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New York's Baccarat Hotel fetches record valuation from Chinese buyer
Brief:The Baccarat is the latest trophy property to wind up in the hands of Chinese investors in recent months as buyers take advantage of new rules allowing them to invest more easily abroad.
New York's Baccarat Hotel
 
New York's Baccarat Hotel has yet to check in a single guest, but it is about to become the most highly valued hotel in the US after a Chinese insurer agreed to buy it for more than $230 million.

Sunshine Insurance Group Co. is paying real-estate mogul Barry Sternlicht 's firm and a partner more than $2 million a room for the Midtown Manhattan property, according to people familiar with the matter.

One person said the valuation beats the previous record set by the Plaza Hotel, the New York landmark that was sold in 2012 to India's Sahara Group for $2.04 million a room, according to hotel data tracker STR Analytics.

The Baccarat is the latest trophy property to wind up in the hands of Chinese investors in recent months as buyers take advantage of new rules allowing them to invest more easily abroad. Real-estate brokers and analysts said Chinese companies see luxury hotels, especially in major global capitals, as long-term investments that can provide steady income in a period of low interest rates. Moreover, some say the properties confer prestige on their owners.

"Chinese insurers are buying for 50 or 100 years, and they are not worried about value going down in markets like New York," said Ryan Meliker, hotel analyst for investment bank MLV & Co. "It's a great place to park money long term."
 
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