Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Friday, 20 May 2005 11:18 UK

Shares up at royal wedding hotel

Japan's Princess Sayako (left) and Yoshiki Kuroda (right)
The couple's wedding plans were an inspiration to investors

Preparations for the wedding of Japan's Princess Sayako have had a dramatic effect on the value of shares in the Tokyo hotel hosting the event.

Since the royal household announced on Wednesday that the princess would be getting married at the Imperial Hotel, its share price has risen by 23%.

The 36-year-old princess and urban planner Yoshiki Kuroda, 40, will be tying the knot there on 15 November.

Analysts believe the boost to the hotel's image will increase revenues.

Shares in Imperial Hotel Ltd were quoted at 2,200 yen ($20.50) each on the Tokyo stock exchange on Wednesday night.

But the stocks became sought-after once the news broke that the hotel had been chosen as the venue for Princess Sayako's Shinto wedding ceremony.

Landmark hotel

By close of trading on Friday, the share price had jumped to 2,700 yen as the publicity drove up demand among investors.

The Imperial has an illustrious past dating back to 1890, when it was built on a site close to the imperial palace and became Tokyo's first European-style hotel.

In the 1920s, the original structure gave way to a new building designed by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which was in turn replaced by the current hotel in 1970.

In recent years, the Imperial has faced tough competition from foreign-owned hotels, but financial analysts believe the glamour of the impending royal wedding may help to revive its image.

Princess Sayako - the only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko - will have to leave the Japanese royal family after her marriage, as her fiance is a commoner.

Japan prepares for royal wedding
15 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific

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