Two massive deals were unveiled this week. The first was Paris-based Accor’s agreed bid for FRHI, which owns hotel brands that include Raffles, Swissotel and Fairmont for US$2.9 billion. Accor said it will pay US$840 million in cash and issue 46.7 million Accor shares to finance the purchase.
The hotel deal came hot on the heels of another French swoop – the deal by CMA CGM to buy Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (SGX: N03) for around $2.4 billion in cash. The French shipping line said it has agreed to buy the 67% stake in NOL held by Temasek Holdings for $1.30 a share. It offered to buy the remaining portion at the same price.
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Singapore’s first main-board listing this year, BHG Retail REIT (SGX: BMGU) went ahead on Friday despite muted demand. The flotation of Real Estate Investment Trust, which went ahead at S$0.80, raised S$394 million.
Economists expect Singapore’s economy to grow 1.9% this year and 2.2% in 2016. Some forecasters reckon the local economy may stagnate given the ongoing restructuring, tighter monetary conditions and China’s slowdown.
And finally, the head of the Tung Lok (SGX: 540) chain of restaurant reckons that businesses need to step up staff training to one that operates on lean manpower. Andrew Tjioe, who is also the president of the Restaurant Association of Singapore, said despite the manpower crunch, there are still 6,700 eating establishments (excluding those in food courts and hawker centres) in business.
The restaurateur said his own experience with an “oriental style of training”, in his own restaurants was appropriate. Tung Lok has not made an operating profit in five years.
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