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The Ascott Limited multiplies its Chinese partnerships

At the official launch in Paris of its new label, The Crest Collection, the CEO of Ascott Limited, Lee Chee Koon, reaffirmed the group's ambitions (80,000 apartments under its management by 2020) and its strategic alliances with the Qatari sovereign fund, Chinese online distributors and the Middle Empire's authorities.

Subsidiary of the Singaporean real estate group CapitaLand, which manages €50 billion in assets, The Ascott Limited has the particularity of investing significantly in properties it is managing. With 45,000 accommodations in 290 properties in 100 cities and 27 countries, Ascott Limited presents itself as the N°1 in the serviced residence hotel sector service and plans to further affirm its position.

Not content to rely on its parent company, which helped it build its residence supply (50% of the 290 properties are subsidiaries or rented and 50% are through management contracts), last year it signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to create an investment fund of close to €544 million, dedicated to the financing of new residence hotels, initially targeting Asia-Pacific and Europe.

The purpose is clear: 80,000 units worldwide by 2020, under the three brands Ascott Residences (Luxe), Somerset (Business and Leisure), Citadines, while meeting needs in areas that are not well covered, starting with North America and Africa. In addition to the three aforementioned brands, a new label has appeared: The Crest Collection, which will be presented as a luxury signature for residences with a boutique spirit, like the Citadines Suites properties in Paris (Tour Eiffel, Bassano and Louvre) and an independent residence in Bangkok. The latter opens the way to commercialization under this label of residences that do not belong to Ascott Limited and whose owners wish to join a global leader.

But the president Lee Chee Koon clearly indicated that he was also planning to rely on proximity to China and its clientele potential to accelerate its development on this territory and in Asia. An initial joint-venture was signed with International, a Chinese management and  distribution company for apartments with hotel services to operate six residence hotels under the brand Tujia Somerset. and this is just one step ahead of strengthening ties.

Another strategic partnership was designed by Alitrip, subsidiary of the Chinese search engine Alibaba, with an option to pay through Alipay, a Chinese Paypal. Progressively, all Ascott Limited residences will be available for sale through the website Alitrip to capture the flows of 125 million Chinese trips outside the country per month (200 million expected in 2016). Another project keeps the CEO busy: building new residence hotels along the railroad running from the heart of China to Europe along the ancient Silk Route. The contract has already been signed with Chinese authorities who mobilized significant financing, through the Chinese International Investment Bank. A way to wait less time before reaching the 80,000 apartments under its management?


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