January 29, 2009 / 12:25 AM / 10 years ago

Chile Cencosud delays $500 million mall due crisis

 SANTIAGO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Chile’s Cencosud (CEN.SN), one of Latin America’s largest retailers, said on Wednesday it would gradually delay construction work on a $500 million mega-mall in the capital, Santiago, because of the global financial crisis.
 Cencosud said in a statement it would resume its Costanera Center project, which would house major department stores and include a 300 meter high skyscraper, once the financial uncertainty cleared.
 “For now, it makes no sense to keep construction going at the current pace if we are not able to rent out the installations of Costanera Center,” Daniel Rodriguez, a top Cencosud executive, said in a statement.
 “In the current economic context, the reasonable and responsible thing to do ... is to focus our investment plan on those projects which allow us to obtain immediate or guaranteed returns.”
 Cencosud’s move comes as a number of Chilean companies, including several in the mining sector, have delayed investment projects because of the impact of the global crisis.
 President Michelle Bachelet unveiled a $4 billion anti-crisis fiscal stimulus plan this month that the government hopes will fend off recession, help the economy grow between 2.0 percent and 3.0 percent this year and safeguard and create jobs.  (Reporting by Antonio de la Jara and Simon Gardner; Editing by Andre Grenon)   

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