Argo secures €75m from Cyprus bank

Argo Real Estate Opportunity Fund, which invests in Central and Eastern Europe, has obtained debt finance from a Cyprus bank for the first phase of a shopping center project in Ukraine.

Argo Real Estate Opportunity Fund has got agreement from Cyprus-based Marfin Laiki Bank for a €75 million ($110 million) loan facility to embark on a scheme in Ukraine.

The fund is using the finance for the first phase of the 110,000 square meter Riviera Shopping City retail shopping centre in Odessa, it said.

The Real Hypermarket and Obi-DIY is anchoring the scheme which will be opened in stages during the course of 2009, it added.

Commenting on the financing, investment manager Robert Provine said: “In a market environment where access to debt has been significantly reduced, this new facility reflects well on the strength of our property portfolio and the market’s confidence in our ability to add significant further value.”

Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund, which changed its name in February from North Real Estate Opportunities fund, is a Guernsey based closed-ended investment company, investing in the commercial property markets of Central and Eastern Europe. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market and is managed by Argo Capital Management.