Singapore-based Frasers Hospitality Trust (“FHT”) has announced the sale of the amalgamated freehold interest Sofitel Sydney Wentworth to joint venture partners, Australia-based Futuro Capital Pty Ltd, Australia-based Marprop Real Estate Investors, and US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (“KKR”) for approximately AUD315 million, and the freehold reversionary interest of the property to an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Frasers Property Limited, the sponsor of FHT, at AUD10.55 million. The 436-key hotel was sold at a 34% premium to FHT’s original purchase price and 12% premium to the independent valuation conducted. Located at the central business district of Sydney, next to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Museum of Sydney, the 17-storey property covers a total gross floor area of 33,589 square metres. The iconic heritage-listed hotel features three restaurants and bars, eight meeting rooms, a business centre and library, a club lounge and an outdoor garden terrace. This is KKR’s first major hotel acquisition in Australia, which also represents the largest single hotel asset deal in Sydney since 2017.

Keppel Investment Management (“Keppel”), the South Korean arm of Singapore-based real estate investor, Keppel Capital Holdings, has acquired Sheraton Seoul D Cube for KRW131.7 billion (USD117.9 million) in aims to redevelop the hotel property into a commercial office building. The deal was signed in September as Korea-based Daesung Industrial sought to repay debts through selling the asset. In recent years after the pandemic, luxury hotels in Seoul have increasingly lost their luster, and Sheraton D Cube decided to shut down this Sunday after opening in 2011. Located in Guro-gu western Seoul, the hotel housed over 250 guest rooms, twelve suites, and twelve meeting rooms. Keppel expects to convert the newly acquired land into offices in conjunction with the adjacent property currently utilised as office space. Moreover, several high-end hotels in Seoul, such as 341-key Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel and 336-key Le Meridien Seoul Hotel, have closed due to the pandemic and are subject to be redeveloped into residential buildings.

Swire Properties Sold East Miami in America

Hong Kong-based Swire Properties Limited (“SPL”) has recently sold East Miami to a joint venture created by funds managed by US-based Trinity Fund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC (“Trinity”), and funds managed by US-based Certares Management LLC for approximately USD174 million. Opened in 2016, East Miami spans a gross floor area of 20,253-square-metre and occupies a 46,825-square-metre site. Designed by Arquitectonica, Studio Collective, and Clodagh Design, the 352-key hotel is located in Brickell City Centre mixed-use complex, downtown area of Miami. It features two restaurants and bars, a fitness centre, an outdoor pool and deck area, and a 1858-square-metres of event space and outdoor venues. Swire Hotels, a division of SPL will continue to manage and operate East Miami under the East brand after the sale. The divestment is part of SPL’s ongoing business strategy to recycle capital and channel it to new projects. Trinity has recently closed a USD520 million hospitality-focused real estate private equity fund targeting upscale and luxury resorts and hotels in America in June 2021.

During the G-20 summit in Rome on 30 October 2021, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agreed upon the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL). Vaccinated Singaporeans will now be able to travel to parts of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria) and back without quarantine in either country starting from 21 November. For Australia, Singapore is the second country it has opened its VTL borders to after New Zealand. Vaccinated travellers from Australia can now enter Singapore without serving a stay-home notice from 8 November. PM Lee announced that "Australia's move is a significant step towards restoring the close connectivity between Singapore and Australia." Australia was among the top ten markets for annual passenger arrivals at Changi Airport, accounting for about 4% of total arrivals in 2019.

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