"The discussions with the banks are easier for us, taking into consideration our background, but the financing conditions maintain difficult, even for us. Time and negotiations are needed. For the buildings AFI Park 2 and AFI Park 3 we did not get financing yet, we used our money by far, but we are to close a loan contract shortly, probably in a month. For AFI Park 2, which will be completed in April, it will be an investment loan and for care AFI Park 3, to be delivered in December, the loan would be for development ", has declared for Mediafax David Hay, executive manager of AFI Europe Romania.

Hay didn’t offered details about the financing value or about the financing bank.

For AFI Park, the company obtained EUR 13.4 million loan from UniCredit Bank for the first building, completed and fully let. Taking into considerations that all the five buildings of the office park have similar sizes (12,000 sq. m) and approx. the same investment budget, approx. EUR 25 million, the financing for the other two buildings could reach the value of EUR 13 million each.

AFI Europe’s representative mentioned he was optimistic concerning the refinancing of the loan obtained in 2007 from Hypo Real Estate for the construction of AFI Palace Cotroceni mall, the first project of the company in Romania. The commercial centre is situated at the crossroad of Timisoara Blvd. and Vasile Milea Blvd. in Bucharest and was opened in the end of 2009, following EUR 300 million investment. Currently, the mall is evaluated to EUR 375 million and generated in the first 9 months of last year revenues from rents of EUR 21.2 million, with 8% growth.

"For AFI Palace Cotroceni the credit is due in May and we still negotiation a refinancing. The negotiations started six months ago, but we are optimistic. It is not easy, but as it is one of the best assets in Romania I don’t believe it would be that hard to get financing, negotiations are needed though. The main barriers against getting financing are Romania’s image – the perception of Romania by the financers -, to show you have a good asset and a good background. Another problem is the small number of banks according loans in Romania. We do not have ten bans to choose from. WE have the Austrian banks, EBRD, BRD and that’s it. It is not easy", Hay explained.

Financing is the main problem of the real estate developers and investors in the last years, being a barrier for many investors in this field.

Theoretically, AFI Europe shouldn’t face any difficulties from this point of view considering the developer has already invested part of the necessary funds from its own sources, and the projects for the company asks for financing have tenants, mandatory conditions imposed by the banks.

"AFI Park 2 is 96% let, and for AFI Park 3 we signed a lease with Endava for 40% of the area, and we are in negotiation with other companies for another 20% of the spaces. Endava will relocate from AFI Park 1, and for the premises left available we have already signed a contract with another tenant", Hay explained.

AFI Park is situated in the vicinity of AFI Palace Cotroceni.

Apart the loans for AFI Park 1, the company succeeded in the period of crises also to get financing for the development of AFI Palace Ploiesti mall, of approx. EUR 30 million from Raiffeisen Bank.


AFI Europe develops and manages different commercial and residential projects in Romania, Czech Republic, Serbia, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany and Latvia. (source: wall-street.ro)