Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 8 April 2005
Starwood to Manage New Shanghai Hotel
GIC Real Estate on a Spending Spree in Japan
Duxton Hotels Ride Tourism Boom in Australia and New Zealand
MFS Makes Push into NZ Ski-fields
Singapore Casino May See Universal Studio Partnership
HVS International Hosts Conference in China
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at April 8 2005

Starwood to Manage New Shanghai Hotel Return to Headlines

Starwood and Shanghai You You Group have signed an agreement whereby Starwood will manage the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences located in Pudong. Scheduled to open in mid-2008, the hotel and residences will be part of a multi-purpose complex that houses the hotel in one tower and serviced residences, offices and retail space in the other two towers. Located next to the new Shanghai World Exposition site, the hotel will feature 509 rooms, 150 serviced residences, and close to 1,524sqm of meeting and function space. The hotel facilities will also include four dining outlets, a health club and spa, an indoor swimming pool and retail center. Starwood Hotels & Resorts significantly expanded its portfolio in China over the last year with the opening of the Four Points by Sheraton Shenzhen, and the signing of management contracts of Sheraton hotels in Shenzhen, Xiamen, Changsha, Ningbo and Haikou. In the first quarter of 2005, the hotel group also signed two new hotels: the Sheraton Chongqing Hotel and The Westin Nanjing. Shanghai is the largest economic and trade center in China. It expects to receive at least 4 million visitors from abroad in 2005, with domestic tourist numbers forecasted at 100 million. The city's infrastructure is also rapidly improving to cater to the growing numbers.

GIC Real Estate on a Spending Spree in Japan Return to Headlines

GIC Real Estate has acquired three serviced apartment properties in Japan for some US$112 million. It bought over the properties from Colony Capital, a US real estate investment firm. All three properties are located in upmarket Tokyo residential areas and are popular with the expatriate community. The serviced apartments are operated by Oakwood Asia Pacific, an established international serviced apartment operator in Japan. The portfolio of serviced apartments, with a total of 149 units consists of Oakwood Residence Akasaka, Oakwood Residence Aoyama and Oakwood Apartments Shirokane. GIC Real Estate said it expects to see string growth in the serviced apartment sector in Japan.

Duxton Hotels Ride Tourism Boom in Australia and New Zealand Return to Headlines

Booming tourism in New Zealand and the turnaround in several Australian hotel markets has persuaded Singaporean property group Low Keng Huat to maintain a grip on its Australasian hotel portfolio. The group considered selling its remaining Australasian hotels in one line last year but has since benefited from a management revamp and the improving market conditions. Full-year financial statements showed that although the Singapore company's construction arm continued to bleed cash last year, its hotel division reported only a 9 per cent fall in revenue from US$52.8 million to US$47.9 million after the North Sydney sale. The strong performance of Low Keng Huat's remaining hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam saw a turn around from a pre-tax loss of US$4.2 million to a pre-tax profit of US$2.1 million. The two Duxton hotels in Australia benefited from a recovery in Perth's hotel market and Melbourne coming out of the doldrums. In New Zealand, Duxton's properties in Wellington, Auckland and the Okawa Bay Resort in Rotorua rode a tourist boom. The number of international visitors to New Zealand rose by 12.7 per cent in the 12 months ending last October and increase in supply of new top-end hotels is restricted and the SkyCity Grand Hotel Auckland coming online.

MFS Makes Push into NZ Ski-fields Return to Headlines

Listed funds manager MFS Limited is rolling out its newly acquired BreakFree resort brand into New Zealand's ski market after snaring the management rights to operate two Queenstown resorts. The push comes as MFS aggressively bolsters its tourism division and completes its takeover of Gold Coast-based BreakFree. In the latest deal, MFS has paid US$1.6 million for the management rights to the Alpine Village resort in Queenstown for its BreakFree operation. The property comprises an initial stage of 40 units, due to open next month, and another 120 apartments expected to be finalised by May next year. BreakFree general manager Mark Frawley said the company's strategy was to secure market dominance in Queenstown similar to the company's position on Queensland's Gold Coast. He said the Alpine Village deal was attractive because of the size of the project. Typically, resorts in Queenstown contain between 30 and 50 units. Also in Queenstown, BreakFree has bought the rights to operate 25 units within the luxury The Point complex. Mr Frawley said options had been secured to buy management rights in another four resorts in Queenstown involving approximately 120 units and an investment of about US$3.1 million. These purchases are expected to be finalised by June 30. BreakFree has a target to increase its stock of units under operation or under contract from 3,650 to more than 4,000 by the end of June. MFS first forged into ski-fields about a year ago when it bought Victoria's Mt Hotham and Falls Creek resort properties for $58 million.

Singapore Casino May See Universal Studio Partnership Return to Headlines

In the continuing anticipation on whether the Singapore government will approve a casino in its integrated resort, it was revealed that Genting International and sister company Star Cruises may be have roped theme park operator Universal Studios as their partner. Genting officials refused to show their hand when asked for confirmation, offering only a 'no comment'. Some industry executives reckon Universal's entry could help improve Genting's odds. The group has submitted proposals for both IR sites - at Sentosa and Marina Bayfront. Despite concerns over its image, analysts say Genting has the resources to undertake the Singapore project, which could require an investment of at least $2-3 billion. An earlier BT study of the balance sheets of IR contenders revealed that Genting has the biggest cash hoard - in excess of US$1 billion. Genting also has net current assets of more than US$1 billion, which makes it the leader of the pack. And now, industry watchers say Universal's entry as a partner could further shore up Genting's chances. Universal runs theme parks in Hollywood and Orlando in the US, and Osaka in Japan. It also recently opened a theme park in Spain. The Japanese theme park alone attracted more than nine million visitors last year. In contrast, more than 17 million people visited Genting last year.

HVS International Hosts Conference in China Return to Headlines
China Hotel Investment Summit
Without a doubt, China is rising in stature as the world's economic superpower with unprecedented growth in all sectors within its economy. It is therefore HVS International's pleasure to present the first ever China Hotel Investment Summit (CHIS) which will be held on 28 and 29 April 2005 in the Westin Shanghai. CHIS was conceptualised to provide an opportunity for hotel owners, developers, investors, operators, government agencies and industry specialists to come together to share their best practices, new ideas and the latest market trends. For hotel developers and investors in China, CHIS will be a 'One-Stop' marketplace to tap into new development concepts, a venue to meet major regional and international hotel operators, prospective equity partners, financing partners and industry experts and learn of new investment opportunities. For more information, please contact: David Ling at +65 6293-4415 (Ext. 11) or via email: dling@hvsinterantional.com.sg or Nevius Glussi at +65 6293-4415 (Ext. 12) or via email: nglussi@hvs.com.sg. For more information, please visit CHIS website www.hvs.com/CHIS/.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at April 8 2005
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