Roberto Cavalli branches into hotel interior design in deal with Dubai developer Damac

Above, an artist illustration of a Just Cavalli Villa designed for Dubai developer Damac. (Courtesy Damac)
Updated 01 October 2018
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Roberto Cavalli branches into hotel interior design in deal with Dubai developer Damac

  • The agreement is part of the company’s bid to expand the luxury and fashion brand into lifestyle categories and find new sources of revenue
  • Roberto Cavalli is on track to break even this year and return to a net profit in 2019

MILAN: Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli has signed a partnership agreement with Damac Properties under which it will provide the interior design for at least five luxury hotels, starting with a first one to be built in Dubai by 2023.
The agreement, which follows a separate collaboration with Damac on Cavalli-branded villas, is part of the company’s bid to expand the luxury and fashion brand into lifestyle categories and find new sources of revenue for the Florentine label famous for its animal prints. Company officials declined to give financial details of the deal.
Roberto Cavalli is on track to break even this year and return to a net profit in 2019, Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said at an event to announce the hotel project on Monday.
He declined to comment on market speculation that Italian private equity group Clessidra, which bought 90 percent of Roberto Cavalli in 2015, might be looking to sell, other than saying that management was focused on executing a strategy agreed with the shareholder.
“The company is making big improvements, but to remain competitive, it needs to invest,” Ferraris said, adding Clessidra was fully supporting the company’s growth.
“The important thing is to ensure that the growth happens in an organic manner and quickly.”
Clessidra’s Managing Director Manuel Catalano said earlier this month the private equity group was working well with Ferraris, who is also former head of fashion house Versace, and had no intention of exiting Roberto Cavalli in the near term.


Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

Updated 23 April 2019
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

  • The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios
  • SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year

RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. (SRC), modelled on US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae, aims to issue up to 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios from mortgage financing companies and banks to boost the Kingdom’s secondary mortgage market.

SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyal that we may be issuing in two tranches.

He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10 to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said.

He said the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the local riyal.

In March, SRC completed a 750 million riyal sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to 11 billion riyals of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

“The rule of the game for us is, like many projects across the Kingdom, attract liquidity from foreign investors,” Susini said.

He said SRC had spent 1.2 billion riyals from its balance sheet buying mortgages from local mortgage financing companies and provided liquidity to these firms.

It has also signed initial accords with several commercial banks to acquire housing mortgage portfolios.

Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry is targeting the mortgage market to reach a total value of 502 billion riyals by 2020 from around 300 billion riyals now.

The government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalize the economy and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its 2030 reform plan.

It has been working with developers and local banks to counter a shortage of affordable housing — one of the country’s biggest social and economic problems. Saudi Arabia wants 60 percent of its nationals to own homes by 2020, up from 47 percent in 2016.

The size of real estate financing relative to its gross domestic product is 5 percent in Saudi Arabia compared to 69 percent in the United States, 74 percent in the United Kingdom and 43 pct in Canada, the housing ministry has said.

“The goal of SRC in this market was to make sure that we will be able to refinance at least around 10 percent of the market in 2020, and 20 percent of the market by 2028,” Susini told Reuters.