News: Property Development Projects & Major Real Estate Deals -

HK listed hotel group buys 5 star Shangri-La Hotel Sydney for A$352.4M -
Another indicator of Asian confidence of the Australian tourism industry and positioning to take advantage of predicted Chinese and Asian tourist / visitor boom

The Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, which is one of the iconic highrise buildings of Sydney CBD facing Sydney Harbour, is bought by HK listed Shangri-La Asia Ltd from Lilyvale Hotel Pty Ltd, which is controlled by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC Real Estate).   Lilyvale Hotel Pty Ltd held remaining 76 years leasehold of the site issued by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, who is the freehold owner of the siteShangri-La has been hotel manager of the hotel for many years.

Facilities of the hotel
Shangri-La Sydney has 563 rooms
, 40 of which are hotel suites. Facilities include 3 restaurants, 1 cocktail bar (located on roof), 1 ballroom, 1 health club.  The hotel was built in 1992, refurbished in 2005 and recently.  The building is 36 storey high.
Situated in the Rocks area of Sydney CBD, most of the rooms in the hotel enjoy Sydney harbour view, encompassing the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The buyer
Shangri-La Asia Ltd is owned by Malaysian billionaire the Robert Kuok family.  The Kuok family has business interest in property, manufacturing and media.  Their media interest include share holding in HK newspaper South China Morning Post and HK television TVB.  It is reported that Pacific Carriers Ltd, a company backed by Robert Kuok, is in negotiation with
Drydocks World (part of Dubai conglomerate Dubai World) to take up major stake in Drydocks' ship building and ship repair business in Singapore and Indonesia.

The current spree of hotel snap up by Asian investors
Malaysian listed REIT Starhill Real Estate Investment Trust bought 3 Marriott hotels recently for A$415M, including Sydney Harbour Marriott (550 rooms), Brisbane Marriott (267 rooms) and Melbourne Marriott (185 rooms).  The price paid for the Sydney Harbour Marriott is reported to be A$249M.  Starhill REIT is managed by Malaysian based YTL Corp.

Hong Kong based Great Eagle Group bought Observatory Hotel Sydney for A$40M last week.

It is reported that Asian buyers have so far accounted for 93% of all hotel sales in Australia this year.
The total value of hotel sales for the first half of 2012 is approx. A$614M.
Forecasted tourism boom
Two key demographic trends will emerge in the global tourism market.

Firstly, baby boomers in developed countries will go into retirement within the next 10 years.  They possess high percentage of their countries' wealth and will have more time for travel and leisure.  Secondly, developing countries such as China and India will produce a new massive middle class with higher disposable income.  This new middle class is the driving force behind predicted huge increase in tourism demand.  China has become the most valuable inbound tourist market for Australia in 2010.  It is forecasted that the number of tourist and visitors from China will increase significantly in the years ahead and will remain as the most valuable inbound tourist source for Australia until the end of this decade.

- "China is expected to deliver 900,000 visitors worth up to A$9 billion a year to Australia by the end of this decade."
- "The Chinese middle class is already larger than the entire population of the United States.  In 15 years it will reach 800 million."
- "There will be an average of 25 million first-time Chinese travellers every year, or 70,000 every day, for the next 10 years."

Source: Property Observer, Deloitte Tourism Forecast, Tony Bartlett AAP Tourism Writer - 29.6.2012

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Malaysian Kuok Family buys 5 star Shangri-La Hotel Sydney for A$352.4M

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