File picture: James White
Pretoria - Listed retail property fund Hyprop has shifted in focus away from Africa towards expanding its property assets in Eastern Europe and extending its South African shopping malls.

Hyprop has approved capital expenditure of R260 million to further develop and extend some of its South African shopping centres, including a further R127 million extension to the Rosebank Mall.

But Pieter Prinsloo, chief executive of Hyprop, said on Friday that it did not foresee doing any significant new developments now in Africa or any major acquisitions.

“We are in a holding pattern, because we see better opportunities in Eastern Europe, which at this point are more profitable for us,” he said.

Prinsloo confirmed Hyprop was considering further shopping centre acquisitions in Eastern Europe. The fund acquired last year a 60 percent stake in Delta City Podgorica in Montenegro, Delta City Belgrade in Serbia and the Skopje City Mall in Macedonia.

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Hyprop was also planning some extensions and changes in its malls in Eastern Europe and considering one or two developments.

Prinsloo said 19 percent of Hyprop’s assets were outside of South Africa, with about 12 percent in Africa and 7 percent in Eastern Europe.

Hyprop’s property assets in Africa comprise shareholdings in the Ikeja City Mall in Lagos in Nigeria, Manda Hill in Lusaka in Zambia and the Accra Mall, West Hills Mall and the Achimota Mall, all of which are in Accra in Ghana.

Prinsloo said the company would probably grow the percentage assets Hyprop owned outside of South Africa to about 30percent over time.

“But the focus will most likely be on Eastern Europe,” he said.