ECONOMY

Property investors look to Balkans

Some of Greece’s largest property investment firms are expected to increase their holdings in the Balkans and other eastern European markets in coming months as a means of offsetting a drop in gains in the local market. Greece’s commercial property market is showing signs of running out of steam as recent hikes in interest rates and the global economic slowdown have started to bite into the domestic economy. Eurobank Properties, a subsidiary of Eurobank, is one of the most active players in the sector and recently made an acquisition in Ukraine, while also expanding its presence in Serbia and Romania. These property investments will also be used to facilitate the banking group’s services abroad. In the Attica area, Eurobank Properties owns 36 real estate investments which account for 76 percent of its total portfolio. Another company in the sector that has been concentrating on markets abroad is MIG Real Estate, a member of the Marfin group that is heading for a listing on the Athens bourse. It owns property mainly in the Attica area but boasts an impressive portfolio at a group level that includes 36 shopping malls in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as a number of storage facilities in Belgrade.