Tag Archives: property

Georgia’s m2 buys luxury hotel

FEB. 6 (The Conway Bulletin) — The real estate unit of London-listed Georgia Capita, m2, said that it has bought the remaining 40% that it didn’t already own in a Tbilisi luxury hotel for $5.2m. m2 did not name the yet-to-be-built hotel but it did say that it would be the only luxury hotel in its collection.

>This story was first published in issue 399 of The Conway Bulletin on Feb. 8 2019
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Regus opens third office block in Tbilisi

OCT. 15 (The Conway Bulletin) – Regus, the London-listed company that offers serviced offices, hot-desking and virtual offices around the world, said that is was going to open a third site in Tbilisi. In an interview with Georgia Today, Regus area manager for Georgia, Ruska Chakvetadze, said that the expansion reflected increased interest in Georgia from international companies.


>>This story was first published in issue 388 of The Conway Bulletin on Oct. 17 2018

Armenia plans property privatisation

YEREVAN, JUNE 9 2017 (The Bulletin) — Armenia’s government plans to sell 47 state-owned properties, including post offices, Yerevan’s bus station and a football stadium, to raise an estimated $75m.

Armenia, like the rest of the region, has been trying to pull out of an economic downturn linked to a drop in oil prices and a recession in Russia. The data this year has showed an improvement but the government still needs to raise more cash, giving foreign investors the chance to buy into property in Armenia.

The head of the state property management department, Arman Sahakyan, said the government had tried and failed to privatise half the properties in 2006/7.

“The companies that will be put up for privatisation, are not managed effectively, they face problems, that’s why we included them in the list in order to ensure their effective management,” he was quoted by media as saying.


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(News report from Issue No. 332, published on June 12 2017)


Georgian court jails Ex-MP for property Ponzi scam

TBILISI, APRIL 3 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — A court in Tbilisi sent the high-profile sisters Maia Rcheulishvili and Rusudan Kervalishvili to four years in prison for embezzlement linked to their construction company Center Point Group.

In a court case that gripped Georgia, the once glamorous sisters who had it all were told they had swindled 6,200 families out of $14m by promising them that they would build the homes of their dreams.

Instead many investors got nothing.

After the judgement, though, there was outrage from some families who said the sisters had gotten off lightly and that the real amount they had embezzled in an elaborate Ponzi scheme was far greater. In 2012, Transparency International, the anti- corruption lobby group, produced a report which said they had stolen $310m.

The judge said that the scam ran from 1999, when the Center Point Group was established, until it went bankrupt in 2008. Its assets were then moved to a company called Dexus in a deal in 2010 that observers have described as murky.

Center Point Group was notorious for collecting large advance payments from clients on promises to build luxury apartments. Hundreds said they never received their apartments.

For Ms Kervalishvili, prison represents a sharp fall from grace. She was once regarded as one of the richest and most successful businesswomen in the country. She had been an MP for former president Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement party and Parliament’s deputy speaker in 2008-12.

M Rcheulishvili’s husband is Vakhtang Rcheulishvili who was the former head of the Georgian Socialist party and a deputy speaker of Parliament in the 1990s and 2000s.


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(News report from Issue No. 323, published on April 6 2017)

Georgia signs new deal with Bitfury to develop property register

TBILISI, FEB. 8 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — Georgia agreed to forge ahead with a plan to develop a property register using technology that supports the bitcoin virtual currency.

The deal is a gamble for Georgia, which wants to promote itself as a forward-looking and technologically savvy country as bitcoin has been largely discredited, partly because of its association with illegal activities.

The deal that Georgia has struck is an extension of a deal it entered into last year with Bitfury, which engineers the blockchain system used to trade bitcoins.

Although best-known for its association with bitcoin, Bitfury has engineered different uses for its blockchain system which effectively allows people to convert an asset into a certificate that can be traded digitally. The blockchain system takes its name from the technique of recording transactions across multiple computers, forming a chain that would be broken by any attempted fraud.

Papuna Ugrekhelidze, the chairman of the Georgian National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR), said that this was the first time that a national government had signed a deal to use Bitfury’s technology.

“The NAPR will use the world’s latest technology [to] guarantee safe transactions, transparency and flexibility. The process is electronic, in which human agents will not interfere, ensuring its security,” media quoted him as saying.

The deal represents a massive overhaul of Georgia’s property registration system and Mr Ugrekhelidze said that using Bitfury’s technology would reduce the cost of updating the register by 95%.

He didn’t give away any of the specifics of the contract that Bitfury has signed with Georgia.

This is the culmination of a process that started in April last year when Bitfury and Georgia began a trial process. Previously, in 2015, Bitfury said it would invest $100m into a technology park in Tbilisi. It also operates a data centre in Gori, 70km from Tbilisi.


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(News report from Issue No. 316, published on Feb. 10 2017)

Uzbekistan receives loan from World Bank

MAY 25 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) — The World Bank sent a $20m loan to Uzbekistan to fund the update of the cadastre system, through which the government registers properties. Outdated registers and complicated bureaucratic procedures, as well as rampant corruption and a lack of legal protection for companies, have kept Uzbekistan among the worst countries to do business in.


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(News report from Issue No. 282, published on May 27 2016)

Kazakh businessman buys mall

MAY 11 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) – Kazakh businessman Kairat Boranbayev said he had bought a 50% share in Capital Partners, a holding company that owns Almaty’s Esentai Tower and Mall. Mr Boranbayev, who also owns the Kairat football club and the McDonald’s franchise in Kazakhstan, jumped to 15th place in Forbes’ ranking of Kazakhstan’s richest people this year, with a net worth of $350m. His daughter, Alima, married Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grandson, Aisultan, in 2013.


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(News report from Issue No. 280, published on  May 13 2016)


Real estate price rise in Kazakhstan

DEC. 7 2015 (The Conway Bulletin) – In tenge terms, prices for new housing in Kazakhstan have risen on average by 12% in the year to the end of November, media reported quoting the national statistics agency. The rise is a reflection of the devaluation of the tenge and also of rising inflation. The tenge has lost around 40% in value this year.


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(News report from Issue No. 260, published on Dec. 11 2015)


UAE fancies Georgian capital as prime development spot

DEC. 3 2015 (The Conway Bulletin) — UAE-based Green Valley International said it was launching a 500m dirham ($136m) luxury housing development project in Tbilisi aimed specifically at investors from the Middle East.

The Green Valley City project near the Georgian capital will spread over 88,000 square metres, roughly the size of 12 football pitches. In the ten apartment blocks the company plans to build, there will be around 510 residential units.

Ali Saeed Al Salami, general manager at Green Valley said: “Georgia is one of the most attractive destinations for real-estate development and investments in Europe. For this project, we will be providing special offerings and facilities to Arab and GCC citizens who would like to invest in it.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a group of countries that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Other investors have been piling into the Tbilisi property market. China’sHualing Georgia has opened its first hotel in Tbilisi Sea New City and Axis said it would complete two $83m twin towers in the city centre.


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(News report from Issue No. 260, published on Dec. 11 2015)


Kyrgyzstan’s housing market slows

OCT. 20 2015, BISHKEK (The Conway Bulletin) — Kyrgyzstan’s real estate market has slowed, media reported quoting a land registry report, more evidence that the overall Kyrgyz economy is stalling.

Analysts from the department of land registry said that the number of house sales this year had dropped by around 42% and the market for apartments was down by 34%.

The official position was the housing market had cooled off because prices were simply too high but a construction company in Bishkek said that the real reason activity in the housing market had fallen was the drop in the value of the Kyrgyz som against the US dollar.

“Sanctions on Russian economy definitely affect the purchasing power of our citizens because the US dollar is the currency for real estate transactions,” a construction company manager who wanted to remain anonymous told the Bulletin.

Roughly in line with other currencies in the region, the som has lost around 33% of its value over the past 12 months and is now trading at around 69/$1.


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(News report from Issue No. 253, published on Oct. 23 2015)