Sistema Builder to Seek Loans

ReutersYevtushenkov
LONDON — Property developer Sistema-Hals plans to borrow around $600 million in 2008, all in project finance, president Felix Yevtushenkov said in an interview Friday.
The company, part of services conglomerate Sistema, aims to borrow mainly from banks VTB, Sberbank and Gazprombank for the 39 projects it has under construction for 2008, a company spokesman said.
Last month, Fitch ratings knocked the company’s outlook from stable to negative because of problems with liquidity and  the construction of Siemens’ Moscow offices. The company said in a statement at the time that it was “strengthening [its] liquidity policy” and that the “temporary fall in liquidity” was not a long-term concern.
Since the start of its operations in 1994, Sistema-Hals has completed more than 30 projects, according to its web site, including the Moscow headquarters of German carmaker Daimler, then called DaimlerChrysler.
“In 2007, we said that we had built our landmarks, put a big fat tick in the box for that, said to ourselves ‘well-done, that’s finished.’ Now starts the era of production,” Yevtushenkov said.
Sistema-Hals, which plans to invest $1.2 billion this year, focuses on Class A office buildings, retail centers, multiuse complexes, villa communities and residential buildings, mainly in Moscow.
The developer is also building in Sochi, which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics, and in Kiev and Yalta in Ukraine. Sistema-Hals has also identified India as a market it wants to enter and hopes to provide specific details of its plans there closer to December.
“We can contribute something in India because for them today we are the quintessence of immense global expertise,” Yevtushenkov said, adding that the company did not want to go further abroad “for the time being.”
Sistema is the holding company of Yevtushenkov’s father, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov.
(Reuters, MT)