EUROPE NEWS: EBRD adjusts focus

With a new commitment to Hines, the bank is now focusing on Eastern Europe. PERE Magazine June 2012 issue.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is shifting most of its focus to property investments in the western Balkans, Ukraine, Russia and countries further east, which will be good news for funds raising capital for investments in those parts of Europe.

Michele Small, director of property and tourism at the EBRD, told PERE of the focus away from Central Europe as it emerged that the bank’s board had just approved an increase to the Hines Russia & Poland Fund. At press time, Hines was expected to announce a final close of the vehicle.

In public minutes of a board meeting on 17 April, the EBRD said it had approved a €25 million increase to the Hines fund to the lower of €100 million or 30 percent of the total commitments of the fund at final closing.

The minutes noted that the extra €25 million invested in the Hines fund would allow the Dallas-based fund manager to continue to invest in development opportunities, expand its activities into regional cites in the targeted countries and invest in distressed opportunities as they arise in the market. The decision follows a €75 million commitment made to the vehicle in 2010.

Hines’ country manager Lee Timmins said the EBRD was an early anchor investor in its Hines Russia & Poland Fund. “EBRD’s substantial commitment to our fund and this region following the global financial crisis was instrumental in our fundraising efforts. The confidence that EBRD inspired was a key element in the success of Hines’ new fund.”