According to Zehetner, the number of the real estate transactions in Romania was bigger in the first nine months of 2013 compared to the same period of last year.
"Although hesitation is the word defining the real estate market in Romania,, the country is more attractive compared to other countries in CEE, and the active real estate investors still have development opportunities for large projects. ", Zehetner said.
As positioning in the region, Romania and Russia are both seen as the GDP growth engines in the region.
According to Zehetner, this positioning confirms the strategic orientation of the company towards the CEE markets. “Germany, Poland and Russia will certainly be key zones for development projects. (…) Romania can join this group, depending on its economy growth”, he added.
Regarding the evolution on market segments, the head of Immofinanz considers that the office sector influenced in 2013 the transaction volume growth in Romania, which, together with a favorable economic context established the future improvements of this sector.
Immofinanz also sees future opportunities on the logistics sector, where it has already started this year the reconversion of Armonia Arad commercial centre in logistics and industrial centre.
„The reconversion works started this year, as planned. The space is subject to major changes, in order to adapt it to its new destination – logistics and industrial. We estimate Armonia Arad would open the doors for its new destination in 2014”, Eduard Zehetner mentioned.
Zehetner considers that the lands owned by the group in Romania are suited now for logistics projects.
„ Immofinanz owns in Romania various lands for future developments, which were bought many years ago and which now are suited for logistics projects also. It is worth reviewing the opportunities appeared, considering the state of economy", he declared, adding that it is expected that the evolution in Romania to be similar to the one of Russia on this segment.
"I am considering, for instance, the niche logistics, such as the cold warehouses. The companies’ interest in logistics facilities has of course decreased, due to crises. I expect that the evolution in Romania to be similar as in Russia. As soon as the large pharmaceutical companies and the retail corporations will start to search special locations, they will discover that there is a lot of space on the market, but most of the buildings were developed in the last century and don’t meet the current standards. Immofinanz has the power and opportunities to be part of this league. Our purpose is to develop assets with, then sell to final clients. This allows a better standardization. But first of all, we have to carefully analyze the possible niches”, added Eduard Zehetner, CEO Immofinanz.
Biggest real estate investor priorities in 2014 in Romania
2014 will be an interesting year for the real estate market, both locally and regionally, being the year of the election of the European Parliament and of the presidential elections in Romania. Apart from this, the economic growth estimated for next year makes us say we have an unpredictable year for the real estate market.
For Immofinanz, 2014 could be the year when it would split the portfolio taking into consideration the risk degrees.
„ The current growth and the optimization will be continues during and after the current fiscal year. The activities will also focus on the operational costs reduction and the cash-flow generating”, Zehetner described the priorities of Immofinanz for 2014.
Moreover Buwog, the subsidiary of Immofinanz group, will be consolidate through assets acquisitions on the German market, paving the way to a possible initial public offer or the establishment of a new entity in 2014.
„ 2013 didn’t bring a positive economic impulse. In return, we made progress with our portfolio optimization. Considering the fiscal year 2012/13, ended in April, the key operational indicators specific to our business – the rent profit, the operational results and the sustainable cash flow – have increased to new record levels”, Zehetner said.
The company succeeded to get closer to its five years sale strategy.
„The assets sales, which represent an important engine of our real estate business, have increased up to the highest level registered since the beginning of the selling programme. In the last quarters, this programme was successfully continued. Currently the five years sales goals, representing EUR 2.5 billion are close to being achieved. Those transactions involved all assets categories and all regions: the selling of our centre Silesia City in Poland’s city Katowice for EUR 400 million is a good example of the transaction market’s recovery in CEE. Based on the total sales volumes, apart from registering double-digit growth of our book value, we also reached the strategic goals involving the portfolio optimization (withdrawal from secondary markets, asset sales in hospitality segment)”, Zehetner added.
Immofinanz owns in Romania 88 projects (17 completed investments, 60 projects planned and 11 projects in development) with a total value of EUR 1.003 billion, according to the company’s most recent financial report.
The current investment portfolio of Immofinanz in Romania includes nine office buildings, 5 retail assets and 3 logistics facilities.
The total area of the nine office buildings, including Iride Park, Victoria Park and Bucharest Corporate Centre, is of more than 206,000 sq. m
The area of the retail centres nears 147,000 sq. m, the most important including Maritimo in Constanta and Polus Center din Cluj-Napoca.
The logistic parks in Immofinanz local portfolio have a total area of 52,340 sq. m. (source: wall-street.ro)