Erste in €40mn support deal for Tvarna mall project

A Northern Irish property firm is set to build a new shopping centre an hour’s drive from Austria after getting a multi-million Euro loan from Erste Bank’s Slovenska sporitelna.British media report today (Fri) that the Slovakian subsidiary of Vienna-headquartered Erste Bank teamed up with VUB bank – a Slovakian competitor owned by Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo – to lend 40 million Euros to Parkergreen International to help fund its plans to develop a shopping complex in Tvarna. The Slovakian city is less than 90 kilometres from the Slovakian-Austrian border.Gerard O’Hare, who owns Newry-based Parkergreen International, praised Trnava as a “vibrant university city”. He explained the plan was to start construction of the shopping centre in September, adding that the mall featuring 90 shops will open in November 2011. The property developer said around 2,000 people will find work in the centre.Parkergreen International acquired the site where the complex is set to be built for around 100 million Euros two years ago, according to reports in the United Kingdom (UK). The firm owns several shopping centres in the UK and across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).Investors have found it increasingly difficult since the global credit crunch to find backers of projects in the CEE as the region was badly hit by the downturn.Erste Bank is Austria’s second biggest financial institute behind Raiffeisenzentralbank (RZB) and one of the biggest players in the CEE.