According to The Australian Financial Review, hotel management company Staywell Hospitality will bring one of Japan’s most luxurious accommodation brands, Prince Akatoki, to Sydney and Melbourne, as part of plans to ramp up its business in Australia.
Staywell, which was bought by Prince Hotels, a subsidiary of Tokyo-listed conglomerate Seibu Holdings in 2017, operates 10 hotels and 553 rooms in Australia under its locally developed Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands. Its largest hotel is the 122-room Park Regis City Centre in Sydney.
As Seibu Holdings looks to grow its global hotel portfolio from 84 locations to 250 over the next decade, Staywell president Simon Wan said it planned to open its first Prince Akatoki in Sydney by 2025 and a second in Melbourne by 2026.
According to the Australian Financial Review, national home prices are expected to drop 20 per cent overall from their peak, with the bulk of the decline to come next year for most capitals except Sydney, where the correction has hit harder and earlier, according to NAB.
NAB expects housing prices in Sydney – houses and units combined – to fall 12.9 per cent this year and 9.4 per cent next year. Melbourne prices are forecast to drop 9.1 per cent this year and 14.1 per cent next year. Brisbane will slip into negative territory this year before declining 9.4 per cent in 2023, on NAB’s forecast.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japanese lenders Mizuho and SMBC have joined Carsales.com’s now 10-strong bank syndicate, and helped fuel its newly acquired trucks and recreational vehicle platforms owner Trader Interactive.
Following months of talks with existing and new banks, Carsales has ruled off a record $1.6 billion debt package, split into 18-month, three- and five-year credit facilities.
It is understood Mizuho, SMBC and French bank BNP Paribas were the three new faces in the syndicate, while each of Carsales’ existing banks opted to go again.
The seven existing banks included Australia’s big four, MUFG, HSBC and Bank of China.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Sony Corp. will begin selling a device to medical institutions in spring next year that can measure one’s sense of smell and could help detect dementia early on, the electronics giant announced.
A person’s sense of smell is believed to decline in the early stages of dementia.
The device measures about 40 centimeters in length and width.
It emits five types of odors such as a flower, fruit and the smell of something rotting. By changing the strength of these emissions, the equipment can produce a total of 40 odors.
According to The Australian Financial Review, taxpayers will help fund Fortescue Metals’ first major Australian hydrogen project after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) confirmed it would support the conversion of a fertiliser plant near Brisbane.
ARENA committed $13.7 million to the final stage of study into a possible revival of Incitec Pivot’s Gibson Island plant, which is bound for closure under its existing business model of converting methane gas into ammonia.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the Rio Tinto executive charged with developing its lithium assets says critical minerals are becoming diamond-like in terms of the focus on provenance.
Rio Tinto minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman said “One part of the portfolio for me in Rio Tinto is diamonds, and so we have done a lot of work over the years on the provenance and sustainability of diamonds and where they have come from.
Rio would move downstream in lithium because it was unrealistic to simply mine and sell the key battery ingredient as a bulk commodity.
“I feel like you have to go downstream to be able to understand fully the value of the product and also understand the needs of your customer. How far downstream will depend greatly on different jurisdictions and different countries,” she said.
According to The Australian Financial Review, CoreLogic national research director Tim Lawless tipped the housing market correction to bottom out in the first quarter of 2023 followed by a swift recovery after the rate of house price decline eased slightly in September, according to the firm’s monthly index.
However, this sooner-than-expected turnaround won’t be quick enough to stop the Melbourne housing market from reversing all the gains it made during the pandemic, Mr Lawless told.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo will oblige homebuilders to outfit their newly built homes and buildings with solar panels starting in April 2025.
A legislative measure to introduce quotas for solar panel installations will be submitted to the metropolitan assembly in December this year, according to a Sept. 9 announcement by the Tokyo metropolitan government.
But it will not come with penalties to enforce the new requirements.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, vegetables and fruits often get damaged or misshapen due to intense heat and torrential rain in Japan. Though just as tasty as the regular produce, they are often excluded from supermarket shelves.
However, food delivery and online sales companies are now selling these products for direct shipment to people’s homes.
The companies’ offerings are proving popular as the imperfect produce are cheaper than more standard fare, leading to less food waste.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Queensland will end its reliance on coal-fired power generation by 2035 – up to a decade earlier than planned – as part of its new energy plan to have 80 per cent renewable energy by 2035.
But the resources sector has warned the Palaszczuk government to manage the transition carefully to avoid the blackouts that have plagued European countries who moved away from fossil fuels too quickly.
Pumped hydro and the creation of “super grids” to connect 22 gigawatts of new renewable projects form part of the $62 billion plan launched by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Brisbane recently.
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