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LUXEMBOURG-Morgan Stanley has invested $35 million as part of a new partnership with Orco Property Group, a fund manager listed on the Euronext Paris and Prague stock exchanges. Morgan Stanley acquired a 4% stake in Orco for $17.54 million (euro 15 million) and invested an additional $17.54 million in Orco’s Endurance Fund, which is dedicated to acquiring commercial properties in Central and Eastern Europe.

Along with the investments, Orco and Morgan Stanley have agreed to jointly sponsor future real estate funds dedicated to the region. John Carrafiell, head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate in Europe, says the Central and Eastern European region offers “significant opportunities” due to economic growth rates that are greater than Western Europe and “a fundamental undersupply of quality real estate.”

“It is interesting to note that, whilst the risk free bond rates in the Czech Republic are virtually equal to prevailing Western European levels, prime real estate yields in the Czech Republic are still between 150-300 basis points wider,” says Carrafiell.

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