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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL-Gazit-Globe, an Israeli commercial real estate investor, has made its first acquisition in Brazil, buying a Sao Paulo shopping center for $31.3 million in cash. The 150,695-sf shopping center is anchored by a Carrefour Supermarket, and is situated on 247,570 sf of land, with potential for further expansion.

The property is located in the southern region of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, with 11 million inhabitants. The shopping center serves residents of the Vila Andrade and Morumbi districts, among the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

In its just-released 2008 Global Market Report, NAI Global noted that Brazil holds promising investment opportunities in 2008. According to the report, Latin America in general is surging: “a long-awaited period of sustained economic growth is finally occurring in much of Latin America. After decades of failed economic policies and dubious politics, much of the region is slowly entering the realm of stable and productive economies.” And Brazil, in particular is strong. The report states that Brazil is now “awash with capital for class A office, industrial and retail developments, as well as speculative acquisitions. Lease rates for all product types have increased 15-20% due to heightened demand and lack of inventory.”

Gazit-Globe chairman Chaim Katzman calls the entry into Brazil an “important milestone” for the company. In a prepared statement, Katzman says that “the property is in a prime location, and has the potential for expansion. This acquisition is in line with Gazit’s strategy in the country of acquiring and developing well located income-producing properties in areas with strong demographics.” Company representatives were unable to be reached before press deadline.

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