Kingdom Holding sells stake in Mövenpick to rival AccorHotels

The Movenpick Ibn Battuta in Dubai (Shutterstock)
Updated 01 May 2018
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Kingdom Holding sells stake in Mövenpick to rival AccorHotels

  • Movenpick has 84 hotels in 27 countries, and plans to open 42 additional hotels by 2021
  • The Movenpick brand name is a familiar one in Middle East cities like Dubai

PARIS: Kingdom Holding, the investment vehicle owned by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has sold its 33.3 percent stake in Swiss hotel group Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts to its associate firm AccorHotels. 

“Together with its partners, (Kingdom Holding Company) has signed an agreement to sell Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MHR) to AccorHotels where KHC is also an investor,” the company said in a statement on Monday. 

AccorHotels confirmed it had agreed to buy Mövenpick for 560 million Swiss francs ($567 million), with the purchase expected to be completed in the second half of 2018. 

Kingdom Holding owns a 5.7 percent stake in AccorHotels. The investment company’s shares, listed on the Saudi stock exchange, closed 0.33 percent lower. 

“With the acquisition of Mövenpick, we are consolidating our leadership in the European market and are further accelerating our growth in emerging markets, in particular the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific,” said AccorHotels Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin.

"By joining the Group, it will benefit from AccorHotels’ power, particularly in terms of distribution, loyalty-building and development.”

Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels, including a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East. 

Kingdom Holding is rumored to have sold its shareholding in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut earlier this year, according to a Reuters report citing “sources.” The company did not respond to a request for comment. 

Prince Alwaleed was one of several senior Saudi businessmen and government officials detained last year as part of a wide-ranging anti-corruption drive. He was released in late January. 

Kingdom owns stakes in several high-profile international companies including Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Twenty-First Century Fox, and US-based ride-sharing app Lyft.


Oil dips as market eyes possible easing of OPEC supply curbs

Updated 23 May 2018
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Oil dips as market eyes possible easing of OPEC supply curbs

SINGAPORE: Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday with the possibility of higher OPEC output weighing on the market, although geopolitical risks are expected to keep prices near multi-year highs.
Brent futures fell 43 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $79.14 a barrel by 0218 GMT, after climbing 35 cents on Tuesday. Last week, the global benchmark hit $80.50 a barrel, the highest since November 2014.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures eased 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $71.95 a barrel, having climbed on Tuesday to $72.83 a barrel, the highest since November 2014.
“Looks like the market is pausing at current levels,” said Michael McCarthy, Chief Market Strategist at brokerage CMC Markets.
“If sanctions are introduced against Iran, most of the OPEC producers would like to be pumping more oil, particularly giving the higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may decide to raise oil output as soon as June due to worries over Iranian and Venezuelan supply and after Washington raised concerns the oil rally was going too far, OPEC and oil industry sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.
The OPEC-led supply curbs have largely cleared an inventory surplus in industrialized countries based on the deal’s original goals, and stocks continue to decline.
“...Investors are mindful of upcoming talks between Russia and Saudi Arabia about whether they should look at a controlled relaxation of over-compliance with their output cut agreement,” ANZ said in a note.
Rising supply in the US, where shale production is forecast to hit a record high in June, has limited the upward move in prices.
Concerns about a potential drop in Iranian oil exports following Washington’s exit from a nuclear arms control deal with Tehran have driven prices to multi-year highs.
On Monday, the US demanded Iran make sweeping changes — from dropping its nuclear program to pulling out of the Syrian civil war — or face severe economic sanctions.
Iran dismissed Washington’s ultimatum and one senior Iranian official said it showed the US is seeking “regime change” in Iran.
In addition, Venezuela’s crude output could drop further following a disputed presidential election.
The US is actively considering oil sanctions on Venezuela, where output has dropped by a third in two years to its lowest in decades.
US crude and distillate stockpiles fell last week, while gasoline inventories increased unexpectedly, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.