AP COVID Hospitality Bulletin Asia Pacific - July 2021
Transactions that matter.
1. Renaissance Shanghai Caohejing Hotel, Shanghai
- The hotel is a 22-storey 5-star hotel that has been in operation since 2012. With 380 keys, the property is located in Xuhui District within within the Caohejing New Technology Development Zone.
- ITC Properties Group has agreed to take a minority stake (30% interest) in the holding company Premier Maker Limited. The investors believe that the acquisition represents a good investment opportunity for the group to increase its indirect stake in property with potential appreciation in capital value despite the disrupted hotel market amid COVID-19.
2. Somerset Metropolitan West Hanoi & livelyfhere Cambetta Paris
- Through its subsidiary Ascott Limited, CapitaLand acquired two properties in Paris and Hanoi on a turnkey basis which are expected to open in 2024. The transaction conducted under a 50/50 joint venture with the sovereign wealth-fund Qatar Investment Authority.
- As a 139-unit co-living property in Paris, this will be the debut of the lyf brand in Europe after the building undergoes refurbishment. Currently, Ascott has a total of 15 lyf properties across nine countries in Asia Pacific.
- Located in the new Central Business District, Somerset Metropolitan West Hanoi will feature 364 units. The property is expected to open in 2024.
3. Raffles City Portfolio, China
- Singapore’s CapitaLand sold controlling partial stakes in six out of the nine mixed-use Raffles City developments in China to China's Ping An Insurance. The sale is a diversification strategy of CapitaLand to shift to tech-charged holdings, such as such as business parks, logistics and data centers. Upon completion of the sale, CapitaLand will maintain 12.6% to 30% stake in each development.
- The six developments are namely, the Raffles City Shanghai, Raffles City Beijing, Raffles City Ningbo, Raffles City Chengdu, Raffles City Changning (Shanghai) and Raffles City Hangzhou, including various retail, office, residential and hotel components.
- The hotels in this transaction are Ascott Raffles City Chengdu, Ascott Raffles City Beijing, Conrad Hangzhou and Ascott Raffles City Hangzhou.
- The total value of the portfolio is $7.2 billion, with an expectation to generate net proceeds of $650 million.
COVID News that matter.
Vaccination Leaderboard: where is your country ranked at?
Updates on key countries:
- Given a steep decline in new cases from the peak of over 400,000 per day in early May, major cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were reopened in an attempt to revitalize the economy. Tourist sites, hotels, shopping malls and restaurants are opened in limited capacity. Notably, the Taj Mahal has been reopened to the public since mid-June. On its busiest days since reopening, the monument hosted 2,000 visitors, which is less than one-tenth of its capacity.
- With less than 5% of the country fully vaccinated, some are fearful that the more infectious Delta variant that previously ravaged the country may again lead to a spike in infections with relaxed social restrictions. Delhi was among the worst-hit cities as shortages of oxygen and hospital beds led to a public health crisis for a the city of 20 million people.
- Starting 12 July, three countries including Canada, Germany and Maldives will reopen flights for Indian citizens to fly in for non-essential travel.
- As the Summer Olympic Games is approaching in two weeks, Japan announced on 8 July that fans will be banned from Tokyo-area stadiums and arenas. From 12 July to 22 August, the capital will also go under a state of emergency due to rising infections and the highly contagious Delta variant.
- The spectator ban covers Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. For events that will take place in outlying areas such baseball in Fukushima, only a limited number of spectators will be allowed.
- In the week leading up to 1 July, Tokyo had registered 896 new cases, up from 673 the week prior. It marks the 19th consecutive day that cases have topped the mark set seven days prior with highest totals. So far, only 15% of the Japanese population is vaccinated, which is slow compared to other Asian countries.
- The high infection rate in Japan poses a challenge for some Pacific Island teams to participate in the Olympics. Various countries have already withdrawn some athletes given concerns over the spread of the virus. Due to limited flight schedules, arranging travel for teams travelling to Tokyo has also been a logistical challenge for arrival and departure.
- RE: Phuket Tourism Sandbox model: a total of 2,399 visitors had arrived in Phuket under the Sandbox program during the first week of July. So far only one visitor from the United Arab Emirates who arrived in Phuket in a tour group on 6 July was found to be infected with COVID-19. All tourists on the same tour are currently placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine at a designated hotel for observation and testing. The governor remained optimistic about the success of the reopening as 70% of the local population is fully vaccinated. Phuket currently has 131,809 room nights booked for July, with 9,745 booked for August and 1,094 booked for September. The similar “Samui Plus” reopening scheme, involving the trio of islands of the Surat Thani of Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, is planned to start on July 15.
- Some are still worried about the continuation of reopening of different islands across Thailand as countrywide cases are still rising. The government is in discussion of a partial lockdown of various regions worst hit by the virus, such as the Bangkok metropolitan area to curb infections. Amid a low vaccination rate across the country, Thailand struggles to contain the Delta variant causing spikes in infections and deaths.
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