Plaza Centers, the Israeli owned shopping centre developer, has curtailed its 32 project development pipeline by up to 82% in order to ride out the downturn.

In its interim management statement today, the emerging markets developer said it had ‘taken the decision to scale back on project starts and acquisitions’.

Plaza is pushing forward with six projects that are at the construction stage in Romania, Czech Republic, India, Latvia and Serbia – three of which will be delivered next year and the other three will be completed in 2010.

This means that up to 26 projects could be put on hold.

Ran Shtarkman, CEO of Plaza Centers said:‘We are taking a cautious view on the projects on which we have not yet started construction and will keep the timing of the commencement of these under regular scrutiny in order to identify the optimal time of the commencement of a recovering market.’

The group’s cash position has improved from £156m in September to £185m despite having invested E159m this year.

The level of gearing remains at a 40% debt to equity level.

Shtarkman said that this meant it would not be forced to make any forced disposals of assets.

‘We are also fortunate in being well positioned to prosper thanks to our conservative gearing levels, significant cash resources and very good relationships with our financing banks,’ he said.