Hyatt plans to double number of hotels in Saudi Arabia

Hyatt currently has five hotels operational in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Updated 28 April 2019

Hyatt plans to double number of hotels in Saudi Arabia

  • New York-listed group says five new properties to open by 2023
  • Openings include first Grand Hyatt branded hotel in Kingdom

LONDON: The New York-listed Hyatt said on Sunday it plans to double the number of hotels it operates in Saudi Arabia, with five new properties set to open by 2023.
Hyatt Hotels said the new properties would add approximately 1,300 rooms, and include the first Grand Hyatt branded hotel in Saudi Arabia, which is set to open late this year in Alkhobar.
Other planned openings include the Jabal Omar Hyatt Centric Makkah Hotel and Residences, Hyatt Regency Jeddah Serafi Mall, and a dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Riyadh.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest growing religious tourism markets in the world and one of Hyatt’s primary focus areas within the Middle East,” said Ludwig Bouldoukian, regional vice president of development at Hyatt.
“Saudi Arabia continues to make significant strides in boosting tourism and infrastructure in a bid to diversify the economy. The ambitious expansion of Hyatt brands cement Hyatt’s brand presence, both amongst Gulf residents and the increasing number of international travelers visiting Saudi Arabia.”
Existing Hyatt hotels in Saudi Arabia include the Park Hyatt Jeddah and Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya.


Turkey holds rates in surprise that sends lira to new low

Updated 22 October 2020

Turkey holds rates in surprise that sends lira to new low

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s central bank bucked expectations for a big interest rate hike on Thursday and sent the lira plunging to a record low by holding its policy rate at 10.25% and saying it had already made progress in containing inflation.
The bank, which also surprised last month when it hiked rates, said it would continue with liquidity measures to tighten money supply. It raised the uppermost rate in its corridor, the late liquidity window (LLW), to 14.75% from 13.25%. A Reuters poll of 17 economists had expected the bank to raise its key one-week repo rate by 175 basis points to address Turkey’s weak currency and double-digit inflation. Forecasts ranged from hikes of 100 to 300 bps.
The decision to leave the rate unchanged sent the lira down more than 2% to near 8 versus the dollar and prompted economists to question the central bank’s commitment to lowering inflation and its independence from the government.
“The (bank) is now back to a more unpredictable and opaque monetary policy framework. It appears as a severe miscalculation,” Per Hammarlund, chief emerging markets strategist at Swedish bank SEB.
The key policy rate remains below annual consumer price inflation, which stood at 11.75% in September, leaving real rates negative for lira depositors.
Turkey’s central bankers had surprised markets with a 200 basis point rate hike in September, the first monetary tightening in two years as it sought to rein in inflation.
Its so-called backdoor measures to rein in credit have raised the average cost of funding to 12.52% from a low of 7.34% in July. The LLW adjustment gives the bank more scope to raise funding costs.
“A significant tightening in financial conditions has been achieved, following the monetary policy and liquidity management steps taken to contain ... risks to the inflation outlook,” the bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) said.
It said liquidity measures will carry on “until the inflation outlook displays a significant improvement.”
The lira touched a record low of 7.9845 against the dollar.
It is down 25% this year in a selloff prompted by concerns about high inflation and the central bank’s badly depleted FX reserves, and geopolitical worries including the prospect of trickier US ties under a possible Joe Biden White House.
Last month’s hike in the policy rate reversed a nearly year-long easing cycle in which it fell rapidly from 24%, where it was set in the face of a 2018 currency crisis.
“Last month the central bank took an important step to restore credibility and today’s decision seems like a step back. All this positive impact has been reversed significantly,” said Piotr Matys, senior EM FX Strategist at Rabobank.
Turkey’s economy contracted 10% in the second quarter because of the coronavirus pandemic and measures to combat it. Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are also clouding the outlook.