September 4, 2015

International roundup

Tops among foreign real estate buyers

No. 1 Florida ranks as the top market for international residential real estate sales.

For the fifth year in a row, Florida was the top destination for international home buyers. Twenty-three percent of all sales of U.S. homes to international buyers occurred in Florida. Miami was the No. 2 mostsearched for city by international buyers on Realtor.com. Orlando was No. 4, and Fort Lauderdale was No. 8 

Spotlight Travel and Tourism

Two Florida metro areas are among the top destinations for visitors from outside North America to the U.S. Miami was the second most-visited city (with 4 million international visitors), behind New York. Orlando was the fourth most-visited (with 3.72 million international visitors). Los Angeles filled in the No. 3 spot; the data came from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s office of National Travel & Tourism. >> The Orlando area now gets more visitors from Brazil than it does from any other country outside North America: 768,488 from Brazil vs. 759,390 from the United Kingdom.

Foreign Companies’ Impact on South Florida

A report by the Brookings Institute as part of the JPMorgan Chase-funded Global Cities Initiative examined the impact of foreign-owned companies on the nation’s major metropolitan areas, using 2011 data. South Florida — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — was No. 52 out of the 100 largest metro regions in terms of the portion of the work force at foreign-owned companies. The researchers say that the region’s heavily service-oriented economy doesn’t lend itself to as much foreign investment.

South Florida workers employed at foreign-owned companies:

  • 4. 7% Percentage of work force employed at foreign-owned companies, 91,690 employees 
  • 38% Increase in work force at foreign-owned companies from 1991 
  • 30% Growth nationwide from 1991 
  • 58,900 South Florida jobs created by foreign companies from 1991 to 2011

Country Briefs

ASIA— Enterprise Florida will lead a delegation of Florida companies on an export mission to Singapore and Malaysia, Sept. 19-26.

BRAZIL— Brace Pharma, the U.S. investment company of EMS S/A, Brazil’s largest pharmaceutical company, invested $15 million in West Palm Beach-based Tyrogenex, the first company to spin off from Scripps Florida. >> São Paulo-based XP Securities, Brazil’s largest independent investment broker, opened an office in Miami’s Brickell financial district, with 15 employees who relocated from New York. The company plans to use the office to grow its client base throughout Latin America and to oversee international investments. It hopes to grow to 100 fulltime employees by the middle of next year. The office is its second in the U.S. 

CANADA— Coral Gablesbased infrastructure builder MasTec acquired Canadabased contractor Pacer Construction Holdings for $126 million in cash, plus a possible performance-based bonus. Pacer has about 1,600 employees and is one of the largest infrastructure contractors in the Canadian oil sands. The acquisition signifcantly expands Mas- Tec’s presence in Canada.

CENTRAL AMERICA— A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies found that Florida is the fourth most-popular state for Central American immigrants to settle in, both legal and illegal immigrants. California, Texas and New York are the most popular states.

CUBA— Russian companies Rosneft and Zarubezhneft will soon begin searching for oil in the deep waters off Cuba’s shores, less than 50 miles from Florida. >> A new Foreign Investment Law has gone into effect in Cuba; the law allows foreign firms to participate in the tourism, logistics, pharmaceutical and other sectors and offers tax breaks and more legal protections to those firms. >> Paris-based bank BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to disguising $1.75 billion in illegal transactions with Cuba and agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion in fines and forfeitures. The U. S. says that the bank has already terminated all illegal business with Cuba and prohibited any new business with sanctioned entities.

LATIN AMERICA— A private South American investor purchased the Shoppes of Spring Hill in Hernando County for $4 million. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based network security firm Fortinet opened a 30-person Latin American and Caribbean headquarters in Sunrise. The company plans to expand to 50 employees by year-end.

MEXICO— Froots, a Daviebased fast-service health food restaurant, is expanding into Mexico, with its first location set to open in Puebla in August. It signed a 50-location development deal with Mexico-based venture capital firm Nummorum Group. Froots is already in 16 countries.

UKRAINE — A group of Ukrainian investors purchased a former Holiday Inn and the Villa Caprice hotel in Lauderdale-by-the- Sea for $14 million each. Florida Development Group already owned four hotels in the city, which were acquired last year.

Tags: Real Estate, International

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