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Grand Hyatt Debuts in Malaysia

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Consistent with its development strategy, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Free Report) recently announced the opening of the hotel -- Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur -- under its Grand Hyatt Brand name. The opening marks the debut of the Grand Hyatt brand in Malaysia. Earlier in June 2011, a Hyatt affiliate signed a contract with Bahagia Investment Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for the operation of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is one of the fastest growing countries in Asia and is a very popular tourist destination. Moreover, the country is witnessing an upward trend in the number of tourist visits. Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand are important sources of visitors for the country.

The new property features 370 luxurious guest rooms and 42 suites as well as 35,530 square feet meeting and event space along with various other amenities. The hotel is located at the prime location of Malaysia, i.e. in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) which is home to the Petronas Twin Towers, Suria KLCC shopping center, KLCC Convention Center and the KLCC Park.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia and a tourist hub for both business and leisure.  Since the 1990’s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One World Championship.

In addition, the city is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia's futuristic developments. Given its strategic location, we believe this new hotel will be a milestone in the hotelier’s expansion strategy in the rapidly emerging Southeast Asian market.

The company is poised to benefit from the increase in demand for hotels, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, where the pace of economic recovery is particularly fast. The company currently operates more than 50 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hyatt has more than 35 properties in progress throughout the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, China, Latin America, Southwest Asia and the Middle East. The company is focused on its strategy of expanding in new markets, of which around 75% is expected to be on the international front.

However, the market is not free of competition. Several major hoteliers like Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Free Report) are also poised to expand their portfolio in the country.

We presently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Also, the company carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating).

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