“We have frozen the project for the moment simply because all major banks are clearly not lending,” director general Hani Shammah said in an interview in Abu Dhabi late yesterday. “It's a matter of prioritizing and cash flow management, nothing else.”
The developer was planning a EUR 450 million mixed-use project in Romania, with a focus on office and retail. “The demand drivers, at least in the short term, have sort of disappeared,” as most European companies have halted their expansion plans, he said.
The Bloom representative said Romania remains an interesting place to do business from a cost point of view, but the firm will not resume the project until it sees “evidence of corporate demand [since] at the moment no one is expanding.”
Bloom, owned by Emirates International Investment Co. LLC, puts the sales value of its project portfolio at more than $10 billion, while the company's assets are estimated at close to $2.7 billion, according to Shammah.
Mid last year, the firm announced plans to invest around $10 billion in real estate projects in various countries, Romania included. It then said it was planning to finance its projects through title and bond issuances, as well as through the forward sale of future projects.