According to the press release, “Qatar Holding announces it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Smeralda Holding, owner of luxury hotel resorts on Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, from Colony Capital, the US-based real estate investment firm.
Under the terms of the agreement, Qatar Holding will acquire a portfolio consisting of four luxury hotels (Cala di Volpe, Pitrizza, Romazzino and Cervo) with a total of 372 rooms, the Porto Cervo Marina (host to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda), the Porto Cervo Shipyard, the Pevero Golf Club (designed by Robert Trent Jones), a 51 percent interest in 2,290 hectares of adjacent undeveloped land and various other real estate assets in Costa Smeralda.
The existing management team of Smeralda Holding will remain in place following completion of the transaction and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. will continue to manage the hotels.
Closing of the transaction is conditional on the receipt of antitrust approval from Italian competition authorities.
Commenting on the transaction, Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Holding, said:
“We are happy to have agreed terms for the acquisition of this established portfolio of luxury assets in Sardinia. We intend to continue supporting the on-going development programme which will see Costa Smeralda strengthen its position as a top luxury resort destination.”
Tom Barrack, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital, added:
“I have said before that Costa Smeralda is for no one to own…it owns you. Our job was to leave it better than when we found it. We are now fortunate enough to transition this stewardship to the best, most respected, qualified and nurturing caretaker on the globe today in our partners at Qatar Holding. Their increased investment is a huge vote of confidence for Italy, Sardinia, Costa Smeralda and all of its peoples.”
Evercore Partners acted as financial adviser to Qatar Holding. Deutsche Bank AG acted as adviser to Colony.”
Source: Press Release
The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group (CDP) and its investee companies, which include Fincantieri, Italgas, Snam, and Terna, have reached an agreement with the Municipality of Naples and the Authority of the Central Tyrrhenian Sea Port System. The entities will cooperate to provide for the development of Naples and its surrounding area. There will be a focus on helping the institutions and the community at large through financial support, real estate, and infrastructure investment, and support for local businesses. Signatories can help to provide technical expertise and planning, loans, and oversee public projects. Further, assistance and consulting will be provided, particularly as they relate to interventions and renegotiation of contract terms for the purposes of freeing up capital. Sustainable mobility will be a priority, with natural gas and biomethane forming the core fuels of the future. The group will be developing the ports, which will include the construction of emission-reducing structures.
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The Federal Reserve made a decision to hold interest rates steady and indicated that no more hikes will be coming for 2019. Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell addressed the media saying that the Chinese and European economies have slowed ‘substantially’. Despite low U.S. employment, Powell explained to the media that the U.S. has the lowest labor force participation rate among developed nations.
There were four interest rate hikes in 2018.
The Federal Reserve committee intends to conclude the reduction of its aggregate securities holdings in the System Open Market Account (SOMA) at the end of September 2019. Essentially, the Federal Reserve is ending quantitative tightening in September 2019. Furthermore, the committee intends to slow the reduction of its holdings of Treasury securities by reducing the cap on monthly redemptions from the current level of US$ 30 billion to US$ 15 billion beginning in May 2019.
In a March 20, 2019 statement called “Balance Sheet Normalization Principles and Plans”, a portion of it reads, “The Committee intends to continue to allow its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to decline, consistent with the aim of holding primarily Treasury securities in the longer run.
Beginning in October 2019, principal payments received from agency debt and agency MBS will be reinvested in Treasury securities subject to a maximum amount of $20 billion per month; any principal payments in excess of that maximum will continue to be reinvested in agency MBS.
Principal payments from agency debt and agency MBS below the $20 billion maximum will initially be invested in Treasury securities across a range of maturities to roughly match the maturity composition of Treasury securities outstanding; the Committee will revisit this reinvestment plan in connection with its deliberations regarding the longer-run composition of the SOMA portfolio.
It continues to be the Committee’s view that limited sales of agency MBS might be warranted in the longer run to reduce or eliminate residual holdings. The timing and pace of any sales would be communicated to the public well in advance.”
source: Federal Reserve website
Tencent Holdings Limited is contemplating a bid to acquire Temasek Holdings’s ownership stake in A.S. Watson, an Asian beauty and health retailer. Temasek Holdings has been trying to offload its 10% stake in A.S. Watson. The price tag could be around US$ 3 billion.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited has also expressed interest in the A.S. Watson investment.
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