Throwing a BRIC at the Economy

Wonder where real estate titan Sam Zell’s investment dollars are going during these recessionary times?  Despite the global financial crisis, Zell is investing in countries like Brazil, Egypt, Mexico and China – all of which he says have a shortage of affordable housing and lack infrastructure. Zell, the chairman of Chicago-based Equity Group Investments, LLC, likes Brazil for its large pool of skilled professionals, self sufficiency and unlimited resources.  As recently as last April, Brazil’s largest mall owner reported that retail sales grow 10 percent every year.  “If you look at all of the facts, I don’t think there is a better environment in all the world than Brazil,” according to Zell, who thinks the South American nation could overtake China in economic strength within 30 years.  In Brazil and Mexico, the funding to develop housing has not been affected by the credit crunch because their financial markets are well capitalized.  Conditions are similar in Egypt, where a serious housing shortage exists, as well as in China where Zell is profiting from his investment in affordable residences.

Zell’s comments draw attention to the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China – which continue to give hope to observers worldwide with growth rates still in strong single digits and enormous populations who have gained tremendous buying power in the last decade.