Former Raffles Phang Nga Owner Kingdom Hotels Write Down
The London listed hospitality arm of Saudi Royal Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Hotel Investments has announced in it's preliminary 2008 results a write down of US$2.9 million in soft development costs. According to the Annual Report listed on the company's web site (www.kingdomhotels.com) the Phang Nga development project was sold for US$23.9 million and it recognized a loss on disposal of US$3.5 million. The sale was reportedly to a Bangkok based private equity firm who is rumored to be moving ahead with the project.
The Saudi Prince previously made headline news on the island with his acquisition of the Crowne Plaza Karon which was subsequently rebranded Moevenpick Resort and Spa Karon Beach in a high profile transaction a few years ago. Despite his continuing fortune rising in petrodollars, the financial downturn at Citigroup where he is a major shareholder has impacted a diverse financial portfolio.
Kingdom when entering the Asian market focused on a number of mixed use hotel and residential developments, with Raffles Danang Vietnam recently put on hold and an expansion of the Four Seasons Langkawai also cancelled. Another Asian investment is proceeding in Manila though back of a successful launch for the Raffles Residence Manila located in the country's financial district of Makati.