March
2008
FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
 
Vol. 4 No.2  
 
FRANCE
  • Bank giant buys key realtor
    Real estate agency Atisreal, part of BNP Paribas, has bought out local player Cornerstone, run by the former holders of the franchise for CB Richard Ellis. Existing managing directors Ioana Momiceanu and Edit Vesser will remain in the same positions in the new set-up. In Romania Atisreal will focus on letting, sales, investments, valuation, advisory and market research for all sectors of real estate. BNP Paribas is active in Romania in consumer lending, through Cetelem, insurance with Cardif and leasing through Arval. In 2007 Cornestone posted a turnover of three million Euro.
  • Hypermarket heads for Sibiu
    Carrefour, which has eleven stores in Romania, will open a new hypermarket in the European Retail Park, Sibiu, in 2009. Carrefour Sibiu will have a 8,000 sqm retail space. Last year, Carrefour Romania reported an 866 million Euro turnover, up 42.2 per cent on 2006. This year the retailer plans six stores in Suceava, Arad, Oradea, Pitesti, Vitan in Bucharest and a second hypermarket in Iasi.

GERMANY
  • Printers take up Brasov residence
    German printing group Euro-Druckservice (EDS) will open a printing-house in the Industrial Park Brasov (IPB), which will be functional in autumn 2008. The IPB intends to contain 11 production halls with a floor space of 140,000 sqm, restaurant, four-star hotel, two-star hotel and offices. The project is due to be finished in 2012.

GREAT BRITAIN
  • Apartment blitz for Brasov
    UK-based company Romland Development will invest around 100 million Euro in the construction of 500 to 600 apartments in several residential projects in Brasov and Poiana Brasov. The first project called Hill View Residence will comprise 160 apartments included in three four storey buildings and will be delivered on the market in June 2010, according to Ziarul Financiar.

GREECE
  • Over 300 units due for bank
    EFG Eurobank-owned Bancpost will open 73 more branches in 2008, taking its total to 310. The bank ended 2007 with a profit of 29 million Euro, four times its figure for 2006. The bank has 3.7 billion Euro in assets and is ranked fifth on the market in assets and loans.
  • Rebranding drive for Egnatia
    Egnatia Bank will open 11 more branches this year in cities including Satu Mare, Baia Mare and Piatra Neamt. The Greek bank will also undergo a rebranding process into Marfin Bank Romania, following the sale in 2006 of Egnatia to the Marfin Group. Egnatia Bank currently has 20 branches in Romania and a market share of 0.65 per cent.
  • Clothing store in standalone drive
    Clothing and footwear retailer Sprider plans to open 12 more stores this year, with a target of 40 by 2010. Sprider now has five stores in shopping malls in Romania. The company has budgeted close to 15 million Euro for up to five standalone stores in Bucharest, including units in Titan, 1 Mai and Pipera neighbourhoods.
    Bank plans 17 new locations
    Ate Bank will open 17 more branches this year, general manager Sergiu Ioan Manea told The Diplomat, taking the estate of the bank to 30. The Greek bank bought out Mindbank in 2006 and now has a 0.22 per cent market share. For this year, Manea plans to win a one per cent share of the Romanian banking market. New branches will open in Ploiesti (Prahova County), Sibiu, Arad, Buzau, Focsani (Vrancea County) and Suceava. ATE Group bought out a small Romanian-based bank, Mindbank, in 2006.
PORTUGAL
  • Bank makes first venture abroad
    Finicredito - Instituicao Financeira de Credito has chosen Romania to open its first branch outside Portugal. The bank will focus on vehicle leasing and plans to expand into consumer credit. The initial investment will be one million Euro, but the director of the Bucharest branch, Laurentiu Visan, has said that in the next five years the Portuguese will invest a further ten million Euro to develop the business.

TURKEY
  • Materials firm goes into property
    Door and insulation material manufacturer Beyler will pour 70 million Euro into a real estate project in Galati. The 400 apartments will be set in ten blocks, with prices between 1,100 and 1,300 Euro per sqm. They are due for completion by 2009. Beyler is also targeting Bucharest for future real estate projects, according to a representative of the firm, Mehmet Fazlioglu, as quoted by Ziarul Financiar.

USA
  • High-flying realtor picked up
    Real estate giant CB Richard Ellis has bought Romania’s largest homegrown real estate agency Eurisko for 35 million Euro. In addition to the existing holistic real estate services offered by Eurisko, CB Richard Ellis will focus more on investments, research and property assesment. The company will operate under the CB Richard Ellis & Eurisko brand for at least one year, with former managing partner of Eurisko Radu Lucianu acting as the new country manager. Eurisko aims to increase its turnover to 25 million Euro in 2008 compared to 14.3 million Euro last year. Jones Lang LaSalle were among the other companies interested in Eurisko, said Lucianu.
  • Video game production for capital
    Entertainment brand Electronic Arts (EA) will start producing video games for Sony PS3 and Microsoft XBox 360 in Bucharest in a 3.5 million Euro investment, officials from EA told The Diplomat. EA has been present in Romania since 2005, but until this moment has only produced games for mobile phones. The expansion will create an additional 150 jobs in the sector, taking EA’s headcount to 350. To support the new project the US giant has rented 2,500 sqm of office space in the yet-to-be-completed Sema Parc complex in west Bucharest.
  • Claims group ties up local deal
    Claims management company Crawford & Company has entered the Romanian market after signing a partnership agreement with local loss adjusters and risk surveyors Pavalascu Risk Consultants. Crawford focuses on loss evaluation and mediates disputes between customers and their insurers.
ADDRESS CHANGE

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