German real estate developer ECE shuts down Ukraine operation

German real estate developer ECE shuts down Ukraine operation Kiev  - The German real estate developer ECE Projektmanagement on Tuesday announced it was shutting down its operation in the former Soviet republic Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported.

ECE Ukraine, the branch office of the Hamburg-headquartered company, will close its doors for good by March's end with all staff sacked, according to the report.

The company was freezing all operations in Ukraine for the "indefinite future", according to a statement.

One of Europe's largest land developers, ECE had planned to build six shopping centres in Ukraine, each worth some 360 million dollars.

Had the ambitious development programme first announced in 2007 been put into effect, its total value in excess of 2.1 billion dollars would have made the shopping centre network Ukraine's largest-ever foreign-financed real estate investment.

Ukraine has seen economic hard times in recent months, with the manufacturing and the value of the national currency plummeting, unemployment spiking, and the government mired in inter-party wrangling.

Ukraine's real estate market has been among the country's worst- hit sectors, with property values falling as much as 60 per cent since November.

ECE Projektmanagement operates some 90 shopping centers across Europe. Company officials last year called Ukraine a key market for development. (dpa)

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