• The valuation challenge

Even more problematic than forecasting performance right now is putting a value on assets as the falling number of buyers and harder to get debt dramatically alter the outlook for assets.

While some buyers have headed for the exit, notably private equity, the past week has shown that the buyers such as sovereign wealth funds, or even operators, remain active.

Nakheel, a sovereign wealth fund, swoop on a 50% stake in a Mexican resort, buying it off Goldman Sachs' Whitehall Street. The acquisition of the One&Only property shows that Nakheel is emulating the style of Kingdom, Prince Alwaleed's vehicle, in that it holds a stake in Kerzner International, the operating company, and is taking a position in the property operated.

GIC, the Singaporean Government's fund, has bought the Westin Tokyo from Morgan Stanley for about Yen80bn (around $740m). The 438-room hotel was bought by Morgan Stanley in 2004 for Yen50bn. Again, this was a sovereign wealth fund moving in on a private equity vehicle.

An operator deal was the purchase of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London by AIM-listed Park Plaza. The 66% Park Plaza did not already own was bought for £10.27m which was funded through the issue of new shares.

Perhaps more significant was the revelation that 820 of the 1,037 hotel rooms in the development, which is expected to open in 2010, have already been sold to individual investors. The County Hall development, which also has rooms sold to individual investors, opened at the start of this month.

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