Second 'Tropical Storm' summit to discuss future of real estate finance in CEE markets (CEE)

Top regional economists, commentators and real estate business leaders to convene at the Warsaw Hilton Hotel on 25 February preceding the CEE Quality Awards Gala to discuss the future of real estate financing, amid rising economic concerns that western stimulus and rescue efforts be detrimental to emerging markets' efforts to cope with the global economic storm.

A sequel to CEE Insight Forum's successful TROPICAL STORM event in Budapest last October at which regional IMF head Christoph Rosenberg and senior financiers outlined the realities of the economic and financial crisis, TROPICAL STORM2 will provide an update on the financial and economic crisis, implications for the sector, and a practical look at what companies can do to confront the more severe aspects of the storm.

Despite coordinated international rescue efforts the liquidity freeze has deepened and recession has begun to bite, leaving the property sector gasping for air while earlier predictions the 'Emerging Europe' may escape the worst ravages of the storm now also look fragile. One of the rising concerns is that the rescue and stimulus initiatives in some of the western economies will create an additional drag on capital interest in emerging economies, perhaps leaving the CEE economies event more exposed than previously thought.

Organized in association with the Financial Times and content partner KMPG, the forum is a curtain raiser to the 6th annual Central & Eastern European Real Estate Quality Awards (CEEQA), the sector's flagship event and main annual industry awards, which attracts more than 500 of the sector's business leaders each year.

The event will bring together leading economists, commentators and sector business leaders to discuss recent developments in the financial and economic crisis, its impact on the market so far and implications for the present and future of real estate finance, as well as how to approach the challenges it presents for the sector and emergent opportunities moving forward.

A large audience is expected to engage leading financiers Markus Leininger of Eurohypo and Martin Erbe of West Immo in debate alongside a panel of sector business leaders including Sven von der Heyden (Chairman, Von der Heyden Group), Neil Gregory Eaves (Managing Director Investment Advisory Group, Colliers International), Piotr Konieczny (Member of the Management Board, Raiffeisen), Karim Habra (Managing Director C&EE, JER Partners) and Mirowslaw Szydelski (Investment Director Management Board, AIG/Lincoln).

George Leslie (Head of Corporate Recovery & Restructuring, KPMG in Central & Eastern Europe), the forum chair, and co-chair David Dixon (Partner, Norton Rose) and guest speaker Anatole Annenkov (Senior Economist, EBRD) will lead a series of presentations and debates on topics ranging from the macro economic turmoil and its impact on the regional economies, to the deepening liquidity problem and its implications for the property investment outlook, as well as the rising issue of realignment and survival strategies as recession in the real economy begins to bite. Financial Times bureau chief for Warsaw and Prague, Jan Cienski, will provide a commentator's view in what promises to be an interesting and formative forum for the sector.

George Leslie of KPMG said: "There are many important issues for the market to examine as it becomes increasingly clear that all the markets will incur varying degrees of distress, but no one is immune and many are perhaps reacting too slowly.

"For example, strong underlying fundamentals in some of the region's economies have been interpreted by some as a source of strength. But there is now an increasing concern that these benefits could be out-stripped by an additional drag on capital interest in emerging economies, exacerbated by all the rescue and stimulus packages being bestowed on the banks and economies in the West. This could leave these economies with a kind of double exposure to the crisis that could have a significant short as well as long term effect of the future of real est

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