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MBA Conference, 2007

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BALKANS

The 3rd Annual Conference organized by ACT’s MBA department focused on “Commercial Real Estate Opportunities in the Balkans” and took place on Saturday, November 24th in the Conference Hall of the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The opening session of the conference covered the institutional investor’s perspective. Subject to detailed analysis were real estate market conditions in a number of Balkan countries, with particular emphasis on Bulgaria and Romania and their attractiveness to investors.

Mr. Lambros Anagnostopoulos (President and Managing Director of SCEPSI) expressed his confidence that the balance between supply and demand is reasonably good in the commercial sector but cautioned that there’s risk involved and that corrections will indeed occur. Mr. Christos Mouroutis (Managing Director of EuroCapital Finance AD) discussed market conditions in Bulgaria and suggested that risk and investment costs in the near term are outweighed by the magnitude of the prospective returns. He also cautioned, however, that large investors have already staked their claims in the market, raising the risk factor for smaller or private investors considering opportunities at this time. Mr. Curtis Coward (Executive Managing Director of ARC Global) and Mr. Ioannis Xanthopoulos (Investment Manager at BlueHouse Capital) wrapped up the morning session.

The second session concentrated on investment opportunities in the Balkans. Milena Lukaroska (a recent MBA program graduate) set the mood by analyzing the reasons that make Balkan countries particularly interesting for real estate investment. Mr. Ioannis Panagiotidis (Vice President of PANHOL developments) and Mr. Andras Pornyeszi (Surveyor, DTZ Hellas) focused on future developments in the markets of Bulgaria and Romania with particular emphasis on social factors affecting future growth. According to Mr. Panagiotidis, the Romanian market appears reasonably solid until the 2011-12 timeframe, while rising demand for land for alternative uses relating to energy generation through photovoltaic or wind farms is creating attractive opportunities. Mr. Ioannis Siotos (President of Propindex) stressed the inadequate availability of ready information regarding foreign investment opportunities for Greek investors which tends to shift the burden for developing such information to the investor.

Theme info: www.sxetika.com