Top Turkish hotel Martı Myra for sale after owner fails to repay debt

Martı Myra Otel, a large hotel in the Turkish resort town of Kemer, is up for sale after its owner failed to repay a bank loan, Birgün news website reported.

The beachfront luxury hotel, with 553 rooms and 1,209 beds is being offered in an auction for 278.6 million liras ($47.1 million), Birgün said on Wednesday citing the legal proceedings. The facility is owned by Martı Gayrimenkul Yatırım Ortaklığı, which trades on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

Turkish companies are finding foreign currency-denominated debt more expensive to repay after a currency crisis last year. The lira lost almost one-third of its value against the dollar in 2018 and is down about 10 percent this year. But the Turkish tourism industry has appeared among the least affected by the turmoil as visitors flooded to the country this summer.

The auction of the five-star hotel is set for Jan. 16, Birgün said. A second sale will be held on Feb. 13 should no buyer be found for the minimum price asked.

Shares of Martı Gayrimenkul slid 10 percent to 0.94 liras at 2:40 p.m. in Istanbul, reducing the company’s value to 102.3 million liras. They have gained almost 50 percent this year.

Martı Myra Otel began operating in 1988. A 49-year lease for the land it is built on, owned by the Treasury, expires in 2037, Birgün reported.

Martı Gayrimenkul also controls assets including the Martı Marina in the resort town of Marmaris with a capacity of 371 yachts, according to its website. It is building a housing development named Narin Park on a 436,000 square metre plot in Çerkezköy, near Istanbul.