BELGIUM - DEGI, the €6bn German specialist property investment group, has bought a major European Union (EU) office complex in Brussels, in a deal worth €90m.

The properties were purchased indirectly through property companies and will be added to the DEGI International, the firm's open-ended real estate fund focusing on global commercial properties.

Other recent acquisitions included office complexes in Poland, The Czech Republic and in DEGI's domestic market of Germany.

The buildings are located in the EU-dominated Leopold quarter in Brussels, the Belgian capital's most important office area and the office complex, which is fully let to the European Union until 2016, comprises some 20,000 m2 and is centrally located close to other EU institutions.

DEGI, which was acquired by Aberdeen Property Investors earlier this year, said the move was part of its strategy to expand its European portfolio.

More importantly, the firm claimed the deal reflected the strong resistance Belgium was showing to the current economic downturn - as the country's growth for 2008 is still anticipated to be positive at 1.6% while Europe's major economies - France, Germany, Italy and the UK - remained stagnant or shrinking.

"Brussels continues to be one of the most-sought after investment locations in Europe, because of its stable office market, supported by the presence of a number of well-known institutions," commented Bärbel Schomberg, DEGI chief executive officer.

"We are particularly pleased with this acquisition given the limited availability of prime located office space in the city. This investment not only added three prime-located office properties to our portfolio, but also gave us an excellent tenant with a long-term lease - the EU," he added.