1) are to be completed in 2008-2009.

The company's total residential portfolio includes approx. 9 000 apartments, situated in very attractive locations, targeting a mostly middle and upper class clientиle.

At the end of 2007, GTC declared its intention to increase the volume of  the office and retail space in its portfolio more than five fold over the next two years.

GTC was set up in 1994 and operates in three main fields: office buildings, retail centres and residential properties in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, Slovak Republic, and Bulgaria. It is listed on the Warsaw stock exchange and is included in WIG 20 and MSCI indices.