Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Russian Investment Conference coming up fast

It's hard to believe that the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference is less than a week away; I'm looking forward to learning a lot more about this fast-growing part of the world. Keep an eye on HotelTalk for updates from the conference, as we keep you apprised of what panelists and attendees have to say.

Russia seems to be hurting right now, a marked difference from even a couple of months back. As of last week, the Russian stock market had lost some 60 percent, a much deeper fall than in the U.S. and in Western Europe. What's more, the Moscow Times reported today that investors there have missed out on the global gains made elsewhere in world markets over the past day or two.

This hurt seems to be a result of three factors: the global economic woes that have been affecting everyone, the falling prices of oil, and the skirmish with Georgia. Russia is one of the world's largest exporters of petroleum, and it was riding high earlier this year when prices topped $140/barrel. Now with oil down to levels around $80/barrel, Moscow seems to be feeling the pinch. And some investors may be more cautious in funneling cash into Russian development projects after the country's aggressive military actions in August. Long-term real estate deals happen more easily in politically stable regions, and some investors may be looking for a reason to pull out of deals.

This uncertainty will certainly make for some interesting conversations in Moscow next week. Please watch this space for updates.

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