Penn Wealth Publishing

2015.06.14 Journal of Wealth & Success Vol 3 Issue 23

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16 wealth & success volume 3 issue 23 June 14, 2015 wealth & success Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. investment intelligence weekly business rePort Financials: Capital Markets blackstone acquires three shoPPing centers in southern euroPe Penn Strategic Income Portfolio (SIP) member Blackstone BX announced that it has acquired three new shopping centers in Spain and Portugal. The Almada Forum, located in Almada, Portugal, is the third largest shopping center on the peninsula, with 262 shops, 35 restaurants, and a jumbo supermarket. Forum Montijo, which is linked to Lisbon by bridges across the Tagus River, boasts 160 shops, 22 restaurants, and a movie theater. The third property is Espacio Leon, located in Northern Spain. Blackstone, as highlighted in Volume 3, Issue 19 of the Journal, has transformed itself into the world's largest real estate investment com- pany, overseeing about $85 billion in real estate assets, and quickly closing in on the $100 billion mark in that division alone. Real estate analysts estimate that these three properties may be worth as much as €100 million each. The Portuguese real estate market has been on fire as of late, with an expected 2015 invest- ment inflow of €1 billion. Portugal had been on the short list (along with Spain, for that matter) of countries nearing financial disaster, but this year's growth is expected to tick up to 1.7%. Nothing to throw a party over, but certainly not a contraction. Knowing Blackstone, they swooped in at just the right time. Global Strategy: Middle East under al sisi, egyPt is reasserting its role as a dominant regional Player As the terrorist group known as Islamic State continues to gain power—and land—in the Middle East, Egypt is re-emerging as a dominant regional player thanks to its strong new leader, President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Late last week, ISIS took control the capital city of Iraq's Anbar province, Ramadi, giving it a stronghold just 70 miles outside of Baghdad. In the eyes of Al Sisi, the region is running out of time to stop the ter- ror group's determination to create a modern caliphate, which has at its head a ruler whose power and authority is absolute. Much to the chagrin of the international press corps, Al Sisi has made street protests a criminal act, sentenced hundreds to death, and clamped down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the weekend, a special court sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi, also the former Muslim Brotherhood leader, to death. While Al Sisi is clamping down on those who promote terrorism, he is simultaneously calling for increased tolerance in the Arab world and a loosening of Islam's tenets to promote new ideas. Additionally, the 60-year-old leader is portraying Egypt, especially to the US admin- istration, as an ally in the fight against radical Islam. This strategy appears to be working, as the administration recently lifted its ban on arms sales to what used to be one of America's closest allies in the region—and one we need on our side in the global war on terror. While the administration is being slammed by fellow members of the party, like Senator Patrick "Leaky" Leahy of Vt., for allowing arms sales to resume, Al Sisi is sounding the alarm against radical Islam's embrace of Sharia law, a heinous form of "justice" in which husbands can legally beat their wives and Christians can be executed for espousing their religious beliefs in public. Perhaps it is time for the senator from Vermont, who has spent over half his life in the senate, to consider retirement. As for Al Sisi, he may be one of the brightest beacons in the Middle East for drawing attention to the grow- ing threat of radical Islam. (Editor's Note: Senator Patrick Leahy got the nickname "Leaky Leahy" for his history of leak- ing sensitive national security information to the press, which ultimately forced him to resign from the Senate Intelligence Committee.) The Almada Forum in Portugal is the third largest shopping center on the Iberian Peninsula (which includes Spain and Portugal) Egyptian President and former commander Abdel Al Sisi

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