Sonae Sierra enters Algeria market

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Sonae Sierra, the international shopping center specialist, has just entered the Algerian market with the creation of Sierra Cevital, a service provider company in the shopping center area, including the shopping center development, management and letting activities.

Sierra Cevital is owned by Sonae Sierra and Cevital, an Algerian group with interests in several business areas, namely in the food industry, construction, glass manufacturing and car sales. More recently, the group invested in the large retail sector, with hypermarket brand Uno.

For Fernando Guedes de Oliveira, Sonae Sierra's CEO, the "entry in this new market in another step towards the diversification of Sonae Sierra's international presence. Our partnership with Cevital allows us to join our knowhow and experience in the shopping center sector with Cevital's knowledge of the Algerian market. We're certain that the combination of these factors will have a positive impact on the development of our activity in Algeria."

Salim Rebrab, a Cevital Administrator, adds: "Currently, Algeria has deficit of shopping centers that can offer a modern shopping and leisure experience. There were several reasons for our partnership with Sonae Sierra: we have the same values of integrity and respect, we share the same vision and, especially, the ambition of becoming leaders in this sector in Algeria. Finally, the complementarity of our skills is clear, combining the knowledge of the Algerian market, on the one side, and the specialization and experience in shopping centers, on the other, which will make this partnership a success."

For the shopping center sector, Algeria is an attractive market with 36 million inhabitants, where 60% of the population is under 30 years old, and is in rapid economic development, with a shopping center industry with great growth potential, due to the relatively low Gross Lettable Area per inhabitant - 5 m²/1,000 inhabitants - in comparison to the European Union, which is at 226 m²/1,000 inhabitants.

In macroeconomic terms, Algeria's economy presented a GDP growth rate of 3.6% in 2010, and is expected to achieve an annual growth of 3.5% before 2013.

A sustained internationalization process

Sonae Sierra which operates in the Portuguese market for 21 years, begun its internationalization in 1999 in three markets: Spain, Greece and Brazil. In 2000, Germany and Italy joined the list, and 2007 marked our arrival in the Romanian market. In 2010, the entry in Colombia reinforced the Company's internationalization with a new market in South America. In 2011, Sonae Sierra entered Morocco through third party service provision.

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