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HONG KONG-The Kowloon Hotel here has changed hands for about $248 million. The 736-room hotel is located in the Tsimshatsui tourist district and has frontage on Nathan Road, known as the “Golden Mile” of shopping in Hong Kong. The new owner is Swingfield Developments Ltd., a company owned by Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. and Hutchinson International Ltd. of Hong Kong. The seller was HSH Holdings Limited. The transaction was announced by the brokers who held the disposition assignment, Craig Collins and Corinna Toh of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. The hotel was offered for sale using a two-stage bidding process which generated “intense interest” from both local, locally based and regional investors, says Collins in a prepared statement. Collins did not immediately respond Monday to a request for additional information. The Kowloon Hotel located near the Tsimshatsui Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station and Kowloon Airport Express Station. Guests include both tourist and corporate guests. The property was sold free of management. The previous manager was The Peninsula Hotels. With the announced closure of the 723-rom Nathan Road Hyatt Regency at the end of 2005 and the upturn of the Hong Kong hotel market, Collins says the transaction demonstrates strong demand from investors for prime hotel properties in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is expected to continue to enjoy strong growth in visitor arrivals in the upcoming years, especially from Mainland China,” states Collins. “This increase should underpin future demand for hotels in Hong Kong.”The loss of the Hyatt Regency will lower supply in the near term, increasing prices, but new hotels are under construction. Hong Kong Tourism Board statistics show room supply will increase by about 40% over four years to an estimated 52,266.

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