Balfin MK secures finance for construction of Skopje City Mall (MK)

Balfin MK, the company developing the €70-million Skopje City Mall Project has secured agreement with a consortium of European and local banks for finance for the completion of the largest shopping center in the region.

The project developer, Balfin MK d.o.o. is a joint venture company established by the largest textile retail group in the country ‐ Fashion Group, the leading electrical retailer Euro Media, and Balfin, a leading regional retail and real estate development company, based in Albania, where it operates several shopping centers.

The syndicated and interlinked finance package will provide a total of €46.9 million comprising €18.9 million from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development based in London, €20 million from Raiffeisen Bank Albania and €8 million from Komercijalna Banka Macedonia.

"Balfin MK is delighted and honored that financial support has been secured from EBRD, Raiffeisen Bank and Komercijalna Banka. The Banks' confidence in investing significant funds confirms that the idea and vision of Balfin MK to invest in Skopje City Mall is economically viable.

"The new state-of-the-art, €70-million shopping center will become a symbol of prosperity and a new landmark which will forge the way for future internal and international investments and promote confidence in the economic future and prosperity of the newly emerging Macedonia." said Peter Warden Balfin MK CEO.

"We are pleased to support Balfin MK d.o.o. in developing this important project for Skopje at a time when commercial debt financing remains very limited. The new shopping mall will address the significant unfulfilled demand for modern retail space in the Macedonian capital, while bringing higher energy efficiency standards," said Claudio Viezzoli, EBRD Director for Western Balkans.

"The participation in this cross-border project financing is the first experience of such a kind for Raiffeisen Bank Albania. We are confident that it will be successful and the beginning of a fruitful cooperation with our Macedonian partner bank. Raiffeisen Bank is very proud to be part of this deal by showing again that its lending capacities and expertise allow projects of such a size and importance," said Alexander Zsolnai, deputy Chairman of the Managing Board of Raiffeisen Bank in Albania.

"For Komercijalna Banka, the Skopje City Mall Project is a great satisfaction in terms of realizing mutual cooperation and financing of an important project together with institutions like EBRD and Raiffeisen Bank," said Hari Kostov Komercijalna Banka AD Skopje CEO.

The shopping center with its creative and innovative design by US architects Laguarda Low will extend to 86,000 m² and provide 150 shop units on three levels anchored by a 4,600-m² hypermarket, a state-of-the-art 10-screen cinema, and a multi-story and underground car park with 1,300 spaces.

Skopje City Mall will be the most modern and largest shopping center in Macedonia and will attract customers not only from Skopje but also from Kosovo and Southern Serbia. Work commenced on site in November 2010 and the development is expected to be completed by Q4 2012.

Source: Balfin MK

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