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US mall owner GGP rejects Brookfield Property’s $14.8 billion offer

–  GGP rejected a $14.8 billion buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Property Partners, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

–  GGP is one of the largest owners and operators of US shopping centers.

–  Brookfield Property made a $23-per-share cash and stock offer last month for the 66% of GGP it does not already own.

GGP, one of the largest owners and operators of US shopping centers, has rejected a $14.8 billion buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Property Partners, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Brookfield Property made a $23-per-share cash and stock offer last month for the 66% of GGP it does not already own. A combination of Chicago-based GGP and Brookfield Property would create one of the world’s largest publicly traded property companies. Brookfield Property is considering a new offer for GGP after a special committee of GGP’s board directors turned down its Nov. 11 offer as inadequate, and negotiations between the two companies are expected to continue, the sources said. The companies do not plan to make a new announcement unless their negotiations lead to a deal or end unsuccessfully, the sources added, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. GGP and Brookfield Property did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Brookfield Property’s efforts to buy GGP have come as mall owners across the United States are struggling as a result of many retailers losing out to e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com.

Brookfield Property, an owner and operator of office and retail properties, said last month the deal would allow it to grow, transform or reposition GGP’s shopping centers. The acquisition would create a company with an ownership interest in almost $100 billion real estate assets globally and annual net operating income of about $5 billion, according to Brookfield Property. It is not the first time Brookfield Property’s attempt to buy out a real estate investment trust in which it already owns a big stake has been rejected. Last year, Rouse Properties, another US mall owner, rejected an offer by Brookfield Property, its largest shareholder, only to subsequently agree to a sweetened $2.8 billion offer. Other GGP peers are also coming under pressure. Rival mall owner Macerich currently is under pressure from activist hedge fund Third Point Management to explore options including a sale.

Currency expert says there’s one fundamental reason behind bitcoin’s runaway rally

–  Valentin Marinov, head of G-10 FX research at Credit Agricole CIB, says that the “inherent imbalance between demand and supply” is the driving force behind bitcoin’s soaring value

–  Bitcoin bulls have frequently referenced the cryptocurrency’s scarcity value as a primary reason for its staying power

–  Billionaire investor Warren Buffet has previously urged traders to “stay away from it,” calling the rally a “mirage”

Bitcoin’s meteoric price rise has stunned critics and enthusiasts alike, leaving investors scrambling to understand the fundamental reason for the digital currency’s runaway rally. Valentin Marinov, head of G-10 FX research at Credit Agricole CIB, told CNBC on Monday that he was hopeful he now understood the reason behind bitcoin’s soaring value. He predicted further gains for the cryptocurrency before the end of the year. Bitcoin was changing hands about 10.7% higher Monday morning at above $16,642.45, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. The index tracks prices from digital currency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex. When asked to explain the driving force behind bitcoin’s unprecedented rally, Marinov said: “It is the inherent imbalance between demand and supply. Supply is inherently fixed; it’s very much like gold if you wish? At the same time… demand is based on hopes that its value will continue to grow.” Marinov also pointed to an unwavering hope among investors that the digital currency’s value appears to be “unlimited”. Bitcoin bulls have frequently referenced the cryptocurrency’s scarcity value as a primary reason for its staying power. Somewhat like gold, bitcoin supply grows at glacial and ever-decreasing fixed rates with only 21 million bitcoins set to be in existence.

Rising interest from institutional and retail investors prompted global exchanges, such as the Cboe, to launch futures contracts. This move is likely to encourage even greater institutional investment, market participants said, while at the same time curbing further volatile price swings. A contract from rival CME is poised to go live next week. Trading of the hotly anticipated futures contract began Sunday on the Cboe, representing a significant step in the legitimization of cryptocurrencies. Futures are derivatives, or financial instruments, that obligate a trader to either buy or sell an asset at a specified time and at a specified price. But, while the trading of bitcoin futures on two of the world’s largest exchanges is expected to provide a layer of official oversight that had not previously existed, several leading voices have expressed skepticism. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” that would eventually blow up, while billionaire investor Warren Buffett urged traders to “stay away from it,” calling the rally a “mirage”. On Friday, Stefan Ingves, chairman of global regulators at the Basel Committee and governor of Sweden’s Riksbank, said investing in bitcoin or other similar digital currencies was a “dangerous” prospect. Ingves cited strikingly high volatility levels and the clear lack of support from either central banks or international regulators as reasons for traders to be cautious. Bitcoin has become one of the hottest trades of 2017, surging more than 1,000% since the start of January.

Orlando shopping center owner files for bankruptcy

International Shoppes shopping center in Orlando (Credit: Loopnet.com)

A company planning to redevelop an Orlando shopping center and facing two foreclosure lawsuits filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. International Shoppes LLC declared $20 million of debt and $6.7 million of assets in its bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy petition may block foreclosures by Delaware-based Elizon DB, which has a $14.3 million loan secured by the shopping center, and Bank of the Ozarks, which has a $4.3 million loan on the property. International Shoppes LLC, led by developer Abdul Mathin, has owned a shopping center called International Shoppes since 2007 and has planned to redevelop the property since 2014, when he proposed demolition of the 1980s-vintage shopping center and an ambitious redevelopment called iSquare Mall, designed to include a luxury retail center and two hotels.

New York explosion: 1 person in custody, several injured

An explosion rocked New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, one of the city’s busiest commuter hubs, on Monday morning and police said one suspect was injured and in custody, with three other injuries reported. Police were not yet identifying the device used. Local television channel WABC cited police sources as saying a possible pipe bomb detonated in a passageway below ground and WPIX cited sources as saying a man with a “possible second device” has been detained in the subway tunnel. The fire department tweeted there were four injuries, all non-life threatening. One of the injured was a Port Authority police officer.

LinkedIn invests in Silicon valley housing

LinkedIn recently invested $10 million into an initiative started by Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a nonprofit community loan fund based that works to increase affordable housing options in Silicon Valley. LinkedIn’s money went to the TECH Fund, a program started by Housing Trust Silicon Valley that aims to get more high-tech organizations, large employers and philanthropists involved with creating affordable housing in the Bay Area. According to details provided by Housing Trust Silicon Valley, TECH Fund was created to “help developers with short-term capital needs to compete more effectively with market-rate developers and purchase property faster.” The nonprofit also said LinkedIn is the first company to “use their investment in the TECH Fund to make additional voluntary contributions to benefit their community.” With LinkedIn’s $10 million, the total investment in the TECH Fund is now $30 million, the nonprofit said. “We see TECH Fund and LinkedIn’s investment as new way to lead change in the affordable housing landscape,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley. “We’re happy to create a way for affordable housing developers to access land acquisitions funds quickly, and we thank LinkedIn for being a committed ally to do so.” And it appears that some of LinkedIn’s money is already being put to good use. According to Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a portion of LinkedIn’s investment was used to purchase a site in Mountain View, California that is to be used to build 70 new affordable apartments, with 20 homes dedicated to permanent supportive housing. “We must all take ownership of the affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area, and invest in compassionate solutions,” said Katie Ferrick, head of community affairs at LinkedIn. “This partnership with Housing Trust through the TECH Fund is a creative way to make community impact investing a viable way for companies to address the need for housing.”

Farmer Mac fires CEO

The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, otherwise known as Farmer Mac, which functions as a secondary market for agricultural credit, abruptly fired its president and CEO, Timothy Buzby, late last week. According to an announcement from the company, Buzby was terminated by the company’s board “solely on the basis of violations of company policies.” But, the company did not provide any more information on what those violations actually were. The company also said that Buzby’s termination was not due to the company’s financial or business performance. Taking over on an interim basis is Lowell Junkins, who becomes acting president and chief executive officer. Junkins has served as Farmer Mac’s chairman of the board since late 2010 and has been a board member since 1996. “My job, as acting CEO, is to make sure nothing gets in the way of this organization’s stellar leadership team and staff and the excellent work they do every single day,” Junkins said. “As our third quarter results demonstrate, we have been performing extraordinarily well and look forward to that continuing without a hitch.” The company said that its board will launch an “immediate and thorough” search to find a new president and CEO and will consider both internal and external candidates.

Posted by: pharbuck on December 11, 2017
Posted in: Uncategorized