Monday 23 April 2018

The Punt: Losses we can only dream of ...

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Spare a thought for the poor souls who lost big when global markets crashed on Monday, thanks to weak economic data in China and concern about unease in the Middle East.

The Punt doubts, however, that you'll have much sympathy for the world's five richest people who lost a combined $8.7bn.

For even that massive figure barely dented their net worth.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (pictured) led decliners on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in the first trading day of 2016, losing $3.7bn as the world's largest online retailer fell 5.8pc.

His net worth is now just a paltry $56bn.

Poor Jeff.

Spain's Amancio Ortega dropped $2.5bn to $70.4bn as his Inditex, the biggest fashion retailer, fell 3.5pc.

Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett, Mexico's Carlos Slim and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the richest person on the planet, lost a combined $2.5bn.

Gates' net worth now stands at a massive $83bn.

The biggest winner was activist investor Carl Icahn, whose net worth climbed $210.4m to $20.1bn.

AIB-backed hotel sold

AIB seems to have got back at least some of the £36m (€49m) in loans it had advanced to the operator of a hotel in Edinburgh that had been until last year controlled by Manchester-based Prima Hotel Group.

AIB had administrators appointed to four hotels owned and managed by Prima, as well as the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Edinburgh, which had been managed by Glasgow-based Fontenhall (Scotland) Ltd.

The Crown Plaza has just been sold to an unnamed, high net worth individual for an undisclosed amount. The 100-bedroom property got a £7.5m facelift in 2014, and boasts a swimming pool and gym. The sale is subject to a franchise agreement with Intercontinental Hotels, which owns the Crowne Plaza franchise.

There were apparently 150 expressions of interest in the hotel, with the sale having been handled by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group on behalf of administrators. "The price achieved for the hotel reflects a benchmark yield for a regional hotel asset to be sold as a going concern," said JLL.

Irish Independent

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