Around 80 percent of the malls’ loans are foreign currency denominated.
“Some shopping mall investors cannot even pay the interest let alone the principal,” he said.
The shopping malls account for 50 percent of sales volume in the retail sector, according to Şapkacı.
At least eight more shopping centers will open in 2024, he noted.
Some nine shopping malls, including Forum Istanbul and Marmara Forum, which 76 shoppers visit each year and provide jobs to 15,000 people, have applied for concordat.
Those troubled malls own a total of 900 million euros in debt to six private banks, said Hande Yelgin, spokesperson for the companies that requested concordat.
When banks and those companies failed to agree, shopping malls applied to a court with a plan on how they would repay their debt, requesting extra time. The court granted them three additional months.
For these three months, appointed officials will inspect the companies’ assets and financials. After this period, the companies will only meet operating costs, employees’ salaries and tax debts for 15 months.
“After 15 months, the companies will start to repay debt in installments,” Yelgin explained.
“The debt they owned actually could be repaid, but the disagreement emerged over redemption schedule…Technically, we cannot go bankrupt. Our assets are well above our debts. What we did was to request legal protection,” she said.