Tropical Storm: CEE Insight Forum & 6th CEE Quality Awards (CEE)

Senior international investors, financiers and real estate industry operators will convene in Budapest this Wednesday, October 22, 2008 just as Hungary's financial system becomes the latest focus of the global ecomonic storm and the exposure of the CEE region's emerging economies comes under the spotlight.

With the real estate sector at the heart of the storm, Central & Eastern European (CEE) regional head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christoph Rosenberg will address a large audience of some of Europe and Hungary's leading property companies at the city's Corinthia Hotel on the impact of the global economic crisis on the region, including the private real estate investment sector. He will also participate in a round table panel debate with senior property financiers, developers and consultants on the key issues facing the sector across the region as the economic downturn deepens.

Produced in association with the Financial Times and key regional business media, CEE Insight Forum IV: TROPICAL STORM (Corinthia Hotel, Budapest, 9am, October 22) will examine the effects of the global financial crisis as well as fluctuating energy, commodity and labour costs that are providing an array of challenges for companies involved in the rebuilding of the CEE region since it's entry into the private capital markets in 1989.

Until recently commentators and experts including the IMF were divided on the extent to which the crisis would impact on the growth positive CEE economies with underlying economic catch up and steady real economies potentially offering some respite from the worst ravages of the storm.

This opinion has been revised in recent days at the full force of the storm has hit Ukraine and Hungary, spooking investors and placing currencies and stock markets as well as bank deposits and investment contracts under strain, exposing the fragility of the "tiger economies" of the region that are highly exposed to international investor sentiment. Mr Rosenberg himself said last week in one of the CEE region's leading international business newspapers, Warsaw Business Journal, that "No country will dodge this bullet."

The question now being asked is the likely extent of the damage and what level of responsibility, and possible economic aid, the world's larger 'developed' markets will undertake to assist developing markets such as the CEE countries in dealing with a problem that was certainly not of their making.

"The importance of this moment should not be under-estimated," said Richard Hallward, Managing Director of CEE Insight Forum, "this could be as big if not a deeper and harsher crash than 1929 globally, for the CEE markets it is now becoming clear that they are not as 'buffered' as first thought. We hope this forum will come up with some useful feedback and outputs."

Discussion will be spearheaded by a hot-off-the-press IMF forecast analysis presentation by Christoph Rosenberg. Additional presentations by Timo Schammler (International Investment Director, DTZ), Walter Hampel (Director EMEA, Hypo Real Estate Group) and Daniel Harris (Head of Acquisitions CEE, MGPA) will provide the financier and investment viewpoints, confirmed panelists also include regional Financial Times Correspondent Thomas Escritt, Robert Dobrzycki (Regional Partner CEE, Panattoni Europe), John Duckworth (Managing Director Central & Eastern Europe, Jones Lang LaSalle), Matthias Sandfort (VP International Real Estate Finance, Northern and Central Europe), Otis Spencer (SVP, Director of Portfolio Management, Heitman International), Noah Steinberg (Chairman & CEO, Wing Zrt) and Colin Waddell (Managing Director CEE, CBRE).

Source: CEE Insight

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