Shopping Centers Today

AUG 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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w o r l d at a g l a n c e Investors are buying up shop- ping centers and retail chains in Germany at the fastest pace since 2007. Foreign in- vestors have acquired nearly €6 billion (about $6.5 bil- lion) worth of retail property in the first half of this year, some three times more than over the same period last year, according to BNP Pari- bas Real Estate. Blackstone Group, Colony Capital and others are undeterred by stalling sales and rents; in- stead they are drawn to the stable German economy and its large population. Colombia's Grupo Éxito says it will roll out the De- voto express grocery format this year, beginning with a store in Montevideo, Uru- guay. The plan is to open 10 more by year-end. The strong dollar has en- couraged U.S. funds Pacific Investment Management Co. and Oaktree Capital Group to acquire an addi- tional 24.4 percent in Echo Investment, the largest real estate developer in Poland, raising their combined total stake to 66 percent. The Polish zloty has fallen by 18 percent against the dollar over the past year. Canadian real estate firm Ivanhoé Cambridge has invested $500 million in the Shanghai-based Chongbang Group. Part of what attracted Ivanhoé is Chongbang's expertise in developing live-work-play- shop urban projects. The company has developed seven mixed-use projects in China. Singaporean sover- eign wealth fund GIC is also a Chongbang shareholder. Grupo Roble, Central America's biggest mall owner, has announced that it will add as many as 50 stores to its 140-unit Metrocentro shopping center in Managua, Nicaragua, in a bid to accommodate global retailers. The Cencosud retailing group, of Chile, is mulling whether to spin off its mall develop- ment division and launch an IPO. Besides Chile, the company also has op- erations in Argen- tina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Urban planners in Abu Dhabi shared their master plan for Al Reem Island to create a community of some 210,000 people. The develop- ment will include 1.4 million square meters (about 15 million square feet) of office space and 850,000 square meters of retail, as well as hospitals, schools, parks and civil-defense bases. New developments in the pipeline are expected to boost retail sales in Oman this year. Upwards of 760,000 square meters (roughly 8.2 million square feet) of gross leasable retail space is to be added to exist- ing shopping areas in Muscat over the next five years, ac- cording to JLL. The increase would be welcome after last year's retail and wholesale sales rise of just 2 percent. A consortium led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus has invested $100 million in Vincom Retail, the retail unit of Vingroup, the larg- est property developer in Vietnam. Vincom Retail has some 20 malls in Vietnam, open or under development. This brings the consortium's total investment to $300 mil- lion, the largest amount by a foreign investor in Vietnam to date. Sct m h a n v e l o p m e n t s i n t h e l A b b i a ' s G r u p o É s o r t i u m l e d b y p r i v R o b l e , C e n t r a l N i t o a g l o T h r e t a C h i l e , i s m u 16 S c t / A u g u s t 2 0 1 5 Photo: tibor bognar/Photoshot/newscom

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