In the News from Panama

Hong Kong Company Makes Big Investment in Panama City

Big international money continues to flow into Panama City. Last week the Panama Ports Company, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., announced plans to invest $110 million in the next two years into Balboa Port.

The project will bolster the port on the Pacific Coast of the Panama Canal, including new loading and unloading facilities, Reuters reports. The new facilities will increase the port’s capacity to 5 million containers, up 11 percent from current limits, PPC chief executive Aitor Ibarreche told journalists.

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, which is owned by Li Ka-shing, often called Asia’s richest man, is making the strategic investment to coincide with the expansion of the Panama Canal, which is expected to be completed by 2016 (after a series of delays) .

So what does this mean for the property market in Panama City? This large-scale investment is further evidence that the country’s economic growth is continuing, which is providing a strong foundation for the growth of the property market.

More economic activity means more business and that means more people looking to buy and rent in Panama City. We work closely with a long list of international corporations looking for homes for their executives, which is one reason the rental market in Punta Pacifica is growing more competitive.

This continued infusion of international investment represents a real commitment in the city and that translates to a strong foundation for the property market.

Duncan McGowan is president of Punta Pacifica Realty, a Panama real estate agency focused on Punta Pacifica, the exclusive neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

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