Melia Stock Jumps as U.S. Considers Ending Cuba Embargo

Melia Hotels International SA, the largest western European hotel chain by revenue, jumped the most in 18 months as U.S. President Barack Obama prepared to outline a plan to end his country’s decades-long economic embargo of Cuba.

Melia rose 5.6 percent to 8.98 euros at the close in Madrid in the steepest gain since June 25, 2013. Melia runs 27 hotels in Cuba, the company’s third-biggest set of properties, following its home market of Spain and Germany.

Obama spoke with Cuban President Raul Castro yesterday about a deal to bring the embargo to a close, a U.S. administration official said. The White House announced the steps after Cuba released American Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds.

Ending the U.S.’s isolation of Cuba that has persisted for more than a half century would involve talks to resume diplomatic relations, opening a U.S. embassy in Havana and loosening trade and travel restrictions on the nation. The embargo is one of the last policy remnants of the Cold War, remaining in place under the influence of the Cuban-American exile community in Florida.

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