Orascom, Montenegro to build 1.1 bln euro resort

PODGORICA, May 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Montenegro and Swiss-based
developer Orascom Development (ORDH.CA: )(ODHN.S: ) announced plans
on Monday to develop a 1.1 billion euros ($1.36 billion) resort
town on the Adriatic coast.

The project will consist of a marina, town centre,
commercial facilities and 2,350 apartments over 6.8 million
square metres on the Lustica peninsula near the coastal town of
Tivat, Montenegrin tourism minister Predrag Nenezic said.

“This should be region’s first self-sustainable holiday
resort. It means a lot to us, because this is one of the biggest
projects which can bring back tourists from Western Europe,”
Nenezic told Reuters.

The former Yugoslav republic has sought major investments
for its Adriatic coastline, where officials would like to
promote upscale tourism. About a quarter of Montenegro’s total
economy is related to tourism.

Orascom has a 90 percent stake in the Lustica Development AD
company, with the Montenegrin government holding the rest. The
joint venture was formed in 2009.

The first phase of Lustica project should start immediately
after the 2010 summer season and be completed by 2013, Nenezic
said after a joint presentation of the project in the capital
Podgorica.

The economy of Montenegro, a European Union applicant,
contracted 5.3 percent last year, according to the government,
and by 7 percent according to the IMF.

The government in Podgorica is seeking investors in its real
estate and tourism sectors to generate more revenue and boost
employment in the least populated country in the Balkans.
“Several hundred new jobs will be created in connection with the
project,” Orascom said in a statement.

Orascom Development’s main presence is in Egypt but it has
projects in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Switzerland
and Morocco.

On Monday, the firm said it posted net profit after
non-controlling interest of 16.9 million francs in the first
quarter of 2010, down from 21.6 million a year earlier.
[nLDE64G06B]

Stock Market

(Reporting by Petar Komnenic; Editing by Aleksandar Vasovic,
Mike Nesbit)
($1=.8114 euros)

Orascom, Montenegro to build 1.1 bln euro resort