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Low-cost income from Belgrade Waterfront

by Dubaiforum

According to Radar weekly, the Serbian budget missed out on potential revenue of 2.5 billion Euro from the sale of land that the Belgrade Waterfront project occupies, instead of the 6.6 million Euro in dividends received so far. The Belgrade Waterfront company is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills company and the Serbian government, with the private company holding 67 percent of shares and the government holding 33 percent.

The government initially handed over 177 hectares of prime construction land along the Sava river nine years ago, and has now approved the transfer of an additional 327 hectares for the expansion of the Belgrade Waterfront project, a decision made by the outgoing government. However, the specific conditions of the land transfer to Eagle Hills were not detailed in government documents.

Radar pointed out that the state may not recoup its full investment, as the sale of the total 504 hectares of land would have generated 2.5 billion Euro, significantly more than the initial investment by Eagle Hills. State revenue from the sale of Belgrade Waterfront apartments only amounted to 2.3 million Euro, despite profits reaching 124.5 million Euro in 2023. The government also collected 8.2 million Euro in profit tax from the project.

Foreign investments consultant Milan Kovacevic suggested that the government should receive a portion of the profits from apartment sales, especially since profits in 2023 were substantial. He highlighted concerns about funds being diverted out of the country, potentially impacting the state’s tax revenue. Belgrade Waterfront also provided financial support to its subsidiary companies, BW Galerija and BW Kula, lending them 86 million Euro and paying 25 million Euro to the majority owner on an earlier loan, with an additional 25 million Euro due by the year’s end. The majority owner also charged approximately 7.5 million Euro for project development services, as reported by Radar.

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