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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