Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 9 December 2005
JIA Shanghai: Hong Kong Boutique Hotel Concept Expands to Shanghai
W Sydney Sold to Taj
Diamant Hotel Pup Up For Sale
Citadines Enters Thai Turf
Cathay Confirms Its Largest Boeing Order
Accor to Challenge Regal Airport
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 9 December 2005

JIA Shanghai: Hong Kong Boutique Hotel Concept Expands to Shanghai Return to Headlines

Shanghai will get its first chic, boutique hotel, JIA Shanghai, as owner Yenn Wong announces the expansion of her highly successful JIA concept from Hong Kong to Shanghai. JIA Shanghai will open its doors in mid-2006, two years after the successful launch of JIA Hong Kong. A 6,314-square-metre property located at the intersection of Nanjing Road and Taixing Road, the new 60-room boutique hotel will represent the first of several expansion projects for the newly created "JIA Boutique Hotels" brand. In booming Shanghai, JIA aims to emulate the success of Hong Kong's JIA Boutique Hotel, the first Philippe Starck-designed property hotel in Asia which has since become a "home from home" for the fashionable crowd and which features 54 chic hotel rooms including two penthouses.

W Sydney Sold to Taj Return to Headlines
Sydney will lose the iconic W Sydney hotel but gain a Taj hotel in February. Taj has paid US$27 million for the high-profile hotel and reportedly has hotels in other capital cities in its sights. The Indian hotelier, which is part of the massive Tata Group, edged out private Queensland investor Precision Group to buy the landmark hotel. The five-star complex at Sydney's Finger Wharf was sold by its Hong Kong owner Harilela Group, which paid about US$22 million in 1999. The Mumbai-based Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces chain has been expanding across the globe and recently acquired the management of New York's prestigious The Pierre hotel.

Diamant Hotel Pup Up For Sale Return to Headlines

Property developer Ashington Group has put the boutique Diamant Hotel in Sydney's Kings Cross on the market with expectations of about US$14 million. Construction has commenced on the 16-storey hotel, and it plans to pitch itself as a hip 78-room boutique hotel in the mould of the W Sydney, after so many hotels in Sydney's east have been converted to apartments. The hotel, scheduled to open in late 2006 - will be operated by the Eight Hotels Group, which is on a 10-year lease with two five-year extensions. The hotel lot will form part of the mixed-use redevelopment of the former Hyatt Kingsgate. Ashington's redevelopment is known as CROSS+ and includes strata commercial office suites, residential apartments and a retail component. The retail component may also be sold with the hotel.

Citadines Enters Thai Turf Return to Headlines

The Ascott Group has signed an agreement with Thailand's Thakral family to launch five Citadines serviced residences in Bangkok, a move which will mark the brand's debut in Thailand. Under the agreement, Citadines Bangkok (S) Pte Ltd will own 49 per cent of the joint venture company, Boutique Land Ltd, while the remaining will be held by the Thakral family. The first Citadines property in Thailand, a 79-unit serviced residence called Citadines Sukhumvit 16, is targeted to open in the second half of 2006. Upon completion, Ascott will manage the property for a period of 10 years with an option to renew for another 10 years, subject to agreement from both parties. The target is to launch five Citadines serviced residences with about 500 units by 2010. Ascott is currently strong of a portfolio of more than 1,300 units in which six properties under The Ascott and Somerset brands in Bangkok.

Cathay Confirms Its Largest Boeing Order Return to Headlines
Cathay Pacific has placed its biggest-ever order for new aircraft by agreeing to acquire 16 Boeing 777-300ERs - four of these are through a lease agreement with the International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC). These aircraft will be delivered between September 2007 and July 2011. It has also obtained purchase rights for another 20 aircraft. Cathay has also agreed to purchase three Airbus A330-300 for regional routes, adding to the 26 aircraft of this type in its current fleet. By the time it celebrates its 60th anniversary in September 2006, Cathay's fleet will be 100-strong.

Accor to Challenge Regal Airport Return to Headlines
Accor plans to expand its chain into Tung Chung in early 2006, going into direct competition with the Regal Airport Hotel for tourist beds. The French hotelier, which in Asia operates the Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis brands, has secured a management contract for a soon-to-be-opened hotel at the Citygate development in Tung Chung, about five minutes from Hong Kong International Airport. The office-retail-hotel Citygate development is a joint venture between the MTR Corp and a consortium comprising Swire Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development, Hang Lung Development and New World Development. The Novotel Citygate Hong Kong will have 440 rooms, including 38 suites. Accor already operates the Novotel Century Hong Kong in Wan Chai and the Ibis in North Point.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 9 December 2005
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