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Saudi Sovereign Fund Backs Riviera of the Middle East

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Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has a domestic mandate to identify potential projects that can generate returns, while diversify the economy from non-oil sources. A new luxury destination, “Amaala,” is being planned to encourage tourism at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. This is the third project planned in the area. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund will provide the first round of funding. Private corporations are expected to later join in with additional financing. The 3800 square kilometer project will capitalize on the trend in healthy lifestyles. Meditation and specialty treatments will be available, and the “transformational luxury experience” is intended to serve as a driver of foreign investment. It could also create 22,000 employment opportunities along the northwest coast. There will be arts, culture, fashion, and sports on offer, giving visitors a unique and customizable itinerary.

Amaala comes as the latest addition to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 campaign, which also includes The Red Sea Project, a global tourist center, and NEOM, a new economic zone and travel destination. The Red Sea Project and NEOM are similarly financed by the Public Investment Fund. Saudi Vision 2030 is, primarily, a campaign to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil revenue. Amaala will be built in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve. The resort will consist of three sites, and is being planned to co-exist with the current marine ecosystem. There will be 700 residential villas, apartments, and homes built. Hotels will boast 2,500 rooms, and over 200 retail operations will be created, with art, clothing, and dining vendors. According to the PIF, the new destination will be known as “the Riviera of the Middle East.”

In June 2018, Saudi Arabia King Salman issued a royal order creating the Council of Royal Reserves under the chairmanship of the Crown Prince. A number of reserves were created including the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve which is an area between the NEOM project, the Red Sea, and the Al’A-ala Project.

Reserves Created by June 2018 Royal Order
1. Rawdhat Khuraim Reserve
2. Mahazah Al-Sayad Reserve
3. Al-Taysiyah Reserve
4. Al-Tanhat and Al-Khafs Reserves
5. Al-Khanfa, Al-Tubaiq and Hurra Al-Hurra Reserves
6. Prince Mohammed bin Salman Reserve

HFF Finds a New Home in Jones Lang LaSalle

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Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL) inked a deal to acquire Dallas-based HFF, Inc. JLL will acquire all the outstanding shares of HFF in a cash and stock transaction with an equity value of approximately US$ 2 billion. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. Mark Gibson, CEO of HFF, will join JLL as CEO, Capital Markets, Americas and Co-Chair of its Global Capital Markets Board. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to HFF shareholder approval and customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.

Transaction Details

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IFM, Polish Development Fund, PSA Acquire Gdansk Terminal

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The Polish Development Fund, known locally as Polski Fundusz Rozwoju S.A. (PFR), signed a deal to lead an investor group to acquire the largest container terminal in Gdansk from an infrastructure fund managed by Macquarie. The transaction is worth more than 5 billion zlotys (US$ 1.3 billion). DCT Gdansk is the only terminal in Baltic sea region that can serve Ultra Large Container Vessels, also known as UCLVs.

The Polish Development Fund and IFM Investors will each acquire a 30% stake in the Gdansk terminal, while PSA International Pte Ltd (which is owned by Temasek Holdings), will own 40% of the terminal.

Macquarie was advised by Goldman Sachs.

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Williams and CPPIB Create $3.8 Billion Venture in the Marcellus and Utica Basins

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Tulsa-based Williams Companies Inc. (Williams) disclosed a series of transactions that will establish a new platform for the optimization of its midstream operations in the western Marcellus and Utica basins through a long-term partnership with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). This deal gives CPPIB more exposure to the North American natural gas market.

CPPIB Investment

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