Real Estate in Brief

Forestry Body Faces Charges



The deputy head of the Moscow Forestry Agency is being sought by the police, Izvestia reported Monday, as news broke that the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service was bringing charges against the agency.

Kommersant reported Monday that Igor Artemyev, head of the anti-monopoly service, ordered that charges be filed over auctions for leases on a total of 991 hectares of land near the prestigious Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Shosse. Irregularities in the auctions, including apparent attempts to prevent potential bidders from participating, constituted a violation of anti-monopoly laws, an anti-monopoly official told Kommersant.

Yelena Khmelevskaya, the agency's deputy head, disappeared after being called in by investigators to answer questions, a law enforcement source told Itar-Tass on Friday. Sergei Sopin was fired as head of the Moscow Forestry Agency last month. (MT)




Labor Violations at Ukraina



The Moscow Prosecutor's Office said Friday that it had uncovered labor and immigration violations related to the reconstruction of the hotel Ukraina, RIA-Novosti reported.

The office said in a statement that "the construction was being done by foreign laborers without work permits," RIA-Novosti reported. Work safety violations were also found at the site, the statement said. (MT)




LSR to Spend $1Bln in '08



LSR Group, the developer and building-materials maker controlled by billionaire Andrei Molchanov, is planning to invest around $1 billion this year, chief executive Igor Levit said Monday in an interview with RBC Daily newspaper.

"We'll invest a total of about $1 billion in 2008, and we're planning up to 10 acquisitions in St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Urals and Ukraine. These are the primary regions in our development strategy," Levit said, RBC reported.

Of the total, he said, around $650 million would go toward the group's industrial projects. As much as $350 million may be spent by builders and developers with land holdings in the regions, Levit said. (MT)




Miel's Regional Subsidiary



Real estate firm Miel said Monday that it created a subsidiary for regional investment that would build more than 3 million square meters of housing in Russia and abroad in the next three years, RIA-Novosti reported.

The investments will be around 70 million rubles ($30 million) for the period, Miel chief executive Yevgeny Plaksenkov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Alexei Pashkevich, head of the regional investments subsidiary, said the company would focus on regions with "developed industry and with increasing salaries," the news agency reported. The projects include a mini-neighborhood in Omsk and an elite housing complex outside Riga, Latvia, he said. (MT)




Mirax Raises $100M



Mirax Group raised $100 million from a sale of notes to help finance its construction projects.

The two-year debt will pay interest of 13.5 percent, said Rupert Preece, head of bond syndication at Renaissance Capital, which organized the sale. Promsvyazbank also helped manage the issue, he said Monday.

The sale is Mirax's first to foreign investors since it issued $180 million of four-year notes in March 2007, according to Bloomberg data. (Bloomberg)