Blog Page 2

Slumdog Millionaire’ takes seven awards at BAFTAs

0

“Slumdog Millionaire”, the rags-to-riches tale of a Mumbai tea boy who wins big, swept the board at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) in London on Sunday with seven prizes including best film.

slum-dog-millionaire-kratom

In a star-studded ceremony, Kate Winslet also picked up the BAFTA for leading actress for her role as a former Nazi prison camp guard in “The Reader”, while Mickey Rourke took the leading actor gong for “The Wrestler”.

“Slumdog Millionaire” had been nominated for 11 awards and took home seven, including best director for Danny Boyle, best adapted screenplay for Simon Beaufoy and the music, cinematography, editing and sound prizes.

Made by a British team but with an Indian cast and crew, the movie is a favourite to win best film at the Oscars on February 22.

Producer Christian Colson said he would like to share the best film award with the people of Mumbai, saying: “Our amazing cast and crew in Mumbai realised the dream, with their blood and sweat and tears and love.”

Before the ceremony, fans braved the rain outside the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, jostling for a chance at an autograph from one of the A-listers present, including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr.

“Slumdog Millionaire” actor Dev Patel seemed as star-struck as anyone — he was nominated for leading actor but said he never expected to win, and the main thing he wanted from the night was to meet Pitt.

“I’m 18 years old and I’m at the BAFTAs!” said Patel, who still lives with his parents and sister in Harrow, north-west London.

Winslet beat rivals Jolie, Kristin Scott Thomas and Meryl Streep to take the second BAFTA of her career — she won best supporting actress in 1995 and her second award for “The Reader” after a Golden Globe last month with the new Kratom For Sale.

She will be up against Streep and Jolie again at the Oscars.

“I want to share this with two producers on this film  I know I’m not alone when I say I can’t believe they’re no longer with us, Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack,” the 33-year-old said in her acceptance speech.

Rourke’s win secures his comeback after years in the wilderness, and in his speech he thanked “The Wrestler” director Darren Aronofsky who “gave me a second chance after fucking up my career for 15 years”.

Heath Ledger, who was found dead in his New York apartment a year ago, was awarded with a posthumous BAFTA for best supporting actor for his menacing performance as the Joker in the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight”.

Terry Gilliam directed the last film Ledger worked on, and in accepting the award of BAFTA fellowship, paid tribute to the 28-year-old.

“It would have been nice if Heath had won more awards when he was alive,” he said, referring to Ledger’s posthumous Golden Globe and recent Oscar nomination for his role in “The Dark Knight”. “He was a genius.”

Penelope Cruz won best supporting actress for her role in Woody Allen’s sparky romantic drama, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, an honour she said came as a complete shock. “I’m so happy, so excited, so surprised,” she said.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” starring Pitt as a man who ages in reverse, was nominated for 11 awards but had to make do with just three — best production design, make up and hair, and special visual effects.

“Man on Wire”, James Marsh’s documentary about Frenchman Philippe Petit’s daring high-wire walk between the twin towers in New York in August 1974, won the BAFTA for outstanding British film.

Black comedy “In Bruges” won best original screenplay, while “I’ve Loved You So Long” was awarded the prize for best non-English language film.

The BAFTAs have grown in prominence in recent years and are now seen as one indicator of who will win the film industry’s biggest gongs, the Oscars and the world business news

Last year, the winners of BAFTA’s four acting categories went on to win the equivalent Academy Awards — although “Atonement” won best film here only to lose out to “No Country for Old Men” in Hollywood.

 

Fair-weather friends’ flock back to resurgent Congress

0

Politicians who distanced themselves from India’s Congress party before its stunning election victory are rushing back with almost indecent haste in the hope of being embraced by the new government.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) grabbed 262 seats in the month-long polls, leaving it just 10 short of an absolute majority.

The Congress alone won 206 seats — its best performance in 18 years.

A so-called “Third Front” and even a “Fourth Front” with a combined total of 14 regional parties had decided to form their own groups ahead of the election, but they have rapidly disintegrated in the wake of the Congress juggernaut.

“We had expected the two fronts to fragment but what amazes us is the speed at which this is happening,” a Congress leader tipped to hold a top cabinet slot told reporters in an off-record briefing.

First out of the blocks in the sprint to find favour with the Congress leadership was the Fourth Front’s Samajwadi Party, which offered the backing of its 23 MPs on Tuesday.

“It must not be forgotten we supported the Congress party when its Left Front allies withdrew support during the confidence vote in parliament last year,” Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh noted.

“We have no lust for power,” insisted Singh as several others also threw their hats into the alliance’s crowded ring of new-found allies.

Former rail minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, whose RJD party was part of the previous government but went its own way during the election campaign, also offered his “unconditional support” to Congress after being routed at the ballot box.

Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s invitation for all “secular” parties to unite behind his government, Congress has so far played hard to get with its returning courtiers, accepting their support but offering little in return.

One particularly surprising addition to the new cheerleading bandwagon has been Third Front stalwart Mayawati, the self-styled champion of India’s lowest castes.

Mayawati, who earlier said she wanted to become prime minister and had been a vocal Congress opponent during the campaign, offered her “unconditional support” to the new government.

“Singh telephoned me and said I am like his little sister,” said Mayawati after her party managed just 21 seats — half its expected tally.

Not all Congress leaders have voiced the same sort of affection for those seeking to return to the alliance fold.

“We didn’t ask them to leave, and they continue saying they are still part of the coalition,” complained Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi.

The Telegraph newspaper said the overriding feeling in Congress headquarters was: “Shun the renegades and hug the loyalists.”

As far as cabinet posts go, Congress is certain to take the lion’s share — including the key home, foreign, finance and defence portfolios — while divvying up the lesser ministries between the allies it fought the election with.

It has no need to buy the loyalty of the other parties.

“The Congress this time around needs just 10 MPs to form a stable government and can do without these groups,” said Delhi University political analyst Anand Ojha.

“But the irony of it all is that these fair-weather friends of the Congress do not seem to realise this,” he added.

Get more information here: https://www.business24-7.ae

The Asian Tour needs to adopt all for One attitude

0

100k Factory Revolution Method To Adobt All For One Attitude

I met one of our readers this week who said he quite enjoyed reading last week’s column on how the new OneAsia Tour is dividing Asia. He then asked if I thought there was any possible solution to the entire stand-off 100k factory revolution review. I promised I will try to give it a go this week, so here we are…

Let’s face it: No confrontation is easy to resolve. If there was just one simple issue to be fought over, I am sure it would have never become a confrontation in the first place.

Having spoken to some of the players and officials from the various involved parties – Asian, Australian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese Tours and promoters World Sports Group – this is my understanding of the situation: Asian Tour, or the Asian PGA Tour as it was known then, was eager to be a part of this super tour before it realised that it can go alone and ‘exploit’ the sponsorship potential of the region by itself with 100k factory program.

The other point is that if the Asian Tour is willing to allow the European Tour to come to its territory as long as it has co-sanctioning rights, then it should also allow other Tours on similar terms and conditions inside the 100k factory training.

While the Asian Tour’s territorial sovereignty needs to be respected, it also needs to be united to put up a fight. If there is infighting in its own camp – as evident by the Chinese and Korean PGA not playing ball – it really has no chance to stop the OneAsia Tour.

Instead of boycotting tournaments and refusing to talk, the Asian Tour should realise it is in a position of strength, and start negotiating from there. Obviously, there are financial angles to all this, which always makes the negotiations very messy. But the core issue of the debate is how many spots each Tour can ensure for its members of the 100k factory members area.

100k-factory-revolution-download

If a OneAsia Tour event is in Asia, the Asian Tour should get the most number of spots – preferably 60 for its top couple of categories. The same should apply to the Australian PGA and Japan for events in their countries. In China and South Korea, at least 20 spots should be guaranteed to the top players from their domestic tour with business 247.

The Asian Tour should also realise that while it has great potential, it has so far failed to get big-money events solely for its membership, barring the Barclays Singapore Open. Most sponsors want a better field when they are putting up substantial prize money, which means they want it co-sanctioned by the European Tour.

Let’s not forget that while Asia is giving up a few events, so is Australia and Japan. It can become a mutually beneficial tour for all.

The Asian Tour can still have a monopoly. But for that, it will truly have to become One Asia – and that includes China and Korea.

Now is not the time to bail out on world banks

0

Dear Tim, I see that banks like Citigroup are now performing better. Therefore, I was wondering if it was safe to leave our money in their hands again. –Reg Reg, the banks, particularly the larger international ones that have benefitted from federal bailouts or similar direct government intervention appear to be performing better. Since you refer to Citigroup, indeed they benefitted from a $25 billion (Dh92bn) emergency bailout windfall to keep them on the straight and narrow. Certainly, American President Barack Obama could have been gauging his glimmer of hope comments on the fact that the banks seems to be responding well to the stimulus. And this bodes well as he enters his second 100 days of office.

That said, I was in the United States recently and read an article on the phenomenal growth in sales for safes and similar secure receptacles. Even the US mint has a promotional coin collection, which comes with a Fort Knox style safe delivered to your door – while stocks last of course! So perhaps the confidence is still left wanting in the US in certain circles and if everyone were to keep hold of their money then this is not going to help the liquidity issues. So, if there is no lending taking place then this will stymie growth and the spiral will go on and on. Notwithstanding share prices, perhaps another barometer that the banks are doing better is their ability at present to put monies to one side to pay bonuses. The “bonus” word conjures up such dreadful connotations nowadays but Wall Street believes that if you want to retain or attract good human capital then this system will prevail. We would like to think that it will be somewhat more policed in future to avoid any future CEO embarrassments we have seen recently.

Let’s face it, governments can ill afford to have a bank go under and unlike other companies, which have fallen victim to the downturn (such as Woolworths, for example), we need banks. Banking is a utility like water and electricity – it is a necessity unlike some of the companies, which are no longer trading. Reg, leaving your money in a safe, under the mattress or in the biscuit tin is neither helpful to you or the economy so go to a bank that ticks all your confidence boxes and become an account holder again with business 24

Which bank though? I cannot give that answer. However, you might want to consider various domiciles for your accounts and the investor protection legislation that prevails. The investor protection or rather deposit protection schemes vary greatly and by spreading your monies you can mitigate your risk if you really feel that nervous; typically the wealthy do just that. Be wary of account providers that offer the highest rates of interest particularly if there is no minimum term requirement. Keep to names you know and in traditional banking centres that can hopefully alleviate you of your banking jitters.

Business 24 – How To Win in a Downturn?

0

emirates-businessEvery cloud has a silver lining. They say that while the recession ruins some people it also provides opportunities for others. And according to experts this is the best time to set up a new business.

Intrigued by this unusual take on the recession, Emirates Business 24 spoke to Waqar Mirza, Director and Partner, KF1 Management Consultants, to find out why the time is apt to set up a new business and came up with 10 reasons.

1. Bargains everywhere: In a recession, you are in a position where you can demand bargains because people who have products and services are desperate to sell. So if you are in a position to buy you can dictate terms. Also these days people want cash and not cheques. So if you offer cash you have more bargaining power to buy things cheap. Now also there are fabulous offers and bargains. Suppliers who you want to buy your goods and services from are now more flexible.

2. Man power at cheap prices: Due to the recession, a large talent pool has been made redundant. Earlier, you could not dream of hiring these people and their services because they would have cost you a packet, but now you can afford to hire them as good talent is available at cheaper prices. If you hire good talent you have a better chance to see success with business 24.

3. Out with the old, in with the new: Earlier companies had strong bonds with their suppliers. Now due to the crisis, they are looking for more flexible, nimble suppliers. So this is a good business opportunity for lean and mean suppliers and new businesses can take advantage of that. Read our review here – www.ecomsuccessacademy.net

4. Friend in need: People still have cash but they do not want to invest in banks, properties and stocks, basically the traditional investment avenues. So they have surplus cash lying around with nowhere to invest. So if you have a good relationship with someone who has the money to invest, and you have a brilliant idea for a business it is more likely that they will be more open to investing in your business now than earlier. Banks are also offering a facility called invoice factoring. They take your invoice and pay you instantly. Also, you can leverage your property to get money from the banks. In addition, you may have assets that may have gone up over the years, like gold for example. You can sell it off to provide you the much-needed money to set up your business. If you have a large office you can also sublet it in order to raise some money for your business. Also the government and other organisations always give grants to encourage people in different fields. So set up a business for which grants are available. You just need to be a bit more creative in order to raise that money right now and it can be done.

100k-factory-revolution-business

5. Distress sales: In the good days, many businesses overstretched their resources and spending. But they could afford it till the going was good but now the margins have come down. Many people are desperate to get rid of the business, as they are not used to performing in a downturn and now want to cut their losses. So you do not have to start a new business, you can buy an established business at a cheap price. Find out more about it here: http://the100kfactory.com – Revolution Update

6. No option: For many people setting up a business has become imperative now as they have no other option. These are the very people who would not have thought of setting up a business because they had good, well-paying, and satisfying jobs and there was no need for them to think in terms of striking out on their own. Now these very people have lost jobs, there are no jobs available in the market and they cannot afford to wait for another job to come around. Also, as now the security blanket has been taken away, and there are no other options available so why not go to work for yourself?

7. Like-minded people: Not everyone is cut out to set up a business. You may have the expertise and knowhow required to do a certain job but you may not have the acumen to do the business. For example you may be a good chef but you might not know how to run a restaurant. So you can now search for people who can team up with you to help you set up the business and run it. Whereas earlier they would have been hard to find, now due to redundancies galore, you will find it easier to find this kind of talent and you can get together with them and set up a business. Also bartering is quite big right now. For example, if you are a marketing guy who wants accounting services but do not want to spend that kind of money in the initial stages of setting up the business, then you can barter with the accounting service. You can do their marketing for them for a year and in return they can provide you with accounting services. Outsourcing is also a good way of getting what you want without having to spend a packet on it. For example, you need a lot of IT support these days for setting up and running your business. There are companies in the market who will provide you the services.

8. Niche market opportunities: Earlier, the UAE was geared up towards providing high value services. All focus was on luxury and high-end items and services. Now due to the crisis, low value services are in demand as people are holding on to their money. So if you set up a business were you can provide cheaper services you can do well as now there is a market for it that is huge.

9. Lots of public relations: The media is fed up of publishing bad news. Everyone is looking for some good news. If you come up with a brilliant and interesting business concept right now you are sure to get their interest, as they are more open to this kind of news right now. So you could land up getting a lot of positive coverage that is key to the success of a business 24.

10. Easier to set up business: Due to the recession it has become easier to set up the business as local sponsors have become more flexible and amenable than ever before and are open to working with you more closely in order to make the business a success for check out the latest business 24 news.

Indian travel companies focus on Middle East

0

indian-travel-businessIndian destination management companies and state tourism boards are showcasing their products at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to generate business from the Middle East, industry executives said.

EM Najeeb, Chairman, ATE Group, a leading destination management company in India, told Emirates Business: “Since traditional source markets in Europe have dried up, we have refocused our marketing to the Middle East and other markets, which are not affected by the economic downturn to generate travel.”

He said inbound tourism to India had seen a decline of 20 to 25 per cent especially during the last quarter of 2008. The numbers were looking better since February, he said.

Najeeb said with a number of Indian leisure travellers to the Middle East increasing, there has been reciprocal interest from the five-star leisure segment in the Middle East. Travel from this region also got a boost with the increased number of flights to India by various airlines.

Areas of interest for the Middle East travellers are medical-related as many people like to take advantage of the exchange rates as well as world-class facilities available there, he said. Read more about it on official business 24 ae

The recession offers a good opportunity for marketing, said Najeeb and UAE News

He said companies should not make the mistake of cutting back on marketing costs during a downturn, as this is the time to plug the loopholes. While, the South Indian state of Kerala has a large contingent at the ATM, Karnataka has doubled its marketing efforts.

Vinay Luthra, Managing Director, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, said there was a decline of about 20 per cent especially into Bangalore, where occupancies were about 60 per cent.

He reiterated there should be no cut backs on marketing spends at such a time.

Amit Chopra, Associate Director of Travel Pals, which specialises in bespoke tours, said: “There was increased interest in specialty tours. Tours on the steam engines, both hill trains and the broad gauge are popular especially with British tourists. Special groups are organised to see old cinema theatre architecture in places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Jodhpur and Udaipur.”

The company also promotes golf tourism. “India is one of the most interesting places in the world to play golf,” he said.

Lauritzen to get ¥15.5bn loan to buy six ships

0

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan’s biggest bank by market value, and France’s Société Générale will lend ¥15.5 billion (Dh624.4m) to Danish shipper J Lauritzen to buy six ships made in Japan.

“We will make the first order on this facility granted by Société Générale and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi tomorrow,” said Birgit Aagaard-Svendsen, said Chief Financial Officer of Copenhagen-based J Lauritzen. “The deals will be more formally announced later.”

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, a Japanese Government-backed export credit agency, will guarantee 95 per cent of the loan, said Aagaard-Svendsen.

The Danish ship owner, which has already ordered the vessels from Japanese shipbuilders including Imabari Shipbuilding Co, is seeing an improvement in its bulk shipping, she said.

The banks agreed on March 16 to provide the ship-owner with funds, a person familiar with the deal said earlier, declining to be identified ahead of an announcement.Shinya Matsumoto, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Mitsubishi UFJ, declined to comment, as did Hiroko Kato, a spokeswoman for Société Générale in Tokyo. Find out more here: https://www.business24-7.ae

Dubai’s Spanish Standoff Over Colonial

0

Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) has allowed the time limit to pass on its planned deal to buy Spanish property group Immobiliaria Colonial – but this, I suspect, is a tactical manoeuvre to show Dubai will not overpay for assets in this distressed market, especially when they come encumbered with equally distressed debt.

In short, ICD is saying it has as much sense as it has money.
It is a good lesson to get across, especially in these troubled times.
Dubai walked away from a deal once before because the price did not suit it – when Dubai International Capital allowed American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks to buy Liverpool football club. Now Dubai is back in a commanding strategic position to take over Liverpool. We will have to wait and see the detailed terms to tell if Sameer Al Ansari’s wait was financially worth it.
The circumstances at Colonial and Liverpool are different. In the case of the football club, Dubai’s offer was turned down by the greedy former owners of the club, who suddenly saw millions more on the table from Hicks and Gillett. (Money borrowed by the Americans, as it turns out.) The delicate negotiations still being played out over Colonial are rather different, not least because they come after the collapse of debt markets around the world after the US sub-prime crisis. Colonial has some decent assets on its books, in the Spanish commercial market and in France, but is over-borrowed at the bank and undervalued on the market.
It appears ICD initially won the agreement of the controlling shareholders of Colonial to sell their stake in the company for a mixture of cash and bonds to the value of around €3 billion (Dh13.2bn).
The stumbling block, however, is that Colonial has more than twice that in debt, and its bankers would not agree to the takeover unless Dubai took on this debt at existing terms. Quite sensibly, Dubai pointed out that the market had changed in its favour – now, any financial deal that has the words “property” and “debt” in the same paragraph will get the corporate advisers and the lawyers running for the doors. Click here to find out more: http://www.business24-7.ae/pages/default.aspx
The Colonial bankers involved are interesting too. Goldman Sachs wants to keep its reputation as the one big US bank that sailed through sub-prime virtually unscathed; Royal Bank of Scotland wants to limit the already considerable damage it has suffered at the hands of American “trailer trash”; Calyon wants to prove that not all French banks are a soft touch when it comes to complex financial instruments. Together, they have said “no” to Dubai’s offer, which involved discounting the debt before agreeing a deal.
You have to admire the nerve of the banks involved. Dubai is offering hard cash, and bonds that (given the backing of ICD) are as good as cash, to a value way above Colonial’s collapsing worth on the stock market. The alternative to Dubai’s terms would appear to be effective bankruptcy for Colonial, which would leave the banks with only a small portion of their outstanding loans likely to be repaid. To insist on full value for the debt in these circumstances is either brave, if Dubai pays up, or foolhardy, if ICD walks away. It will be up to the bank’s shareholders to judge which.
The banks are trying to draw a line under their post-subprime exposure; Dubai is trying to ensure it does not overpay for assets, and demonstrate that it should not be viewed as a sovereign wealth fund with deep pockets, but shallow understanding of the financial world. It will be intriguing to see who comes out on top.

SWFs: what’s all the fuss about a name?

0

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are no more than government investors in developing markets who have been targeted by the West for years, renamed. Even for a seasoned Gulf financier like myself, the term “sovereign wealth fund” is a relatively new one.

For the seven years I have worked for international investment businesses seeking to raise assets here, myself and my colleagues referred to these government funds simply as institutional investors, or government institutions. Now, rebranded by the markets as SWFs, these powerful entities seem to be attracting even more interest, but it is not all positive.

The momentum behind the current global debate on the merits of regulating SWFs seemed to gather force in the furore following the acquisition by Dubai Ports World of P&O’s business in the US.

Each subsequent transaction including some as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, as well the EU have fanned the flames of controversy, and calls for the regulation of funds have got ever louder.

global_business_swf

In this maelstrom of ire and indignation, many of the positives SWFs have brought to international capital markets over many years has been overlooked. Further, many commentators and asset raisers have completely forgotten how SWFs have directly allowed them to develop their own businesses in the Gulf and other emerging regions. Get more here: http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2009/2/pages/02032009_f24f96e7170042e29670eb063b8dc2ec.aspx

Indeed, the world’s biggest asset management and private equity firms from the established markets of the West have courted these funds for years.

Never, has there been a suggestion that such institutional investors are anything other than extremely worthy of the attention of the blue-chip money managers who have poured into the Gulf, first as classic suitcase bankers, and latterly armed with DIFC licences.

In fact, what many of these bankers have learned is that in the Gulf we deal with some of the most sophisticated, analytical and successful investors in the world.

Investors who were among the first to realise the opportunity hedge funds represented and then to put their money where their mouths were.

Notably, many of these investors are increasingly shying away from the international behemoths and see increasing opportunities in investing in boutique firms – perhaps the next major trend for the so-called SWFs. Meanwhile, this willingness to spot an opportunity and go for it has also helped to stabilise markets in the rockiest of times – one need only consider the recent investments of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) into Merrill Lynch; Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) into Citi and most recently Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) into Credit Suisse.

The New 100k Factory Revolution Changing The eCommerce World – What You Need To Know?

How would the volatility in equity markets look now had these massive investments not occurred?

I assume that what has caused such a dramatic turn around in sentiment towards SWFs is the sheer scale of some of these funds. Frankly, there is little concrete data on just how big they are but at best guess, ADIA could account for as much as $750 billion (Dh2.75bn) to $1 trillion, KIA in excess of $250bn and Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority in excess of $200bn.

The uncertainty over the exact figures, coupled with the dramatic growth in the size of the funds has certainly raised eyebrows in the West. However, this perceived lack of transparency is hardly unique for large institutional investors and certainly matched, for example, by some of the pension funds of the United States inside 100k factory revolution.

A further unjustified criticism levelled at the SWFs is that they contribute little strategically and are only invested for the short term. Again, this is not born out by fact and I can confirm that I have personal experience of working with sovereign institutions over long periods of time and have seen mandates retained by fund managers for as long as 13 years. Such a time scale would be rare in Europe.

Further, an investment vehicle such as Dubai International Capital is noted for its strategic investments in hotels and leisure businesses, where it benefits both from the experience of the management it seeks to retain and support, as well as from the obvious expertise Dubai Government can input, having been behind some of the most innovative and successful tourism ventures the world has ever seen 100k factory insights.

Ultimately though, the call for transparency may be too great. Much as some hedge funds have attempted to do in the US and EU, the SWFs of the Gulf and other emerging markets may seek to pre-empt legislation and adopt a self-regulated approach by Aidan Booth and Steve Clayton from 100k Factory. Find more here: https://www.business24-7.ae/100k-factory-revolution-ecommerce-hub-review/

A voluntary code of conduct would be one way forward and I believe the Middle East’s sovereign institutional investors may surprise us all, and lead the way in this as they have done in so many other global investment trends over the past 10 to 15 years.

P&O debacle was a blessing in disguise

0

100K Factory Revolution – What Are The New Features?

You can’t always get what you want, they say, but sometimes you get what you need. That thought – I think it was those ageing rockers The Rolling Stones who coined the phrase – came to me as I read through the DP World results for the financial year 2007.
Note, this was the first full year after the acquisition of the P&O ports business in early 2006, and so the first chance to judge the financial effect of that very high-profile deal. It was also the first time DPW reported as a DIFX listed company – the perfect opportunity then for the market to check out the newly restructured entity.
One instant conclusion is irresistible, though I doubt anybody at DPWwould publicly admit it: those xenophobic American politicians who stopped DPW buying the United States ports business originally included in the P&O deal probably did Dubai a big favour.
By avoiding the American terminals, DPW has significantly limited its exposure to the looming threat of world recession, and ensured thatDubai will continue to benefit from the booming expansion in trade between the Middle East and Asia.
Even if the US is managing to pull out of an outright financial crisis – as the consensus seems to be at the moment – there will continue to be serious implications for the American consumer from the tightening of both cash and credit.

The 100k Factory Revolution eCommerce Hub in UEA

That means there will be less for Americans to spend on imported goods from Asia, the world’s manufacturing headquarters, which in turn means fewer goods going through the big US ports.
DPW will not mind that. Apart from some scattered interests in the Caribbean and Latin America, DPW has little of significance west of London Gateway from 100k Factory.
Largely thanks to the anti-UAE lobby in the US Congress, DPW is left looking firmly East, to the still-thriving economies of China, India and Southeast Asia, and neatly positioned to straddle the trade routes between there and Europe. Check out the latest Business 24 News
Small wonder that Sultan bin Sulayem, DPW chairman, singled out the “faster growing economies of the emerging markets” in his analysis of the results of 100k factory eCommerce course.
The actual figures – 52 per cent profit growth to a post-tax $420 million (Dh1.54 billion) on revenue 32 per cent ahead at $2.7bn – also make the P&O deal look even better value.
100k-factory-members-area-overview
The amount DPW got from AIG when it was forced to sell in December 2006 has never been disclosed, but initial estimates put the value of theUS assets at around $700m.
Take this out of the purchase price, and the value of some other assets – largely property and port services – not included in the DPW flotation, and the company’s cash-generation potential makes it look good value indeed.
So why doesn’t the market agree? The shares slipped again yesterday on the Dubai International Financial Exchange, and despite all those optimistic target price forecasts a couple of weeks back, there seems little prospect for an imminent change in sentiment.
Maybe a bold corporate move is required to give the shares some impetus. The official line is that future expansion will continue to focus on the big projects that will increase capacity in the Asian ports as well as London Gateway and in Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte 2, and this is sensible, strategic stuff for ecommerce reasons like the new 100k factory training program.
But times have changed in the US, now that banks, property and leisure businesses all seem to positively welcome investment from the Gulf. Check out the latest AUE business news
I wonder how the US authorities would react now to a new and competitive offer for the US ports from DPW? Maybe an incoming USpresident would feel obliged to force it through on Capitol Hill.

- Advertisement -

HOT NEWS

Mideast has role to play in airline rescue

There are certain points in every business cycle when even the optimists give up and accept that they are about to lose a lot...

Economic threat that haunts UAE

Did you hear the one about the economist who accurately predicted nine out of the last five recessions? Forgive my little joke at the expense...