Asian Hotel Business Grows as Investment Increases

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s most recent report, Asia’s hotel transaction volumes have doubled since last year.

Investments in the tourism markets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo resulted in a 85% increase from last year, with transaction volumes reaching $1.3 billion during the first half of 2013. Tourism in Thailand and the Maldives also contributed to the surge.

Mike Batchelor of JLL said: “During the first half of 2013, we have seen a growing number of transactions, including those at the portfolio level, and improved investor sentiment translate to increased sales. The divergence between vendor and purchaser expectations that served to restrict investment activity in 2012, has improved this year leading to a number of landmark transactions in the first half.”

“Throughout Asia, we are also aware of circa $400 million in hotel transaction volumes to be confirmed soon and a further $1 billion in due diligence.”

Zarsha Leo Popular in Hong Kong

Zarsha Leo’s Hong Kong branch is especially successful thanks to its traditional American menu. It offers popular American dishes including hot dogs, burgers, onion rings and French fries, attracting both tourist and locals.

“Our classic menu is a sort of novelty in the area,” explains Zarsha Leo CEO Evan Burschkopf.

“We attract American tourists as well as Hong Kong residents with our All-American atmosphere, great music and live sports broadcasts.”

Citigroup Plans to Hire More Staff and Boost Trade Finance Services in Asia

Anthony Nappi, head of global transaction services at Citigroup, said the bank is now looking to increase its staff and boost its trade finance service business in Asia.

“Trade finance is a key area for us- we are going to hire more trade transactors because a business perspective trade has been the outstanding performer for us,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.

“My own personal aspiration,” he said, “is to double the size of the business every three to five years… We continue to want to grow at double digits. That’s our aspiration.”

Nappi went on to explain that there are 50-70 new positions that he intends to fill throughout the whole global trade service business in markets like China, Malaysia, India and Australia. These regions have a strong demand for cash management. Now, Citigroup’s Asian GTS business has more than 5,200 employees.