Union Investment acquires shopping center development in Turkey (TU/DE)

Union Investment Real Estate AG has invested some €130 million in a joint venture to develop the Forum Kayseri shopping center in Turkey, teaming up with local developer Multi Turkmall (MTM) of Istanbul, Turkey. MTM is part of the Multi Corporation. Situated in the capital of Kayseri Province in southeast Anatolia, upon completion in 2009 the mall will offer around 66,500 m² of rental space.

Artist impression of Forum Kayseri.

The shopping center represents a further fast-growing addition to the investment locations covered by the UniImmo: Europa real estate portfolio. Union Investment's real estate funds already include holdings in the Turkish retail market in the shape of a competitive center project in Mersin and the first Media Markt store development in Istanbul. "Shopping center investments in Turkey are particularly attractive at present because initial returns here are still significantly higher than in Western Europe," says Michael Montebaur, deputy member of the Management Board of Union Investment Real Estate AG. The risks associated with investing in an emerging market are much reduced in Turkey due to a dual growth effect - high economic growth and an increasing population with pent-up consumer demand.

With 600,000 inhabitants, the city of Kayseri is one of Turkey's fastest growing industrial cities in both demographic and economic terms. Forum Kayseri itself is located between the city center and an expanding residential area with an affluent population. Some 1.1 million people with above-average (for Turkey) purchasing power of €1,673 per capita live in the center's catchment area. "Forum Kayseri will create a new, modern type of retail experience in a region with important industrial and trading activities where both purchasing power and retail sales can be expected to rise steadily," adds Montebauer.

Source: Union Investment

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