Global property partners unfazed by Donald Trump bombast

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Published: August 1, 2015 4:46:13 PM

Real estate tycoon and White House hopeful Donald Trump has lost high-profile US contracts over his hardline anti-immigrant stance, but internationally the row has yet to damage the Trump brand.

Real estate tycoon and White House hopeful Donald Trump has lost high-profile US contracts over his hardline anti-immigrant stance, but internationally the row has yet to damage the Trump brand.

When he disparaged undocumented immigrants from Mexico as criminals and rapists in June, several American groups — NBC television, retailer Macy’s, the PGA tour — severed ties with the defiant billionaire.

But the revolt was not matched in Asia, Europe and South America where promoters have paid dearly to display the globally recognised Donald Trump marquee on their properties.

Any future impact of the US controversy is impossible to predict. But six weeks after his remarks began, the effects of Trump’s antagonism remain invisible overseas.

“We’ve practically sold out. We can say there has been no negative effect,” Maria Theresa Yu, a spokesperson for Donald Trump’s Philippine partner, Century Properties Group, told AFP.

She was referring to Trump Tower Manila, a 56-floor luxury residential building that as of January was already 94 percent sold ahead of its 2016 opening.

Yu could not say how Donald Trump’s toxic remarks might effect future business. But media and social networks in the Philippines have so far ignored the political controversy.

“The tower sold out really fast because the Donald Trump brand exudes luxury,” she added. “Filipinos want to experience luxury.”

They are not alone. Trump’s empire outside the United States extends to 12 countries including Turkey, South Korea, India, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates.

It features five golf courses, among them Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland, where “The Donald” himself visited yesterday.

And it includes 12 complexes of hotels, residences and offices, several of which are under construction.

Their common theme: dizzying heights, flamboyant architecture and decor, robust pricing, and Trump’s name licensed to properties in exchange for vast royalties.

In 2011 in Panama City, Trump opened the tallest tower in Latin America (since surpassed by a skyscraper in Chile) — 70 floors of apartments and hotel rooms looming over the Pacific.

Trump’s comments have failed to cause even a ripple in India’s Maharashtra state, where his name is attached to two property developments.

The 75-plus story Trump Tower Mumbai is being built in partnership with Indian real estate developer Lodha Group.

Prices for the luxury residences, 40 per cent of which have been presold, start at 90 million rupees ($1.48 million) — well out of reach of most inhabitants in a city where nearly 40 per cent of people live in slums.

The company declined to comment on whether it was reconsidering its association with Donald Trump.

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