5 things to know: 28 August 2017
5 things to know: 28 August 2017
28 AUGUST 2017 9:32 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Houston rocked by Hurricane Harvey
  • Markets hurt by terse central bankers
  • Trinity expects a wave of deals around the Pacific
  • Dalian Wanda denies reports that chairman can’t leave China
  • 1.5m arrive in Mecca; more expected

Houston rocked by Hurricane Harvey: Now drawing comparisons to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey has managed to bring “what felt like an apocalyptic onslaught of pounding rains and rapidly rising floodwaters” to Texas, including Houston, reports The New York Times.

Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., was hit by the category four hurricane late Friday, and so far five people have been reported dead, with uncounted numbers of injuries and massive amounts of damage to homes and businesses.

According to a report from Reuters, the storm is also having larger economic impacts, pushing up the price of gasoline and pushing the U.S. dollar down to a 16-month low.

Markets hurt by terse central bankers: Investors looking for policy guidance from the Jackson Hole central bankers meeting walked away disappointed, leading to a drop in stocks, according to a report from Reuters. The news agency reports European shares were pushed down by the fact that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi didn’t share concerns about a stronger euro.

The euro is now at a two-and-a-half-year high against the U.S. dollar.

“The Jackson Hole meeting has been explosive for the euro and the U.S. dollar traders,” according to a note from London Capital Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya, cited by Reuters. “The strong euro is weighing on the European stock markets. ... Tapering talks could further demoralize stock traders on the run-up to the ECB verdict.”

Trinity expects a wave of deals around the Pacific: The creation of a $3 billion joint venture with Oaktree Capital Management has given Trinity Investments a considerably larger investment platform than before, and Trinity President and CEO Sean Hehir said they plan to use that to close on a wave of deals in Hawaii, Japan, Mexico and Canada, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.

“We’re at work right now,” Hehir said. “I expect within the next 90 days to have four or five sizable acquisitions we’ll be closing on. We’re in it right away, and with the scale we have, as markets see corrections, we’ll be ready to move opportunistically.”

Hehir also noted the joint venture gives his company the flexibility to jump on deals in key gateway markets as the two companies see fit.

Dalian Wanda denies reports that chairman can’t leave China: The Wall Street Journal reports that Dalian Wanda Group has issued a statement slamming reports that Chairman Wang Jianlin has been barred from leaving China. Shares of Wanda Hotel Development dropped 11% initially at the time of the reports before recovering, the newspaper noted.

“Some people with malicious intent have been spreading vicious rumors about Chairman Wang Jianlin,” Wanda Group said in a statement Monday to The Journal. “These rumors are out of thin air, and we hope that people don’t believe in them and don’t circulate them either.”

The company is one of several, including Anbang and HNA Group, under scrutiny by the Chinese government for their debt and practice of moving capital out of the country.

1.5m arrive in Mecca; more expected: The Saudi Arabian government has put out a news release citing numbers of inbound international travelers in connection with the annual Islamic pilgrimage, which starts on 30 August. 

So far, roughly 1.5 million people have made their way to Mecca, with a total of 2 million expected. If reached, that would make the largest gathering ever for the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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