CRESA, Weatherall form Transatlantic partnership Dallas-based Corporate Real Estate Service Advisors (CRESA) has formed a global partnership with Weatherall International, the International division of Weatherall, Green & Smith based in the United Kingdom. The purpose of the partnership is to provide international clients with high-quality tenant representation and corporate services, all with a single point of contact.

Collectively, CRESA and Weatherall International will draw upon the resources of 97 offices in more than 100 cities worldwide, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Hong Kong, Sydney and Berlin. Included on the roster of companies CRESA and Weatherall represent are more than 200 dot.com firms around the world. Currently, CRESA and Weatherall are working on 10 transatlantic transactions with companies that include Yahoo! and EMC2.

Hostmark opens first Egyptian hotel Northbrook, Ill.-based Hostmark Hospitality Group has opened its first Egyptian resort, The Howard Johnson Plaza Resort in Habq Bay-Sharm El-Sheikh. This is the first of 17 projects in Egypt that will include Hostmark Hotels and Resorts, Ramada Plaza, Howard Johnson Plaza and Wyndham franchises. The 360-room Howard Johnson Plaza Resort features a sea water lagoon with private beach, a health club, disco club, tennis courts and shopping mall.

The first Hostmark flagged hotel, the Hostmark Resort in Taba, is scheduled to open in July. It will feature 291 guestrooms and 15 luxury suites. Located 10 miles from Israel and Jordan, the hotel has a fresh water swimming pool, a private beach, and state-of-the-art health club. The second Hostmark flagged hotel, the Hostmark Oriental Resort, is scheduled to open in November. Located on the Sharm Nabq Bay, amenities include 272 guestrooms, a pool cafe and specialty restaurant.

A new Hostmark regional office in Cairo will provide operational, engineering, sales and marketing support for all operating properties.

U.S. investors pumped $20 billion into Asia in 1999 According to a report from New York-based Ernst & Young, U.S. investors pumped $20 billion into Asian non-performing loans and distressed assets over the past 18 months. This amount, says E&Y's Jack Rodman, managing director of Asia Pacific Financial Solutions practice, is double the amount invested over the previous period.

Rodman says U.S. investment in Asia this year could increase significantly as investors continue to expand their horizons to include not only non-performing loans (NPL) portfolios, but also investments in pools of performing real estate loans; ownership interest in offices, hotels and residential housing; investments in real estate operating and service companies; and equity positions in Asia's emerging e-commerce companies.

The report also finds that Asia is not simply restructuring its "Old Economy," it's creating a "New Economy" driven by e-commerce. Rodman says the United States took much of the 1990s to transform its economy through a process of trial and error, but Asia, with the United States as a model, should be able to accomplish the same transformation in three to four years. The report predicts that "foreign investment will finance the development of business and research parks to serve Internet start-ups and existing e-commerce companies" and "provide housing for an anticipated influx of Western technology advisors, banks and corporate personnel."

Among E&Y's other predictions: The next big markets to open up (as soon as this summer), will be Indonesia, where the "Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) controls almost $80 billion in distressed assets including trophy hotels and other high-quality real estate."

GVA expands into Moscow market Evanston, Ill.-based GVA Worldwide, a real estate partnership active in 25 countries, has entered into the Russian market with a new member firm, GVA Sawyer. The addition of the firm expands GVA's reach into Eastern Europe, where it also has offices through Vienna, Austria-based GVA Immoconsult in Bratislava, Slovakia; Prague, the Czech Republic; Bucharest, Romania; Budapest, Hungary; Sofia, Bulgaria; and Warsaw, Poland.

Moscow-based GVA Sawyer, a full-service real estate firm with more than 100 employees, provides development management, general contracting, space planning, tenant and product representation, asset management and consulting services to the office, retail and industrial sectors. The firm is licensed to perform as a "customer" in the Russiansystem of construction management, performing building inspection, certification and acceptance to help clients negotiate the country's complex development process.