5 things to know: 31 July 2019
5 things to know: 31 July 2019
31 JULY 2019 9:17 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Finance chief hints LIBOR benchmark likely to disappear
  • Hilton signs 70 Hampton hotel deal in EMEA
  • Interstate focuses on culture, non-US growth
  • China slowing US trade talks
  • IHG dumps individual toiletries from its properties

Finance chief hints LIBOR benchmark likely to disappear: Andrew Bailey, CEO of the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, has said that the interest-rate benchmark LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is likely to be no more by 2021, according to The New York Times. The move is likely to unsettle many in the financial industry as the rate “has emerged over time as the dominant rate for determining interest payments on almost all adjustable-rate financial products.”

The LIBOR benchmark has been under a cloud since 2012 when it was discovered that a number of financial traders and banks falsely inflated or deflated LIBOR rates to make noticeable profits. The Times said LIBOR underpins approximately $200 trillion in derivatives contracts.

Hilton signs 70 Hampton hotel deal in EMEA: Hilton has signed a development deal with Bahrain-based franchisee Alshaya Group for 70 Hampton by Hilton properties across in nine countries, with a primary focus in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, according to a news release.

The first hotel will be in Kuwait and is due to open in 2021. The first 50 assets are planned to be complete within the next eight years, according to the release.

Interstate focuses on culture, non-U.S. growth: So far into Mike Deitemeyer’s relatively short tenure as Interstate Hotels & Resorts president and CEO, his focus has largely been on cultivating a culture of empowering employees, reports Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten.

Visiting the company’s Arlington, Texas-based headquarters, various company executives including Deitemeyer told Wroten creating an employee-centric approach will yield results for owners.

“When that happens, when you move an organization that way, then people start telling you, ‘Hey Mike, we can do this as well to bring value to our owners,’ or ‘Hey, Mike, we can do this to be best in class in extended-stay hotels,’ and, you know, to me that’s the vision of what we’re doing,” he said.

Wroten also writes that Greg O’Stean, Interstate’s chief development officer, said the U.S. company has significant opportunities in Central America, Germany and Central Europe to add to its 78 operating hotels internationally and pipeline of 101 hotels internationally.

China slowing U.S. trade talks: The Wall Street Journal reports progress in U.S.-China trade deal talks has slowed as part of an intentional strategy among Chinese negotiators hopeful the strategy will “produce a more-favorable agreement.”

The business community seems to be lamenting these prolonged talks that have yet to yield a deal.

“It’s not in their interest to have this confrontational relationship go on too long,” Eric Zheng, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and president and CEO of AIG Insurance Company China, told the newspaper. “Both sides are hurting, and it’s not sustainable.”

IHG dumps individual toiletries from its properties: InterContinental Hotels Group will remove all miniature toiletries across its entire estate, approximately 843,000 guestrooms, by 2021, according to a news release.

The company’s 5,600 or so hotels will all contain bulk-size products. IHG’s CEO Keith Barr said the decision is “what our guests, owners, colleagues, investors and suppliers rightly expect. … (It’s a) big step in the right direction and will allow us to significantly reduce our waste footprint and environmental impact as we make the change.”

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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