Gazit Globe, the Israeli real estate investment company, on Wednesday announced the completion of its NIS 386 million fundraising initiative to further the group's expansion plans. "We continue to focus on our growth expansion strategy while maintaining a strong balance sheet and securing financial means," said Dori Segal, president and director of Gazit Globe. In May, Gazit Globe announced the expansion of its activities into the operation of shopping centers in Israel. Last month, Gazit Globe Israel, the group's 85%-owned subsidiary, announced the NIS 58m. acquisition of the Mikado Shopping Center in the Tel Baruch neighborhood. In July, the company, controlled by Segal and Chaim Katzman, bought its first shopping mall in Israel, the Rothschild shopping mall in Rishon Lezion for NIS 185m. Previously, Gazit Globe limited its operations mainly to North America, where it operates via Equity One and the Canadian company FCR, and to Europe, where it works through the Finnish company Citycon. Gazit Globe owns 316 properties worldwide of which 299 are shopping centers The financing round was raised from three sources since the beginning of 2005. Gazit Globe exercised Series 8 warrants into shares, for NIS 118m., of which the parent company Gazit Inc invested NIS 45m. Secondly, Gazit Globe raised NIS 180m. through shares to institutional investors. Also, Gazit Globe allocated 2.5m. shares to Gazit Inc. at NIS 34 each, and allocated 100,000 shares to Katzman, which brought in NIS 88m. In total, Gazit Inc. invested NIS 130m. in the subsidiary. In the first six months of 2005, the company and its subsidiaries raised approximately NIS 227m. from the public from the issue of share capital. Separately, Citycon, the Helsinki-traded subsidiary, reported a turnover of â‚¬23.9m. in the three months to September 30, 2005 compared with â‚¬21.1m. during the same period last year. Pre-tax profits nearly doubled to â‚¬16.1m.from â‚¬8.6m. last year. Earnings per share rose to â‚¬0.10 from â‚¬0.06. Citycon owns 145 properties worth â‚¬894.2m. and its portfolio is comprised of 127 supermarkets and shops and 18 shopping centers across Finland, Sweden and Estonia.