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1.Market Observations, 8.Was Sticky

22 Mar 2017 (AFR) – `Skyscraper curse’ claims new victim in Lotte’s $4 billion tower

(22 March 2017, AFR, p37, by Bruce Einhorn and Sohee Kim

The glass-bottomed observation deck sitting 118 storeys up in the Seoul sky isn’t for the faint of heart. That condition would apply to the tower’s builder, the beleaguered Lotte Group, as well.’ <snipped…>

‘Record-setting skyscrapers and economic hard times are no strangers, said Andrew Lawrence, Hong Kong-based founder of Oculus Research Asia and creator of the Skyscraper Index. New York’s Empire State Building debuted during the Great Depression; work on Malaysia’s Petronas Towers finished during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s; and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 as the property market there collapsed. “Most of the skyscrapers are conceived in the up cycle and completed in the recession, putting significant pressure on the companies that have built them,” said Mr Lawrence, who proposed the index for buildings of record height in 1999. The relationship between skyscrapers and economic downturns has been named the “skyscraper curse” by Mark Thornton, senior fellow at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. Lotte’s 123-storey tower got a taste of that misfortune on Monday, when the conglomerate said…’

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