Equest sells Targoviste warehouses, draws financing based on leases

Newsroom 28/09/2009 | 15:52

A further EUR 5.7 million of that loan will be available pending further leasing. Although the fund has managed to lease space in Equest Logistic Center, the pace of leasing was slower than it had anticipated. Increasing vacancy levels are also a problem. “The net rental income of EUR 4.44 million is slightly below expectations due to increasing vacancy levels and temporary rental concessions at Vitantis and Moldova Mall, together with slower than expected leasing at Equest Logistic Center,” states the financial report. “At the operational level we have been in constant dialogue with our tenants, many of whom have demanded rent reductions, and with our service providers to renegotiate contracts,” it goes on. The fund's portfolio has been hit by decreasing market values. It currently owns EUR 191.6 million of assets, including its shares in properties held by associates. The value of the property portfolio is less than half of the figure in June 2008, which was EUR 402 million. Around 65 percent of its assets are in Romania. Shareholders, who have not cashed in any dividends, have also seen the net asset value per share dropping by 73 percent from June last year, to a current value of EUR 0.39, under International Financing Reporting Standards (IFRS). Overall, the fund has posted a pre-tax loss of EUR 71.2 million, much higher than in June last year, when the loss was EUR 9 million. “Our poor mid-year results reflect further reductions in the market value of our assets. The commercial real estate sector continues to decline. Investor activity is scarce, the mortgage markets are tight, and downward pressure on rents is now widespread. We are taking measures to improve our cash positions through asset sales, several of which completed in the post period, and will carefully use the cash to meet critical obligations in a timely manner. Negotiations continue with Bank Austria regarding Moldova Mall and Vitantis,” write the Equest managers in the report.
Corina Saceanu

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