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Friday, 17 August 2012

UAE on top five list of counterfeit exporters - The National

Nearly a quarter of the counterfeit vehicle parts and accessories confiscated at European borders last year were shipped through the UAE.

That put the Emirates into the top five countries through which fake items were trafficked.

Although just 2.8 per cent of all seized items in Europe came through the UAE, only China, Hong Kong, Greece and India shipped more counterfeit goods.

It is time for the small investor to step up | GulfNews.com

The small investor finally gets a chance to have a say in launching a small business. As for prospective entrepreneurs, it offers them opportunities to tap funding sources other than high-cost bank finance or dip into their own resources. In short, welcome to the still rarefied world of small stakes funding and the very space that a new start-up — Eureeca — is going after.
The portal, to launch next month, will offer a platform for businesses to pitch their ideas and which can then be monetised through the support of outside investors, starting from as low as $100. The investment deals are explained in the term-sheet associated with each business pitch.
“Eureeca does not set any limits on the extent of equity or investment for a business pitch,” said Christopher Thomas, co-founder and a former investment banker. “It’s up to entrepreneurs to decide the total funding required and the equity stake they will offer to investors.
“Once on the platform, investors can interact with the business pitches, pose questions to the business proprietor and indicate which ideas he or she most likes.”

Syria's battling economy may hold on with help from friends - Yahoo! News Maktoob

The Syrian economy has been hit hard by more than 17 months of revolt but may still hold on despite international sanctions with the help of friendly countries such as Russia, Iran and Iraq, experts say.
All economic indicators in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is trying to crush an uprising against his rule, are in the red: the economy is contracting, inflation rates have skyrocketed, unemployment has risen and the current account deficit continues to increase.
"The economy is out of breath. It is degrading slowly but surely, a reflection of the gradual loss of government control," said Jihad Yazigi, the director of online business news service The Syria Report.

Qatar Buys Stake in Heathrow Owner for 900 Million Pounds - Businessweek

Qatar Holding LLC, the investment arm of the Middle East country’s sovereign-wealth fund, agreed to pay 900 million pounds ($1.4 billion) for a 20 percent stake in BAA Ltd., which owns London’s Heathrow airport, Europe’s busiest hub.

Qatar Holding will acquire a 10.62 percent stake in FGP Topco Ltd., BAA’s parent company, from Ferrovial SA (FER) for 478 million pounds, the Spanish infrastructure company said in a statement today. Qatar Holding also agreed to buy a 5.63 percent stake from Britannia Airport Partners and 3.75 percent from GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd., according to the statement.

“The sale of this stake in BAA is part of Ferrovial’s strategy of establishing a market valuation of our assets and improving the structure of our investment portfolio,” Ferrovial Chief Executive Officer Inigo Meiras said in the statement.

Orix in talks to buy stake in Dubai insurer | GulfNews.com

Orix Corp, a Japanese finance and leasing company, is in talks to spend about $400 million to buy a stake in a Dubai-based life insurer from a European bank, according to President Makoto Inoue.
Orix may acquire as much as 49 per cent of an insurance holding company in the Gulf state, Inoue said in an interview on August 13. The Tokyo-based firm is now conducting due diligence to decide transaction terms, he said without naming the target or the seller.
“The Middle East is interesting,” Inoue, 59, said. “There are many joint ventures with European financial firms there, and we see opportunities as banks are now struggling with their businesses and want to sell non-core operations.”

Travelodge agrees rescue package - Business News - Business - Evening Standard

One of Britain's biggest budget hotel operators is set to walk away from 49 of its hotels and write off
£700 million of its debts under a controversial rescue deal.

Travelodge, which owns more than 500 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Spain and employs more than 6,000 staff, said the deals will secure its long-term future and free it of much of its crippling debt burden.

It wants the landlords of 49 hotels to cut rents by 45% over the next six months while it seeks new operators and is asking for a 25% rent cut for a further 109 sites it wants to keep.

Administrators unable to monitor Hastie's UAE unit | News | Business Spectator

PPB Advisory administrators appointed to oversee collapsed Hastie Group say they have been unable to monitor the failed company's Middle East operations because they fear arrest if they travel to the United Arab Emirates, according to The Australian.

The claim was made as the Federal Court heard that the administrators have not been able to oversee any of the winding-up of Hastie's Middle Eastern building services operation over fears they could be found criminally liable for a business which owes wages to more than 1,000 employees in the UAE, the newspaper reported.

Hastie's Middle Eastern operations have been officially placed into liquidation by the court following an application by PPB administrator Craig Crosby.

UPDATE 1-RLPC-UK hotel chain Travelodge agrees debt restructuring | Reuters

UK budget hotel chain Travelodge agreed a 635 million pound ($999.6 million) debt restructuring that will give lenders control of the business but confirms a significant loss for its Dubai owners who bought the company in 2006.

The announcement comes after lending sources told Reuters in February that the group's lenders would assume control of Travelodge after it breached loan agreements in 2011.

Under the restructuring, debt will be reduced to 329 million pounds from 635 million and new cash totaling 75 million pounds will be injected into the business for major refurbishment work, the company said on Friday.

Qatar top sovereign Europe property buyer with six weeks gas cash | Reuters

Qatar was the top sovereign wealth buyer of European property in the last 12 months, spending 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) on eight deals including the London Olympic athlete's village and a mall on Paris' Champs Elysees, data from a research firm showed.

For Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), that spending during the year to mid-August equals only about six weeks of revenue from its LNG exports, according to Reuters calculations.

Sovereign wealth funds view top-quality property in the best locations as a safe bet in the global financial crisis.

Saudis Win Share of Shrinking U.S. Oil Imports: Chart of the Day - Businessweek

Saudi Arabia is shipping the most oil to the U.S. since 2008 even as the world’s largest consumer cuts total imports in a drive toward energy independence.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how U.S. crude purchases are declining while the percentage of cargoes from OPEC’s biggest producer increases. Imports averaged 8.7 million barrels a day this year, on course for the lowest since 1997, according to Energy Department data. Saudi Arabia accounted for about 17 percent, up from 13 percent a year earlier, the data show.

A glut of natural gas, increased fuel efficiency in cars and the highest domestic oil production since 1999 are reducing America’s reliance on energy imports just as Saudi Arabia boosts output to compensate for Middle East supply disruptions. The desert kingdom, pumping the most since 1980, is supplying Motiva Enterprises LLC’s expanded refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, that processes the heavy grades Saudi Arabia produces.

BBC News - How does Ramadan affect businesses?

What will the fasting month of Ramadan mean to businesses - lower productivity and performance - or a surge in cafe culture and retail spending?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, started on 20 July and for Muslims it is the most holy month.

During Ramadan Muslims cannot eat, drink, smoke or even chew gum during daylight hours.