MOSCOW Feb 22 Morgan Stanley Real Estate
Investing (MSREI) said one of its funds had bought the
Metropolis shopping mall in northwest Moscow, in what it called
Russia's biggest commercial real estate deal.
Metropolis, which has a total size of 205,000 square metres,
is one of Russia's biggest shopping centres and was acquired
from Capital Partners, a real estate developer, for a price of
$1.2 billion, several sources told Reuters.
"The acquisition of the Metropolis shopping centre is the
largest-ever transaction in the Russian commercial real estate
market," MSREI said in a statement. It did not disclose terms.
The deal comes as Russia enjoys a spending boom and its
economy grows thanks to high commodity prices. MSREI said
Metropolis was visited by around 55,000 people per day last
year, making it one of the busiest in town.
"The acquisition is consistent with our strategy of
investing in high quality assets in Russia, a market that should
continue to benefit from strong growth in consumer demand,"
Brian Niles, head of MSREI EMEA, said in the statement.
MSREI also owns Galeria Mall in the centre of St Petersburg,
Russia's second city. Last year, the Kommersant daily said that
MSREI may buy Metropolis and a land plot near it for $1.9
billion, citing sources.
Moscow and St Petersburg are the most crowded and wealthy
cities in Russia, accounting for around 12 percent of the
country's total population of around 143 million people.