Greek Property Promotion

Archive for June, 2016

www.Buy2Greece.com – Low-cost flights will be affected by the free market exit

The British citizens’ vote to exit the European Union is threatening the inexpensive air transportation in Europe, from and to United Kingdom after 20 years of enjoying the advantages of the free market, reports CNN Money

The low-cost companies are to be strongly affected by Brexit. Because of the leaving proceedings from the European Union, the United Kingdom finds itself unable to join the Open Skies agreement and therefore in need to negotiate the access to the single aviation market. The price that Britain could be forced to pay might be to accept the supremacy of EU regulations and possible air free movement of workers.
“We have written today to the U.K. government and the European Commission to ask them to prioritize the U.K. remaining part of the single EU aviation market,” EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said Friday.
EasyJet Chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall declared the company remained “confident” in the strength of its business model after Britain voted to leave the EU. Still, the same Dame Carolyn urged the European Commission to prioritize British airlines remaining part of the EU aviation area “given its importance to trade and consumers”.
In a statement on Monday, EasyJet stated that the operating environment in May and June for European airlines had been “extremely challenging”.
Low-cost companies’ shares have fallen sharply, some by more than 20% after the voters have chosen the Brexit. Furthermore, Europe should allow British operators access to the single market, but it is likely that the Europeans will obtain a higher cost. Meanwhile, competing companies such as Lufthansa and Air France could take the opportunity to restrict the powerful operators such as EasyJet, in the European area.

Source:- European

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www.Buy2Greece.com – Suicide bombers strike Turkey airport killing 36

Two deadly explosions at Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport killed 36 and injured more than 140 people. According to one senior Turkish official, the death toll might rise to 50.

Three terrorists armed with bombs and guns ran open fire near an entry point to the terminal. Security guards exchanged gunfire with two suspects carrying AK-47 rifles and both attackers detonated suicide bombs as they reached the first security checkpoint at the Ataturk airport. The third assailant detonated his explosives in the airport’s parking lot.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that early signs suggested the so-called Islamic State was behind the attack. And the recent bombings looked like a major co-ordinated assault which, could either be linked to IS or to Kurdish separatists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by urging Western countries to take a firm stance against terrorism.

The bombings created deadly carnage and the crowds were panic stricken.

Ataturk airport has been a vulnerable target for long. The X-ray scanners at the entrance to the terminal are there but the security checks for cars are limited.

Images from the terminal showed bodies covered in sheets, with glass and abandoned luggage littering the building.

Relatives of those missing gathered outside a local hospital where many victims were taken. Lack of information created anger and panic amongst many.

Flights were suspended after the attack, and with the US Federal Aviation Administration grounding all services between the US and Istanbul. The airport was closed overnight for several hours, and flights into the airport had been diverted to the capital of Ankara and other cities. Limited flights have now resumed at the airport.

Taxis and ambulances were used to rush casualties to hospital.

While no terrorist groups have claimed responsibility for the massacre, Turkish security forces believe Isis was behind the attacks.

Buy2Greece.com – How Brexit will affect tourism sector in Europe?

David Cameron has announced his resignation as Prime Minister following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Britain voted for Brexit by 52% to 48%. Following the result, value of pound reached the lowest level since 1985.

With the advent of the peak travel season where thousands of tourists have planned to enjoy a vacation in Europe, is facing the dilemma about the probable effects of the ‘leave vote’. They are yet to discover the immediate changed prices in the commodities and tickets which in future will lead to further hikes.

The immediate query that is hitting the blocks is whether the holidays will cost more. The answer lies in what the value will be settled at before the referendum. According to the Treasury, the predicted sterling would lose 12-15 per cent of its value on a Leave vote. But in longer terms, the two major key rates are against the euro and the dollar.

The €:£ rate is fulcrum to all international companies including the tour operators, businesses etc. Generally, travellers prefer to visit the foreign holidays which has single-currency area. Be it Spanish Costas, Italian cities, French countryside or islands of Greece – they all have to maintain a decent €:£ rate.

According to the industry experts, the destinations in Asia and America like the US, Dubai and China will also see a proportional rise. In many cases, the currencies are locked to the US$.

How the pound price and $:£ rate is essential as it affects the oil price, aircraft costs etc. So, following a 12% fall in the sterling will push up the price of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel, as well as the cost of aircraft for airlines such as British Airways and easyJet.

www.Bu2Greece.com -How Brexit will affect tourism sector in Europe?

David Cameron has announced his resignation as Prime Minister following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Britain voted for Brexit by 52% to 48%. Following the result, value of pound reached the lowest level since 1985.

With the advent of the peak travel season where thousands of tourists have planned to enjoy a vacation in Europe, is facing the dilemma about the probable effects of the ‘leave vote’. They are yet to discover the immediate changed prices in the commodities and tickets which in future will lead to further hikes.

The immediate query that is hitting the blocks is whether the holidays will cost more. The answer lies in what the value will be settled at before the referendum. According to the Treasury, the predicted sterling would lose 12-15 per cent of its value on a Leave vote. But in longer terms, the two major key rates are against the euro and the dollar.

The €:£ rate is fulcrum to all international companies including the tour operators, businesses etc. Generally, travellers prefer to visit the foreign holidays which has single-currency area. Be it Spanish Costas, Italian cities, French countryside or islands of Greece – they all have to maintain a decent €:£ rate.

According to the industry experts, the destinations in Asia and America like the US, Dubai and China will also see a proportional rise. In many cases, the currencies are locked to the US$.

How the pound price and $:£ rate is essential as it affects the oil price, aircraft costs etc. So, following a 12% fall in the sterling will push up the price of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel, as well as the cost of aircraft for airlines such as British Airways and easyJet.

Buy2Greece.com – More than 40% meetings professionals depends on laptops and mobiles to capture content

Emphasizing the growing role that technology plays in the meetings world, key findings of new research carried out for IMEX America by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) show that more than 40 percent of the MPI Research Panel members surveyed use laptops or mobile devices to capture content realtime.

Of that group 10.5 percent of these professionals always use them for note taking and 31.6 percent use them sometimes. Handwritten notes continue to be the choice of the majority (57.1 percent) while just 0.8 percent record their observations.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group observed: “In an era when capturing live content on laptops, tablets and smartphones is intrinsic to our working lives, it is interesting to quantify the extent to which they are being used in conferences and meetings at present. With millennials “keyboarding” virtually everything from an early age, usage is only likely to increase in the near future.”

In this same research conducted in May, IMEX America also asked MPI members what the ideal length of a traditional conference presentation by a single speaker should be, excluding Q&A. 43.6 percent thought 30 minutes, 40.6 percent chose 20 minutes, 15 percent said it should be 15 minutes and only 0.8 percent selected 10 minutes.

Carina Bauer commented: “When I entered the industry 14 years ago, the usual conference speech was 45 to 60 minutes. This snapshot study shows that over 80 percent of attendees favour a 20 to 30 minute speech and I would not be surprised if this trend continues to reduce with the advance of TED-style programming and the desire for people to spend time exchanging ideas with their peers, as much as hearing from talking heads. MPI’s recent World Education Congress (WEC) in Atlantic City showcased this trend well by having a great range of formats and lengths for sessions. One size fits all no longer works for the average conference attendee.”

Buy2Greece.com – Tourists rushing for foreign currency stock-up before EU referendum

The latest reports from Post Office found that the UK vacationers are rushing to get foreign currency ahead of the EU referendum.

On a comparison with the same time of the last year, the Post Office has seen surge of sales of currency up to 74%.

The holidaymakers are rushing to get cash and lock it before the vote which, according to the industry experts can wipe more than 20 per cent of the value of the pound.

Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one in four foreign exchange transactions in the UK, has found that branch sales of foreign currency were up 48.8 per cent on last year. At the same time, the online purchases of currency were as high as 381 per cent.

Ahead of the May Bank Holiday, sales started to ascend and remained consistent.

The Post Office assured it is handsomely funded and is not worried about a shortage of foreign cash.

According to a pre-paid currency card, FairFX, there has been a 300% rise in the holidaymakers exchanging money expecting a good rate but the businesses were holding back.

A money transfer website, Transferwise has decided to suspend all pound transfers before the vote given the volatility of the currency.

Predictions about the value of the pound following the referendum have been a major debate all over. According to some industry experts, the pound could fall to parity with the euro, where £1 equals €1. On the other hand, some specialists think if Britain votes to stay in the EU, pound might spike to its highest level this year.

www.Buy2Greece.com – AccorHotels eyes global growth with deals

AccorHotels COO John Ozinga spoke about the France-based company’s strategy and development plans and gave the rationale for some of the company’s recent deals.

One of AccorHotels’ strategic focuses is to concentrate on its midscale brands, including Mercure. The property shown here is the Mercure Brignoles Golf de Barbaroux, just north of Toulon in southern France. (Photo: AccorHotels)

PARIS—John Ozinga, COO of AccorHotels’ ownership and investment division HotelInvest, said his company is eyeing global growth as its parent company wraps up a wave of major mergers-and-acquisitions activity.

AccorHotels, based in Paris, has 15 brands and an overall room count of 511,517. At press time, its market capitalization was €8.6 billion ($9.6 billion).

The company is aggressively growing its lodging footprint with the April buy of alternative accommodations provider Onefinestay and the pending $2.8-billion acquisition of FRHI Holdings Limited, which includes luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel. When the FRHI merger is finally completed, it will add 115 hotels and 43,000 keys to AccorHotels’ platform.

In October 2014, AccorHotels acquired a 35% stake of design-led boutique chain Mama Shelter.

Having a large international footprint allows issues in one region to be offset with growth in others, Ozinga said.

In a world of constantly changing economics, Ozinga said AccorHotels sees the need to constantly tweak its offerings.

“Our goal has been to restructure our portfolio and step out of leases, which we can do by different means, by the sale and franchise-back of properties or by renegotiating leases on individual or portfolio bases,” Ozinga said.

Ozinga said AccorHotels completed 48 sale-and-franchise-back deals in 2014 and the number of transactions nearly doubled in 2015.

AccorHotels has bought several portfolios in recent years, which Ozinga said is the preferred approach over acquiring individual properties.

“We are focused on Europe, depending on where opportunities are, and restructuring our portfolio,” he said. “The advantage of doing it this way, of buying portfolios, is it allows us to accelerate the overall process. We did a lot of lease backs for a number of years, but we’ve always opened hotels, too.”

AccorHotels has a firm grasp of which parts of its portfolio need to be restructured, Ozinga said, which allows capital expenditure to be allocated far more strategically. He called this “a virtuous circle that improves operating margins.”

Ozinga said the company will likely do more selling than buying in 2016. In January, the company announced its intent to sell 85 European hotels for an asset value of €504 million ($565.5 million).

Pipeline outlook and China prospects
Projects in the United Kingdom and London are high on AccorHotels’ priorities, Ozinga said. The company has five hotels in the pipeline, including the 313-room Novotel London Canary Wharf and the 196-room Ibis Canning Town, London. Both properties are scheduled to open in 2017.

“We have a very accepted brand family in the U.K., which allowed us to secure projects in very sought-after locations such as Canary Wharf,” Ozinga said.

China is AccorHotels’ largest focus, Ozinga said, which was evident in January when the company struck a deal to obtain a 10.8% stake in Chinese hotel firm Huazhu Hotels Group.

“We have that stake now, and in return we have a massive franchisee in China that will open 350 to 400 hotels over the next five years, together with our combined loyalty programs,” Ozinga said. “It’s definitely a win-win situation.”

Ozinga said he was not worried either about industry cycles or real estate values.

“Economies are different in different countries,” Ozinga said. “Since the year started, we have announced big transactions and executed what we promised to do. We’ll continue to do that.”

www.Buy2Greece.com – 10 tips to better success with Chinese buyers

Chinese investors – both commercial and residential – spent close to $30 billion on property abroad last year.1

What’s more, Colliers International predicts Chinese outbound real estate investment to increase by 50% this year, a healthy growth that is sure to be much welcomed around the world.

Clearly, Chinese property investments overseas are not tapering off anytime soon, so how are you addressing this market? We share 10 nifty tips to start you off on the right foot with your Chinese buyers.

#1 Respond quickly

Whenever you receive leads, try your best to call or email them right away. The early bird catches the worm, and it couldn’t be more true than with Chinese buyers as well. The sooner you respond, the higher your chances are in securing Chinese buyers.

This might prove difficult for those of you in different time zones than China, which is an issue that everyone must find a way to overcome if you’re targeting Chinese buyers in China. Some people try a time shift and work part Asia hours, while others might have someone on the ground for them to respond to interested buyers more quickly.

#2 Use their Chinese name

If you’re planning to email or call your Chinese buyer, it might help to use their Chinese name – it’ll help establish a more familiar connection with them. This is often displayed in the email sent from us at Juwai.com and often, it will only be their surname, which means you’d only be able to address them as “Mrs. Li” or “Mr. Chang”. Alternatively, you could also copy/paste their name in Chinese into your email.

Extra tip: To up the ante, hire a Mandarin speaker even if he or she is a college intern – that is one surefire way to smoothen the initial process.

#3 Make your intentions clear

When reaching out to your Chinese buyer, clearly state where you obtained their information from, such as telling them that you obtained their information from their listing enquiry on Juwai.com. This way, they won’t be confused as to why someone from another country or someone speaking in another language is contacting them. It will also add credibility to know that you are contacting them through Juwai.com – a network that they are familiar with and will remember using.

#4 Use WeChat social media app

80% of China’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are active WeChat users, so asking your Chinese buyer to add you on WeChat is essential. This is the method in which they communicate with the most, which means it’ll be your best route to effectively communicate with them. It’s the first way that Chinese connect online nowadays, so it’s a good way to gauge your potential success. After all, if they’re comfortable enough to accept you on WeChat, then they may be more receptive to your pitch as well.

Extra tip: In the chat features, there is also a button that allows you to translate Chinese text into English, which can help ease the language barrier a bit.

#5 Persistence is key

Have pluck – follow up continuously and regularly. Within the Chinese market, consumers are constantly fed information for products and services everywhere they go, so it requires stamina and tenacity to get your message across and in front of them. Whenever possible, small talk can be good as well to build your guanxi (a.k.a your relationship and credibility) with Chinese buyers a bit.

#6 Focus on their needs

Provide useful information relevant to the key motivations driving Chinese property investment abroad – education offerings, existing Chinese community, investment opportunities and yields, and emigration or visa updates. Every bit of information you provide them that might be useful is information that may spur action in them. Local university is accepting student applications? Let your Chinese buyers who have expressed interest in sending their children overseas know.

#7 Personalise your service

Add a personal touch by inviting them to visit you, and if you’re really dedicated, offer to host them by showing them around so they become more acquainted with your city and country. This is a personal touch that they will really appreciate, and it’s an opportunity to build an immense amount of guanxi, trust, and goodwill with your Chinese buyer.

Extra tip: It’s also a good idea to introduce them to your local offices and agents as well to show you are legitimate.

#8 Connect them with locals

Introduce your Chinese buyers to the local Chinese whom you know to breed a certain sense of familiarity. At the same time, don’t forget to connect them with useful contacts that can offer services they need, such as financial advisors or interior designers.

#9 Visit China

Likewise, to help you better understand Chinese and their culture, we recommend you take a trip to China to observe firsthand their environment and the market. At the same time, it will provide you the opportunity to invite them for a personal meet-up while you are in their city.

#10 Think long-term

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Success with Chinese buyers cannot be rushed, and working with Chinese buyers – most who are foreign property investors unfamiliar with your city and country – would naturally require longer time frame and patience. So continue to work your leads by providing them useful updates, and soon you will reap the fruits of your diligence in due time.

 

 

Sources: 1. Colliers International

www.Buy2Greece.com – Top 10 most-viewed cities by Chinese buyers

United States (US)

Chinese are charting an all-time high in terms of property investments in the US – CNBC reported the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group’s latest study charting and forecasting Chinese investment in the US revealed Chinese investors spent $8.5 billion on commercial property in 2015 alone.

Combined with the $28.6 billion in US residential property as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that makes a combined $37.1 billion spent by Chinese investors on US residential and commercial real estate in 2015.1

The study also predicts that by 2025, Chinese residential investments could potentially hit $50 billion, while Chinese commercial purchase could peak at $20 billion.1

This suggests that Chinese overseas property investment is largely unaffected by the economic slowdown back home.

Where are Chinese buying in the US, though? Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles and New York City (NYC) both retained their ranks as the #1 and #2 most-viewed US cities. New US cities appearing in the top ten in Q1 2016 include Las Vegas (#5), Beverly Hills (#9), and San Diego (#10).

 

www.Buy2Greece.com – France’s decline pushes owners to foreign markets

PARIS—French hotel owners are increasingly looking to expand their global footprints as their home country persists through a depressed economy and as Paris hotel demand sits below levels seen before the November terrorist attacks.

France and Europe’s largest hotel company—Paris-based AccorHotels—remains on the hunt to acquire global properties. However, John Ozinga, COO of AccorHotels’ HotelInvest ownership and investment division, said the company will focus on selling rather than buying in 2016. It’s a different strategy from 2014, when AccorHotels bought portfolios of properties in Germany, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and an 11-hotel portfolio from AXA Investment Managers in Switzerland. (Also, in December 2015, AccorHotels inked a deal to purchase FRHI Holdings.)

“We remain focused on all of Europe, and it depends on where the opportunities are. … The advantages of doing portfolios are that they allow us to accelerate the process and create value for the group,” Ozinga said. “Add to that (capital expenditure) and it is a virtuous circle that improves operating margins.

“From a real-estate point of view, we are not worried. Economies are different in different countries (in Europe), and a wide footprint allows us to have the correct exposure and demand base.”

Philippe Doizelet, managing partner of business consultancy Horwath HTL, said decreasing exposure in France makes sense for French owners, mostly because the French real-estate market has changed fundamentally due to pressures on the economy.

Doizelet said that for a long time revenue per available room in France was heavily correlated to gross domestic product at current values.

“It was an obvious correlation, but since the global financial crisis, France experienced a drop in RevPAR that never recovered to that level. The market is influenced by external factors rather than internal ones,” he said. “Inside France, the market is very contrasted. Now the external market is the catalyst for RevPAR. Overall, the French market is upside down.”

According to STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, the Paris hotel market has seen mostly negative performance from November 2015 to April 2016 in year-over-year figures.

Occupancy has declined over the previous year during each of the six months, according to the data. In December 2015, Paris’ occupancy dropped 19.5% to 59.7%. In April 2016, occupancy fell 15.1% to 67.3%.

RevPAR saw similar declines, as the metric decreased by an average of 12.4% during the six-month period, including a drop of 22.3% to €136.76 ($155.82) in April. Average daily rate saw growth in November and December but decreased during each of the first four months in 2016. The largest decline in the six-month period happened in April, when ADR fell 8.4% to €203.30 ($231.63).

The right opportunities still exist
Recent accounting practice changes in France have altered the landscape, Doizelet said. He said in the 2000s AccorHotels had recurrent deals with French bank Societe Generale, but at some point this was challenged by accounting practices, as it was all debt.

“In 2004, AccorHotels did its first deal with Foncière des Régions, for 104 hotels, deals based on 100% variable leases, so that there was no predefined type of debt or financial commitment and part of the revenue was pre-empted,” Doizelet said.

Doizelet said he saw Foncière des Régions’ strategy over recent years adapt to lessen its exposure both in France and with AccorHotels.

Although French ownership companies are considering acquisitions and transactions outside of France, there are still deals to be made within the country.

In January, AccorHotels announced a €504-million ($574 million) deal to spin off 85 properties—61 of which are in France—in a new joint venture with Paris-based Eurazeo, which owns 70% of the portfolio. Of the 85 hotels, AccorHotels owned 28, while 57 were owned by Paris-based Foncière des Régions and AXA.

In May, Foncière des Régions acquired two portfolios via subsidiary FDM Management worth €936 million ($1.07 billion). The transaction included nine German properties that will be managed by Event Hotels and an additional nine, mostly independent properties in France and Belgium that will be managed by FDM.

Dominique Ozanne, CEO of hotels and hospitality management at FDM Management, said Foncière des Régions will operate a portfolio worth €19 billion ($21.7 billion) after these acquisitions, which he said was “a fantastic growth story considering the business was created in 2001 with a €100-million ($114-million) total portfolio.”

Regarding real estate
On the real-estate side of the ownership-operations equation, values remain strong in France and have picked up in 2016.

“Values are higher as there is confidence in the hotel market, and there are lots of players trying to get in,” Doizelet said.

Ozanne said that hotel ownership remains among the four strategic pillars of the company, the others beings French and Italian office and German residential ownership.

“To address hotel operators’ needs, we have two main ways to invest: buying rental properties via FDM, one of our vehicles; and buying hotels, which combines the real-estate and operations businesses and which is for another, FDM Management,” he said. “Both these vehicles focus on Europe … and both have different equity partners, alongside the Foncière des Régions group.”

Ozanne said Europe could continue to improve, and the continent’s hotels will rebound.

“On the real-estate investment side, we are not at the bottom of the cycle due to low interest rates and the returns that the real-estate asset class can deliver,” Ozanne said. “These two points are why we have to focus on quality and operating excellence. Foncière des Régions has ambitions to grow its four strategic pillars. It is listed and a long-term player. Demand remains from hotel customers, and supply needs to adapt to new clients’ needs, so we think that there is a strong case to continue to grow our hotel business.”

Doizelet said that with both AccorHotels and Foncière des Régions at the helm of French ownership initiatives, the outlook is good for French hotel owners, even if the domestic economics of the country might occasionally shake domestic hotel performance. He added it is prudent for hotel owners to spread risk across both geographies and hotel flags.

“It is wise to diversify, and it is a wise way in which to control the market, to have it owned by owners, not operators,” Doizelet said. “It is a clever way of protecting assets.”