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La Estrella de Panama, Panama, March 11, 2009

A Trump talks up Panama
03-11-2009 | STAFF

Ivanka says demand outstrips supply at Panama’s Ocean Club, in a sea of failing Trump projects from Chicago to Mexico

Panama Star In an interview given to Latin Business Chronicle, Ivanka, daughter of the American multimillionaire, Donald Trump said that Panama offer important tax incentives that lures international investors, especially as in the United States they are heavily taxed.

Ivanka added that “giving the global downturn, the fact that sales remain so robust for Trump Ocean Club, is a testament to the product, the brand and Panama.”

The Latin Business Chronicle in its article pointed out that the Trump success in Panama echoes the sentiment of other real estate experts. Apparently, Property Frontiers recently named Panama as the top property hot spot for 2009, while David Berger, managing director for Latin America and the Caribbean for NAI Global, sees Panama as one of two Latin American markets that will best weather the storm this year, the other one is Brazil.

Trump optimistic view is not shared by other property developers, who have been obliged to down scale their projects because of lack of prospective buyers and the banks reluctance of lending money to luxury developments in the city and in the interior.

However, Ivanka Trump believes that “Panama is an exceptionally diverse and beautiful country, with an urban and well-established city, in addition to gorgeous resort-type destinations.”

Meanwhile, the Trump Ocean Resort Baja plan in Mexico collapsed, leaving little more than a hole in the ground and investors out of their deposits, which totaled $32.2 million.

Similar to Panama’s project, the Trumps had remained buoyant, with Ivanka assuring buyers in an October 2007 newsletter that all Trump projects were immune to a slowdown. "In characteristic Trump fashion, Trump Ocean Resort Baja will be the best of the best, and consequently always in demand," she wrote.

The Baja project's collapse came at a delicate time for the Trumps, whose casino company, Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection last month. They are also embroiled in a lawsuit to avoid paying debt on the struggling Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.


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