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Daily newspaper - Gulf Times

SPORT | Page 1
QIA to invest $20bn
in �Greater Asia’
set up
world title
2, 3
18, 19
Latest Figures
is A R 8
AT 19
Q since
Emir performs prayer for rain
Vol. XXXV No. 9548
November 21, 2014
Moharram 28, 1436 AH
www. 2 Riyals
State seeks
to expand
ties with
In brief
Pardon for Jazeera
journalists mulled
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi suggested yesterday he was
considering pardoning journalists
of the Al Jazeera television station
jailed in his country for nearly a year.
Human rights groups condemned
the trial of the journalists as a
sham. The three journalists were
sentenced in June to between
seven and 10 years in jail on charges
including spreading lies to help a
“terrorist organisation”, an allusion
to the banned Muslim Brotherhood,
in a ruling that sparked a global
AMERICA | Weather
Fresh snowstorms
hit communities
Fresh snowstorms struck the
northeastern US yesterday,
paralysing communities in a rare
mid-autumn blizzard that killed
eight people and dumped more than
six feet of snow near Buffalo. The
National Weather Service said an
extra 2 to 3ft (60 to 90cm) of “lake
effect snow,” created when frigid air
moves over warm lake waters, could
fall. It said visibility was near zero
and that thunder and lightning were
likely to accompany the heaviest
snow as a state of emergency and
travel bans remained in place in
western New York state. The colossal
snowfall has collapsed roofs,
damaged homes and businesses,
cancelled flights and stranded
motorists for as many as two nights
on the highway, including New York
rock group Interpol. Page 6
BUSINESS | Electronics
Firm toughens Gorilla
Glass for smartphones
US manufacturer Corning said
yesterday it was introducing a new,
tougher version of its Gorilla Glass
used by major smartphone makers
in a bid to maintain dominance in
the sector. The new material, called
Gorilla Glass 4, is “up to two times
tougher than any competitive cover
glass design now in the market,” and
aims to prevent screen breakage
from everyday drops, said the
company, which specialises in glass,
ceramics and related materials.
“We’re always innovating to push
the limits of what glass can do,”
said James Steiner, Corning’s senior
vice president. “With Gorilla Glass
4, we have focused on significantly
improving protection against
sharp contact damage, which is the
primary reason that mobile devices
break. ”
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani joined worshippers in performing Istisqaa Prayer (prayer for rain) at Al Wajbah prayer ground yesterday morning. The rain
prayer comes in pursuit of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), asking Allah the Almighty to send rain. Page 2
Qatar sets up new
facility to monitor
seismic activity
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
atar’s Meteorology Department has received a substantial
boost with the formal dedication of its newly commissioned Seismic Information Network office at the
Civil Aviation Authority’s premises in
Abu Hamour, Doha, near the Medical
Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chairman Abdul Azeez al-Nuaimi
launched the new facility yesterday at
a ceremony attended by senior officials
of the country’s Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior (MoI) and other government departments.
Speaking on the occasion, al-Nuaimi expressed the hope that the Seismic Information Network office would
help the country’s meteorological activities in a considerable manner at a
time when a several large-scale developments, in particular construction,
are progressing all over Qatar.
Meteorological expert and Seismic
Network head Mohamed Jaber alMerri later told the media that the setting up of the new facility is the result
of extensive studies carried out by the
Meteorology Department on various
Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chairman Abdul Azeez al-Nuaimi inaugurating the
country’s new Seismic Information Network office in Abu Hamour yesterday.
PICTURE: Jayan Orma
seismic-related issues, especially after the massive earthquake that rocked
Iran in April 2013.
“It was a devastating earthquake
measuring close to 7.3 magnitude on
Richter Scale and caused considerable
damage across Iran and its bordering
areas in Pakistan,” he recalled while
explaining the reasons for equipping
the country’s Meteorology Department with the latest instruments
available in the world.
Considering that the aerial distance
to Iran from Qatar is less than 1,000
miles, the official said Qatar is sparing
no efforts to equip its Meteorology Department with the most advanced facilities to take care of its requirements
on a war-footing without waiting for
any eventualities to occur.
The round-the-clock monitoring facilities, said al-Merri, would go a long
way in safeguarding the interests of the
region, including Qatar as any earthquake
of even a magnitude of 5 on Richter scale
could adversely affect the region.
After the studies, the Meteorology
Department set up a total of six sta-
tions in Qatar, with both southern and
northern regions accounting for three
facilities each. In the northern region
the stations are in Al Khor, Al Ghuwairiya and Al Shehamiya, while on the
southern side the stations will be in Al
Tarayna, Abu Samra and Al Karaniya.
Of the six stations, three will be wholly dedicated to serve the requirements of
the state and its Meteorology Department whereas the services of the other
stations could be availed of by other sectors in future, explained the official.
As part of the precautions being
taken to ensure the country’s safety in
the event of any earthquake or other
unnatural seismic disorders, the Meteorology Department will set up 20
more stations in the next one year in
the West Bay and surrounding areas in
view of the presence of a large number
of highrises there.
At a time when a large number of
construction activities are taking place
in the country and more are expected
in the next few years in preparation
for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the new
development in the meteorology sector is considered a vital step, said alMerri. This is being done in line with
the country’s growing requirements as
enshrined in the Qatar National Vision
2030, he added. Page 2
he State of Qatar has confirmed
that it is looking to expand the
technical co-operation with the
International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), particularly as it has ambitious programmes in the peaceful uses
of nuclear energy in the medical, environmental and economic п¬Ѓelds.
Qatar also stressed that it attaches
great importance to the technical cooperation programme implemented by
the IAEA as a principal legal means to
promote the peaceful uses of nuclear
energy, noting that it had benefited
from the programme in developing its
capabilities in the п¬Ѓeld of nuclear analysis and food laboratories.
This came in Qatar’s statement yesterday at the Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency board
meeting on technical co-operation
programme offered by the IAEA to the
member states, delivered by Ali Khalfan al-Mansouri, Qatar’s Ambassador
to Austria and its Permanent Representative to the international organisations in Vienna.
Al-Mansouri said that “this programme plays an important role in
making nuclear techniques available
for activities in healthcare, agriculture and environmental protection
areas, which contribute to the social
and economic progress in developing
He noted that Qatar continues to cooperate with the agency and the Department of Technical Co-operation,
particularly in the implementation of
projects presented by the State of Qatar during the previous years in п¬Ѓelds
of nuclear analysis, medical treatment,
the development of food laboratories, radiation doses laboratory as well
as the development of the National
Framework Programme for the organisation of radiation safety and increasing the capacity and preparedness to
respond to emergencies.
Iran still stalling as nuclear
deadline looms: UN agency
Tehran has yet to explain away
allegations it conducted atomic bomb
research, the head of the UN nuclear
agency said yesterday, four days before
a deadline for Iran and six world powers
to reach a deal on the Iranian nuclear
As US Secretary of State John Kerry
flies to Vienna for what are meant to
be final talks to clinch a deal with Iran,
International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said he was
still unable to provide “credible assurance”
Iran had no undeclared nuclear material
and activities. Page 4
�Al Mafras’ buoy restoration a beacon of dhow festival
eld for the п¬Ѓrst time this year,
the restoration of a mid-sea archaeological site was one of the
highlights of Katara’s fourth Traditional
Dhow Festival yesterday.
The restoration process of �Al Mafras’
buoy (known as Burj Al Mafras) located
north of Raas Abu Aboud was carried
out by a team of Qatari volunteers in the
old-fashioned way, using gravel and a
cohesive agent. The buoy was originally
built around 1920 to prevent ships from
hitting mid-sea sand.
“Al Mafras buoy, built by founding
father Shahin al-Asiri upon the British’s
suggestions, is still regarded as Doha’s
official entrance by sea. Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani then approved
Asiri’s request to build the buoy,” the
festival’s director Ahmed al-Hitmi said.
“However, around 20 years ago the
4-m-high buoy was damaged, but fortunately we decided to follow father
Majid bin Mohamed al-Kuwari’s suggestion to restore �Al Mafras’ and anyone
passing by that area can now see it, the
same way it was before,” Hitmi added,
noting that the restoration process took
around two weeks and was done in coordination with the Qatar Coast Guard
and the Customs and Ports General Authority.
According to the festival’s director,
restoring �Al Mafras’ encouraged Katara
to repeat the process with other buoys.
“Next year, we plan to restore another
buoy at �Halet Umm al Khayfan’, known
as �Burj Al Asiri’. The buoy was also built
by father Shahin Ahmed al-Asiri,” Hitmi
announced yesterday, adding that the
buoy’s inauguration will take place at
the next edition of the Dhow Festival.
Among the most notable guests of
the festival yesterday was a delegation
of 250 people from the International
Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, who
also toured the rest of the Cultural Village to learn about its landmarks. Katara’s Director-General Dr Khaled Ibrahim al-Sulaiti also received a member of
the Omani Shura Council and took him
on a tour of the festival.
Yesterday, the Pearl Diving Competition kicked off with �Al Dashah’ Operetta; a traditional celebration held in
the old days when sailors entered the
sea, heading to the diving vessels before
launching them into the pearl banks (Al
Ten participating teams sailed off
The restored �Al Mafras’ buoy located
north of Raas Abu Aboud. Seen in the
background is the Doha skyline.
Katara’s beach including Qatar’s �Al
Ghariyah’ and �Balhaneen’, alongside
two teams from each of Kuwait, Oman,
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The contest will last for three days,
with the ten teams returning to Katara’s
seashore tomorrow. Upon arrival, �Al
Qafal’ heritage festival, which embodies
the return of the divers to their homeland, will celebrate the return of the
The festival’s sailing competition
concluded yesterday, with Raslan team
winning п¬Ѓrst place. The second and
third places were secured by Al Khor
and Al Maha teams, respectively. The
crowning ceremony for both, the sailing
and the pearl-diving competitions will
be held tomorrow, with the conclusion
of the Traditional Dhow Festival.
Nearly 30 artists from different countries participated in the Fine Arts Competition. The participants have been
assigned to different locations at the
festival site according to their preference
and artistic vision. The competition is
organised in association with the Qatar
Fine Arts Society.
The festival’s efforts to raise awareness of maritime heritage among
schoolchildren continued, with hundreds of students visiting Katara’s beach
to learn about the country’s ancient
customs and traditions.
Katara launched a booklet yesterday
about Dhows in the Gulf region, in celebration of the festival. Al-Hitmi said
that visitors should expect a number of
surprise events and activities, starting
today afternoon.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Deputy Emir joins Emir for rain prayers
H the Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad alThani joined worshippers in performing Istisqaa
Prayer (Prayer for rain) at AlWajba prayer ground yesterday
HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh
Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani,
several sheikhs and ministers
also took part in the prayer.
In a sermon after the prayer,
Dr Sheikh Thaqeel bin Sayer alShammari, judge at the Cassation
Court, called on the worshippers
to repent, return to God and make
supplication to Almighty Allah for
rain. Dr al-Shammari urged people to ask Allah for forgiveness and
to pay zakat.
The rain prayers are performed
in pursuit of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when
there is a delay in the rainfall.
HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani with other dignitaries performing the Istisqaa Prayer (Prayer for rain) at Al-Wajba prayer ground yesterday.
Panel discusses
ways to tackle
cyber threats
he latest trends in cybersecurity were shared and
how individuals and companies can equip themselves
with the tools they need to stay
safe online discussed at a Dean’s
Panel hosted by Carnegie Mellon
University in Qatar (CMUQ).
The event was under the patronage of Staff Major General
Saad bin Jassim al-Khulaifi, Director General of Public Security
at the Ministry of Interior. The
panel was attended by Carnegie
Mellon faculty, staff and students and the broader community.
Moderated by Farnam Jahanian, vice-president of research
at Carnegie Mellon, panellists
included leaders in the п¬Ѓeld of
cyber-security from Carnegie
Mellon who have expertise in
a variety of areas, such as how
to best protect networking systems, the causes of cyber threats,
software regulation and liability.
Carnegie Mellon faculty are
working on the development of
tools that can be used to clean
systems, and educating individual users so they are more intelligent online.
The discussions highlighted
the shortage of individuals in the
п¬Ѓeld equipped with the technical skills to deal with the multifaceted challenges involved with
securing software, which impact
all sectors of the economy with
ramifications for national and
global security.
Panellists focused on the opportunity for computer science
students to make an impact by
producing tools to enable users
to better defend themselves online.
“We rely on cyber systems
for social interaction, п¬Ѓnancial transactions, emergency
healthcare responses and transportation systems. It is the interdependency of these various
challenges, and the increasing
complexity of software we use,
that leaves us vulnerable to cyber
threats,” said Jahanian.
“The challenge of cybersecurity is not just a
computer science problem,
it is not just a problem for
one industry, government
or nation, and we must
work in collaboration to
address these challenges”
“The challenge of cybersecurity is not just a computer
science problem, it is not just a
problem for one industry, government or nation, and we must
work in collaboration to address
these challenges. Carnegie Mellon is committed to continue
playing a part by developing
secure, trustworthy, and sustainable computing and communications systems to address
this global challenge,” Jahanian
The panellists were: Virgil
Gligor, a professor in the department of electrical and computer
engineering at Carnegie Mellon
and Co-director of the university’s CyLab which establishes
public-private partnerships for
the research and development of
technologies for security, privacy, and resiliency of computing
and communication systems;
Paul Nielsen, director and CEO
of the software engineering institute (SEI), a global leader in
software engineering and cybersecurity; Richard Pethia, director of the CERT programme at
Carnegie Mellon University’s
SEI, which conducts research
and development activities to
produce technology and systems
management practices to help
organisations recognise, resist,
and recover from attacks on networked systems.
Computing innovations to
protect Qatar’s cyber infrastructure was also a key focus of Qatar
Foundation’s Annual Research
Conference 2014, which concluded on Wednesday.
“By bringing experts in the
п¬Ѓeld of cyber-security together, Carnegie Mellon is
proud to join other leading
organisations across Qatar
that are working to protect
Qatar’s critical infrastructure. The discussions support
the university’s commitment
to develop technological and
computing research solutions
to protect Qatar against cyber
vulnerabilities,” said Ilker Baybars, dean of CMUQ.
In April this year, CMUQ also
held an Executive Education
course targeting local information technology professionals
and web developers to better understand challenges in securing
web applications within their
organisations. The courses were
led by Thierry Sans, assistant
teaching professor of computer
PM meets Croatian parliament speaker
Assistant FM
meets Croatian
House speaker
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani
holding talks with the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Josip Leko in Doha yesterday. Talks dealt
with bilateral relations and means of enhancing them, in addition to a number of issues of mutual
Qatar has history of mild quakes
atar had a history of experiencing earthquakes
of smaller magnitude,
information released by the
Meteorology Department at the
commissioning of the country’s
Seismic Information Network
office at Abu Hamour yesterday
According to the information
released by the authorities, the
epicentre of an earthquake experienced in the region in 1929 was
somewhere in southern Qatar.
The meteorological authorities
of Oman who measured it, found
the tremor had a magnitude of
4.7, it said.
Similarly, the records available with the local meteorologi-
cal office said there were many
mild earthquakes of the magnitude of 3.7 or less between 1990
and 2004.
There were several other reports of earthquakes or mild
tremors too, the epicentres of
which were far from Qatar, but
within the same region where
the country is located.
HE the Assistant Foreign Minister
for International Co-operation
Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin
Abdulrahman bin Jassim alThani yesterday met Croatian
Parliament Speaker Josip Leko,
currently on a visit to Doha.
During the meeting, they
reviewed bilateral relations
and means of enhancing and
developing them, in addition to
issues of mutual concern.
Foreign Ministry officials
attended the meeting.
Cabinet holds
field visits for
The Cabinet’s general secretariat
has organised a two-day field
visit for trainees of the Ministry
of Justice’s Centre of Legal and
Judicial Studies (CLJS).
This is the centre’s 13th training
course for new employees.
Participants were briefed on the
nature of work at the general
secretariat, particularly in the
legislative field. The visit also
featured hands-on demonstration
of the tasks and duties of
the Cabinet’s departments
concerned with legal work in
order to provide trainees with
knowledge and skills.
Qatar’s envoy to
Comoros presents
Some of the new seismic information equipment installed at the new office in Abu Hamour.
PICTURE: Jayan Orma
CID arrests seven sweika dealers
Staff Major General al-Khulaifi and CMUQ dean Baybars attending the event. Below: The panellists at the
In brief
he Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
has arrested seven Asians
involved in the production of
sweika in the Umm Ghuwailina
This is part of the ongoing
campaign against sweika dealing
and production. Sweika is an illegal product made of chewable
The CID had received information that some persons were
engaged in the production and
packing of sweika at a house in
Umm Ghuwailina. The suspects
were monitored to verify the information.
Under the authorisation of the
Public Prosecution, their house
was raided and seven persons
were arrested. A large amount
of sweika was found with them.
The suspects were referred to the
Investigation Section at Capital
Security for further legal procedures.
The CID has urged citizens
and residents to co-operate with
security agencies of the Minis-
President of Comoros Ikililou
Dhoinine yesterday received
the credentials of Mubarak
bin Abdurrahman al-Nasr,
ambassador of Qatar to Comoros.
The ambassador conveyed the
greetings of HH the Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to
President Ikililou Dhoinine.
President Dhoinine reciprocated
the Emir’s greetings and
expressed his keenness to
further expand bonds of Islamic
brotherhood, and ties between
Qatar and Comoros.
Qatar opens
embassy in
The embassy of the State of Qatar
in Myanmar held a ceremony
yesterday at Sedona Hotel in
Yangon on the occasion of the
opening of its premises.
The ribbon cutting ceremony
at the embassy premises was
attended by Deputy Foreign
Minister of Myanmar U Thant
Kyaw along with Qatar’s nonresident ambassador to Myanmar
Jabor bin Ali al-Dousari.
The Deputy Foreign Minister
of Myanmar said that his
government will take steps to
open an embassy in Doha.
Gambian leader
ends Doha visit
The arrested men along with the seized materials.
try of Interior by reporting any
person suspected of producing
and dealing in sweika by con-
tacting the Operations Centre
on 999 or the department on
President of Gambia Yahya
Jammeh left Doha yesterday,
ending an official visit to Qatar.
The Gambian president was seen
off at the HIA by HE the Transport
Minister Jassim Seif Ahmed
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Conference on academic
advising draws wide
international participation
lose to 200 academic
advisers, academic and
student affairs professionals and educators in Doha,
the region and beyond attended
the 2014 NACADA Middle East
conference, the п¬Ѓrst ever conference on academic advising in
the region.
Co-hosted by Qatar University (QU) Centre for Academic
Advising and Retention and
the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), the
two-day forum - a п¬Ѓrst in the
Middle East - drew presenters
from more than 20 institutions
across the region.
They represented institutions such as QU, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi University,
Weill Cornell Medical College in
Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, American University of
Sharjah, University of Leicester,
Isik University and Mazandaran
University of Medical Sciences.
The opening ceremony was
attended by officials from both
parties, including QU president Prof Sheikha Abdulla alMisnad, NACADA executive
director Dr Charlie Nutt (both
keynote speakers), QU vicepresident for student affairs Dr
Omar al-Ansari, deans, faculty
and students.
The ceremony also included
presentation of the NACADA
2014 Outstanding Academic
Advising Programme Certificate of Merit Award to Prof alMisnad by Dr Nutt.
The award is in recognition
of the centre’s distinctive academic advising programmes,
making QU the only university
in the Gulf and the Middle East
to receive this prestigious honour. Plans are under way to sub-
Prof al-Misnad addressing the
mit application for NACADA
accreditation of the centre’s
In her opening remarks, Prof
al-Misnad observed that in recent years, student services,
including academic advising,
have seen tremendous growth
and development at QU.
“Their growth has been integral to the university’s strategic vision for providing highquality education that extends
beyond academic achievement.”
Prof al-Misnad stressed
that QU’s commitment to giving students a comprehensive
experience of academic development and personal growth
begins with a deep and culturally-rooted understanding of
what the transition to university
life entails, and noted that the
transition comes with a distinct
set of challenges.
“For many students, university is the start of a phase of expanded opportunities, making
choices, taking decision more
independently, prioritising tasks
and learning to manage time,”
she said, continuing, “we understand that these are crucial skills
that when properly supported,
set up students for success at
university as well as beyond.
This understanding is the basis
for striving to make our student
services effective, appropriate,
responsive and supportive.
“We deeply appreciate our
partnership with NACADA and
its excellent global outlook,
which will help us work together and benefit from experiences
and best practices in academic
advising, a truly crucial piece of
the student success puzzle.”
Dr Nutt detailed academic
advisers’ role, which he said is to
teach students what higher education is. “Academic advisers
are not assistants, schedulers or
registrars - we teach them the
importance of the curriculum.
We teach students the skills
they require to succeed, how to
be successful and how to move
forward in life.”
He went on to say, “College
is not about acquiring a job. It is
about becoming an educated citizen of a global community. What
we want from this Middle East
conference is to leave participants
passionate – passionate about
students, about education and
about advising. We are advisers
and we are proud of what we do”.
The conference programme
included workshops, discussion panels, poster sessions and
paper presentations that address the most current trends in
academic advising and practices
towards students’ motivation,
retention and success such as
the First-Year Experience, student welfare, peer mentoring
and career planning.
Doha international flowers
expo starts at MIA park
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he inaugural edition of the
Doha International Flowers and Garden Exhibition
got under way at the Museum of
Islamic Art (MIA) park yesterday.
Held under the patronage of HE
Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad
bin Khalifa al-Thani, chairperson
of Qatar Museums, the exhibition
will conclude tomorrow.
HE the Minister of Environment Ahmad Amer Mohamed alHumaidi opened the three-day
show by cutting a beautifully decorated ribbon and toured all the
pavilions at the park. Around 50
exhibitors from Qatar and outside
are taking part in the exhibition.
Speaking to Gulf Times, HE
al-Humaidi said the exhibition
would send the right message to
the people of the country about
the types of trees and flowers
that are suitable for Qatar.
“We would also like to introduce
to the public and local businessmen the types of trees and flowers
that are in demand and suitable for
the country,” he explained.
The minister was of the view
that the п¬Ѓrst edition of the exhibition would provide greater motivation for the organisers to come
up with more ideas and involve
greater participation next time.
“This is a good show and we
would like to make it bigger in the
coming years. The whole world is
becoming a small village and flowers and trees from all corners of the
world are here to make it feel so.”
He also said the Ministry of
Environment and the Ministry
of Municipality & Urban Planning are deeply involved in the
project. “We try to introduce new
types of techniques and trees to
the public for greater awareness.
HE al-Humaidi opening the exhibition. PICTURES: Thajudheen
Different pavillions at the exhibition.
We hope that the show will help
Qatar become greener,” he added.
Dr Saif al-Hajiri, chairman of
the Friends of the Environment
Centre (FEC) said the exhibition
would help create greater awareness among the public about dif-
ferent flowers in the country as
well as from abroad.
“FEC has already kick-started
the 17th edition of the �A Flower
Each Spring’ programme with
a Qatari plant, under the name
Thanoun (Cistanche phelypaea),
which is a coastline flower. This
exhibition is the beginning of organising all people involved in this
п¬Ѓeld and hopefully it will be a larger international show from next
year. We are part of the programme
and plan to support the initiative.”
Ten teams participate in pearl diving competition of Katara Traditional Dhow Festival
The pearl diving competition of Katara’s Fourth Traditional Dhow Festival kicked off yesterday with the Al Dashah operetta, a traditional celebration held in the
old days when sailors entered the sea, heading to the diving vessels before launching them into the pearl banks (Al Hayrat). Ten participating teams sailed off
Katara’s beach, including Qatar’s Al Ghariyah and Balhaneen, alongside two teams each from Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The contest will last for
three days, with the teams returning to Katara’s seashore tomorrow. Upon arrival, the Al Qafal heritage festival, which embodies the return of divers to their
homeland, will celebrate the return of the boats. PICTURES: Nasar T K
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Iran nuclear
talks stuck,
deadline may
be extended
Egypt’s Minister of Transport and Communications Hani Dahi (second left) checks a damaged train carriage after a bomb exploded at the Rameses railway station in downtown
Cairo yesterday.
5 policemen injured
in Cairo terror blast
bomb wounded п¬Ѓve policemen
near a Cairo university yesterday, and four people were hurt in
a panicked crush after an explosion at a
train station in the Egyptian capital, security officials said.
Egypt has been hit by a wave of bombings and shootings since the military
ousted Islamist president Mohamed
Mursi in July 2013.
The five policemen, including two officers, were hurt when a bomb exploded
at a small post near Helwan University in
southern Cairo, security officials said.
But the interior ministry said assailants in a speeding car threw a bomb at the
policemen near the university, wounding
four officers and a conscript.
Egypt is п¬Ѓghting an Islamist insurgency that has killed scores of policemen and
soldiers, mostly in the Sinai Peninsula.
But militant groups have also staged
attacks in other parts of the country, including Cairo.
They say they are acting in retaliation
to a brutal government crackdown targeting Mursi’s supporters that has left at
least 1,400 people dead since his ouster.
A militant group called Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) has claimed several attacks
in Cairo that targeted security forces, including one near Cairo University last
month that wounded nine people.
Police have tightened security in and
around universities across Egypt, where
students supporting Mursi still stage regular protests.
During the past academic year, at least
14 students were killed in clashes with
security forces on university campuses the last bastions of pro-Mursi protesters.
Separately yesterday, four people were
injured in a stampede at the capital’s
Ramses station after a blast inside a com-
partment of a train that pulled in from the
Nile Delta, security officials said, adding
that the blast was caused by a “sound
Amid a growing number of attacks on
public transport, 16 people were injured
in panic sparked by an explosion at a Cairo metro train station on November 13.
A week earlier, a bomb on a train north
of the capital killed two policemen and
two passengers.
In other developments, in the delta
province of Sharqiya, three empty state
transport buses were set on п¬Ѓre in separate incidents by unknown people, the
officials said.
Groups �can’ appeal UAE terror listing
roups placed on a terrorism list
by the United Arab Emirates can
appeal against the designation if
their “approach has changed”, a senior
UAE official said yesterday, after several
organisations criticised their inclusion.
The Gulf Arab state last week designated the Muslim Brotherhood and its local affiliates, as well as Syria-based Nusra
Front and the Islamic State, and Shia
militant groups such as the Houthi movement in Yemen as terrorist organisations.
The list includes the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society and the Cordoba
Foundation, along with a number of other
Islamic research, advocacy and social organisations based in Western countries.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on his Twitter
account the law included clauses giving
“organisations the availability to appeal
Israel to co-operate with
UN Gaza war inquiry
srael said yesterday it would
co-operate with a UN investigation into Israeli attacks
on UN facilities during last summer’s Gaza war and the use of UN
sites by Palestinian militants to
store weapons.
Last week, Israel announced it
would not co-operate with a separate UN Human Rights Council
investigation into alleged war
crimes committed during the
July-August conflict, saying its
п¬Ѓndings were predetermined and
accusing its chairman, Canadian
academic William Schabas, of
anti-Israeli bias.
Foreign ministry spokesman
Paul Hirschson said that unlike
that probe, the inquiry established by UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon was “an authentic
investigation with potential for
us to improve our performance
in the course of conflict and learn
from our mistakes.”
During the war at least six
UN-run facilities were hit by
Israeli п¬Ѓre, killing at least two
dozen people. Ban, in a state-
ment on July 23, condemned the
discovery of rockets at a UN-administered school.
Israel has cited militants’ use
of UN facilities to store rockets
as a reason for targeting them. It
says that in some cases UN institutions were hit by mistake or by
Hamas projectiles.
Barhoum said the group welcomed
the dispatch of any UN committee
to Gaza. But he did not say whether Hamas would co-operate with
an investigation into the storage of
weapons at UN sites.
“No contact had been made
with us regarding such a request.
We will look into a request when
it is made,” he said.
More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians,
were killed during the Gaza war.
Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and
six civilians in Israel were killed
by rockets and attacks by Hamas
and other militant groups.
Ban this month named Patrick
Cammaert, a retired Dutch
general and former force commander of the UN peacekeeping
mission in eastern Democratic
Republic of the Congo, to head
the investigation.
through evidence and via the courts to
have their names eliminated from the
“This is available to the organisations whose approach has changed,” he
tweeted. “The noise (by) some Western
organisations over the UAE’s terrorism
list originates in groups that are linked
to the Muslim Brotherhood and many of
them work on incitement and creating an
environment of extremism.”
The US State Department said this
week it did not consider either CAIR or
the Muslim American Society as “terrorist organisations” and said it was seeking
more information from the Emirati government on why it had designated them
as such.
CAIR said it was seeking clarification
from the UAE government on what it
termed a “shocking and bizarre report”.
The Cordoba Foundation, which describes itself as an independent think
tank, said it rejected the designation,
calling it “an unprecedented and irresponsible move”.
deadline for resolving a
12-year-old dispute over
Iran’s nuclear programme
may be extended from Monday
until March, because of sharp
disagreements between Tehran
and Western powers, officials
close to the talks said yesterday.
US Secretary of State John
Kerry is arriving in Vienna for
what Washington and its allies
had hoped would be the culmination of months of difficult diplomacy between Iran and the
US, Britain, France, Germany,
Russia and China.
The aim is to remove sanctions
on Tehran in exchange for curbs
on its atomic programme, but the
talks have long been deadlocked:
the timing for lifting sanctions
and future scope of Iran’s uranium enrichment are key stumbling blocks.
The UN nuclear chief Yukiya
Amano yesterday highlighted
another hurdle: Iran has yet to
explain suspected atomic bomb
research to the UN nuclear agency, one of the conditions of the
six powers for lifting sanctions.
“Important points of difference remain,” French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius told a
joint news conference with Kerry, who met him in Paris on his
way to Vienna.
The latest round of talks between the six began on Tuesday
and are likely to last right up to
the self-imposed November 24
deadline for a п¬Ѓnal agreement.
“Some kind of interim agreement at this point is likely, or
perhaps at best a framework
agreement by Monday that needs
to be worked out in the coming
weeks and months,” a Western
diplomat said on condition of
US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said
this week a comprehensive deal
would be difficult, but not impossible to achieve by Monday.
British Foreign Secretary
Philip Hammond said he was not
optimistic but that there may be
a way of extending the deadline.
A senior Iranian official had
similar expectations. “We need
more time to resolve technical issues and don’t forget that
the time frame for lifting sanctions is still a huge dispute,” the
Iranian official said, adding that
an extension until March was a
possibility. Western officials also
suggested March was an option,
with a resumption of talks in
The officials said, however,
that Iran and the six were not actively discussing an extension yet
and would push for a deal by the
deadline, which has already been
extended from July.
Officials close to the negotiations, which began in February,
say that Iran wants all key sanctions on oil exports and banking
terminated almost immediately,
not merely suspended as the US
and European officials have said.
Tehran rejects Western allegations it is amassing the capability
to produce atomic weapons and
has refused to halt its enrichment programme.
It has been under international
sanctions for eight years and the
US, European Union and UN
measures have crippled its economy by slashing its oil exports
and causing inflation to soar and
the value of its currency to plummet.
Western powers say the sanctions can be suspended gradually
and in line with moves by Iran to
restrain its nuclear activities and
terminated only after Tehran has
demonstrated full compliance
with the terms of any deal.
There is also a dispute over
the duration of any deal, with
Western powers wanting Iranian
restrictions to last for 20 years
and Iranians pushing for either
months or a small number of
years, diplomats say.
There is also a blame game
developing about who is responsible for the deadlock in the nuclear talks.
Western officials say Iran also
refused to budge on enrichment,
despite repeated offers of potential compromises by the six powers, including the US.
Tehran is willing to consider
keeping fewer enrichment centrifuges as long as they are advanced, to keep the volume unchanged, Western officials say,
adding that this represents no
compromise at all.
Western officials say the West
is willing to compromise but Iran
is not largely because Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
has not given the negotiators the
freedom to make real compromises in the talks.
“The ball is in the Iranian
camp and to be honest we have a
feeling that we’re treading water
at the moment,” a senior Western
diplomat said. “The main obstacle is that the decisions have to
be made by the Iranian leadership.”
The Iranians, however, pin the
blame on Western powers, which
they accuse of expecting too
much from Tehran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran would resist Western pressure to make what it
considered to be excessive concessions in the Vienna talks.
Boycott mars Bahrain elections
ulf monarchy Bahrain holds elections tomorrow but with the opposition boycotting there seems
little hope of an end to political deadlock
in the key US ally.
Bahrain remains divided nearly four
years after security forces in the Sunniruled kingdom clamped down on protests
led by majority Shias taking their cue
from the Arab Spring uprisings.
The opposition is demanding a “real”
constitutional monarchy with an elected
prime minister who is independent from
the ruling royal family.
But the Saudi-backed al-Khalifah dynasty has refused to yield.
Bahrain is home to the US Fifth Fleet
- in a crucial position off the coast of
adversary Iran - and is one of several
Arab states supporting US-led airstrikes
against the Islamic State group in Iraq
and Syria, making it a vital Western ally.
Turnout tomorrow is likely to be low
as the main opposition party has already
called for a boycott.
Campaigning has been subdued, even
if the streets of the capital are festooned
with election posters.
A rally organised by Adel al-Dhawadi,
a candidate for the Islamic Forum party,
outside Manama on Wednesday attracted
just a few dozen supporters.
Bahrain Minister of State for Information Affairs and government spokesperson
Samira bin Rajab and election executive committee director Abdulla bin Hassan
al-Bouainain speak to reporters during the opening of the elections media centre
in Manama yesterday.
“Everyone is free to participate in elections or to boycott them. But it is better
to participate and get involved in change,”
said Salah Massameha, a retired academic who attended the gathering.
Candidates from Sunni-led movements will compete with independent
hopefuls after the Shia Al Wefaq Association and other opposition groups announced a boycott.
In addition to the Islamic Forum, which
is close to Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafist Al-Asalah and the
National Unity Assembly will п¬Ѓeld some
of the 266 contenders for the 40-member parliament.
The general election will be the п¬Ѓrst
since the 2011 protests, which saw Al
Wefaq withdraw its 18 lawmakers after a
violent crackdown on demonstrators by
security forces. They were later replaced
in restricted polls in which the opposition
refused to participate.
Analyst Ali Fakhro said the opposition
boycott meant Bahrain’s next parliament
would not offer a fair reflection of public
Candidates are mainly “businessmen
and professionals who lack experience in
politics” and will be unable to bridge social divides, he added.
Not long after the crackdown, demonstrators returned to the streets of Shia
villages in spite of violent clashes with
security forces.
Al Wefaq always distanced itself from
the violence, marketing its struggle as
essentially peaceful.
Authorities ignored pleas by human
rights groups last year to release political
prisoners, instead increasing the punishment for violent crimes.
Attacks that cause death or injuries can
now be met with capital punishment or
life imprisonment.
Abdullah al-Hawihy, head of the central committee of the National Unity Assembly, a Sunni body created in the wake
of demonstrations, said Bahrain’s protest
movement showed the “Iranian agenda in
the Arab region”.
“Some want to push us towards a sectarian conflict,” he added.
Hawihy also criticised the opposition
election boycott. “Those who do not take
part will lose,” he said. “It is under the
dome of the parliament that we can discuss divisive issues.”
Al Wefaq member Abdulmajeed alSaba accused authorities of trying to
“terrorise people into voting.”
A government official dismissed the
claim. “The Bahraini people are more determined than ever to exercise their constitutional right to vote and reinforce the
democratic experience despite certain
calls for boycott,” he said.
But few ordinary Bahrainis appear
to share this enthusiasm. “The candidates seek prestige only,” said Haydar, a
32-year-old taxi driver who has no plan
to vote.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Preacher ignores
summons for
building collapse
inquest, again
awyers for Nigerian
preacher TB Joshua said
yesterday that they had
mounted a legal challenge
against a coroner who has ordered him to testify about a
fatal building collapse at his
Lagos megachurch.
Joshua has been summonsed
twice to give evidence at an
inquest examining the circumstances of the September
12 tragedy in which 116 people
were killed, but failed to appear
on both occasions.
The latest no-show by the
popular televangelist angered
coroner Oyetade Komolafe,
who said he would order his arrest.
However, the pastor’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, told reporters after the hearing: “We have
gone to the high court to challenge the jurisdiction of the
coroner to issue a witness summons.
“The coroner has unconsciously exceeded his jurisdiction in that he has started
inquiring into matters that are
not causative of deaths.”
Komolafe was furious that
Joshua, known to his followers
as “The Prophet” or “The Man
of God”, was not present for the
start of proceedings yesterday
after failing to appear on November 5.
On that occasion, Ojo said
Joshua had been “unavoidably
absent” and failed to receive
the summons.
“We don’t want the impression to be created that The
Prophet is avoiding the court,”
he said.
Yesterday, Komolafe said:
“Any of the witnesses who is
not in court today will be arrested. I think the court has
been lenient enough.”
Joshua, who counts presidents and powerful politicians
from across Africa among his
flock, has claimed the collapse
was caused by a mysterious
aircraft seen “hovering” over
the building at the time.
The self-styled miracle
worker and seer has also suggested that it was a deliberate
However, expert witnesses
have already ruled out the
theory of aerial sabotage or an
The hearing has been told
instead that the stricken guesthouse did not have planning
permission and that a number
of other buildings at Joshua’s
Synagogue Church of All Nations complex were structurally unsound.
A total of 81 South Africans
were among the dead.
Seventy-four bodies were
repatriated from Lagos last
Ojo confirmed that his client
had received the latest summons and added that his appearance was conditional on
the outcome of the high court
“The Prophet has respect
for the law of the land and will
not do anything that will hurt
the law,” he said. “If at the end
of the day, it is appropriate for
The Prophet to appear he will
be in court. We do not intend to
abuse the legal process.
“Besides, The Prophet has
a milk of human kindness. He
is still grieving over the horrendous loss of lives. Coming
to court is not proper. It is not
a good way of showing respect
for the dead.”
There have been calls for
Joshua to be prosecuted over
the building collapse after the
Lagos State authorities suggested it was caused by the illegal addition of extra floors.
But Komolafe has said that
the inquest was not a criminal
“We are here to find facts,
п¬Ѓnd out what has happened,
why, where, when and how so
as to prevent a recurrence,” he
said on the opening day of the
hearing on October 13.
Police use teargas in
Nigeria parliament
igerian police п¬Ѓred teargas in the lobby of parliament yesterday to stop
the speaker of the lower house
entering with a crowd of lawmakers and supporters, prompting the chairman to shut the national assembly.
Parliament was convening for
the п¬Ѓrst time since Aminu Tambuwal, whose post is the fourth
most powerful in the country,
switched sides before presidential elections in February to
join the opposition to President
Goodluck Jonathan.
The confrontation started
when Tambuwal appeared at the
gates of parliament accompanied
by a crowd including members
of the opposition All Progressive
Congress (APC) to preside over
debate on a bill to extend a state
of emergency in three states hit
by insurgency.
After an argument, police
locked the gates and the crowd
scaled the walls and gate to force
their way in, witnesses said.
Many fled after the police fired
the tear gas. There were no arrests.
Senate President David Mark
shut down the assembly after the
He described the chaos as “a
very unfortunate incident”.
“After due consultation with
my colleagues in both chambers
of the National Assembly on this
ugly development we have therefore agreed that today’s session
be suspended forthwith,” Mark
said, adding that the assembly
will reconvene on Tuesday.
Nigeria’s police said in a state-
ment it deployed security only
after it received a tip that parliament was about to be invaded by
“hoodlums and thugs”.
“In the course of this lawful
exercise, Aminu Tambuwal, arrived the venue with a motley
crowd, who broke the cordon,
assaulted the police and evaded
due process,” it said, adding that
police had a duty to restore order.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is battling a currency crisis exacerbated by falling global
oil prices, as well as an Islamist
insurgency in three northeastern
House of Representatives
spokesman Zakaria Mohammed
said later that the chamber held
a brief session before the parliament was ordered shut and decided to reject the state of emergency extension.
“Emergency rule is over as
far as we are concerned,” he told
A vote was not taken and the
decision came in a closed-door
Mohammed explained that the
president was still free to deploy
troops “to trouble spots” in the
Jonathan has said the extension is needed to sustain the
military offensive against Boko
But the main opposition APC
has described the strategy as a
complete failure, noting the huge
Islamist gains since emergency
rule was п¬Ѓrst imposed in May
The president needs approval
from both houses of parliament
to secure an extension but losing
the emergency powers have little practical impact on the п¬Ѓght
against Boko Haram as their pur-
All about perception
joins run
to replace
A couple stand near Perceiving Freedom, a giant sculpture of a pair of sunglasses created by artist Michael Elion as part of World
Design Capital 2014 to honour late South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, in Cape Town. The sculpture,
which is sponsored by Ray-Ban and has stirred controversy after the artist was accused of seeking to benefit from Mandela’s legacy,
was defaced by vandals this week. Local activist group Tokolos is suspected of being behind the vandalism.
Cuban doctor contracts Ebola in Sierra Leone
Cuban doctor infected
with Ebola in Sierra
Leone became the latest
of nearly 600 health workers to
have contracted the virus, amid
fresh warnings that the п¬Ѓght
against the disease is far from
The deadliest outbreak of
Ebola ever has now killed 5,420
people and infected 15,145, according to new World Health
Organisation (WHO) п¬Ѓgures on
Wednesday, with Sierra Leone
seeing the steepest increase in
new cases.
Cuba has played a large role
in intensifying global efforts to
п¬Ѓght the outbreak in the three
worst-hit countries of Liberia,
Sierra Leone and Guinea, sending around 250 nurses and doctors to the region with another
450 to come.
Felix Baez Sarria, one of about
165 Cuban medics in Sierra Leone, left the country on Thursday
afternoon in an aircraft bound
for Switzerland, a Reuters witness said.
Baez, a father of two children,
was due to arrive in Geneva for
medical treatment later.
It was not immediately clear
how he came to catch the haemorrhagic fever which is spread
via bodily fluids such as blood,
sweat and vomit.
In a message to his father,
Sarria’s son Alejandro Baez said:
“Be strong Dad, everything’s going to be fine. All Cuba’s pulling
for you,” according to the progovernment news website Cubasi.
In its latest update, the WHO
said Ebola transmission “remains intense and widespread”
in Sierra Leone, with 533 new
confirmed cases reported in the
week to November 16.
The outbreaks in Guinea and
Liberia now appear driven by intense transmission only in sev-
General view of the Geneva University Hospital in Geneva. Cuban
doctor Felix Baez Sarriawas flown to Switzerland for treatment in a
Geneva hospital, Swiss health authorities said on Wednesday.
eral key districts and no longer
nationwide, the body said.
Medical professionals have
been particularly affected by the
worst Ebola outbreak on record.
Out of the 584 healthcare workers known to have contracted the
virus, 329 have died.
U2 frontman Bono and Oscarwinning actors Ben Affleck, Matt
Damon and Morgan Freeman led
an appeal on Wednesday for the
world to step up its п¬Ѓght against
Ebola, releasing a video in deliberate silence to decry early inaction.
The three countries at the
epicentre of the outbreak are
among the world’s poorest, with
sketchy healthcare and infrastructure facilities that were
ravaged by years of inter-linked
civil conflicts.
The lack of toilets in the region
was highlighted by the United
Nations as a possible cause of
the spread of the highly contagious haemorrhagic disease.
Half the population of Liberia, the country worst hit by the
epidemic, have no access to toilets, while in Sierra Leone nearly
one-third of people live without
latrines, a new United Nations
report said.
Liberian President Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf said the п¬Ѓght
against Ebola was going well,
citing a big drop in the number
of new infections during a tour
of an Ebola Treatment Unit or
“I feel very good. The people are working well – doctors,
nurses, and other healthcare
workers – they are all very vigilant and very efficient; more
importantly, most of the ETUs
don’t have patients,” she added.
Her office said the objective
was to have “zero new cases by
The World Bank meanwhile
said nearly half the workforce in
Liberia was no longer working
since the onset of the epidemic,
with the self-employed working
in markets particularly badly hit.
In Mali, which has recorded
п¬Ѓve Ebola deaths, 413 people
were being tracked for signs
of the disease and only one – a
doctor at a hospital where a Guinean imam had died of the disease – has tested positive, the
government said.
The п¬Ѓght against Ebola is far
from being won despite the encouraging news from Liberia,
world leaders have warned.
“We are nowhere near out of
the woods yet in West Africa,”
US President Barack Obama
�Horrific’ record of 1,020 rhinoceros killed in South Africa
record 1,020 rhinos have
been poached in South
Africa this year, the government said yesterday, scuppering multiple efforts by authorities to curb the slaughter of
the endangered species.
The vast Kruger National
Park has been hit the hardest by
poachers, with 672 killed inside
the park, which is roughly the
size of Wales.
“To date, a total of 1,020 rhino
have been killed for their horn
since 1 January 2014,” the department of environmental affairs said in a statement.
The poaching crisis has forced
the authorities to move a number
of rhinos to “safety zones”, some
in neighbouring countries.
Last year, 1,004 beasts were
poached in parks across the
Demand for rhinoceros horn –
which is made of keratin, which
is also found in hair and nails –
has skyrocketed in recent years,
largely driven by the market in
Asia, where the powdered horn
is valued for its supposed medicinal properties.
Rhino horn can fetch nearly
$100,000 per kilogramme in
South Africa has launched a
number of initiatives to п¬Ѓght the
scourge, including the deploy-
pose was never spelt out.
The PDP, which has controlled
the government since democracy
was restored in 1999, has found
itself in uncharted waters in recent months following a wave of
lawmaker defections to the APC.
While the PDP currently holds
fragile majorities in both chambers, the situation has been in
flux throughout the year.
The defection of Tambuwal
was seen as blow to Jonathan,
who had previously relied on a
compliant lower house.
Human rights lawyer Jiti
Ogunye said yesterday’s fracas
recalled the years after Nigeria’s
independence from Britain in
1960, when a divided civilian
government was ultimately overthrown by the military.
“We are in a state of anarchy,”
he said. “This is how sad our democracy has turned.”
ment of the army along the border with Mozambique, a poaching hotspot.
Helicopters are also used
to intercept poachers as well
as armed ground patrols with
sniffer dogs.
“Unfortunately the threat
of poaching has continued to
escalate while various multifaceted interventions are being
implemented by South Africa,”
the Minister of Environmental
Affairs Edna Molewa said. “We
are concerned that poaching
is part of a multi-billion dollar
worldwide illicit wildlife trade.
Addressing the scourge is not
South African National Parks
(SANParks), which manages the
country’s parks, described the
poaching statistics as “horrific”
but maintained that they were
not “fighting a losing battle”.
“The figures are horrific,”
said SANParks spokesman Isaac
“We believe that they could
have been worse if it wasn’t for
our current anti-poaching interventions.”
Phaahla pointed at the 344
arrests of suspected poachers
since the beginning of the year
and occasional convictions as
signs of “work in progress” in
the п¬Ѓght against the scourge.
However, a large number of
heavily armed poachers still
manage to sidestep rangers on a
daily basis, shooting the animals
with high-calibre hunting rifles,
before hacking off the prized
Phaahla said the current relocation of rhinos was one of the
key population management
efforts in a п¬Ѓve-year plan by authorities to curb poaching.
In July, a court sentenced a
rhino poacher to a record 77
years in prison, and dozens of
people are currently being tried
for poaching.
In September, police claimed
to have arrested a suspected
ringleader of a poaching gang
believed to be behind at least 24
rhino killings between 2008 and
The arrests were followed in
November by a haul of 18 rhino
horn seized at Johannesburg
airport on a flight from Mozambique to Vietnam.
South Africa is also looking
into the thorny subject of legalising the trade in rhino, hoping
it would help minimise the demand and save the species.
In addition, the government
wants to explore the possibility of combating poaching by
reducing poverty and providing job training for potential
poachers, Rose Masela from the
Department of Environmental
Affairs said.
“Poachers are driven by greed
or by poverty,” she said.
But the issue has been met
with mixed reaction from officials and conservationists.
he widow of Zambia’s last
president has joined nine
other candidates seeking
to replace him by running for
the ruling Patriotic Front’s (PF)
presidential ticket ahead of a
January election.
Christine Kaseba said she
wanted to unite the party and
build on the achievements of her
late husband Michael Sata, by
standing in what analysts have
warned could be a divisive contest.
“The grief I feel is nothing
compared to the pain that would
result from the destruction of his
party and abandonment of his
ideals,” Kaseba, a paediatrician,
said in a story published in The
Post newspaper yesterday.
“I have come to the conclusion
that part of the mourning of this
great Zambian leader will be in
completing the work he began,”
she added.
Sata, who was nicknamed
“King Cobra” because of his
sharp tongue, died in a London
hospital from an undisclosed illness last month at the age of 77.
He had been president of
Zambia, Africa’s second-largest
copper producer, since 2011.
The PF is divided over the
contest to replace him with supporters of front-runner Edgar
Lungu saying that a 53-member
central committee should pick
the candidate for the presidential vote, scheduled for January
Other aspirants, and Zambia’s
interim leader Guy Scott, want
a vote by a general conference,
made up of thousands of delegates.
Scott has called for calm and
says he plans to hold a meeting
with the members of the central
committee and all the presidential aspirants this week to agree
on the selection process.
Scott cannot stand himself as
his parents were born outside
Zambia, in Scotland.
Questions about Zambia’s
stability arose when Scott п¬Ѓred
Lungu as PF secretary general on
November 3, without explaining
He reinstated him a day later
after Lungu’s dismissal triggered
street protests.
Sata’s son Mulenga Sata, the
mayor of Lusaka, has also applied to stand, along with former
commerce deputy minister Miles
Sampa, prominent businessman
Geoffrey Mwamba and former
diplomat Selemani Banda.
Commerce minister Robert Sichinga, sports minister
Chishimba Kabwili, former
foreign affairs minister Given
Lubinda and agriculture minister Wylbur Simuusa are also in
the running.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Three wounded, one dead in US campus shooting
Josh Nieves, 20, a music student from Fort Myers and Tim Kehl, 19,
a junior finance student from Tallahassee, kneel yesterday at the
fountain in front of the library and pray at Florida State University, in
Tallahassee. Three students were shot and wounded when a gunman
opened fire inside the main Florida State University library early
yesterday. Campus police shot the suspect dead, officials said.
lone gunman opened п¬Ѓre
at a major university in
Florida early yesterday,
wounding three students before
he was shot and killed by police,
officials said.
The latest episode of America’s
epidemic of gun violence happened just after midnight (0500
GMT) at Florida State University
in the capital city Tallahassee.
More than 300 students were
in the university’s Strozier Library when several shots rang
Officers responding to reports
of gunfire confronted the gunman outside the library and shot
him after he refused an order to
put down his pistol, Tallahas-
see city police spokesman David
Northway said.
Some witnesses said that the
gunman was shot 30 to 40 times.
Of the three students who were
shot, two were in hospital, one in
critical condition, healthcare officials said.
A third was treated at the
Northway said an investigation into the motive of the shooting was underway. The gunman’s
identity was not immediately
The Tallahassee Democrat
newspaper, which said scores of
students gathered yesterday for
an impromptu vigil in front of
the library, reported that Florida
Governor Rick Scott was expected to make a statement about the
shooting later in the day.
Florida State University presi-
dent John Thrasher, in a statement, said that investigators assured him that the shooting was
“an isolated incident”.
“Security is not lacking on
campus,” added Florida State
University police chief David
Perry. “This person for whatever
reason produced a handgun and
started shooting.”
But it was the 23rd shooting at
a US college this year in which at
least one person was wounded
or killed, according to a running
tally by the Everytown for Gun
Safety lobby.
Classes were cancelled yesterday, but the university – with
more than 40,000 students – remained otherwise open.
With midterms scheduled before next Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, the Strozier Library
was open round-the-clock to
accommodate students trying to
cram for the exams.
Students told US media that as
many as four shots had been п¬Ѓred
within the library.
One student, Blair Stokes, said
she was on the first floor of the
library when “this guy comes up
and says someone has a gun”, she
told CNN.
Stokes said police quickly
swarmed the building, as the
university quickly put out an
alert about a “dangerous situation” on campus.
Another student, Sean Young,
told local television channel
WCTV that he was on the third
floor when students started running frantically past him, and
someone said a gunman was
With a fellow member of his
fraternity, Young crammed as
many people as possible into a
study break room, hoping they
would all be safe inside.
“I just tried to remain calm,
especially for those that were
around me. I didn’t want to panic
anybody else. For me personally,
it’s still kind of registering,” he
Second-year undergraduate
John Ehab, also on the third floor,
told WTXL television that students took cover in book aisles,
fearing the gunman might come
“It was a consecutive bop, bop,
bop, bop, bop,” freshman Nikolai
Hernandez, who was in his dorm
room across from the library, told
WTXL. “It makes me definitely a
little bit nervous. I was supposed
to be in the library. I had a paper
to do and I got a little bit lazy and
decided not to do it.”
US braces
for more
snow chaos
New York
he northeastern United
States braced for another
bout of potentially deadly
weather yesterday after a rare,
mid-autumn blizzard killed at
least eight people.
The pre-winter storm this
week dumped more than six feet
(1.8m) of snow in some areas, including the hard hit city of Buffalo in the western part of New
York state.
Forecasters have predicted
that the wintry deluge could set
a record for the heaviest snowfall
ever in the US in a 24-hour time
The National Weather Service
(NWS) said in its latest bulletin
that an extra two to three feet
(60-90cm) of “lake effect snow”,
created when frigid air moves
over warm lake waters, could fall.
New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo, who travelled to Buffalo
yesterday for a п¬Ѓrsthand look,
said at a press conference that it
may even be necessary to cancel
an NFL football game on Sunday
between the local Buffalo Bills
and the New York Jets – sacrilege
in a sport that many fans insist is
most enjoyable when the weather
is at its worst.
“Everybody would love to see a
Bills game go forward, but I think
even more, everybody wants to
make sure public safety comes
first,” Cuomo said. “At this point
in time, doing what we have to do
with the driving ban and everything we just said – staying off
the roads – would make a Bills
game impractical.”
The snow advisory will remain
in effect through today, said the
NWS, which warned of treacherous conditions, including nearzero visibility, and even the possibility of “thundersnow” – snow
with thunder and lightning.
The snowfall is equivalent to
around a year’s supply of snow
in just two days and could yet
prompt a federal disaster declaration, local officials said.
The colossal snowfall collapsed roofs, damaged homes
and shuttered businesses. It also
led to hundreds of delayed and
canceled flights at Buffalo-Niagra International Airport.
Meanwhile, motorists were
left stranded on some highways,
some immobilised for two full
The Skyline of Buffalo, New York, is barely visible from a snow-covered and unploughed road with a stop sign, a day after a winter storm that
dumped a reported 1.5m of lake-effect snow on the area. Forecasters are predicting more snow in the area which might bring the total snowfall
to more than 1.83m.
days while waiting for help to arrive and roads to be cleared.
Many of those who died lost
their lives while working clear
away mounds of heavy snow
from their cars and homes.
A man in his 60s died of a heart
attack while trying to operate his
snow blower, bringing to eight
the number of deaths blamed
on the blizzard said deputy Erie
County executive Ricard Tobe.
“Very dangerous storm. One
more day. Let’s get through this
snow. People – continue to be
smart. Stay at home. Observe the
driving bans,” he told a news conference.
Cuomo, meanwhile, called up
the National Guard, mobilising some 1,200 troops and deploying hundreds of pieces of
heavy equipment – including
463 plows to remove snow from
around Lake Erie on the Canadian border.
The rock band Interpol said
that they were stranded more
than 50 hours on their tour bus
by the storm just outside Buffalo, forcing them to cancel two
consecutive nights of concerts in
Montreal and Toronto.
“Finally just started making
a move. 50+ hours later. Hoping
for some luck today,” the band
tweeted yesterday morning.
“Settling in for another night.
Haven’t moved all day. Hoping
the expected storm tonight ain’t
as bad as predicted,” they updated fans late on Wednesday in
a series of upbeat posts and pictures.
Dave Zaff, a meteorologist
from the NWS, told AFP that
some areas south of Buffalo city
received at least 70-80 inches
(1.8m to 2m) of snow since the
storm began.
“This is definitely historic,” he
said. “This one will be etched in
people’s memories.”
The snow is expected to pummel hard-hit areas again late
overnight before moving south,
turning to rain tomorrow – which
brings its own risks, Zaff said.
“The main concern would be
flooding,” he told AFP. “We have
a number of creeks and small
rivers that run through the area,
those could be a good risk and
other drainage issues.”
Ebola becomes latest stock scam: SEC
Obama set to unveil
immigration plan
Obama was due to unveil
measures yesterday that
are expected to shield millions
of undocumented migrants from
deportation, as he bypasses a
Congress that has failed to pass
broader immigration reform.
The executive action could affect up to 5mn of the estimated
11mn people – most of them from
Mexico and Central America –
living and working illegally in the
United States.
Since 1986, when then Republican president Ronald Reagan
granted a sweeping amnesty, all
attempts at major reform of the
country’s immigration system
have failed.
In the face of congressional
stalemate, Obama – who made
the issue one of his priorities
upon taking office in 2009 – has
decided now, with two years left
in the White House, to take the
matter into his own hands.
The Democratic president will
explain his proposals to the nation in a prime-time speech at
8pm (0100 GMT today).
Today he will elaborate on the
plan in a speech at a Las Vegas
high school.
“Everyone agrees that our
immigration system is broken,”
he said in a video message on
Washington has allowed the
problem to fester for too long.”
Obama is expected to allow
some migrants who have lived in
the United States for more than
п¬Ѓve years, with no prior run-ins
with the law, to apply for a temporary work permit.
The current programme allowing temporary residency
cards to minors who arrive in the
United States before the age of 16
could be expanded.
All in all, the move would
protect 3-5mn people from the
threat of arrest and deportation
by US federal authorities.
It may not, however, provide a
clear path to eventual citizenship
or permanent residency for migrants, an idea that may have to
wait for another president or another generation of lawmakers.
The White House has long
wanted to pass a broad immigration reform package that would
offer a path to citizenship for
young migrants that grew up in
the United States.
A new immigration law did
pass the then-Democratically
controlled Senate last year, but
the Republican House of Representatives blocked it and failed
to agree on its own alternative
White House lawyers and
many outside experts believe
Obama has the constitutional
authority to act.
While other presidents have
used executive powers to grant
amnesty to undocumented migrants, none has ever taken such
sweeping action.
Republicans, who will control
US regulators have suspended trading in four small over-thecounter stocks of companies that they said have been touting the
development of products to prevent or treat the Ebola virus, and
warned investors to beware of similar scams.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it
had suspended trading in the shares of New York-based Bravo
Enterprises Limited, California-based Immunotech Laboratories
Incorporated, Canada-based Myriad Interactive Media Incorporated
and Wholehealth Products Incorporated, which is also located in
The SEC also issued a warning that “con artists” may be soliciting
investors and claiming to be developing treatments or medicine to
prevent the deadly virus.
Company officials at Bravo Enterprises, Immunotech Laboratories
and Myriad Interactive Media could not be immediately reached for
A woman who answered the phone at Wholehealth Products hung
up after saying the company was private.
Jim Webb announces presidential bid
Obama chats during lunch with Standing Rock Sioux tribal youths at We The Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery
following an Oval Office greeting, in Washington, DC yesterday. This visit was a follow up to a youth
roundtable hosted by the president in June during a trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in
Cannonball, North Dakota. During that discussion, the Obamas invited the youths to visit the White House.
both the House of Representatives and the Senate in January
after a huge win in this month’s
midterm elections, says Obama
is going way too far.
“If he acts by executive diktat, President Obama will not be
acting as a president – he will
be acting as a monarch,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz, one of
Obama’s harshest critics in Congress, wrote in an opinion piece.
Some have questioned the
constitutionality of his actions.
Other say Congress just needs
more time.
“The action he’s proposed
would ignore the law, would reject the voice of the voters and
impose new unfairness on lawabiding immigrants, all without
solving the problem,” incoming Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said
yesterday. “It may serve him politically in the short-term, but
he knows it will make an already
broken system even more broken.”
But Democrats counter that
those same Republicans blocked
other attempts at reform.
According to an opinion poll
conducted by NBC and the Wall
Street Journal, 48% of Americans
disapprove of Obama’s immigration plans, against 38% who back
The political п¬Ѓrestorm unleashed by Obama does not bode
well for relations between Congress and the White House in the
coming months.
Republicans cannot block a
presidential decree, but they can
make Obama’s last two years extremely difficult – by blocking
his choices to п¬Ѓll ambassadorial
and administration posts, as well
as judgeships.
However, with the 2016 presidential election on the horizon,
the debate within the party on
immigration will be lively, as Republicans can ill-afford to ignore
Hispanic voters, 70% of whom
voted for Obama in 2012.
The dust has barely settled on mid-term elections, but former
senator Jim Webb, 68, has become the first candidate in America’s
upcoming presidential race – and an early potential challenger to
fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I have decided to launch an exploratory committee to examine
whether I should run for president in 2016,” Webb said in a YouTube
video posted late on Wednesday.
Creating such a panel permits a person to start legally raising
funds, and traditionally signals the first official step in a presidential
campaign process.
First to be jailed for election fraud
A Conservative campaign worker has became the first person in
Canada to be jailed for vote fraud, landing a blow to Prime Minister
Stephen Harper and his ruling party ahead of elections next year.
Michael Sona, 26, who was convicted in August, was sentenced
on Wednesday to nine months in prison over a scheme that
misdirected voters to fake polling stations during the last election.
Harper is already reeling from last month’s conviction of his former
parliamentary secretary for overspending in the 2011 election and
falsifying records to try to cover it up.
Prosecutors and the judge in the Sona case said they believed
others were involved, but nobody else has been charged.
Sona had claimed he was a scapegoat.
Public Prosecution Service of Canada spokeswoman Ruth McGuirl
said she hoped the sentence would “discourage” others from
engaging in election fraud.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Price hike protest
Great apes
by palm oil
Kuala Lumpur
An Indonesian student stands near burning tires as he gives a speech during an anti-fuel price hike protest in Padang, West Sumatera, yesterday. Indonesia raised the price of
subsidised fuel by up to 35 per cent on Tuesday. The increases are likely to drive up prices for basic commodities and the inflation rate.
Thai п¬Ѓshermen cash
in on human traffick
The trafficking of illegals has
become profitable enough to draw in
Ranong, Thailand
he smuggling of Rohingya Muslims
fleeing persecution in Myanmar is
so lucrative that Thai п¬Ѓshermen are
converting their boats to carry humans,
police, locals and officials in southern
Thailand said.
In recent weeks, thousands of Rohingya,
a mostly stateless people, have sailed
across the Bay of Bengal to the west coast
of Thailand, from where human-smugglers deliver them to neighbouring Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country where
they can п¬Ѓnd jobs.
Some boat operators in Ranong province,
on the Thai-Myanmar border and with a
thriving п¬Ѓshing industry, were adapting to
profit from the exodus, said Sanya Prakobphol, chief of police in Kapoe district.
“The fishing business isn’t so good so
the fishermen make their boats peoplecarrying boats,” Sanya told Reuters. “Some
converted Ranong boats can carry up to
1,000 people.”
Boat operators can earn between 5,000
and 10,000 baht ($150-300) per person by
ferrying illegal migrants from Myanmar to
Thailand, he added.
The Royal Thai Navy told Reuters last
month that most smuggling and trafficking ships plying the Bay of Bengal were
from Thailand. The navy also said it had
increased patrols.
According to the Arakan Project, which
plots migration across the Bay of Bengal,
about 100,000 Rohingya have left Rakhine
State since 2012. Violent clashes with
ethnic Rakhine Buddhists that year killed
hundreds and left 140,000 homeless, most
of them Rohingya.
Some Rohingya, as Reuters reported
last year, are held for ransom by trafficking gangs at jungle camps in Thailand until relatives pay to secure their
Ranong’s provincial capital, which goes
by the same name, is a port city just 40
minutes by boat from Myanmar. Migrants
have historically formed the backbone of
its seafood industry.
Hanif, who uses only one name, said
he had helped a fellow Ranong fisherman strip the interior of a boat to hold
“He is getting very rich,” said Hanif,
as he sorted shimmering piles of ribbon
fish and mackerel. “He wanted to make
as much room as possible to carry more in
one trip.”
Abdul Nazir, who earns about 6,000
baht a month repairing old п¬Ѓshing nets,
added: “Fishermen around here are buying bigger boats. A few have been converted below deck to transport illegal migrants where fish and ice would normally
be stored.”
Many locals saw nothing wrong with
transporting boat people, according to
Manit Pianthong, chief of Takua Pa district in neighbouring Phang Nga province.
“Villagers and fisherman have been
living with migrants coming in and out
of Thailand for more than 30 years be-
cause of our proximity to Myanmar,” he
“They don’t see anything wrong at
all with supplementing their income by
transporting illegal migrants. That’s why
we need to educate them slowly and show
them that this is wrong and that some of
those coming over now are trafficking victims.”
He said he was waging an anti-trafficking campaign with roadside checkpoints and groups patrolling coastal areas.
Some boats were heading all the way
to Myanmar to pick passengers up for the
crossing, said Surachet Abdullah, a Rohingya rights activist and member of the
Muslims For Peace group, a Thai charity.
“It’s a service that comes right to the
door. It’s a really big business.”
Thailand is the world’s third-largest exporter of seafood. It is also one of the worst
centres for human-trafficking, according
to the US State Department, which in June
downgraded Thailand to its lowest ranking for “not making significant efforts” to
tackle the crime.
he destruction of rainforests in Southeast
Asia and increasingly in
Africa to make way for palm oil
cultivation is a “direct threat”
to the survival of great apes
such as the orangutan, environmentalists warned yesterday.
They said tropical forests
were tumbling at a rapid rate,
with palm plantations a key
driver, despite efforts by the
industry’s Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to
encourage sustainable cultivation.
The concerns were voiced
at the sidelines of the annual
RSPO meeting, held this year
in Malaysia and which concluded yesterday.
“Orangutan and ape habitats are being destroyed,” said
Doug Cress, from the UN Environment Programme’s great
ape protection campaign.
“The destruction of rainforest in Southeast Asia and
increasingly now in Africa is a
direct threat to the great apes.”
In Southeast Asia alone, up to
1mn hectares of forest—nearly
the size of Jamaica—is lost annually to agricultural expansion
like palm oil, said Adam Harrison, agriculture policy specialist with the WWF.
“(Land clearing for plantations) has been high. Some of
them are in high-quality forests which will have an impact
on climate change,” he said.
“The orangutans will become extinct within a few decades. In Borneo island we are
already seeing that there are
only a handful of rhinos left. It
is not a viable population and
it will go extinct,” Harrison
Borneo is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
The problem is most acute
in leading palm oil producers
Malaysia and Indonesia, which
account for 85 percent of world
production, conference participants said.
In Southeast Asia, palm oil is
a versatile and cheaply farmed
cash crop promoted to eradicate poverty. In return, the
growers who live on allocated
land become a strong vote bank
for the ruling government.
Derived from the fruit of the
oil palm, its use has skyrocketed in recent years and it is now
a key ingredient in a vast range
of every-day products, from
lipstick to instant noodles,
shampoo and ice cream.
The RSPO, bringing together stakeholders including producers, end-user manufacturers, and environmental groups,
was formed in 2004 as concern
over the ecological impact of
mushrooming palm cultivation took off.
It seeks to promote production that is environmentally
sustainable and respects native
land rights, but the organisation’s efficacy has increasingly
been questioned as forest destruction has continued.
Indonesian police
defend virginity tests
ndonesian police have
defended virginity tests
conducted on female applicants after Human Rights
Watch criticised the practice,
reports said yesterday.
“If there are good virgins,
why don’t we choose good
virgins?” Brigadier general
Moechgiyarto, the head of
the national police legal affairs division, was quoted as
saying by the news
website during a discussion on
law enforcement in Jakarta on
In a video of the discussion
posted on YouTube, Moechgiyarto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said:
“We don’t want to recruit people
who don’t have good morals.”
He said that a lack of virginity did not automatically disqualify an applicant.
New York-based Human
Rights Watch said in a report
released Tuesday that virginity
tests on female police applicants were still being applied
widely despite a promise to
end the practice.
“The Indonesian National
Police’s use of virginity tests is
a discriminatory practice that
harms and humiliates women,”
said Nisha Varia, associate
women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch.
“Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and
unequivocally abolish the test,
and then make certain that all
police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering
it,” she said.
Thais held for handing out tickets to Hunger Games
hree Thai university students
were taken into police custody
yesterday for handing out free
tickets to the latest п¬Ѓlm in the Hunger Games series, from which Thai
protesters have borrowed a gesture
of resistance to a totalitarian government.
Prime minister Prayuth Chanocha led a military coup on May 22.
The military has quashed any public
demonstration of resistance to the
coup and a ban on political gatherings remains in place.
In the immediate aftermath of
the coup, some protesters flashed a
three-п¬Ѓngered salute inspired by the
Hunger Games series. The salute has
become emblematic with Thai prodemocracy protesters, and the Thai
government has warned the public
against using it.
“The three-finger sign is a sign
to show that I am calling for my basic right to live my life,” Bangkok
University student Natchacha Kongudom told reporters before being
taken into custody after making the
gesture outside a cinema.
Police colonel Visoot Chatchaidet
told reporters that the students had
not been arrested. “We are just inviting them to talk,” he said.
Natchacha is a supporter of the
Thai Student Centre for Democracy
(TSCD) which distributed over 100
tickets to watch the п¬Ѓlm at one Bangkok cinema. The cinema chain APEX
that owns that venue cancelled the
screening. APEX declined to comment on the reasons for the cancellation yesterday.
TSCD organisers said they were
not staging a demonstration.
“There may be some hidden messages in the movie, but we are also a
group that enjoys films,” TSCD organiser Ratthapol Supasopon told
reporters before being taken into
The third detained student carried
a copy of George Orwell’s novel 1984,
which has also been deployed as a
symbol of protest by those opposing
Thailand’s military rule.
The detentions in Bangkok came
the day after п¬Ѓve members of a crowd
were detained for making the salute
and revealing an anti-coup slogan
on their T-shirts as Prayuth began a
speech in the northern city of Khon
Khaen. The city is a stronghold for
supporters of the government Prayuth ousted.
Each of the п¬Ѓve had one word on
their shirts to make the message:
“We don’t support the coup”.
“It is all right, they do not understand the truth,” Prayuth said on
stage as he saw the demonstrators.
Student Natchacha Kongudom flashes a three-finger salute inspired by the movie The Hunger Games in front of a billboard of the film outside the Siam Paragon cinema
in Bangkok yesterday.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Maori warriors perform the haka, part of a
traditional Maori welcome, for China’s President
Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on
Government House grounds in Wellington.
Trade tops the agenda
as Xi visits New Zealand
�Inhumane’ murderer of exlover in Taiwan dock
China court reopens case
of executed teenager
AC/DC to dump drummer
under NZ murder cloud
China and New Zealand agreed to expand their
trade relationship during a state visit by President
Xi Jinping yesterday, including a deal to allow
television co-productions to be aired on Chinese
media. “The New Zealand-China relationship
shows that countries with different political
systems, history and cultural traditions and can
constructively co-operate together,” they said in
a joint statement. Earlier, Xi received a traditional
Maori welcome in Wellington. Xi’s wife Peng
Liyaun celebrated her 52nd birthday by receiving
an honorary doctorate from Wellington’s Massey
University in acknowledgement of her career as a
singer. “This is the best gift for me,” she said.
A Taiwanese man faces the death penalty
after he was indicted yesterday, accused
of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and
sexually assaulting her corpse in a “brutal and
inhumane” public attack. Chang Yen-wen, 29,
who was charged with murder, is alleged to have
knifed the woman at least 47 times in a frenzied
attack in a street in Taipei on September 22
after she spurned his attempts to rekindle
their romance. Chang was also indicted on the
charge of “desecrating a corpse” after allegedly
sexually assaulting the 22-year-old kindergarten
teacher after she died on the scene. Horrified
passers-by alerted the police to the attack.
A court in north China yesterday opened a
new trial for a teenager executed almost 20
years ago for rape and murder in a rare reexamination of a possible wrongful conviction.
The 18-year-old, named Hugjiltu and also known
as Qoysiletu, was found guilty and put to death
in Inner Mongolia in 1996, but doubt was cast
on the verdict when another man confessed
to the crime in 2005. The Higher People’s
Court in Hohhot officially began a retrial of
the case yesterday. “Any errors in the previous
ruling, should there have been any, must
be addressed,” Xinhua reported the court’s
president as saying earlier this month.
Hard rockers AC/DC say that they’re ready to
go on tour without drummer Phil Rudd, who
faced accusations that he hired a hitman in New
Zealand. Promoting their upcoming album in
New York, singer Brian Johnson and guitarist
Angus Young both hinted that the veteran
Australian band was looking to replace Rudd
ahead of a tour next year. “We’re talking about
criminal courts here, and we’re talking about
judges, we’re talking about juries,” Johnson told
radio shock jock Howard Stern. “We’re talking
about people saying you’re not getting your
passport back here, all of this kind of stuff. And
there’s nothing we can do about it.”
North Korea
once again
threatens a
nuclear test
ew satellite imagery suggests North
Korea may be п¬Ѓring up a facility for
processing weapons-grade plutonium,
as Pyongyang yesterday threatened a fresh nuclear test in response to UN condemnation of its
rights record.
The images show steam rising from a reprocessing plant at the North’s main Yongbyon
nuclear complex - a sign consistent with maintenance and testing prior to commencing operations, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins
University said on its closely followed 38 North
The facility is used to reprocess spent fuel
from the п¬Ѓve-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon
that is North Korea’s main source of weapons
grade plutonium.
The latest satellite pictures indicate the reactor has been shut down for 10 weeks - longer
than required for routine maintenance.
While warning it was still early to reach a definitive conclusion, the institute said evidence
suggested the shutdown may have allowed the
removal of “a limited number” of fuel rods for
possible re-processing.
The images also showed truck activity near
the vehicle door to the building that receives the
spent fuel at the reprocessing complex, it said.
The new analysis coincided with fresh threats
from Pyongyang to carry out a new underground nuclear test following the UN adoption
of a landmark resolution that condemns North
Korean rights abuses.
Passed by 111 votes to 19, with 55 abstentions, the resolution also asked the UN Security
Council to refer the North Korean leadership to
the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible charges of crimes against humanity.
In a statement yesterday on the North’s official
KCNA news agency, a foreign ministry spokesman
rejected the resolution as a “fraud” and accused
the US of leading efforts to humiliate Pyongyang
in front of the international community.
“This aggression by the US is leaving us una-
ble to further refrain from staging a new nuclear
test,” the spokesman said.
“Our military deterrence will be beefed up
limitlessly to guard against US military intervention and attempts for armed invasion,” he
South Korea said its military was on standby and a defence ministry spokesman warned
that Seoul would “not tolerate any provocation”
from the North.
He added that South Korean and US agencies
were both keeping a close watch on Pyongyang’s
nuclear facilities.
North Korea has conducted three nuclear
tests, most recently in February 2013.
Co-sponsored by more than 60 countries,
the UN resolution drew heavily on the work of a
UN inquiry which concluded in a 400-page report released in February that North Korea was
committing human rights abuses “without parallel in the contemporary world.”
Rights violations by North Korea have been
known about for years, but the inquiry’s exhaustive report carried the UN stamp of authority and put Pyongyang under unprecedented
It is especially sensitive to the prospect of
leader Kim Jong-Un being personally indicted
at the ICC, even if he would never willingly appear before the court.
Referral to the ICC would likely be blocked at
the UN Security Council by veto-wielding permanent members China and Russia - both of
whom voted against the resolution on Tuesday.
As far as the prospects of another nuclear test
are concerned, North Korea has been known to
“double-down” in response to UN pressure before.
Its last test in 2013 was partly a response to a
UN tightening of sanctions following a successful space rocket launch a few months before.
Pyongyang had mothballed the п¬Ѓve-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon in 2007 under an aidfor-disarmament accord, but began renovating
it in mid-2013.
When operational, the reactor is capable of
producing 6kg of plutonium a year - enough for
one nuclear bomb, experts say.
Rice war!
South Korean protesters burn rice straw during a rally in Seoul yesterday against a Free Trade Agreement between South Korea and China
affecting the local rice market.
CEO jailed over Sewol tragedy
he head of the company
that operated South Korea’s ill-fated Sewol ferry
was sentenced yesterday to 10
years in prison, after being convicted of manslaughter over the
disaster that killed more than 300
A court in the southern city of
Gwangju determined that Kim
Han-Sik, CEO of Chonghaejin
Marine Co, had allowed the ferry
to be routinely overloaded and
approved illegal renovations to
increase its passenger capacity.
The 6,825-tonne Sewol was
carrying 476 people - most of
them high school students on an
organised trip - when the overloaded, ill-balanced ship com-
manded by what the court termed
as an “incompetent” crew capsized off the southern coast on
April 16.
Kim, 71, was also found guilty
of allowing the ship’s cargo to be
left unsecured in breach of safety
Ten other defendants, including six from Chonghaejin Marine,
stood trial with Kim.
One was acquitted and nine
were given sentences ranging
from suspended jail terms to six
years in prison.
Kim had repeatedly denied
responsibility, insisting he was
a salaried employee under the
thumb of company owner Yoo
Byung-Eun, whom he described
as being deeply involved in the
hands-on operations of the п¬Ѓrm.
Kim was also convicted of diverting $2.6mn from Chonghae-
Blueprint sees Atlantis spiral deep into ocean
This artist impression image released yesterday by Shimizu Corp of a modern-day Atlantis.
the top and the bottom of the ocean
for generating power.
Shimizu says the Ocean Spiral
would cost 3tn yen ($25bn), and all the
technology could be in place by 2030.
It is the third such project unveiled
by the company after a floating metropolis and solar power ring around
the moon.
“The company in co-operation
with many organisations has spent
two years to design the project working with technologies we think will
be plausible in the future,” said a
Shimizu spokesman.
In 2012, another Japanese construction п¬Ѓrm, Obayashi Corp,
claimed it could execute an out-of-
this-world plan to put tourists in
space within 40 years by building an
elevator that stretches a quarter of
the way to the moon.
Obayashi claimed it could use carbon nanotube technology, which is
more than 20 times stronger than
steel, to build a lift shaft 96,000km
above the Earth.
gued that Chonghaejin Marine
bore the most responsibility, as
it had ordered the illegal refit and
determined the amount of cargo
the vessel carried.
The verdict on the company
officials came a day after the official launch of the new Ministry
of Public Safety and Security, established in response to the Sewol
A major ministry with more
than 10,000 staff, it will take over
responsibilities previously shared
by a number of state units - including the national coastguard,
which was disbanded in the wake
of the Sewol tragedy.
The official response to the disaster was widely criticised for being
slow, uncoordinated and unfocused,
and prompted President Park GeunHye to vow a complete overhaul of
national safety standards.
Police п¬Ѓnd cyanide at home
of Japanese �black widow’
orget colonies in space, one
Japanese construction company says in the future human
beings could live in huge complexes
that corkscrew deep into the ocean.
Blue sky thinkers say around 5,000
people could live and work in a modern-day Atlantis, a sphere 500m in diameter that houses hotels, residential
spaces and commercial complexes.
The vast globe would float at the
surface of the sea, but could be submerged in bad weather, down the
centre of a gigantic spiral structure that plunges to depths of up to
The spiral would form a 15km
path to a building on the ocean floor,
which could serve as a resource development factory that could collect
rare metals and rare earths.
Visionaries at Shimizu, a construction company, even think they
could use micro-organisms called
“methanogens” to convert carbon
dioxide captured at the surface into
The sci-п¬Ѓ concept is the work of
several organisations, including Tokyo University and the Japan Agency
for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
It envisages using the wide difference in water temperatures between
jin Marine over the past four years
and funnelling it to Yoo, Yoo’s
other companies and Yoo’s family
Following the disaster, Yoo became the target of a massive manhunt.
His badly decomposed body
was found in a п¬Ѓeld in June but an
autopsy failed to determine the
cause of death.
Yoo’s eldest son, Yoo Dae-Kyun, was jailed for three years earlier this month for embezzlement,
while his widow is still awaiting
sentencing on the same charge.
The Sewol’s captain, Lee JunSeok, was jailed for 36 years last
week, convicted of gross negligence and dereliction of duty,
including abandoning his vessel
while hundreds of passengers remained trapped on board.
Lee’s defence lawyer had ar-
apanese police yesterday raided the
home of a 67-year-old multi-millionaire arrested on suspicion of poisoning
her latest husband after six other partners
also died, and reportedly recovered cyanide from her trash.
Television footage showed about a
dozen investigators, wearing masks and
gloves, marching into the house of Chisako Kakehi in Kyoto a day after her arrest
in Japan’s latest apparent “black widow”
Kakehi has been the beneficiary of a
combined 800mn yen ($6.8mn) over the
last two decades, Jiji Press news agency
said - insurance money and other assets
she received after the deaths of her seven
partners, including the latest husband.
Kansai Television, quoting investigators, reported that police had found cyanide hidden inside a trash bag at her home.
Husband number four Isao Kakehi fell
sick suddenly at home and was confirmed
dead at a hospital in December last year,
less than two months after the couple
An autopsy found highly toxic cyanide
compounds in his blood.
She has denied any involvement in his
Before her arrest, Kakehi told the Sankei
newspaper: “I did not do it. Why would I
do anything that would lead to my arrest
over the death of my husband. I’m not that
The autopsy came after the September
death of a 75-year-old boyfriend, who fell
suddenly ill after the couple ate together
at a restaurant.
Kakehi’s dalliance with death began in
1994 when her п¬Ѓrst husband passed away
at the age of 54.
In 2006, her second husband, whom
she had met through a dating agency, died
of a stroke aged 69, while the third marriage ended in 2008 with the death of her
75-year-old partner, Jiji said.
A boyfriend, believed to have been suffering from some form of cancer, died a
year later, and in 2012 her then-п¬Ѓance met
his fate after collapsing while riding a motorbike.
If she is found to have been involved in
the deaths of numerous partners, Kakehi
will become the latest example in Japan
of a “black widow”, named for the female
spider that devours its mate after coupling.
In 2012 Kanae Kijima was sentenced to
hang for the murders of three men, aged
41, 53 and 80, whom she met through Internet dating sites.
Another woman, former bar hostess
Miyuki Ueta, is also waiting on the outcome of a supreme court appeal against a
death sentence for the killing of two men.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Call to question peer over
cash-for-peerages claim
Lawyer named to head
child sex inquiry
Six men barred from
contact with girls
Review to speed access
to new drugs launched
Horses killed in
railway incident
Police who have been looking into cash-forpeerages claims for nearly six months were
yesterday urged to question a second Liberal
Democrat peer. Scotland Yard started assessing
allegations made by Lord Oakeshott in May after
he resigned from the LibDems following a failed
coup against Nick Clegg. He suggested all the main
parties were involved in cash-for-peerages. Now
former LibDem treasurer Lord Razzall has revealed
wealthy supporters had offered his party donations
of “a million pounds” for a seat in the Lords on
several occasions — proposals he rejected. SNP MP
Angus MacNeil is to write to the Met asking them
to consider Lord Razzall’s comments.
The government has appointed a senior lawyer to
lead an inquiry into allegations of widespread child
abuse on the South Atlantic island of St Helena, and
claims it was covered up by the British territory’s
government and UK officials. The inquiry was
announced in July following allegations by former
St Helena government employees that there was a
conspiracy to suppress allegations of sex offences
and police corruption on the island off the west
coast of Africa, home to about 4,500 people. “We
are bound to take such allegations extremely
seriously,” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.
Lawyer Sasha Wass would head the independent
inquiry which will examine the accusations, he said.
Six men under investigation in Britain over
alleged child sex exploitation has been ordered
to stay away from girls, in what police hailed as
a “groundbreaking” court ruling. London’s High
Court issued an injunction banning the men from
Birmingham from approaching “any female under
18” with whom they are not associated. The move
was aimed at protecting a vulnerable 17-year-old
girl in authority care who had been found by police
in a hotel room and around cars with men, the
court heard. A judge ruled that the men, who have
not been convicted of any crime in relation to the
teenager, could be named, despite objections from
police concerned about their safety.
The government has launched a review to speed
the path to market for new drugs and medical
devices in an attempt to improve patient care
and make the country a more attractive place for
investment in life sciences. British manufacturing
relies heavily on the pharmaceuticals sector,
including domestic giants GlaxoSmithKline and
AstraZeneca, but companies complain that the
National Health Service (NHS) is too slow to adopt
new treatments. The review, announced at a
meeting between industry leaders and ministers
at Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing
Street office yesterday, aims to tackle the issue by
studying innovative models for drug development.
Seven horses have been killed after running
loose on rail tracks. Two trains travelling
in opposite directions were involved in the
incident at the Fen Road level crossing in
Milton, Cambridgeshire. It led to major travel
disruption and a female passenger was taken
to hospital with minor injuries. The 5.01pm
Stansted to Birmingham service collided with
the animals at about 5.15pm on Wednesday,
British Transport Police said. Another train,
travelling from Birmingham to Stansted, was
also involved. Sergeant David Barker said: “We
are very keen to find out who the horses belong
Charles will
not be silenced
when made
king, say allies
Guardian News and Media
rince Charles is ready to reshape the monarch’s role
when he becomes king and
make “heartfelt interventions”
in national life in contrast to the
Queen’s taciturn discretion on
public affairs, his allies have said.
In signs of an emerging strategy that could risk carrying over
the controversy about his alleged
“meddling” in politics into his
kingship, sources close to the heir
say he is set to continue to “express concerns and ask questions”
about issues that matter to him,
such as the future of farming and
the environment, partly because
he believes he has a duty to relay
public opinion to those in power.
“He will be true to his beliefs
and contributions,” said a wellplaced source who has known
him for many years. “Rather than
a complete reinvention to become
a monarch in the mould of his
mother, the strategy will be to try
and continue with his heartfelt interventions, albeit checking each
for tone and content to ensure it
does not damage the monarchy.
Speeches will have to pass the
following test: would it seem odd
because the Queen wouldn’t have
said it or would it seem dangerous?”
In the past Charles has stirred
controversy by lobbying politicians over issues such as genetic
modification of crops, education
and health.
The government has already
conceded that if the currently secret “black spider memos” he has
written to ministers are ever made
public, and readers concluded
Prince Charles was disagreeing with government policy, that
could “seriously damage” his future role as king.
“The prince understands the
need to be careful about how he
expresses concerns or asks ques-
tions, but I do think he will keep
doing exactly that,” said Patrick
Holden, an organic farmer, friend
of the prince and adviser to him
on sustainability. “He is part of an
evolving monarchy that is changing all the time. He feels these issues are too serious to ignore.”
The comments came as part of
a wide-ranging Guardian investigation into the possible shape of a
King Charles III monarchy. Next
week the supreme court will consider whether 27 letters between
Charles and government ministers
should be published following a
nine-year freedom of information
battle between the Guardian and
The government and the palace
argue correspondence and meetings with ministers are a necessary
part of his preparation for kingship and in 2012, the then attorney
general Dominic Grieve said they
had to be kept confidential to protect Charles’s position of political
Constitutional experts have
frequently praised the Queen for
almost completely keeping out of
public debates on political matters
and Charles is said to understand
that his ability to speak on matters
which have a political element to
them will be in a different category
to the freedom he enjoys in his
current role.
Courtiers also argue that his 40
years as heir carrying out thousands of engagements across the
country and abroad mean he is
uniquely well-placed to relay public opinion. “Speculation about
the Prince of Wales’s future role
as king has been around for decades but it is not something we
have commented on and nor will
we do so now,” said a Clarence
House spokeswoman. “The Prince
of Wales cares deeply about this
country and has devoted most of
his working life to helping individuals and organisations to make
a difference for the better - and not
for his personal gain.”
Ukip parliamentary candidate Mark Reckless and wife Catriona arrive at the polling station to vote in the by-election in Rochester, Kent, yesterday.
Ukip set to win second
seat in parliament
Union UK Independence
Party (Ukip) was yesterday set to claim its second seat
in parliament a month after
gaining its п¬Ѓrst foothold as voters went to the polls in the town
of Rochester.
The by-election in southeast England was called after
MP Mark Reckless defected in
September from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party to Ukip, which wants
strict quotas on immigration.
The Conservatives have
campaigned hard for the Ro-
15,429 arms �seized
in courts’ in two years
Guardian News and Media
n astonishing arsenal of
15,429 knives, guns and
other potential weapons
has been seized by security staff
in crown and magistrates courts
in England and Wales in just over
two years, the government has revealed.
The total includes 41 п¬Ѓrearms
or replicas and nearly 5,400
knives as well as items such as syringes, tools, umbrellas, aerosols
and cans, a list officials say is not
Confiscations in the year ending in March were more than
twice as high than for the 14
months before.
Magistrates said the п¬Ѓgures reinforced the need for solid security arrangements and would be
taking up the issue with the government.
Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice
secretary , who obtained the п¬Ѓgures via a parliamentary question,
said: “It is staggering that the
number of offensive weapons in
our courts has doubled in just one
year. Under David Cameron our
justice system is in crisis, and is
increasingly violent and dangerous for staff and court users alike.
Much more needs to be done to
stop weapons being brought into
our courts as well as protecting
our hard working staff.”
“Under Cameron our justice
system is in crisis, and is
increasingly violent and
dangerous for staff and
court users alike”
The п¬Ѓgures were given in a written parliamentary answer which
showed that 705 knives were
seized at crown courts and a further 3,108 at magistrates’ courts in
the п¬Ѓnancial year 2013-14.
The comparable п¬Ѓgure for the
previous 14 months were 322 and
1,252. When it came to п¬Ѓrearms
or replicas, seven were seized at
crown courts and 38 at magistrates’ courts in 2013-14, up from
six and 14. When it came to “other
weapons” , the more recent statistics showed 1,002 found at
crown courts and 6,418 at mag-
istrates’ courts, up from 246 and
Khan told the Guardian: “A
clear message has not been sent
that security within courts is taken extremely seriously. We need
security and safety systems to
protect all court users and the judiciary. We aren’t told how many
successful prosecutions have
been brought as a result of bringing weapons into court, which
begs more questions.”
Shailesh Vara, minister for the
courts and legal aid at the ministry of justice, said his department
took “the issue of security within
courts extremely seriously and
has a robust security and safety
system to protect all court users
and the judiciary.”
The system included mandatory bag searches, metal detectors
and surveillance cameras, as well
as court security officers who had
powers to protect all those in the
court building, said Vara.
“The powers of a court security officer includes the power to
request the surrender of a prohibited item or, if the request is
refused, to seize the item.”
chester and Strood seat, leading experts to portray the election as a historic moment in
British politics if polls indicating a Ukip win bear out.
“Ukip was not supposed
to win this by-election,” explained Matthew Goodwin,
politics professor at Nottingham University.
The party’s victory in Clacton on October 9 was more predictable as it was “perfect territory for Ukip”.
“It is filled with the types of
voters who have fuelled Ukip’s
rise since 2010 - older, white,
working-class and struggling
voters who have few qualifications.
“But Rochester and Strood
is a different matter - which is
why the Tories were confident
they would smash Ukip.”
Cameron vowed to “throw
everything” at the battle and
defeat would deal a blow to his
reputation, but that could turn
into a full-blown crisis if the
result triggers further defections.
Reckless on Wednesday said
that two more Tory MPs were
thinking of jumping ship, increasing pressure on Cameron
ahead of next year’s general
The prime minister has already promised a referendum
on EU membership if his party
wins the general election and
has taken a harder stance on
Place2be awards
immigration in an attempt to
stem the flow.
Eric Pickles, the Conservative communities secretary,
dismissed Reckless’s claims.
“I don’t think there will be any
(defections),” he said during a
campaign trip to Rochester.
“We have brought the economy back from the brink. At times
when we talk to our friends in
Ukip it sounds as though the
only thing they really like about
our country is its past.”
Polls opened at 0700GMT
and closed at 2200GMT.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage was
in Rochester to back his candidate, who said campaigning
had gone according to plan.
“This is not a day for politi-
Parents offer reward
to find son’s killers
London Evening Standard
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attends the
Place2be Wellbeing in Schools Award at Kensington
Palace, London.
cians but for the people of Rochester and Strood,” said Reckless, shortly after casting his
vote. “Elections are the purest
aspect of our democracy and I
always enjoy them.
“The first week or two of the
campaign were quite tough,
then it has been going as
But his party was on Wednesday forced to clarify remarks
made by Reckless over its immigration policy. The party insisted it was in favour of allowing all existing EU migrants to
stay, despite Reckless appearing to suggest that they would
only be allowed to remain in the
UK for “a transitional period” if
Britain left the bloc.
he parents of a British
hotelier murdered on the
Caribbean island of St
Lucia yesterday announced a reward for information about his
Multimillionaire Ollie Gobat,
38, is feared to have upset members of the island’s criminal underworld with one of his ventures, with friends saying he had
been threatened by “investors”
in property he was constructing.
His parents Helen and Theo
Gobat, from Esher, Surrey, said
the reward was a “last throw of
the dice” as scant police resources had meant an official investigation was floundering seven
months after he was shot by contract killers.
The family have spent
ВЈ100,000 on the case, and business and tourism contacts have
contributed to a reward fund
of 250,000 Eastern Caribbean
dollars — about £60,000. The
British government refuses to
send police to investigate as it is
opposed to the country’s death
penalty. In the face of intimida-
tion and death threats, the family
brought in an external forensic
science team to recover evidence
missed by police, and launched a
private investigation headed by a
former member of the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Speaking to reporters at the
Cap Maison hotel which her
son operated, Helen Gobat said:
“Unless we can get an outside
police force in, we face a big
challenge. I’d like to see the evil
people who brought this upon
Ollie brought to justice, for our
sake, for Ollie’s sake and for St
Lucia’s sake.”
Ollie Gobat was found in his
burning Range Rover on the Cap
Estate on April 25. He had been
shot in the head. It is thought
the killing could be linked to his
legitimate business relating to a
resort called The Landings.
His parents say they and their
other two sons are now potential
targets and travel with protection.
Theo Gobat, 75, said: “To think
that I could go to the end of my
days without knowing who killed
Ollie and seeing them brought
to justice … It’s ghastly.” St Lucia police were not available for
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
UN Green Climate Fund receives $9.3bn in pledges
onor nations pledged up
to $9.3bn yesterday to a
UN fund to help developing countries tackle climate
change, but environmental campaigners said the funds fell short
of what they want.
The UN Green Climate Fund
(GCF) is a major part of a plan
agreed in 2009 whereby rich
countries agreed to give $100bn a
year from both public and private
sources from 2020 to help developing nations reduce carbon
emissions and adapt to a changing global climate.
The United Nations has set an
informal target of $10bn in initial
contributions for the GCF this
year, a goal that Germany – host
of yesterday’s conference – said
was now within sight.
“I think everyone had hoped
there would be more,” the World
Bank president Jim Yong Kim
said, noting however that he was
“very encouraged” by the pledges.
Greenpeace hailed the pledges
as “a first and important step”
but rapped Australia, Russia and
others for making none.
“While climate change is developing faster than expected,
the п¬Ѓnancial support for those
who are the most affected still
evolves at a snail’s pace,” Greenpeace Germany’s political unit
head, Stefan Krug, said.
Marlene Moses of Nauru,
chair of the Alliance of Small Island States at UN climate negotiations, called the pledges “still
well short” of the target.
Aid agency Oxfam called the
total amount “a bare minimum”
compared to the $10-15bn it and
developing countries had called
“Financial support from de-
Cheikhrouhou: the conference has been fruitful.
veloped countries should be a
building block for a global climate agreement, not a stumbling
block,” said the group’s Alison
Woodhead. “Many developed
countries have stepped up to give
the Green Climate Fund a chance
to get on its feet, but more is
needed for it to succeed.”
The pledges are seen as vital
to pave the way for a UN climate
deal meant to be agreed in late
2015 in Paris.
That deal will aim to limit a rise
in average global temperatures to
2 degrees Celsius (3.6В° Fahren-
heit) above pre-industrial times.
Temperatures have already
risen by about 0.9В°C and are in
part to blame for disasters such
as heatwaves, mudslides and rising sea levels, scientists say.
Yesterday’s pledges included
money that had already been announced, such as up to $1.5bn
from Japan and up to $3bn from
the United States.
New pledges included $1.1bn
from Britain and $310mn from
Officials said they expected
Canada to join in by the end of
the year and hoped Austria and
Belgium would also contribute.
“This is a very important historic day,” GCF’s executive director, Hela Cheikhrouhou, said, describing the conference as “very
The head of the South Koreabased GCF said the money would
be spent equally on climate
change adaptation and reducing
Nearly 1,000 slain
during �ceasefire’
A firefighter tackles a blaze after shelling destroyed several houses in the district of Kuibishevskiy near the
airport in the flashpoint eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk yesterday as artillery fire continues to rock the
eastern Ukraine’s pro-Russian rebel bastion. Almost 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since a ceasefire
came into effect in September, an average of 13 people a day, the United Nations said.
Nato reports 400
intercepts of
Russian aircraft
Nato said yesterday there have
been around 400 intercepts of
Russian military flights near its
member countries this year, amid
heightened tension between
Moscow and the West over the
Ukraine crisis.
“If you look at the number of
intercepts around Nato, we
can talk about 400 intercepts,
50% more than last year,”
Nato Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg told reporters
in western Estonia. “Most of
these flights are taking place in
an international airspace, but
they are close to our airspace,
and they are interfering with
commercial flights.
“It is a pattern that we haven’t
seen for many years, back to the
time of the Cold War.”
He spoke from the Amari air base
that hosts the Western defence
alliance’s air policy mission over
the Baltic states, following talks
with Estonian Prime Minister
Taavi Roivas.
Newer Nato members such as
Poland and the Baltic states once
ruled from Moscow have been
deeply concerned by Russia’s
actions in Ukraine.
The West believes Russia is
pulling the strings in the deadly
seven-month conflict between
pro-Western government forces
and pro-Russian separatists in
Ukraine’s east – an accusation the
Kremlin denies.
Stoltenberg said Nato had seen
“more than 100 intercepts, which
is three times more than last
year” around the Baltic region.
Russia must prevent
�colour revolution’
resident Vladimir Putin
said yesterday that Moscow must prevent a “colour revolution” in Russia and
stop extremism, warning of the
threat posed by illegal immigration and “radical” Internet sites
that recruit youths.
Putin’s comments at a meeting
of his advisory Security Council on combating extremism,
underlined his wariness about
Russia being hit by a popular uprising like those in other former
Soviet republics known as the
colour revolutions.
“In the modern world extremism is being used as a geopolitical instrument and for remaking spheres of influence. We see
what tragic consequences the
wave of so-called colour revolutions led to,” he said. “For us
this is a lesson and a warning. We
should do everything necessary
so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia.”
Putin’s comments also point
to concern about outside interference.
He said on Tuesday that the
United States is trying to subjugate Russia, blames the West
for the overthrow of a Moscowbacked president in Ukraine in
February and accused Washington of stoking protests against
Putin: We see what tragic
consequences the wave of
colour revolutions led to.
him in the winter of 2011-12.
The annexation of Crimea in
March and a surge of patriotism in Russia over the crisis in
Ukraine, fed by pliant media,
has boosted Putin’s popularity at
home and neutered the opposition.
But he has been wary of political and social upheaval since
the protests against him swept
big cities such as Moscow and
critics say he has stifled dissent
and persecuted potential rivals
to tighten his grip on power ever
At the time of the protests,
Moscow also signalled its concern about the possible spread of
unrest from the so-called Arab
Spring uprisings in the Middle
Putin fears the unrest in
Ukraine could encourage protests in Russia itself, especially
as Western sanctions bite and
an economic slowdown starts to
hurt. Russia already faces a persistent Islamist insurgency in the
North Caucasus.
lmost 1,000 people have
been killed in Ukraine
since a ceasefire came
into effect in September, an
average of 13 people a day, the
United Nations said yesterday,
as the conflict in the east drags
As the report was published,
international monitors from the
Organisation for Security and
Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
mission in the former Soviet
state said one of their teams had
been shot at by a man in uniform.
While the OSCE described
Wednesday’s incident as “isolated”, it highlights continuing high tensions in eastern
Ukraine, where government
forces and pro-Russian rebels
are п¬Ѓghting a drawn-out battle
for territory.
The Kremlin denies Western and Ukrainian accusations
that it is backing the separatist
rebels with troops and military
equipment but diplomatic relations have plunged to a low not
seen since the Cold War over the
seven-month conflict.
US Vice-President Joe Biden was due in Kiev ahead of
today’s anniversary of the start
of the Maidan protests against
the former pro-Kremlin regime
which eventually led to the conflict in the east.
The report from the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission
in Ukraine put the number of
dead at 957 from September 5,
when the ceasefire was signed,
to November 18.
“The list of victims keeps
growing. Civilians, including
women, children, minorities
and a range of vulnerable individuals and groups continue to
suffer the consequences of the
political stalemate in Ukraine,”
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement.
Counting the 298 people who
died in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over
Ukraine in July, the overall toll
since mid-April, when п¬Ѓghting
started, stood at 4,317 deaths as
of Tuesday.
emissions, much of it for vulnerable small island nations and Africa’s poorest countries.
She said raising the billions in
pledges had created “renewed
trust and enthusiasm” ahead of
international talks in Peru next
month, and in France a year later,
on slashing worldwide carbon
British economist and climate
change expert Nicholas Stern
welcomed the contributions and
said “overseas aid for developing countries to make the transition to low-carbon economic
development and growth helps
to reduce poverty and to secure a
cleaner and safer future for everyone”.
The UN Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change warned
this month that time is running
out to limit warming to 2В° Celsius
(3.6В° Fahrenheit) by 2100 from
pre-industrial levels.
Instead, they said the Earth
is on a trajectory to warm up by
at least 4° Celsius – a recipe for
melting ice caps, extreme weather events, habitat and species loss
and conflict for resources.
After years that saw little
progress in climate talks, the
world’s two biggest economies
and top polluters, China and the
United States, this month agreed
to new targets.
At a Beijing meeting, President Barack Obama committed
the United States to reducing its
greenhouse gas emissions by 2628% by 2025 compared to two
decades earlier.
China, the world’s top polluter,
agreed for the п¬Ѓrst time to slow
emissions growth and ultimately
reverse it after emissions peak
“around 2030”.
The 28-nation European Union, the third-largest greenhouse
gas producer, has pledged to cut
its emissions by at least 40% by
2030 from 1990 levels.
A pro-Russian separatist is seen at a checkpoint near the village of Hrabove in Donetsk
region, eastern Ukraine.
The report also detailed grave
human rights abuses on both
One Ukrainian soldier said
his right arm, bearing a “Glory
to Ukraine” tattoo, had been
chopped off with an axe by
rebels. A separatist detained by
Ukrainian forces in Donetsk said
he had been suffocated with a
plastic bag and beaten.
It also highlighted the huge
volume of people registered as
displaced within Ukraine by
the conflict, with the number
soaring from 275,489 in midSeptember to 466,829 as of
Giving details of the shooting incident, the OSCE said a
uniformed man on the back of
a truck п¬Ѓred two shots towards
their vehicles near the government-held town of Mariinka,
west of the rebel stronghold of
Donetsk, on Wednesday.
“The bullets struck about two
metres from the second OSCE
vehicle,” the statement added.
The OSCE said it was the п¬Ѓrst
“direct” shot deliberately fired
at observers during the mission.
The incident followed another on Tuesday when a warning
shot was п¬Ѓred towards an OSCE
vehicle from a Ukrainian checkpoint near the frontline hotspot
of Debaltseve.
The OSCE has nearly 300 observers working in Ukraine to
monitor the ceasefire which has
stopped п¬Ѓghting around much
of the conflict zone but failed to
halt bombardments at strategic
Six Ukrainian soldiers were
wounded in the past 24 hours,
Ukrainian security spokesman
Andriy Lysenko said.
A 58-year-old female nurse
was killed in shelling close to the
rebel-stronghold of Luhansk,
the region’s pro-Kiev governor said, while rebels said one
of their п¬Ѓghters was killed in
Donetsk in the past day.
Biden, the latest high-profile
Western politician to visit Kiev
in the hope of shoring up the
ceasefire, is due to meet President Petro Poroshenko and
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk today.
The US vice-president will
discuss “Russia’s ongoing violations of the September 5 Minsk
�US increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine’
The United States plans to increase non-lethal military assistance to
Ukraine, including deliveries of the first Humvee vehicles, having decided for now not to provide weapons, US officials said.
The increase in non-lethal aid to Ukraine, which is grappling with a
Russian-backed separatist movement in its east, is expected to be announced during a visit to Kiev by Vice-President Joe Biden.
The officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, described
it as an expansion of US support for Ukraine’s armed forces, but one that
was unlikely to significantly alter the conflict.
The aid falls short of what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
requested during a visit to Washington in September when he appealed
for lethal aid – a request echoed by some US lawmakers in response
to what Nato allies say is Russia’s movement of tanks and troops into
eastern Ukraine.
Officials in the Obama administration had said Washington believed
Ukraine had enough lethal aid and the types of weaponry requested for
Ukraine would be of only marginal value. They had also emphasised the
need for a diplomatic outcome.
The United States and its European allies have imposed several rounds
of economic sanctions on Russia for its seizure of Crimea and incursion
into eastern Ukraine.
The new non-lethal aid Biden will present in Kiev includes Humvees from
excess supplies in the Pentagon’s inventory, as well as the delivery of
previously promised radars that can detect the location of enemy mortars, officials said. They did not specify a dollar value for the assistance.
Previous non-lethal aid to Ukraine includes $53mn announced in September for military equipment such as counter-mortar detection units,
body armor, binoculars, small boats and other gear for Ukraine’s security
forces and border guards in the east.
President Barack Obama’s administration has long debated providing
weapons to the Kiev government, but has so far concluded that it might
only prompt Russia to escalate its aid to the separatist rebels.
Lethal assistance “remains on the table. It’s something that we’re looking
at”, Obama’s deputy national security adviser and nominee for deputy
secretary of state, Tony Blinken, said at his Senate confirmation hearing
on Wednesday.
In response to Blinken’s comment, Russia warned the United States
yesterday against supplying arms to Ukrainian forces.
Hours before Biden was due to arrive in Kiev, Russian foreign ministry
spokesman Alexander Lukashevich cautioned against “a major change
in policy of the (US) administration in regard to the conflict” in Ukraine.
US Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said he had not been
briefed on the new non-lethal aid but called it “a continuation of the
“They are fighting against people with lethal weapons. They need lethal
weapons to fight back. It is disgraceful and shameful that we won’t give
them lethal weapons,” McCain told Reuters.
agreement”, a statement from
his office said, referring to the
truce deal.
Ahead of the visit, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel,
whose country is leading efforts
to mediate with Moscow, spoke
during a trip to Poland of the
need to work with Russia in the
“Europe’s security can only
be ensured, in the medium and
long term, with Russia,” she
Yatseniuk told journalists
Swedish appeal court upholds Assange detention order
A Swedish court has rejected an appeal by
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to revoke a
detention order issued over allegations of sexual
assault, but called on prosecutors to make more
effort to question him.
Assange’s Swedish lawyer said the decision would
be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The 43-year-old Australian has been stuck inside
Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012 to
avoid a British extradition to Sweden, which wants
to question him on allegations of sexual assault
and rape but have insisted he must come to
Sweden first.
Assange’s lawyers have argued that the arrest
warrant should be repealed because it cannot be
enforced while Assange is in the embassy, and
Swedish prosecutors had not travelled to London
to interrogate him.
“There is no reason to set aside the detention
solely because Julian Assange is in an embassy
and the detention order cannot be enforced at
present for that reason,” the Svea Court of Appeal
said in a statement.
The court also said Swedish prosecutors had
not made enough effort to interrogate Assange
outside Sweden and said the “failure of the
prosecutors to examine alternative avenues is not
in line with their obligation”.
Per Samuelson, one of Assange’s lawyers, told
Reuters that he read this to mean that the court
believed the defence was right, but that it did
not dare take the full consequences and lift the
detention order.
“If you don’t do it now, the arrest warrant will go
next time, that is how it looks, like a warning,” he
said of the court’s comments.
Prosecutor Marianne Ny said in a statement: “Like
the court of appeals says, there is every reason
to continue considering how the case should be
taken forward.”
Assange denies the allegations and says he fears
Sweden would extradite him to the United States.
yesterday that he hoped for an
announcement on US assistance
to Ukraine during Biden’s visit.
In September, the US announced a fresh $53mn aid
package, including non-lethal
military equipment, to Ukraine
but Kiev wants Washington to
go further and provide lethal assistance.
“Blankets and night-vision
goggles are important,” Poroshenko told the US Congress in
September. “But one cannot win
a war with blankets.”
Duchess of Alba
dies, aged 88
Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James
Stewart, one of the most titled
nobles in the world and richest
women in Spain, died aged 88
in her home town of Seville,
the city’s mayor announced
She was admitted to hospital on
Sunday night with respiratory
failure caused by a lung infection.
As her condition worsened, she
was transferred to her home
and died surrounded by family
“Lady Cayetana always had
Seville in her heart and will
remain forever in the heart of
Seville. Rest in peace,” tweeted
Mayor Juan Ignacio Zoido.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Bukhari move
to make son
his deputy is
illegal: govt
New Delhi
he central government and
the Wakf Board yesterday
told the Delhi High Court
that the anointment of the son of
Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam as the
Naib Imam (deputy imam) was
“illegal” and has no legal sanctity.
A division bench of Chief
Justice G Rohini and Justice R
S Endlaw was told by the Delhi
Wakf Board that it has not given
any legal sanctity to the anointment of the imam and will hold a
meeting to discuss the issue.
The anointment ceremony is
to be held tomorrow.
The court was hearing three
public interest litigations (PILs)
that said the Jama Masjid was a
property of the Delhi Wakf Board
and Shahi Imam Maulana Syed
Ahmed Bukhari as its employee
cannot appoint his son as Naib
The court reserved the order
on the PILs.
During the hearing, counsel
for the Archaeological Survey
of India and the central government told the court that the Jama
Masjid was a historical monument and it has to be decided
how the rule of primogeniture
will apply on the succession of the imam or chief
The PILs said
Bukhari’s decision to anoint
his 19-year-old
Bukhari as the
Naib Imam was
wrong as there
was no provision un-
der the Wakf Act for hereditary
appointment of the imam.
“Despite knowing that the
imam is an employee of the Wakf
Board and it’s the board which
has the right to appoint an imam,
he has declared his 19-year-old
son to be the Naib Imam and is
holding a dastar bandi ceremony
for the purpose, which is purely
anti-Islamic,” the pleas said.
Another petition challenging
the ceremony was п¬Ѓled in the
court by Prince Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy, who claims to be
the seventh generation great
grandson of Mughal Emperor
Bahadur Shah Zafar.
“The imam is not hereditary
and it is nowhere written in any
Islamic literature or the holy book
Qur’an that Shahi Imam is a hereditary post and that only a son
of imam can be the next imam.
Imams of all mosques employed
under the Delhi Wakf Board are
appointed by it only and are paid
salaries,” the petition said.
The plea is likely to come up
for hearing today.
Jama Masjid is India’s largest
mosque built during the Mughal
era. The three PILs asked the
court to declare invalid the appointment of Bukhari as the
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid.
They also alleged that there was
“complete anarchy and misuse of
power” by the Shahi Imam.
Bukhari recently sparked a
controversy by announcing that
he has invited Pakistan Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif for
the ceremony of anointing his son as the deputy
imam but did not feel
the need to invite Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi.
Bharati calls meeting
on Kerala dam issue
New Delhi
ater Resources Minister Uma Bharati
has called a meeting
of water resources ministers of
Tamil Nadu and Kerala to discuss
the issue of rising water level in
the Mullaperiyar dam.
“I have called for a meeting
of both the states’ representatives on Saturday (in Delhi) and
have also decided to include the
Central Water Commission to
discuss the rising water level in
the Mullaperiyar dam,” she said
in New Delhi.
A top Kerala official said the
Tamil Nadu government should
have transferred the dam water
to the Vaigai dam in the state to
allay the fears of the people living in and around the Mullaperiyar dam.
“We have found out that today
the Vaigai dam is just 37% full
and it would have been nice if
Tamil Nadu drew the water from
Mullaperiyar, which now has
water measuring 141.8ft,” the official said.
It was in May this year that the
Supreme Court allowed the water
level to be raised to 142ft from the
earlier 136ft and also gave a clean
chit to the safety of the dam.
Actress to fund children’s surgeries
A child offers a slice of cake to Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as she poses with children and her father Krishnaraj Rai to celebrate his 76th birthday in
Mumbai on Wednesday. The actress celebrated the day by pledging to fund the surgeries of 100 children born with cleft palates through The Aishwarya Rai Foundation.
SC orders CBI chief
to keep off 2G case
Court hears a petition
against Sinha over
allegations he might
have interfered in the
New Delhi
he Supreme Court yesterday ordered the head
of the country’s federal
policing agency to excuse himself from a corruption case following allegations of wrongdoing.
Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha was
ordered off a long-running
probe into an alleged scam involving the sale of 2G telecom
licences to businesses at throwaway prices.
But Chief Justice H L Dattu declined to give detailed
reasons for the order, saying
doing so would tarnish the
reputation of the CBI, which
handles major criminal investigations.
“Prima facie it appears that
information given against Ran-
Failure to end slavery
is global sin: Satyarthi
obel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi has said the
failure to end slavery was
one of world’s biggest sins as he
called for urgent action to tackle a
rise in the numbers of slaves globally to an all-time high.
Satyarthi, who was the surprise
co-recipient of this year’s Nobel
Peace Prize for his work п¬Ѓghting
child slavery in India, said it was
unacceptable that almost 36mn
people including about 5.5mn
children are living in slavery today.
He called for collective action
by governments, businesses and
campaigners and a strengthening of laws to crackdown on
human trafficking and free the
world of slavery.
“We have ... to build a civil
rights movement against slavery,” Satyarthi told the Trust
Women conference in London organised by the Thomson
Reuters Foundation where he
launched an End Child Slavery
Week campaign on Wednesday.
“Denial of childhood and denial of freedom are the biggest
sins which humankind has been
committing and perpetuating
for ages.”
“We have ... to build a civil
rights movement against
The second annual global
slavery index by the Walk Free
Foundation, an Australia-based
human rights group, released
this week, estimated 35.8mn
people are living in slavery
with India home to the highest
number, with 14.3mn slaves.
Some of these people are born
into servitude, some trafficked
for sex work, while others are
trapped in debt bondage or exploited in forced labour.
Satyarthi, 60, whose non-government organisation Bachpan
Bachao Andolan (BBA) has been
credited with freeing over 80,000
child labourers in India over 30
years, said it was unbelievable
that slavery was still so prevalent.
He said slavery was continuing despite enormous advancements in terms of technology,
economics, business, governance, politics and religious and
culture developments.
Satyarthi called on the global community to build a sense
of urgency to tackle the slavery
business which is estimated to
be worth $150bn a year.
“In this stage of history we
have the largest number of slaves
in the world ... we have the biggest amount of illicit earnings
from human trade,” he said.
“It is unacceptable ... Why
don’t we act now? .. If (your)
own child is missing, for a day,
trafficked, you would be restless
and do everything possible.”
jit Sinha is credible and acceptable,” said Dattu, who headed a
three-judge bench.
“We are not giving elaborate
reasons for this order because
the CBI as an agency has a reputation, and if we give elaborate
orders, it will tarnish their image,” he said.
“We direct Ranjit Sinha not
to interfere with the 2G case and
recuse himself.”
The court was hearing a petition against Sinha over allegations he might have interfered
in the investigation by privately
meeting several people accused
in the scam.
Sinha has long denied any
“We suspect your actions.
The suspicion is substantiated
by Special Public Prosecutor
Anand Grover, who is our representative, who has gone through
the records. He has given synopsis of the п¬Ѓle noting. Prima
facie it appears that things are
not well. It inspires no confidence and would amount to derailing the trial. You can’t brush
aside their statements as false
and malicious,” the court said.
Sinha: setback
The court told Sinha’s lawyer
Vikas Singh: “When it appears
to us that things are not well,
somebody may take over and
proceed. We don’t want to pass
an order casting aspersions on
the investigations.”
Grover said Sinha had interfered in the 2G case which is
completely inconsistent with
the agency’s stand.
“Our case in 2G could have
been demolished, if Sinha’s
stand was accepted,” Grover
told the highest court.
Former telecoms minister A
Students, police clash
Raja and a slew of corporate and
government officials have been
charged over the 2G scam, one
of a string of corruption cases
that rocked the previous Congress-led United Progressive
Alliance government.
The scam centred on the
2007-2008 sale of 2G mobile
phone licences at cut-rate prices to favour some п¬Ѓrms that the
national Comptroller and Auditor General said cost the treasury billions of dollars in lost
The CBI took up the investigation again in 2013 after
tapped phone calls came to light
between a former corporate
lobbyist, business executives
and government bureaucrats
over the sale.
The petition involving Sinha
has heard that a whistleblower
unearthed documents and a
visitor’s diary of Sinha’s residence that allegedly showed the
names of those who had visited
Earlier in the day, the court
took exception to the CBI’s submission that senior counsel K K
Venugopal will no longer repre-
US court denies
Ranbaxy request
New York
Students clash with police during a protest at Banaras Hindu
University (BHU) campus in Varanasi yesterday.
sent the agency in the 2G spectrum case.
The court did not take kindly
to the probe agency’s joint director Ashok Tiwari telling
counsel Gopal Shankar Narayan
that Venugopal would not appear for the CBI in the ongoing
case on allegations that Sinha
was interfering in the probe.
The court also did not take
well to the presence of a large
number of CBI officers in the
When senior counsel Vikas Singh, representing Sinha,
sought to justify this, saying
they were assisting the court
in giving clarifications on files,
if any, Chief Justice Dattu said:
“We have not called them. If we
need any clarification, we will
call them.”
The chief justice then asked
all the officers to vacate the
courtroom and attend to their
Sinha meanwhile said he was
not embarrassed by the court
“There is no embarrassment.
I will abide by the SC order on
recusing myself,” Sinha said.
US court has denied a
request by Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd to stop competitors
from launching copies of AstraZeneca Plc’s heartburn pill
Nexium and Roche’s antiviral,
a court п¬Ѓling showed.
Ranbaxy had п¬Ѓled a lawsuit
against the US Food and Drug
Administration last week for
revoking tentative approvals it
gave the company to make generics of Valcyte and Nexium.
Ranbaxy had also sought to
prevent Endo International Plc
and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories
from making the generics after
the FDA gave the two companies approvals to launch their
own copies.
Endo said yesterday it
launched its generic version
of Valcyte, prescribed to treat
a type of viral infection in Aids
A spokeswoman for Dr
Reddy’s said the company
would launch its own generic
version of Valcyte “shortly”,
but declined from being more
US District Judge Beryl
Howell in Minneapolis denied
Ranbaxy’s request, the court
п¬Ѓling showed. The company,
which is being acquired by
larger local rival Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd for
$3.2bn, declined to comment
on the case.
Valcyte had total US sales of
about $440mn in the 12 months
ending September 30, Endo
said, citing IMS Health data.
A generic version of Valcyte
could add between $35mn and
$40mn to Endo’s annual revenue, Guggenheim Securities
said in a note earlier this month.
Analysts had expected generic Nexium to add about
$150mn to Ranbaxy’s overall
sales in the п¬Ѓrst six months
after its launch, while generic
Valcyte was seen adding about
Earlier this month, the FDA
told Ranbaxy it had made an
error in granting the company
tentative approval to launch
the drugs, citing manufacturing quality lapses at Ranbaxy’s
India plants.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Kim Kardashian’s
India trip called off
Woman thrown off
train in Madhya Pradesh
271 animals seized ahead
of Nepal ritual sacrifice
CBI conducts raids
on Saradha offices
Cow and calf new
residents of Raj Bhavan
The India trip of American reality TV star
Kim Kardashian has reportedly been
cancelled over visa issues. “Kim will not be
able to enter the country due to some visa
issue,” said a source. “The reason is not
clear but all we know is that there was some
visa issue which she could not fulfil and
the trip has been cancelled.” The 34-yearold star, who shot to fame with TV series
Keeping Up with the Kardashians, was
supposed to come to the country to promote
her new fragrance Fleur Fatale. The reality
TV star is on a world tour for its promotional
A young woman was seriously injured after being
thrown off a moving train in Madhya Pradesh
when she resisted an attempt to snatch her purse,
officials said yesterday. The incident took place
when Ritu Tripathi, who works at a coaching
institute in Delhi, was travelling to Ujjain on board
Malwa Express. Two men tried to sit on her berth
when the train was between Lalitpur-Beena
station. When Tripathi protested, the men left but
soon returned to snatch her purse. As Tripathi
caught one of them, the other pushed her off the
train. She fell near the track and lay comatose
until she was spotted and taken to a hospital in
Sagar on Wednesday morning.
Authorities in Bihar have arrested 47 people
and confiscated 271 animals along the IndiaNepal border ahead of animal sacrifice in
Nepal’s Gadhimai festival, an animal protection
group said yesterday. Humane Society
International (HSI) said it was hopeful the
number of animals killed this year will be much
less. “HSI recently undertook a special mission
to Nepal where it met the president and the
prime minister of Nepal, as well as temple
officials to call for a suspension of the sacrifice
of half a million buffalo, goats and hens,” HSI
said. The largest ritual slaughter in the world
takes place in the Gadhimai festival.
The Central Bureau of Investigation yesterday
raided three offices of the Saradha group as
part of its probe into the multi-crore rupee
chit fund scam in Kolkata. Since morning, CBI
officials conducted searches at Saradha offices in
different locations such as Salt Lake, Behala and
Bishnupur and seized documents. The search
operations come a day ahead of expected
questioning by the CBI of West Bengal Transport
Minister Madan Mitra and Trinamool Congress
Rajya Sabha member Srinjoy Bose. Former
Trinamool MP Somen Mitra who joined the
Congress too has been summoned by the CBI.
Mitra has denied getting any call from the CBI .
After building a cow shed in Raj Bhavan
complex, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha is all set
to welcome the first cow and calf to the plush
grounds of the estate located on the outskirts
of Panaji. On Wednesday, Sinha visited a cow
shelter run by the Jai Sriram Gosanvardhan
Kendra in remote Nanus village, around 50km
north of Panaji. She also performed cow
worship at the shelter and expressed a wish
to adopt a cow and relocate it to Raj Bhavan,
Laxman Joshi, a spokesman for the shelter,
said. “We have identified an eight-year-old
cow and her calf. They will be delivered at Raj
Bhavan today,” Joshi said.
India, Israel
forge deeper
business ties
under Modi
Tel Aviv
t the UN General Assembly in New York last
September, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
set aside time for a critical meeting. But it wasn’t US President
Barack Obama he was keen to
see. It was Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi.
Since Modi came to power in
May, ties between Israel and India have been in overdrive, with
the two signing a series of defence and technology deals that
have underscored their burgeoning commercial and political relationship.
The same month as the UN
meeting, Modi’s cabinet cleared
a long-delayed purchase of Israeli missiles for its navy. In
October, India closed a $520mn
deal to buy Israeli anti-tank missiles. And last week, a jointly
developed aerial defence system
passed a major trial, which India
called a “milestone.”
“There is great momentum
in co-operation, on both the
defence and economic sides,”
Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister and a member
of Netanyahu’s inner cabinet,
India is now the largest buyer
of Israeli military equipment,
while Israel is India’s largest
customer after Russia. In the
п¬Ѓrst nine months of 2014, bilateral trade reached $3.4bn, on
target for a record this year.
While that may not be vast in
global terms, it has helped push
Asia to the brink of overtaking
the US as Israel’s largest export
market after the European Union.
India is steadily catching up
with China as it buys more Israeli defence and cyber-security
technology, an area where China
is limited since the US frowns
on Israel dealing too freely with
Beijing in defence matters.
The roots of the Israel rela-
tionship go back to 2006, when
Modi was chief minister of Gujarat and visited the region to explore new ideas in irrigation, an
area of Israeli expertise.
As a result, India started buying drip-feed technology, said
Amnon Ofer, a friend of Modi’s
and chairman of NaanDanJain
Irrigation, formed after India’s
Jain Irrigation acquired a п¬Ѓrm
created by two Israeli collective
Under Modi’s predecessor,
Manmohan Singh, India kept
its relationship with Israel under wraps, in part so as not to
upset its Muslim minority, said
C Raja Mohan, head of strategic studies at the Observer
Research Foundation in New
“Cynics in Israel would point
out that Delhi was treating Tel
Aviv like a mistress - engage in
private but refuse to be seen with
in public,” said Mohan. “The
Modi government is having none
of that.”
The question is where the relationship goes from here. Strategically, Israel is glad to have
a rising Asian power as an ally.
But for both the focus is really on
Israel Ports Company is partnering India’s Cargo Motors to
build a deepwater port in Gujarat, and Israel’s TowerJazz is
teaming up with India’s Jaiprakash Associates and IBM with
plans to build a $5.6bn chip plant
near Delhi.
At a security conference in Tel
Aviv last week, executives from
top Indian п¬Ѓrms were shopping
for systems to secure their pipelines, refineries and other infrastructure.
All the activity has lead to expectations that Israel and India
will п¬Ѓnalise a free trade agreement in the next year.
“That means trade will double
or triple,” said Anat BernsteinReich, who chairs the IsraelIndia Chamber of Commerce, an
office hoping and preparing for a
Manipuri student murdered in Delhi
A Manipuri doing his PhD was
found dead, lying in a pool of
blood with his throat slit at
his residence in New Delhi,
police said yesterday. Zingran
Kengoo, 33, a PhD scholar
from Mumbai’s Tata Institute
of Social Sciences (TISS), was
found murdered on Wednesday
night at his Kotla residence
in south Delhi. According to
the police, Kengoo’s body was
found lying in a pool of blood
with his throat slit, by his house
owner’s brother around 9.30pm
on Wednesday. He alerted the
police. Officials said a knife was
recovered from the victim’s
room, while his belongings were
left untouched.
Rampal is seen inside a police lock-up after his arrest, at Panchkula in Haryana yesterday.
Police search Rampal’s
ashram for explosives
Court remands controversial
cult leader in custody until
November 28
olice were yesterday
scouring the ashram of a
controversial guru for explosives after his arrest ended
a bloody stand-off with thousands of followers and a long
siege during which six people
Officers п¬Ѓnally gained access
to the main building in the vast
complex where self-styled “godman” Rampal Maharaj had been
holed up for over a week, guarded
by devotees armed with stones,
petrol bombs and other weapons,
until his arrest on Wednesday
night on murder charges.
have poured out of the heavily guarded ashram since police
forced their way in on Tuesday
using water cannon, tear gas
and batons.
But around 3,000 more, in-
cluding young children, remained inside the 12 acre compound in Haryana because they
were afraid to leave.
Families were separated by a
large concrete barrier, with men
on one side of a vast hall where
followers slept on mattresses on
the floor, and women and children on the other. CCTV cameras had been set up around the
building to monitor their movements.
“They said that those who
left earlier were beaten by police and arrested... We decided
not to leave after that,” said Ajay
Kumar Mandal, who had been
at the ashram with his wife and
children since November 4.
“I’ll leave now. As for the
conditions, they were very
good,” he said.
Around 100 devotees were
injured in clashes with police,
who found the bodies of four
women and a child inside, although it remains unclear how
they died.
A sixth follower died after being taken to hospital apparently
suffering from a heart condition.
Jawan Singh said he had gone
into the ashram in the hope that
Rampal could cure his chronic
back pain, but instead found
himself at the centre of a running battle with police.
“I came here hoping that
I’ll get healed. Instead it was
a war-like situation here,” the
34-year-old said from the window of a bus taking people away
from the compound.
“The guards manning the
complex gate didn’t allow us to
come out. They told the people
to go back in.”
Rampal told reporters after
his arrest that he regretted the
deaths, but denied police allegations he used his followers as
human shields.
Police say they have arrested
more than 500 devotees, including 250 members of a “private army” dedicated to his protection.
“It was a tough operation, we
had to deal with hostile supporters,” police inspector Anil
Kumar said.
“At the moment we are trying
to clear the ashram, the clearing
NIA gets custody of
Myanmar militant
Kolkata court yesterday
sent Myanmar national
Khalid Mohamed and two
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants to eight
days in the custody of the the
National Investigation Agency
in connection with the October 2
Burdwan blast.
Khalid Mohamed alias Kaleed,
belonging to the Rohingiya Solidarity Organisation and having
links with Bangladesh-based
terrorist groups, was arrested on
Monday from Hyderabad by the
NIA and brought to Kolkata earlier yesterday.
According to the NIA, Khalid
is an expert in explosives and
underwent training conducted
with trainers from Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan.
Eight accused, including Khalid, JMB commander and blast
mastermind Sajid and JMB militant Amjad Sheikh, were presented before the court of Chief
Judicial Magistrate Mohamed
Mumtaz Khan.
“Khalid along with blast mastermind Sajid alias Sheikh Rahamatullah and Amjad Sheikh
have been sent to NIA custody
for eight days,” said NIA lawyer
Shyamal Ghosh. The other п¬Ѓve
accused - Razia Bibi, Alima Bibi,
Abdul Hakim, Zia-ul-Haque and
Hashem Mollah - were sent to judicial custody until December 5.
Two suspected JMB members
died in the accidental blast that
occurred in a house in Burdwan
district’s Khagragarh area.
operations are on, our personnel are inside the ashram. They
are trying to find if any explosives have been hidden there.”
Devotees came from across
India and Nepal to see Rampal,
a former engineer who considers himself an incarnation of the
15th-century mystic poet Kabir.
He claims to have cured
chronic illnesses and says “ruined families have again become
prosperous” by devoting themselves to his teachings.
Followers quoted in media have said they were given
Prasad - or holy food offerings
-made from milk Rampal had
bathed in, and told this was the
key to his “miracles.”
Disciples must give up alcohol, smoking, meat, eggs, adultery and gambling, while singing and dancing is banned along
with worship of “any other god
or goddess.”
Haryana Chief Minister M L
Khattar said no one had died as
a result of the police operation,
although 100 were being treated
for injuries.
“Our plan was to achieve this
(arrest) without a single person
having to lose his life. We have
been completely successful in
this,” he said on the NDTV network.
Police sought Rampal’s arrest after he repeatedly refused
court orders to appear to answer
charges including conspiracy to
murder, contempt of court and
inciting mobs.
He is accused of ordering his
disciples to п¬Ѓre on villagers during 2006 clashes in which one
person was killed.
Rampal appeared briefly in
court yesterday and was remanded in custody until November 28.
India has been rocked by
several scandals involving immensely popular “godmen”,
mostly Hindu ascetics who
claim to possess mystical powers. Last year one was charged
with sexually assaulting a
For many Indians, gurus play
an integral role in daily life and
are seen as offering a pathway
to enlightenment in return for
spiritual devotion.
Parrikar goofs up
on Rajini’s name
NIA officials and police escort Myanmar national Khalid Mohamed
from a police van to the Bankshall court in Kolkata yesterday.
ewly-installed Defence
Minister and former Goa
chief minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday almost
incurred the wrath of southern
cinema czar Rajinikanth when
he missed out on mentioning the
legendary actor’s name while formally acknowledging the presence
of dignitaries present at the 45th
International Film Festival of India’s inauguration ceremony here.
After reading out the names
of Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley, Minis-
ter of State Rajyavardhan Singh
Rathore, Goa Chief Minister
Laxmikant Parsekar and state
Governor Mridula Sinha, Parrikar appeared to have missed out
on Rajinikanth’s name.
But the former Goa chief minister, known for his ready wit,
immediately made up for the
lapse with a smile.
Addressing Rajnikanth with
a sheepish smile, Parrikar said:
“Sorry for that goof. I had written (the names down). Forgot the
paper down there.”
Rajinikanth, known for his
п¬Ѓery persona onscreen but gentle otherwise, smiled back with
equal warmth.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Reward in hunt for father
of 11-year-old drug mule
Colombia arrests 11 in
Asia drug smuggling ring
Policemen win right
to sport moustaches
Obama administration for
sanctions against Venezuela
Pele son returns to jail
after losing appeal
Colombia has offered $10,000 for the capture
of the father of an 11-year-old girl in intensive
care following emergency surgery to remove
104 cocaine-filled capsules from her stomach.
The unnamed girl, reportedly Colombia’s
youngest drug mule, is in hospital under police
protection following the surgery in Cali, in
western Colombia. “The police have offered
a reward of $10,000 for the capture of the
father,” Carlos Molina, a Cali police spokesman
said. The girl was supposed to have flown to
Europe after spending the weekend with her
father, who is separated from the girl’s mother.
But the child was rushed to hospital before she
could take the trip.
Colombian police arrested 11 gang members
suspected of using human mules to smuggle
narcotics to Asia, charging four of them with
murder after a courier died of a cocaine
overdose, officials said. Authorities said
capsules of narcotics were ingested or
strapped to the bodies of the mules who were
sent to Hong Kong, China, Singapore and
Thailand. One of the smugglers died in the
southern city of Leticia, but the circumstances
of the death were not clear. “Four of the
suspects were charged with murder following
the death of a human courier in Leticia who
died due to acute cocaine intoxication,”
prosecutors said in a statement.
For 17 years it was a privilege reserved only for
high-ranking Colombian police officers. But the
State Council, the highest administrative court
in Colombia, has now thrown out a controversial
rule that forbade rank-and-file policemen from
growing moustaches. “We felt that the rule
really undermined personal expression and
equality,” Maria Claudia Rojas Lasso, president
of the council, told reporters. “People are equal
before the law and should receive the same
treatment from the authorities.” The decision
was adopted on Sunday following a petition
filed by a police officer. The Colombian National
Police currently has approximately 180,000
The Obama administration would like to work
with the US Congress to impose sanctions
on Venezuela in response to a crackdown on
anti-government protests, President Barack
Obama’s deputy national security adviser
told lawmakers. Tony Blinken, who is Obama’s
choice to be deputy secretary of state, said
Washington had refrained from pushing for
sanctions in the past few months to allow
diplomatic efforts by some Latin American
countries to secure the release of opposition
leaders from jail and nudge Caracas toward
electoral reform. But those efforts have failed,
Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee at his nomination hearing.
A son of Brazilian soccer legend Pele was
arrested near Sao Paulo after losing an appeal
against money laundering accusations.
Former goalkeeper Edson “Edinho” Cholbi
do Nascimento, 43, who briefly played for his
father’s former club Santos, was handed a
33-year jail term in May for laundering money
raised from drug trafficking but appealed and
given temporary release prior to his re-arrest.
Police said Edinho was transferred to a police
station at Santos, a coastal town in Sao Paulo
state, ahead of a transfer to a local penitentiary.
Following his first appeal he was arrested at
his home at Praia Grande, a small town outside
Santos, only to be released a week later.
buries slain
Miss World
Farc agrees to
free general,
opening door
to restart talks
shaken Honduras held a
funeral for its Miss World
contestant and her sister yesterday after the sister’s
boyfriend shot them in a jealous rage, according to police and
media reports.
Under a white tent set up in
the street in front of the family’s
house in the northwestern town
of Santa Barbara, mourners held
a dawn vigil for Miss Honduras,
19-year-old Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister Sofia Trinidad
Alvarado, 23.
After forensic analysts in
Tegucigalpa examined the sisters’ bodies overnight, authorities returned them for a morning
funeral service in Santa Barbara,
some 200kms from the capital.
The violence-plagued Central American nation has been
in shock since police found the
sisters’ bodies buried along the
banks of the Aguagual River on
Wednesday and accused Sofia’s
boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz of killing them on the night they went
missing a week ago.
Maria Jose, who won the Miss
Honduras crown in April, had
been due to fly to London on
Wednesday to compete in the
Miss World pageant.
According to Honduran media
reports, police believe Ruiz, who
was holding a birthday party last
Thursday night at a resort outside Santa Barbara, flew into a fit
of rage when he saw Sofia dancing
with another man, shooting her
in the head and then her beauty
queen sister twice in the back.
Police arrested Ruiz and an
alleged accomplice, Aris Maldonado, on Tuesday. They said
they had seized a Colt-45 pistol and two vehicles, including
a white pick-up truck allegedly
used to transport the sisters’
bodies some 20kms from the resort to the spot where they were
On Wednesday, police also arrested the owner of the resort,
Ventura Diaz; his wife, Elizabeth
Alvarado; and their daughter
Irma Nicolle.
Teresa Munoz looks at a picture of her daughter, Miss Honduras World Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, over
her coffin in Santa Barbara yesterday.
olombian Marxist rebels
agreed to release an
army general captured
by their comrades over the
weekend, a move that may lead
to a resumption of peace talks
and defuse a crisis that threatened to extend п¬Ѓve decades of
The Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (Farc)
promised to free General Ruben
Dario Alzate and four others
captured in the past two weeks
“as soon as possible” after
reaching agreement on liberation terms with the government
and guarantor nations Cuba
and Norway.
President Juan Manuel Santos’s office responded immediately to the announcement,
pledging to resume talks as
soon as the hostages are free.
Alzate and two others were
seized on Sunday by a Farc patrol as they left a boat in the
poor and crime-ridden coastal
region of Choco, prompting
Santos to halt talks and throwing into doubt the two-year
peace process under way in
Just days earlier, the rebels
had kidnapped two soldiers in
eastern Arauca department.
“The government will give its
total collaboration to guarantee
the safe return of these people
to their homes, which we hope
will be in the shortest time possible,” Santos’s office said in a
brief statement. “Once they are
all free, the government’s del-
Venezuela leader wraps up
�superpowers’ with 28 laws
Nicolas Maduro wrapped
up a year of congressionally granted “superpowers” by
decreeing 28 new laws that analysts said would do little to salvage the troubled economy.
A year ago, the Venezuelan
National Assembly, which is
controlled by Maduro’s United Socialist Party, granted the
president the power to govern
economic policy by decree for 12
months, ostensibly to fight corruption and the country’s sharp
economic downturn.
Maduro closed out the year
by signing a tax increase on luxury goods, alcohol and tobacco,
eliminating inflation adjustments on corporate taxes, and
tightening controls to prevent
businesses from making profits
of more than 30%.
Other measures aim to п¬Ѓght
monopolies, expand the state’s
role in the gold-mining industry
and increase foreign investment.
Maduro, the political heir to
late socialist п¬Ѓrebrand Hugo
Chavez, announced the new
laws in a TV broadcast of several
Maduro tightened controls
to prevent businesses
from making profits of
more than 30%
But economic analysts said the
measures would do little to reverse annual inflation of 63.4%,
end the shortages of basic goods
that have fuelled unrest in the
country, or help the ailing oil giant shore up its dwindling foreign reserves.
Venezuela holds the world’s
largest proven oil reserves, but is
struggling to maintain an economic model in which it exports
crude to allies at cut-rate prices,
sells gasoline cheaper than bottled
water on the domestic market, and
props up the value of the bolivar
with rigid exchange rate controls.
Maduro’s new measures are
“unfocused,” said economist
Luis Vicente Leon, director of
consultancy Datanalisis.
“You can’t use deficit compensation mechanisms that go
against the heart of the problem,
which is production and investment,” he said.
“Raising taxes on what’s left
of the productive economy, controls and threats won’t resolve
the deficit or solve the supply
Maxim Ross of the University of Monte Avila’s economics
department said the measures
“may have a short-term impact”
but would not address the key
issue of the exchange rate. “You
can take whatever economic
measures you like in Venezuela,
but if you don’t touch the issue
of the exchange rate, the blackmarket
dollar, devaluation,
you’re not doing anything. You’ll
always have inflation that eats up
any subsidy, any salary increase
the next day,” he said.
egation will return to Havana.”
The Farc’s decision to release
the captives may counter critics of the peace process who
say the rebels are not serious
about ending Latin America’s
longest-running war, which
has killed more than 200,000
people since it began in 1964.
The suspension of talks is the
most serious setback to peace
efforts after months of complicated discussions resulted in
partial accords on three out of
п¬Ѓve agenda items.
The most recent peace process with the Farc collapsed in
2002 after the group used the
breathing room of a demilitarized zone to build its п¬Ѓghting
force, intensify its cocaine trafficking, and take hostages.
The п¬Ѓnal straw came when
the Farc boarded a commercial
plane and seized a senator, who
was held captive for six years.
Santos has staked his presidency on bringing peace to
Colombia, winning re-election
this year against a right-wing
opponent who threatened to
ditch the talks and п¬Ѓnish the
Farc on the battlefield. Even
while security has improved
massively over the last decade
or so, peace talks have been
taking place amid continued
The rebels have renewed
their call for a bilateral ceasefire
that they say would improve the
climate for negotiations.
Alzate is the highest-ranking
military hostage ever taken by
the Farc. A soldier and a civilian lawyer were captured along
with him.
The Farc says it has stopped
kidnapping for ransom but
maintains military personnel
are fair targets in the absence of
a ceasefire. Alzate was considered a prisoner of war.
Certain undisclosed conditions must be met before the
Farc will free the hostages,
representatives from Cuba and
Norway said in Havana.
Santos, after harshly condemning the Farc’s move in the
last few days, set a more conciliatory tone during a speech
in central Tolima on Wednesday, expressing hope that negotiations would resume. “We
need to abandon our weapons, the violence and end this
armed conflict,” Santos said
in the town of Ataco. “That is
why I hope this impasse that
has appeared in the Havana
negotiations will be resolved
A massive rescue operation
in Choco’s dense jungle terrain
had been under way since Sunday, though there were fears a
military effort to release Alzate
could endanger the hostages.
It is unclear whether orders
still stand for Farc п¬Ѓghters to
kill captives if a rescue is attempted.
The army offered a 100mn
peso ($46,000) reward for information leading to the hostages’ rescue, military sources
The deal was announced in
Havana by representatives of
the Cuban and Norwegian governments, the guarantors of the
peace talks: Rodolfo Benitez
of host nation Cuba, and Rita
Sandberg of Norway, which is
acting as a facilitator.
Brazil carbon
emissions rise
Sao Paulo
People stand in line to buy food outside a state-run supermarket
in Caracas yesterday.
razil’s annual greenhouse
gas emissions increased
last year for the п¬Ѓrst time
since 2004 after years of reductions as deforestation and the
use of thermal power plants rose,
a new study found.
Latin America’s largest economy generated 1.56bn tonnes
of carbon dioxide equivalent
(CO2e) in 2013, a 7.8% jump over
the previous year, according to
a report released by the Climate
Observatory, a network of civil
society organisations.
Emissions from deforestation
rose 16% over the previous year
while those from the energy sector climbed 7.3%.
The numbers can be expected
to fuel criticism from environmental groups over the government’s Amazon protection
policies and its increasing use of
fossil-fuelled power plants.
The report also suggests that
Brazil could fail to meet its goal
of reducing emissions by 39% by
“We see the tendency for
emissions to rise again in 2014
even considering a stagnant
economy, so if Brazil manages to
resume economic growth in the
future it will be hard to meet the
target,” said Tasso Azevedo, the
study’s co-ordinator.
The government, however,
does not see a new trend for
emissions. “You have to consider longer periods of time to
conclude that a new trend is in
place,” said Adriano Santiago,
the government’s climate change
director. “Several sectors are indeed increasing emissions, but
inside an expected range that will
still allow us to meet our commitments.”
Brazil found success combating deforestation in the last decade, cutting carbon emissions in
the process. Compared to a peak
of 2.86bn tonnes of CO2e emitted in 2004, the 2013 number is
still 45% lower.
But deforestation rose again
last year by 16%, as current
policies failed to deter forest
destruction caused mainly by illegal logging and cattle ranching
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Pakistan will talk with
Kashmiri leaders: PM
to continue
Pakistan’s Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif says Islamabad
will have consultations with
Kashmiri leaders before
holding talks with India
rime Minister Nawaz
Sharif yesterday said Pakistan will talk with Kashmiri leaders before initiating
any dialogue with India, media
“Pakistan will speak with
Kashmiri leaders before it enters
into dialogue with India,” Sharif
said while attending a session of
the Kashmir Council in Muzaffarabad, Dawn online reported.
“Pakistan itself is the biggest
victim of terrorism so blaming
its agencies for being involved
in extremism is an utter lie,” the
prime minister said.
He expressed satisfaction with
the international community’s acknowledgment of India’s “biased
attitude” towards its neighbour.
“It is our fundamental belief
that the Kashmir issue should
be resolved through dialogue.
My government initiated dialogue with India but it cancelled
the scheduled foreign secretary
talks,” he said.
Nawaz also said that the international community must play its
role in bringing India to the dialogue table over the Kashmir issue.
He said Pakistan wishes to resolve the Kashmir issue through
dialogue, adding that India
could be brought to the table for
talks with the help of international institutions.
“Before the dialogue with India, I have decided to engage with
Kashmiri leaders,” he added.
Meanwhile, the military said
that a Pakistani soldier was
killed yesterday in п¬Ѓring by Indi-
Nawaz Sharif
an troops in the disputed Kashmir region.
Recent exchanges of п¬Ѓre
across the de facto border between India and Pakistan in
Kashmir have killed at least 20
civilians and forced thousands to
flee their homes.
A military statement said
“Indian troops resorted to un-
provoked firing” at the Line of
Control in the Pandu sector near
Muzaffarabad yesterday evening.
“A Pakistan Army solder embraced shahadat (martyrdom).
Pakistani troops befittingly
responded to Indian firing,” it
The neighbours have traded
blame for the upsurge in п¬Ѓring
and shelling which started on
October 6.
India called off peace talks in
August after Pakistan п¬Ѓrst consulted Kashmiri separatists, a
move some saw as a sign of a
tougher stance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new rightwing government.
In a related development, on
Wednesday, former Pakistani
foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri said India and Pakistan were very near to a framework agreement on the Kashmir
issue through back-channel
talks during the Congress-led
regime, and suggested that
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
should appoint a confidant for
such talks.
Interacting with a select group
of media persons in New Delhi
about his forthcoming book titled Neither hawk, nor dove,
Kasuri said the new governments in India and Pakistan can
take forward the framework by
giving it a new name-tag.
“Try hard as they may, they
can’t change it. Both states know
each other’s bottomline,” he
Kasuri said the book has a
chapter on the four-point Kashmir framework. “We were very
near (to agreement).”
Kasuri, who was Pakistan’s
foreign minister 2002-07 said
he had seen the negotiations on
the framework from close quarters and witnessed the exchange
of drafts.“It went on for three
years,” he said.
akistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif, who
is currently visiting the
US, has told top American military and political leaders that
his country’s security forces
will continue their offensive
against militant groups in the
tribal regions.
General Sharif held meetings with members of the
Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, Senate Armed
Services Committee and the
Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday, Xinhua
reported citing a statement
issued by the Inter-Services
Public Relations.
The general expressed Pakistan’s resolve to continue the
military operation till the last
terrorist is eliminated, said the
“The Pakistan military
is confident to hold their
gains in FATA (Federally
Administered Tribal Areas)
to ensure that terrorists
would not be able to return
or establish their operational basis on the Pakistani
soil,” he said.
Overall security situation in
the region and matters relating
to Afghanistan were also discussed in the meetings.
The US Senators expressed
their desire to forge a strong
and lasting partnership between the US and Pakistan, the
statement added.
General Raheel Sharif also
briefed the Senators about Pakistan’s plans to rehabilitate
the dislocated people from
Waziristan at the earliest possible
Regulators transfer management
of two Pakistani modaraba funds
Court has upheld a decision by the capital
market regulator to transfer
the management of two Islamic investment funds to
Karachi-based KASB Modaraba, accelerating efforts to
strengthen п¬Ѓnancing by investment partnerships.
On Friday, KASB Modaraba
said it had taken management
control of First Pak Modaraba
and First Prudential Modaraba,
a decision п¬Ѓrst taken in 2010
but challenged in the courts.
Modarabas are a form of Is-
lamic investment partnership
where assets are managed on
behalf of clients, with income
and expenses shared under a
pre-agreed ratio.
The sector remains a tiny
part of the country’s Islamic
п¬Ѓnance industry, with several
п¬Ѓrms lacking scale to compete.
Last week, First Habib Bank
Modaraba, a unit of Pakistan’s
largest lender HBL Bank, liquidated its business.
As of March, the three modarabas held a combined
Rs1.9bn worth of assets,
dwarfed by larger peers such as
Standard Chartered Modaraba
with Rs5.3bn in assets.
The Securities and Exchange
Taliban militants target
compound in Kabul
launched a car bomb
and suicide attack late
Wednesday on a compound
in Kabul that houses many
but only the attackers died in
the assault, Afghan officials
One insurgent was killed as
he detonated a car packed with
explosives at the gate of the
“Green Village” compound,
while three other attackers
were shot dead as they tried to
get inside, said deputy interior
minister Ayub Salangi.
“There are no casualties to
our foreign friends or to Afghans, they are all fine,” Salangi said on Twitter.
The attack on the Green Village—a large fortified complex
where many foreign employees
live and work—was the latest
in a series of suicide blasts in
Kabul as US-led Nato troops
end their 13-year war against
the Taliban.
All Nato combat operations
will п¬Ѓnish at the end of this
year, though 12,500 troops will
remain into 2015 to support the
Afghan army and police who
are now responsible for security nationwide.
An AFP photographer said
gunfire erupted shortly after the blast on Wednesday
evening as security forces
rushed to the scene in the east
of the city.
The attack was claimed by
the Taliban via a recognised
Twitter account that said: “A
car bomb targeted Green Village, on(e) of the most secure
areas of foreigners.”
On Tuesday, a Taliban suicide truck bomb struck at the
entrance of a foreign security
compound in Kabul, killing
two Afghan guards.
And on Sunday, Afghan
lawmaker Shukria Barakzai escaped a suicide blast in the city
as she drove in a convoy near
parliament. Three civilians
died in that attack.
Kabul has been hit by regular attacks in recent years, often against US-led military
forces, foreign workers or government officials.
(SECP) has also developed risk
management guidelines for
modarabas, last year introducing Shariah compliance and
Shariah audit mechanisms to
strengthen the sector.
The equity-like nature of
modarabas has left them vulnerable to market price swings,
so the SECP issued rules in
2012 to allow smoothing of
profits using a profit-equalisation reserve.
Pakistan’s modaraba concept dates back to the 1980s
as the п¬Ѓrst Islamic business
model set up with a statutory framework and dedicated
regulations, regarded as one
of the purest forms of Islamic
�India did not
offer car’ to
Nawaz Sharif
ndia has not offered any
bulletproof car to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the upcoming South Asian Association
for Regional Co-operation
(Saarc) summit, to be held in
Nepal Nov 26-27, according
to a Pakistani official.
According to a media report Nov 17, a Nepalese official had said that Sharif
rejected the use of a bulletproof car provided by India for the Saarc summit in
“No car was offered by India to Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif so there was no question of turning down the offer,”
Dawn online reported citing
foreign office spokeswoman
Tasneem Aslam yesterday.
“Prime Minister Sharif
will attend the summit,”
Aslam told reporters.
The Saarc summit will
take place in Kathmandu
Nov 26-27.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talks with Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoy during a meeting at the Prime
Minister House in Islamabad yesterday.
Pakistan, Russia sign key
military co-operation pact
akistan and Russia signed
a “milestone” military
co-operation pact yesterday aimed at bringing peace
and stability in the region, Islamabad’s defence ministry
The agreement was signed
during a visit by Russian Defence Minister General Sergei
Shoigu with Pakistani defence
minister Khawaja Asif.
“The signing of the military co-operation agreement
between the two significant
countries of the region is a
milestone,” Asif said after the
signing ceremony in a minis-
try statement.
“Both sides will translate this
relationship in tangible terms
and further strengthen military to military relations,” Asif
The pair expressed hope
that the agreement will pave
the way for exchange of views
and information, as well as issues related to strengthening of
mutual trust and international
security, counter-terrorist and
arms control activities.
“The first ever visit of the
defence minister from Russian Federation has come at
a very critical juncture when
US led Nato forces are drawing down from Afghanistan
by the end of 2014,” the statement said.
Husband of death row inmate begs for pardon
he husband of a Pakistani
Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy four years ago has written to the president to ask for her
to be pardoned and allowed to
move to France.
Asia Bibi has been on death
row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of
making derogatory remarks
about the Prophet Muhammad during an argument with
a Muslim woman.
A high court in the eastern city
of Lahore confirmed the death
sentence last month, dashing
hopes it might be commuted to
a jail term.
“We are convinced that Asia
will only be saved from being
hanged if the venerable President (Mamnoon) Hussain grants
her a pardon. No one should be
killed for drinking a glass of water,” husband Ashiq Masih wrote
in an open letter dated November 17 and published by the New
York Times.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has
said the couple are welcomed
in the city, and Masih quoted
his wife as saying she sent her
“deepest thanks to you Madame
Mayor, and to all the kind people
of Paris and across the world”.
Masih added his wife was not
guilty of blasphemy.
The plea for being allowed
to move to Paris comes days
after the mayor of the city
Anne Hidalgo requested President Hussain to grant her a
Senior opposition leader
Bruno Retailleau on Wednesday
asked French President Fran-
cois Hollande to intervene in the
Masih, 50, lives in hiding with
two of his п¬Ѓve children and has
to keep his identity secret as he
scrapes together a living as a
daily labourer.
He visits his wife once a
month, making a п¬Ѓve and a half
hour journey to her jail in Multan
in southern Punjab.
The allegations against Bibi
date back to June 2009, when
she was labouring in a п¬Ѓeld and
a row broke out with some Muslim women she was working
She was asked to fetch water,
but the Muslim women objected,
saying that as a non-Muslim
she was unfit to touch the water
A few days later the women
went to a local cleric and put forward the blasphemy allegations.
Amnesty International has
raised “serious concerns” about
the fairness of her trial and has
called for her release.
Pakistan has never executed
anyone for blasphemy and has
had a de-facto moratorium
on civilian executions since
“Apart from promoting bilateral defence relations, the
visit will enable both countries
to join hands in bringing peace
and stability in the region,” it
“Apart from promoting
bilateral defence
relations, the visit will
enable both countries to
join hands in bringing
peace and stability in the
Russia has long been the
largest supplier of arms to India, the nuclear-armed arch
rival of Pakistan, which is the
world’s top arms buyer.
The country’s ITAR-TASS
news agency reported in June
that Russia had lifted its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan and was holding talks
on supplying Islamabad with
combat helicopters.
Shoigu, who is accompanied by a 41-member high level
delegation, commended the
skill and expertise of Pakistani
armed forces in п¬Ѓghting the war
against terrorism, the Pakistani
defence ministry said.
“The world community not
only praises but wants to do
business with Pakistan now,” it
quoted Shoigu as saying.
During his stay, the Russian
defence minister would also
held in-depth delegation level
talks with Pakistani authorities
besides meeting Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif.
Tahir ul-Qadri
returns to Pakistan
akistan Awami Tehreek
(PAT) chief Tahir ulQadri returned to the
country yesterday.
He arrived at the Allama
Iqbal International Airport in Lahore where a large
number of PAT workers and
his followers gathered to
welcome the п¬Ѓrebrand cler-
ic, Geo TV reported.
On Aug 14, Qadri had led
a long march from Lahore to
Islamabad and camped in the
heart of Islamabad for over
two months, demanding the
resignation of Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif.
Later he embarked on a
foreign trip which stirred up
a debate about underhand
deals which the cleric categorically rejected, the report
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Threat to pontiff is
real: PNP official
Intelligence officials are warning
against complaceny over possible
Manila Times
ntelligence reports about a possible
attack on Pope Francis should not be
taken lightly and authorities should
not be complacent because if something
happened, the Philippines could be the
world’s “center of attraction” in January,
according to a top Philippine National Police (PNP) official.
Speaking on condition that he should
not be named for lack of authority to
speak on the matter, the police official,
who was instrumental in the identification and eventual capture of Al Qaeda
terrorist Ramzi Yousef in the 1990s, said
his long experience as a police investigator handling such sensitive cases requires
him to “respect” intelligence reports about
a possible plot to harm the pope by those
who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The pontiff will be in the Philippines
from January 15 to 19 next year.
“My gut feel, and I have always trusted
my instincts in matters such as this, is that
they [terrorists] might try it again. Therefore, nobody should take this [threat]
lightly and be complacent. We don’t want
to be blamed if anything wrong happens,”
said the source, who traced Yousef’s footsteps from the Josefa Apartments that was
gutted by п¬Ѓre in Manila to the Philippine
Airlines flight to Japan that was rocked by
an explosion, around the time of Pope John
Paul II’s visit in 1995.
“They tried it before. They might give it
another shot,” he added.
The source said he was among those
who had warned US authorities about a
supposed plot by terrorists to blow up a
A picture of Pope Francis inside a cathedral where he is scheduled to celebrate a
mass in Manila.
passenger aircraft but was ignored.
“So there was the September 11 [2001] attacks on the World Trade Center,” he noted.
The source was also privy to the report
on Oplan Bojinka, a large-scale, threephase Islamist attack by Yousef and Khalid
Sheikh Mohamed involving a plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II, an air bombing of
11 airliners flying from Asia to the United
States with 4,000 passengers and a proposal to crash a plane into the headquarters
of the CIA in Fairfax county, Virginia.
The Bojinka plot was disrupted after a
chemical fire drew the PNP’s attention on
January 6 to 7, 1995 at the Josefa Apartments along the pope’s parade route.
Before the plot was disrupted, Yousef had
detonated test bombs in a mall and theater,
injuring scores of people, as well as on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, killing one person and nearly causing enough damage to
result in destruction of the aircraft.
When asked why intelligence sources
have been leaking information about the
ISIS’ movements when the PNP and the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
have denied the existence of such plot,
the source, who holds one of the most
sensitive positions in the PNP at present,
explained this is necessary “to keep everyone on their toes without causing undue
“The matter should be taken seriously.
The threat is real,” he said.
The official’s statements came amid
reports on involvement of at least one
Filipino jihadist in the beheading of several Syrian soldiers by ISIS militants recently.
Yesterday in Malacanang, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio
Coloma Jr said there was no confirmation
from the AFP about the supposed ISIS recruitment in the Philippines.
“According to the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, there is no confirmed report
of ISIS recruitment here in the Philippines. The AFP said it is coordinating with
local leaders to prevent ISIS recruitment
efforts and enjoined their support to our
counter-radicalization campaign in the
communities,” Coloma told reporters.
“The AFP and other law enforcement
authorities are still ascertaining the authenticity of the video,” he said.
Coloma maintained that law enforcement agencies continue to be vigilant
against threats posed by ISIS.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd recently
belied reports that ISIS had recruited Filipino п¬Ѓghters into its ranks although he
admitted that the country is vulnerable to
“lone wolf” attacks.
Earlier, a source of The Manila Times
from the PNP intelligence service claimed
that a team of jihadists led by Jemaah Islamiyah-trained Abdul Basit Usman and
the Al Hansar Khilafa group, which had
sworn allegiance to ISIS, was sent to Luzon
to plan attacks.
The source, who is familiar with movements of local militants, said the deployment of the team may have something to
do with the papal visit.
But according to Malacanang, the claims
still have to be verified but the AFP and the
PNP are ready “at all times” to ensure the
security of anyone, especially Pope Francis, “in terms of surveillance, monitoring
and exchange of intelligence information
with their foreign counterparts.”
Nine people convicted over Ozone
disco п¬Ѓre that claimed 162 lives
Manila Times
Quezon City
he Sandiganbayan yesterday convicted seven former Quezon City
officials and two private individuals
in connection with the Ozone Dance Club
п¬Ѓre 18 years ago that killed 162 people,
mostly teenagers.
Former city engineers Alfredo Macapugay and Donato Rivera Jr, Engr. Petronilo
de Llamas, п¬Ѓeld inspector Edgardo Reyes,
building inspector Rolando Mamaid, enforcement and inspection division chief
Francisco Itliong and processing division
chief Feliciano Sagana, as well as Hermilio
Ocampo and Ramon Ng, stockholders and
directors of Westwood Entertainment Co
that ran the discotheque, were each meted
six years to 10 years’ imprisonment.
They were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violating the Anti-Graft
Law for causing undue injury to the pub-
lic and giving unwarranted advantage to
“The death of 162 persons and the serious burns caused to 93 others is proof that
undue injury as caused to these private
persons. This is enough proof to constitute
the third element of the offense charged,”
the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division said.
The former public officials were also
perpetually disqualified from holding
public office.
“Dubbed as the worst fire in Philippine history, which claimed many young
lives and several others, the ash and soot
of what remained of the structure once
known as the Ozone Dance Club led to
questions and subsequent investigations
of its structural integrity and п¬Ѓre safety
measures,” associate justice Ma Theresa
Dolores Gomez-Estoesta said.
The 76-page decision was concurred in
by division chairperson Roland Jurado and
associate justice Alexander Gesmundo.
The court said the former city officials
gave Westwood building permits without
conducting an inspection, which led to
their failure to detect Ozone’s structural
“The slapdash approval of the building permits and certificate of occupancy…
marked by a lackadaisical screening of the
paper requirements . . . marks the building
officials’ evident bad faith and manifest
partiality to favor applicant, regardless of
consequences,” it added.
The court noted that the sorry state of
the victims whose bodies piled up at the
entrance/exit door proved that building
requirements and standards were not followed.
It said the swing-in entrance door also
served as exit and the supposed alternative
exits that were obstructed by a sofa and an
LPG tank only led to a п¬Ѓrewall.
“The trapped patrons could not open
the door on the verge of panic and rampage,” the ruling read, citing a report by
prosecution witness Senior Fire Officer
Revilla defence hit by
bumbling �expert’
Manila Times
etained senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr paid
P200,000 as professional fee to a handwriting
expert—a defence witness—who used photocopied documents in examining supposed Revilla signatures
on pork barrel disbursements to bogus non-government
organisations (NGOs).
The expert’s surprising turn tore Revilla’s defence
apart, undersecretary Jose Justiniano of the Department
of Justice said yesterday of his cross-examination of Disiderio Pagui, a retired chief document examiner of the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“P200,000,” Pagui responded when Justiniano asked
him how much he was paid by Revilla’s camp for his professional fee as a handwriting expert.
Justiniano, who has been deployed to assist government prosecutors, then clarified that regardless of the
professional fee, it was Pagui’s admission that he used
photocopied documents in examining the authenticity
of Revilla’s signatures that doomed the defence.
“He [Pagui] has been with the NBI from 1960 to the
1980s and he has used original copies in examining signature. Suddenly, he deviated and used photocopied
documents this time. He said he failed to get the original copies because [they are] with the adverse party. But
these are public documents. He could have easily got
copies from the NGOs, as well as [from] the government
agencies Nabcor, NLDC and TRC who would have the
original copies,” he pointed out.
“He can’t even identify the writing instrument used in
the signatures. If you used a fountain pen, it could smudge
the signature. A handwriting expert should know what
kind of pen is used in a signature,” Justiniano said.
His cross-examination also revealed that Pagui once
signed a report during his NBI tenure even if he did
not agree with contents of pertinent documents just to
please his superiors.
“This [revelation] is bothersome because this shows
that he can easily succumb to pressure,” Justiniano said.
But for Revilla, Pagui’s testimony that the senator’s signatures were forged would boost his case for innocence.
“I did not do anything wrong. It is as good as paying
the professional fee of a lawyer that you hired. You pay
for the expertise, not to make him lie,” Revilla told reporters.
Prosecutor Emerita Francia argued that the handwriting expert’s testimony is doubtful at best.
“His findings are totally unreliable since what he used
were mere photocopies bearing the [supposed Revilla]
signature. Under the law, the court is not bound by the
opinion of a handwriting expert, and the original document should be the basis for п¬Ѓnding forgery. Thus, this
cannot be considered,” Francia said.
3 Dante Navea.
“[C]ustomers . . . started to rush out
for safety but because the door leading to the dance floor was installed to
open or swing inside, the victims were
trapped right at the door due to the inability of the door to open in the direction of travel,” it said.
The court also noted that there were
irregularities in the application process,
compromising the discotheque’s safety
“The audacity if Westwood Entertainment CoInc in the construction of Ozone
Dance Club by evading compliance with
the National Building Code to suit its own
business purpose is simply overwhelming,” it said.
Meanwhile, the court acquitted the other respondents—Raquel Ocampo, Rosita
Ku, Sunny Ku and Alfredo Chua—“for lack
of proof beyond reasonable doubt”.
Renato Diaz’s case was archived pending his arrest as he remains at large.
Critics are
before polls
Manila Times
he Commission on
Elections (Comelec)
yesterday took a swipe
at its critics, accusing them
of sowing confusion ahead
of the 2016 presidential elections.
On Wednesday, a former
Comelec official, Melchor
Magdamo, claimed that the
results of the 2013 mid-term
elections were electronically
doctored to favour administration candidates.
Sixto Brillantes Jr dismissed
Magdamo as a “minor”
Comelec lawyer who left the
poll body just before the 2010
“He [Magdamo] was already out of the Comelec by
April 2010 and did not have
any role in the 2013 [polls].
Yet he was making claims
of knowing several things,”
Brillantes said at a news conference.
He accused the Automated
Election System (AES) Watch
as being behind the poll fraud
claims of Magdamo.
“This is all just part of
an orchestrated move by
the same group, our regular detractors, which is the
AES Watch, to discredit and
create confusion before the
2016 elections,” Brillantes
The same group also made
a lot of noise during 2010 and
2013 elections “but they are
never here with us and are not
aware of anything happening
inside the commission”, he
Brillantes identified former
Comelec commissioner AugustoLagman, a leaders of
AES Watch, as masterminding
the campaign to discredit the
poll agency.
He said Lagman had opposed the Precinct Count
Optical Scan (PCOS) system
when he was a poll commissioner and even after his appointment was not renewed
by president Benigno Aquino
“I’m retiring in February.
I hope he does, too, and shift
his focus to cars,” the Comelec
chairman added.
Lagman is president of the
Automobile Association of the
AES Watch spokesperson
Nelson Celis quickly denied
claims of Brillantes that the
group was out to sabotage
Comelec preparations for the
2016 elections.
According to Celis, AES
Watch merely wants to “put
everything in the right perspective”.
“Neither Comelec nor any
vendor won’t hear from us if
the rules are being followed,”
he said in a text message yesterday.
Celis added that his group is
more than willing to help the
Comelec “for the country’s
Magdamo claimed that the
Comelec was trying to cover
up widespread manipulation
of results in the 2013 elections.
He said the poll body never
revealed a report of the department of science and
technology (DOST) that digital lines had compromised
counting of the votes.
“This is all just part of
an orchestrated move
by the same group,
our regular detractors,
which is the AES Watch,
to discredit and create
confusion before the
2016 elections”
Brillantes said Magdamo
was misinformed and that it
was actually the poll body that
asked the DOST to make an
assessment on the nature of
the digital lines.
“There was no attempt to
cover up. We discovered the
problem and reported it to
the DOST. How can they say
we’re trying to sweep the issue under the rug?” Brillantes said.
He said the Comelec has
already made an initial assessment of the digital lines to
the elections through the poll
protests pending before the
He said the evaluation
showed that the problems in
the digital lines had little effect to the vote counting.
“It would not have any effect in the results of the elections,” Brillantes said.
He said the Comelec will
double check the PCOS machines that will be used in
“We will look at these digital lines because we will try
to solve them for the 2016
elections and make sure it
will not take place again,” he
The 80,000 PCOS machines will be randomly tested
to determine what caused the
digital lines to appear.
Railway revamp
A Filipino passenger boards a train at a station in Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, yesterday. State-owned train
system Philippine National Railway (PNR) will upgrade its railways and locomotives through partnership with American
based companies Miescorrail, Desco, and General Electric (GE), according to United States embassy trade commissioner
Jim McCarthy. The rehabilitation of PNR is the first major upgrade since its acquisition and signified the renewal of
business ties between the Philippines and the US, McCarthy added.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Dhaka set
to focus on
at Saarc
By Mizan Rahman
Sri Lankan motorists drive past multiple posters of President Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo.
Sri Lanka president
seeks re-election
The president’s reluctance to
relenquish power is eroding
his political base
ri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse declared
yesterday he would seek
an unprecedented third term
at elections which will be held
against a backdrop of growing
international pressure over his
government’s rights record.
The 69-year-old, South Asia’s
longest serving leader, announced he would seek a fresh
mandate two years before the expiry of his current six-year term
by contesting a snap poll expected only days before the pope
visits the island in mid-January.
Despite recent electoral setbacks for his left-wing nationalist party, Rajapakse remains
generally popular with majority
Sinhalese voters after overseeing
the end of a 37-year war against
Tamil separatists in 2009.
But he is struggling to avoid
international censure over allegations his troops killed 40,000
Tamil civilians in the bloody п¬Ѓnale of the п¬Ѓghting and accusations that his administration has
silenced dissenting voices, including the media and judiciary.
A lawyer by profession, Rajapakse has rewritten the consti-
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse signs a proclamation
seeking a fresh mandate for a third term, in Colombo.
tution to allow him to stand for
election again. Were he to win, he
could stay in power until 2021.
Confirmation that Rajapakse
would stand for re-election
came in a brief statement from
his office that said he had signed
a “proclamation declaring his
intention to hold a presidential
election seeking another term”.
The proclamation has been
sent to the chief elections commissioner, who will set the exact
date. However ministers have
already indicated the election
would be in January.
An official in the president’s
office, who spoke on condition
of anonymity, told AFP yesterday
that the deadline for nominations was likely to be December
8 and the vote was expected on
either January 7 or 8.
have previously said the п¬Ѓrst week
of January represents the most
auspicious window of opportunity, and Rajapakse’s office released
photos of him checking his watch
Thursday to determine the best
time to sign the proclamation.
The government is keen to hold
the ballot before a scheduled visit
by Pope Francis from January 13
to 15, with the Church warning
that parties should not use the
24 feared dead as
bus falls in river
bus plunged into a
river in western Nepal yesterday, with at least 24
passengers feared dead, officials said.
Divers were desperately
searching for passengers of
the bus which was carrying at
least 45 people when it veered
off a narrow road in Jajarkot
region, police officer Sher Bahadur Chaudhary said.
“At least two dozen passengers are feared dead,” Chaudhary told AFP from Jajarkot.
Search and rescue efforts
were being hampered by the
Bheri river’s strong current,
while the bus itself was completely under water. Army
officers and police were also
involved in the search that
included scouring the river
Scores of weeping relatives
gathered at the river anxious
for news of their loved ones.
Jajarkot police chief Dinesh
Raj Mainali said rescue workers had found three bodies,
including those of two children, correcting his earlier
remarks that п¬Ѓve victims had
been discovered.
“We had earlier on-theground reports saying that
п¬Ѓve were found, but I have
only been able to confirm
news about three bodies,”
Mainali told AFP from the
Police have taken ten injured passengers to a nearby
hospital for treatment, he
District official Shivraj
Sedhain said search operations, which were ending as
darkness fell over the region,
would resume at п¬Ѓrst light
“It’s getting dark and the
water current is too fast, pre-
venting our divers from making progress at the moment,”
Sedhain told AFP.
“We will request more help
from Kathmandu and restart
our search tomorrow,” he
Police official Chaudhary
said he feared the number of
people on board may have
been higher than the official
passenger list since drivers
often pick up extra travellers
along the route without registering them.
Accidents are common on
Nepal’s highways because of
poor roads, badly maintained
vehicles and reckless driving.
At least ten people, including a Russian woman, died
this month when two buses
collided along a national
highway in central Nepal.
Last month a crowded bus
plunged down a hill in a town
outside Kathmandu, killing at
least 14 people, including two
trip for political advantage.
Rajapakse came to power after
narrowly winning the 2005 election, and increased his majority
in 2010 after government troops
routed the Tamil Tigers.
However the spectacular
military success also sparked
war crimes allegations, and Rajapakse’s administration is facing
an international probe ordered
by the UN Human Rights Council
in line with a US-led resolution
in March. His ongoing two-year
chairmanship of the Commonwealth has also been overshadowed by the allegations.
Rajapakse has consistently refused to co-operate with international investigations, a stance
that has strengthened his nationalistic credentials at home.
However, there are signs of
growing disquiet over his failure
to deliver on a promise to return
the country to a Westminsterstyle parliamentary democracy
by abolishing the all-powerful
executive presidency.
His sacking of the chief justice
in 2013 sparked protests at home
and abroad, fuelling accusations
of authoritarianism.
The election is being held two
years ahead of schedule. Under the
constitution, the incumbent is allowed to call fresh polls after completing four of his six years in office.
It is the п¬Ѓrst time that a president has sought a third term since
the former British colony, which
lies at the foot of India, adopted a
presidential system in 1978.
Rajapakse’s United People’s
Freedom Alliance vote share
plummeted by over 20 percentage points at local elections in
September as it suffered its worst
performance since he came to
power nine years ago.
However, a fractured opposition has failed to agree on a common candidate who could mount
a serious challenge to Rajapakse.
The main opposition United
National Party (UNP) vowed
unity to challenge Rajapakse and
welcomed the early elections.
“The opposition will unite behind one candidate whose name
shall be revealed in due course,”
said Karu Jayasuriya, the chairman of the policy-making leadership council of the UNP.
“We look forward to this battle against a corrupt, nepotistic
and power hungry incumbent,”
Jayasuriya told AFP.
On his 69th birthday Tuesday,
Rajapakse suffered a minor political setback when a key ally, Sri
Lanka’s main party of Buddhist
monks announced it was quitting
the government in protest at his
failure to loosen his grip on power
before a re-election bid.
The JHU, or National Heritage Party, as well as some of
Rajapakse’s stalwarts have criticised his move to call snap elections without delivering on previous pledges.
angladesh will give importance to a number of
issues, including connectivity, poverty alleviation,
youth and the п¬Ѓght against terrorism, in the 18th Saarc Summit which will see the signing
of three agreements among
Saarc member-states.
Three agreements — Saarc
Motor Vehicles Agreement
for the Regulation of Passenger and Cargo Vehicular
Traffic among Saarc memberstates, Saarc Regional Railways
Agreement and Saarc Framework Agreement for Energy
Co-operation (Electricity) —
are likely to be signed in the
summit which will be held on
November 26-27 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said this at a press
conference at the foreign ministry in Dhaka yesterday afternoon. State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam,
foreign secretary M Shahidul
Haque, secretary (bilateral)
Mustafa Kamal and director
generals (DGs) of the foreign
ministry were present.
Hasina will lead a 37-member
Bangladesh delegation in the
summit. Over 90 journalists
from Bangladesh representing
various media outlets will be
there to cover the event.
The foreign minister said
Bangladesh will focus on 10
core issues — youth development, poverty alleviation,
improvement of connectivity, climate change, science
and technology, education,
women empowerment, food
security and combating terrorism — for strengthening
“We’ll also put emphasis
on timely and proper implementation of the decisions
within the Saarc,” Mahmood
Ali said.
He said Bangladesh wants
to see Saarc as a more vibrant
platform so that it can play an
effective role in people’s prosperity.
The foreign minister said
Bangladesh would give importance to youth development
and quality education for them
because the future of South
Asia depends on the huge
young population in the Saarc
“These young people would
have to be prepared for future
On signing of three deals, he
said the co-operation among
the Saarc countries in terms of
goods transportation, people-
to-people contact, energy cooperation and trade relations
would be strengthened once
the deals are signed.
“I think, Bangladesh’s bilateral and multilateral relations
with the Saarc countries will be
strengthened further once the
deals are signed,” Mahmood
Ali said.
He said prime minister
Sheikh Hasina’s active participation in the Saarc Summit will help strengthen cooperation among the member
states in the areas of connectivity, trade, energy and security.
Responding to a question,
the foreign minister said the
Saarc has come a long way in
bringing people closer to each
other. “Progress is there. But
there could be more progress.
The success what has been
achieved can’t be undermined.”
Mahmood Ali said it will
be a big breakthrough if the
Motor Vehicles Agreement is
Bangladesh wants to see
Saarc as a more vibrant
platform so that it can
play an effective role in
people’s prosperity
Responding to a question
on talks on the sidelines with
the leaders of Saarc countries,
including those of India and
Pakistan, the foreign minister
said nothing is п¬Ѓnalised yet.
“We’ll let you know if we can
hold meetings and if there is
any progress or outcome.”
Asked whether there will
be a meeting with Pakistan
prime minister Nawaz Sharif,
the foreign minister said, “I
don’t know. We haven’t said
anything (about the meeting).”
The four-stage 18th Saarc
(South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation) Summit begins on November 22
and concludes on November
The summit will be preceded
by the thirty-sixth session of
the Saarc Council of Ministers
on November 25, the forty-п¬Ѓrst
session of the Standing Committee on November 23-24,
and the forty-sixth session of
the Programming Committee
on November 22.
The Saarc Summit, led by
the heads of state and government of the member states,
will be held at Rastriya Sabha
Griha (The City Hall), Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu on
November 26-27, according to
Nepal’s foreign ministry.
The theme of the summit is
�Deeper Integration for Peace
and Prosperity’.
Nepal festival
Devotees holding oil lamps walk around Pashupatinath Temple during the Bala Chaturdashi festival in Kathmandu yesterday. The festival is
celebrated by the worshippers by lighting oil lamps and scattering seven types of grains along a route at the temple.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Knowledge is the foundation of true fear
ear is the sensation that results
from the anticipation of an
expected harm; it is also felt
when a person loses, or expects
to lose something he cherishes. It is the
exact opposite of security and can be
applied to worldly matters as well as
those of the Hereafter. Fear is a state of
disturbance of the heart from an evil
or harm that may befall a person, or,
it can be the sensation it feels when
missing out on something that is
beloved to it.
Imam Ibn Qudamah, may Allah have
mercy upon him, said:
“Fear is no more than the pain and
burning that one п¬Ѓnds in his heart
due to an expected harm; it is like the
example of one who committed a crime
and was subsequently caught; such
a person will fear being sentenced to
death, and the pain which his heart will
suffer is dependent on how certain he
is that he will (or will not) be sentenced, depending on the severity of
his crime … sometimes one fears the
ruler due to the power of the latter.
Thus, when one realises the power of
Allah and knows that if Allah wished
to destroy all His creation it would
not affect Him, nor could anyone stop
Him from doing so, and therefore, one
would fear Allah to the extent of the
sins that he has committed. This is the
fear of warning.”
There is a certain type of fear that is
experienced only by the knowledgeable, and it is called Khashyah in Arabic,
as Allah The Almighty Says (which
“…Only those among His servants
fear Allah who have knowledge…”
(Qur’an, 35:28)
This is fear that is based on knowledge. Ordinary believers experience
a general fear of Allah The Almighty
whilst Khashyah is only experienced by
the devout believers and the scholars
from among them; the more knowledge one has regarding Allah The
Almighty, the more he will fear Him.
When one fears a person who may or
may not apprehend him then this is an
ordinary fear, whereas if he is absolutely sure that this person can seize
him and inflict harm upon him, then it
is Khashyah.
Fear, with its various different
meanings, is mentioned in many places
in the Qur’an, and its causes are varied:
Fear of being killed or defeated;
Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“And when there comes to them
something [i.e., information] about
[public] security or fear…” (Qur’an,
Fear during war and hostility; Allah
The Almighty Says (what means):
“… And when fear comes, you see
them looking at you, their eyes revolving like one being overcome by death.
But when fear departs, they lash you
with sharp tongues…” (Qur’an, 33: 19)
�Fear’ in this verse refers to war.
Fear resulting from knowledge,
as Allah The Almighty Says (which
{“But if one fears from the bequeather [some] error…”} (Qur’an, 2
Allah The Almighty also Says (what
means): “…Unless both fear that they
will not be able to keep [within] the
limits of Allah…” (Qur’an, 2: 229) �Fear’
in this verse is due to one’s knowledge.
Fear due to decrease in numbers, as
Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“Or that He would not seize them
gradually [in a state of dread].” (Qur’an,
16: 47) This is the fear that people feel
regarding a decrease in their numbers,
which would be the result of them being killed, or facing death in any other
Fear of punishment, as Allah The
Almighty Says (what means):
“…They [i.e., the believers] supplicate their Lord in fear…” (Qur’an,
Imam Ibn Qudamah, may Allah have
mercy upon him, said: “Know that fear
is the whip by which Allah controls
His slaves so that they may continue
exerting effort in order to come close
to their Lord; fear is the light which
illuminates the heart and enables it to
distinguish good from evil.” When a
person fears another, he will attempt
to flee from him, and this is the case
for everyone except Allah; one escapes
from Him by fleeing to Him.
Fear does not depart from one’s
heart except that it causes its ruin,
because when fear is present in one’s
heart, it burns all desires and expels
the pleasures of this life from it. Fear
causes a person to wake up from his
heedlessness and puts him back on the
right path after he has diverted from
it. Being fearful is not an objective in
itself, meaning, we do not feel fear due
to any contentment that comes with
being afraid, but rather, it should be a
means to rectify our condition.
Article source:
fear and
Living in harmony
with our surroundings
could understand “do not drink the water.” Or even “no swimming - polluted
water.” But “do not touch the water”!?
Something about that sign, and the
reality it pointed to seemed deeply, irrevocably wrong. The fact that it was the nearest
campground to Disneyland somehow made
the whole situation even creepier.
The memory of that toxic waste dump
campground remained with me for years.
I gradually realised that the place was not
just the perfect anti-campground, but also
an image of anti-paradise: a place where
the flowing water is too filthy to be used to
purify ourselves before prayer, and where the
natural plants and creatures are poisoned and
The Qur’an tells us that the Paradise promised to believers is a garden with rivers flowing beneath. It is filled with fruits and flowers
and growing things, offering nectar better
than the п¬Ѓnest earthly wine, and beauties and
pleasures beyond earthly imagination. While
we can never create such a perfect paradise on
earth, Muslim architects, land-use planners
and artists have sometimes used this image
as a model for their efforts to preserve and
celebrate the natural beauty of creation. Why
not? The Qur’an tells us that all of nature is
a sign of Allah, reflecting some of His mercy
and magnificence.
Indeed, all of nature, in the Islamic view,
is in a state of continuous worship. Trees
and grasses, п¬Ѓsh and animals, are all bending
in a sweet, invisible breeze that wafts their
worship back toward their Creator. Human
beings can learn from this process and seek
harmony with it by joining creation in worship of the Lord of all worlds and creation.
Or else, they can obstinately rebel, imagining
themselves cut off and self-sufficient, and
persist in transgressing the bounds that Allah
has set for them until the inevitable payment
comes due.
In contrast to the prevailing view of nature
in the West as a savage, fallen chaos that
must be tamed by conquest, Islam insists
that nature is respected and invites humans
to learn from it and join it in harmonious
The polluted-campground experience
awakened me to the fact that something is
very wrong with the way of life that produced
such a place, and that Islam holds the keys to
understanding the root causes and solutions
of our current environmental dilemma. It
convinced me that we Muslims should be
putting Islamic environmental activism at
the very top of our social and personal agenda. Our planet is in a state of environmental
crisis, and as Muslims we are the custodians
of Allah’s last revelation, a revelation that
gives humanity the knowledge and inspiration it needs to live in peace and harmony - in
this life and the next.
The Qur’anic solution to the problem of
environment is, in a word, holistic and comprehensive. Living a truly Islamic life requires
avoiding the evils of extravagance and the
insanity of materialism, and that we attain
harmony with our surroundings and have
compassion for other creatures.
It all begins, however, with the right orientation towards life: complete submission
to Allah, The One Creator of all, and that this
submission should be marked by pious awe,
loving gratitude, inner peace, the struggle to
do good, and the constant awareness that Allah is greater than any aspect of His creation.
The Qur’anic orientation provides the key to
restoring the lost balance between humans,
nature, and The One who created both (i.e
Materialists and atheists say that nothing is sacred, which implies that there are no
limits to what humans can do to gratify their
material desires. Materialist culture, as my
wise humanities professor once said, has two
distinguishing characteristics: A tremendous
drive to achieve more and more control over
the natural world, and an equally energetic
drive to re-make and perfect human society.
Humans as trustees and
keepers of the Earth
Islam teaches that we are the successors
and trustees of Allah on this beautiful earth,
not prisoners in a flawed world that needs to
be radically re-made. As successors, our task
is to preserve and appreciate the beauty and
goodness we п¬Ѓnd, in grateful submission to
its Creator. All of our planet’s scientists are
needed for a more obvious and simple task:
Taking care of the planet Allah has given us,
and taking care of our fellow human beings.
This means п¬Ѓnding ways to live, and live well,
while expending far less physical energy,
and making far less obtrusive changes to our
physical environment, than is customary
today. It means п¬Ѓnding ways to redistribute
the planet’s wealth more equitably, in the environment of zero economic growth or even
negative growth that will surely be upon us
in just a few short years, when oil production
peaks and starts to decline.
“Allah loves not the wasters”
So, too, is the Islamic injunction: “Waste
not!” Both the Qur’an and Sunnah make
it absolutely clear that avoiding waste and
prodigality is a matter of the highest importance. For example, Allah says (what means)
: “Do not be extravagant, for Allah does not
love the wasteful” [Qur’an, 96:141].
And He Says (what means): “But waste not
by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters”
[Qur’an, 7:31]. And (what means): “Squander not in the manner of a spendthrift. For
wasters are the brothers of the Satan, and
the Satan is to his Lord ungrateful” [Qur’an,
17:26-27]. Here we see that the root of wasting is ingratitude: those who respond to the
marvelous beauty and bounty of Allah with
gratitude and amazement are happy with
a little, while the ungrateful one is never
satisfied no matter how much he has, so he
abandons himself to an ever-increasing cycle
of consumption and waste. If humanity is to
survive, it will have to move from the spiritual state of ingratitude to gratitude and give
up its wasteful ways, as the Qur’an urges.
Conserving food and water
Along with this Qur’anic teaching, the
Sunnah (prophetic tradition) provides us
with the best example of living in a state of
gratitude and avoiding waste. The Prophet
Muhammad (sallallaahu �alaihi wa sallam)
was famous for his attention to conserving and avoiding waste. He was careful not
to waste a crumb of food, licking the last
morsel from the utensils so that nothing
would go to waste. He urged believers to
avoid using more water than necessary when
performing an act of worship like ablution.
If we must be careful not to waste a drop
of water in our ablutions, how much more
necessary must it be to avoid waste in lessimportant activities.
Unfortunately the dominant way of life
among well-off people everywhere, especially in the West, is marked by unbelievable
waste and extravagance. We eat more than
what is good for us, buy things we do not
really need, throw away things that either
still work or could be repaired, buy oversized large vehicles and drive short distances
instead of walking or bicycling, build larger
houses than we need and heat and cool them
far beyond minimal comfort standards,
waste huge amounts of water maintaining
herbicide-sprinkled lawns and golf courses,
and so on.
In perhaps the single most absurd display
of extravagance in all history, we are, in the
US, currently burning up fossil fuels at a
rate that will ensure that our economy, our
environment, or both will completely collapse in the near future. This lunatic way of
life, whose seductive pleasures and comforts
disguise its utter madness, its complete
lack of sustainability, was not developed by
To be true to our religion, we must change
our ways, and make an effort to conserve,
educate, and build alternative institutions
to mitigate and help cope with the coming
economic and environmental meltdown,
preserve and strengthen of our Islamic communities and institutions, and think about
how they can be of service in the struggle to
help humanity exercise responsible stewardship over our corner of creation. (This article
was written by an American Muslim)
Article source: htp://
exts from the Qur’an: The hope of the believers which is accompanied with good deeds;
Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“Indeed, those who have believed and those
who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah those hope (i.e., expect) the mercy of Allah.” (Qur’an,
2: 218) They believed, gave up their homes, migrated
to strange countries, fought for the sake of Allah The
Almighty, sacrificed, suffered the perils of war, and
put up with the hunger, thirst and exhaustion that
accompany Jihaad (struggle). Such people can rightly
hope for the mercy of Allah The Almighty and for His
Hope for the forgiveness of sins; Allah The Almighty
Says (what means): “Say, �O My servants who have
transgressed against themselves [i.e., by sinning]
do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah
forgives all sins [i.e., for those who repent and correct
themselves].” (Qur’an, 39: 53) Regardless of how many
sins one has committed, minor or major, one should
never despair of the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty.
Allah The Almighty Says (what means): “Say, �To
whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth?’
Say, �To Allah.’ He has decreed upon Himself mercy. He
will surely assemble you for the Day of Resurrection,
about which there is no doubt. Those who will lose
themselves [that Day] do not believe.” [Qur’an, 6: 12]
Imaam ibn Jareer At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy
upon him, commented on this verse saying, “Allah has
decreed that He will be merciful with His slaves, but
how was His mercy expressed? He did not punish them
although they deserved it (due to their sins); rather He
delayed and accepted their repentance, which made
them have hope.”
Hope even applies to worldly matters, like hoping
for wealth, children, a wife, a job, п¬Ѓnding what is lost,
and so on. Prophet Ya’qoob, may Allah exalt his mention, taught his children to have hope in finding their
lost brother Yusuf, may Allah exalt his mention: “O
my sons, go and п¬Ѓnd out about Yusuf and his brother
and do not despair [i.e., lose hope] of relief from Allah.
Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the
disbelieving people.” (Qur’an, 12: 87)
Texts from the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition):
Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him,
reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu �alaihi
wa sallam, said: “Allah the Exalted has said: `O son
of Aadam! I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and
hope for My forgiveness, regardless of the sins you have
committed. O son of Aadam! I do not care if your sins
reach the height of the heaven; if you then ask for my
forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Aadam! if
you come to Me with an earth load of sins, but meet Me
associating nothing with Me, I would match it with an
earth load of forgiveness.’” [At-Tirmithi]
On the deathbed, people have two different sensations, fear or hope. One must always train himself to
have good expectations of his Lord, because Allah The
Almighty will treat a person according to his expectations. The Prophet, sallallaahu �alaihi wa sallam,
advised three days before his death: “Let none of you
die unless he has good expectations of Allah.” [Muslim]
Thus, we are encouraged have hope at the time of our
deaths. This is why some of our Salaf (righteous predecessors), may Allah have mercy upon them, would
command their children to recite the verses from the
Qur’an that mention the mercy of Allah The Almighty
whilst they were on their deathbed, in order to have
good expectations of their Lord before dying.
The Prophet, sallallaahu �alaihi wa sallam, said: “A
believer will be brought close to his Lord on the Day of
Resurrection and (He will) envelop him in His Mercy,
He will make him confess to his sins saying: `Do you
remember (doing) this sin and that sin?’ He will reply,
�My Lord, I remember.’ Then He will say: �I covered it
up for you in the worldly life, and I forgive you for it today.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be handed
to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu �alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to
meet him; and he who dislikes to meet Allah, Allah
abhors to meet him.” [Muslim]
Thus, one should combine fear of and hope in Allah
The Almighty.
Article source:
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: Amjad Khan
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American politics:
back to gridlock
In the two weeks since President Barack Obama and top
Republican congressional leaders vowed to seek common
ground following GOP election victories, that goal has
remained elusive.
On issue after issue, the two sides are taking positions and
threatening п¬Ѓghts that renew the battles that have marked
much of the Obama presidency.
A big reason is that, behind their promises of co-operation
is a basic disagreement about the election’s meaning:
Republicans interpreted it as a repudiation of Obama and
everything he stands for, while Democrats saw it as a vote
against bipartisan gridlock and a plea to get something done.
As a result, legislative confrontations loom in at least four
major cases where GOP lawmakers remain determined to keep
blocking Obama’s priorities: immigration, climate change, a
nuclear agreement with Iran and the Affordable Care Act. And
in a fifth area - the Keystone pipeline - it’s the Republicans
who want action and the president who is resisting.
The conservative-dominated House GOP last week passed
legislation to build the controversial Keystone pipeline
project the Obama White House has stalled for several
years, pending a State Department study of environmental
Politics is
behind the flurry
of action: House
scheduled last
week’s vote to
boost GOP Rep.
Bill Cassidy in his
Dec 6 Louisiana
Senate runoff
against Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Tuesday’s Senate vote was scheduled so Landrieu could
show her clout, but the measure missed the required 60 votes
by one.
Nearly 17 months after a bipartisan Senate majority passed
a compromise immigration bill, the White House has gotten
tired of waiting for Speaker John Boehner to fulfil repeated
promises of House action. Now, Obama plans to use his
executive authority to put portions into effect, allowing up to
5mn illegal entrants to remain legally in the US.
He is proceeding despite increasingly fervent GOP warnings
against unilateral action. Incoming Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell likens it to “waving a red flag in front
of a bull,” while Boehner vows that, if Obama acts, House
Republicans will fight him “tooth and nail,” something they’ve
already been doing.
This issue is especially important to Democrats. Obama
damaged himself with Hispanic leaders by delaying action
last summer in a futile effort to save several embattled
Democratic senators, Now, he needs to fulfil his promise to act
and probably won’t mind if Republicans once more oppose a
top Hispanic priority.
Last week, Obama reached a ground-breaking agreement
with China on climate control, the п¬Ѓrst time the Chinese have
been willing to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Even before the US concludes talks with Iran on a
potentially ground-breaking agreement curbing its nuclear
programme, Republicans and pro-Israel Democrats are
warning they might oppose it.
Though McConnell has backed off his campaign pledge
“to pull it out root and branch,” other Republicans still
want to stop funding the Affordable Care Act, possibly by
amending the year-end funding bill or a subsequent measure;
that too could bring a presidential veto shutting down the
Given all this, it’s hard to see where compromises can
be reached, short of one side or the other abandoning its
Breakout: On issue
after issue, the two
sides are taking
positions and
threatening fights
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�Hard diplomacy’ despite
China showing softer side
Flurry of deals and handshakes as Beijing opens up;
“softer” diplomacy yet to be
truly tested
By Ben Blanchard/Reuters
rom a military rules-of-theroad agreement with Washington to $20bn in loans for
Southeast Asia, Beijing has set
aside the tensions of recent years to
present a softer side to the world in the
last week.
But proof of whether President Xi
Jinping is serious about narrowing
differences that have marked his п¬Ѓrst
two years in office will depend on how
China’s festering disputes are managed in the months ahead.
The possibilities for disagreement
are many, from cyberspying to land
reclamation in the disputed South
China Sea and the deeply emotional
issue for China of how Japan deals
with next year’s 70th anniversary of
the end of World War Two.
China set nerves on edge with its
air defence zone over the East China
Sea, by sending an oil rig deep into
waters disputed with Vietnam and
by unveiling advanced new weapons,
including a prototype stealth п¬Ѓghter.
But in recent days, China has gone
out of its way to set minds at ease as
Xi hosted the Asia Pacific Economic
Co-operation (Apec) summit.
China made conciliatory gestures to
Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan,
and, with US President Barack Obama,
agreed to a climate deal and to lower
the risk of misunderstandings during
military encounters.
“We still have to observe what
happens in the next six to 12 months
or even longer. But I think that now we
stand at the beginning of a substantive
change in Chinese foreign policy,” said
Shi Yinhong, head of the Centre for
American Studies at Beijing’s Renmin
University who has also advised the
government on diplomatic issues.
Reliance on the military has been
replaced by money to guide China’s
diplomacy, Shi added, pointing
to the $40bn New Silk Road fund
and $50bn China-backed Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a news conference with US President Barack Obama (not pictured) in the Great
Hall of the People in Beijing, in this November 12 file picture. From a military rules-of-the-road agreement with Washington
to $20bn in loans for Southeast Asia, Beijing has set aside the tensions of recent years to present a softer side to the world in
the last week.
announced before Apec.
More than $120bn has been
promised since May to Africa,
Southeast Asia and Central Asia.
“The message is that China sincerely
hopes that it can play its role as a
responsible power,” the official China
Daily newspaper wrote in an editorial
on Monday.
The root causes of past
disagreements have, for now, been set
State-run Xinhua news agency
sought to temper expectations
following Xi’s meeting with Obama
last week, saying that, despite the
“amicable tone”, “still much has to be
done to translate promises into reality”.
As if to remind the US of China’s
growing military power, the day before
Xi and Obama’s summit, the Chinese
military unveiled a sophisticated new
stealth п¬Ѓghter jet at an air show in the
south of the country.
“A lot of problems exist and there
will be a lot of uncertainty in the days
to come,” said Jia Qingguo, dean of
the School of International Studies at
Peking University who has also advised
the government on diplomacy.
China has long sought to address
fears in the region, and globally, that
economic growth will inevitably bring a
more muscular diplomatic and military
During a summit of Southeast
Asia leaders in Myanmar last week,
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed
a friendship treaty, yet held to the
line that Beijing will only settle South
China Sea disputes directly with other
Philippine President Benigno Aquino
said he and Xi had a good meeting in
Beijing, but the Philippine military
says there has been no sign of China
reducing its presence in parts of the
South China Sea that Manila also
Then there is Japan.
China and Japan, the world’s
second- and third-largest economies,
have argued bitterly for two years over
disputed islands, regional influence
and the legacy of Japan’s wartime
occupation of China.
While Xi and Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe held breakthrough
talks just before Apec, in recognition of
the economic damage inflicted by their
row, suspicion runs deep.
“Whether or not incidents or
disturbances can be prevented from
happening again between the two
countries depends on Japan’s attitude
and actions,” Han Zhiqiang, acting
Chinese ambassador to Japan, was
quoted saying in state media last week.
China has already promised highprofile events to mark next year’s World
War Two anniversary, offering another
opportunity to accuse Japan of not
properly atoning for its past.
“Japan is particularly worried about
how the anniversary will be handled in
China,” said one Beijing-based Western
India presents another problem,
with no sign of lasting resolution to a
festering border dispute.
In recognition of the world’s
concerns, Xi, speaking to Australia’s
parliament on Monday, channelled
an ancient expression to assuage
worries: “A war-mongering state will
eventually die no matter how big it is”.
He did not п¬Ѓnish the saying, whose
last line reads: “Though the world is
peaceful, you will be in danger if you
forget about preparing for war”.
Post-Soviet confidence games
By Stefan Wolff
t is starting to look like a pattern.
After painstaking talks, the
parties in the Ukraine conflict
come to an agreement – only
to have it fall apart or fail to be fully
implemented. At least three separate
deals to resolve the crisis have
been struck, and each has quickly
unravelled. Even a unanimous vote in
the United Nations Security Council
condemning the downing of Malaysia
Airlines Flight 17 and demanding
access to the crash site has failed to
produce the desired results. Over three
months later, Dutch investigators
have still not been able to conduct all
necessary visits.
The usual diagnosis for the repeated
failure to forge a lasting agreement
is a lack of trust on both sides of
the conflict, for which the usual
prescription is to introduce a series of
confidence-building measures. If only
the Ukrainian national government
in Kiev, its Western allies, Russia,
and the Ukrainian separatists could
learn to trust each other, the thinking
goes, perhaps a settlement could be
But confidence-building measures
are not the panacea that they are so
often portrayed to be. To be sure,
there are cases where the absence of
trust-building efforts could partly
explain why a conflict drags on.
The 25-year tug-of-war between
Armenia and Azerbaijan over the
region of Nagorno-Karabakh is a
prime example. But there are also
conflicts in which years of confidencebuilding measures have not only failed
to produce a solution but have also
prevented one from taking shape.
The parties tussling over Georgia’s
breakaway regions of South Ossetia
and Abkhazia spent some 15 years
taking part in confidence-building
measures, before Russia upended the
status quo in 2008 by recognising both
regions’ independence. Since then,
confidence-building has continued
in the form of regular talks in Geneva,
but nearly 30 rounds of meetings over
the past six years have yet to yield
tangible progress.
Of all of the so-called “frozen
conflicts” in the former Soviet Union,
the dispute over Transnistria, the strip
of land between the Dniester River and
Moldova’s border with Ukraine, was
once considered the most amenable
to resolution. And yet, even there,
two decades of confidence-building
measures have been unsuccessful.
Yes, such measures have
helped to maintain open lines of
communication, preventing small
disputes from escalating into violent
conflict. But, despite the best efforts
of the OSCE, the European Union,
the United States, Ukraine, and even
Russia, the conflict is no closer to
a settlement than it was when the
process began.
There are three major reasons why
real progress has failed to materialise
in Transnistria. For starters, the
confidence-building measures put in
place lack local support. Neither the
elite nor the public, on either side of
the conflict, see a realistic chance for
rapprochement in the near future.
Second, confidence-building, to
some extent, has worked against an
ultimate settlement of the conflict.
Since the 1990s, the two sides have
struck some 170 agreements. But,
by making the status quo more
comfortable and reducing the need
for game-changing moves, these have
been steps away from, not toward, a
Finally, confidence-building
does not happen in a vacuum, but
within a specific regional and global
geopolitical context. More often than
not, the conflicting agendas of the
great powers have stood in the way of a
п¬Ѓnal settlement.
The lesson for Ukraine is that while
building confidence may be necessary,
it is not sufficient to resolve the crisis.
If it is to help move the parties toward
a п¬Ѓnal agreement, certain conditions
must be met.
Technical expertise is needed to
design and implement measures
that are part of a strategic vision to
end the conflict. But such measures
will be effective only if the regional
and global geopolitical environment
supports the search for a resolution.
Most important, local leaders must be
genuinely committed to the process,
rather than seeking to curry favour
with donors.
The lack of technical expertise is not
a major problem in eastern Ukraine.
But, as in all of the post-Soviet
conflicts, the search for a solution
is not taking place in a favourable
geopolitical climate. Nor are local
leaders committed to building trust
and confidence; indeed, separatists are
engaged to just the opposite.
Confidence-building measures can
help to stabilise a conflict, but the
stability they generate is often fragile
and temporary. In an environment
like that in Ukraine, there is a risk that
such measures will sustain, not end,
the conflict. - Project Syndicate
O Stefan Wolff is Professor of
International Security at the University
of Birmingham.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Questions over Mali’s Ebola response
Before the current
outbreak in Mali, the
WHO had categorised the
country as at-risk, due to
its long border and strong
economic ties with Guinea
he failure of a top Malian
hospital to detect probable
cases of Ebola has raised
questions about whether the
country’s health system is sufficiently
prepared to tackle the disease.
“We have several confirmed cases,”
Samba Sow, head of the Mali’s
National Centre for Disease Control
(CNAM), told IRIN. “Our goal is to
prevent the virus from spreading.”
But the government only released an
Ebola emergency plan on 30 October,
a week after the п¬Ѓrst Ebola case.
In Kayes, where a two-year-old girl
tested positive for Ebola on October
23, the hospital was caught off-guard.
Only two of its 160 workers had
received training on how to detect
and treat Ebola patients and how
to protect themselves while doing
so, said hospital director Toumani
Konaré. “The staff had the right
protective gear, but they didn’t know
how to use it,” he told IRIN.
Before the current outbreak in
Mali, the World Health Organisation
(WHO) had categorised the country
as at-risk, due to its long border and
strong economic ties with Guinea,
where the epidemic began. It was
targeted as a country to receive
technical assistance, including
training on infection prevention,
epidemiological surveillance and
contact tracing.
Mali’s Ebola response leader Samba Sow (wearing white) speaks to Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Kouremale, at Mali’s border with Guinea.
Sow said preparations started in
April. However, those preparations
were focused mostly on the 805km
border that Mali shares with Guinea.
The government started to send a few
health workers to check travellers
for fever and other signs of the
virus among the chaos of trucks,
buses, bush taxis and motorbikes at
border checkpoints. The Ministry of
Health says the KouremalГ© border
checkpoint, where an imam who died
of Ebola in Mali on October 27 had
entered from Guinea, checks more
than 1,000 people and 150 vehicles
per day.
But some Malians are concerned:
“I wonder how the Guinean patient
could cross our borders and be
admitted so easily to a clinic as
renowned as Clinique Pasteur,”
said Moussa Camara of Mali’s
National Youth Council. “The fact
that the patient was coming from
KourГ©malГ© in Guinea, a centre of the
Ebola outbreak, should have alerted
Ibrahima SocГ©-Fall, the WHO
representative in Mali, said the
country has the capacity to tackle the
disease. “You can’t say Mali wasn’t
prepared, people were trained,” Fall
told IRIN, although he did not specify
how many.
The Malian authorities are working
with international partners, among
them WHO, the US Centers for
Disease Control, Unicef, NGO Alima,
and Croix Rouge Mali to trace, isolate
and monitor over 400 contacts of
those who have died.
Several WHO epidemiologists will
soon join CNAM’s rapid response
team of doctors, nurses, social
workers and laboratory technicians.
Oumar Ouologuem, a
communications officer with
the Ministry of Health, said the
government is planning an isolation
and treatment centre in Siby, 50km
southwest of the capital. “When we
started making plans for a centre in
town, the neighbours objected,” said
Ouologuem. “That’s why we decided
to find a location outside the capital.”
The authorities say the site will
open if they have more cases, but
could not give a precise date.
MГ©decins Sans FrontiГЁres (MSF)
has set up two treatment centres,
one in Bamako and one in Kayes. For
the moment, its treatment centre in
Bamako is the only one there. Natalia
Torrent, the Ebola response coordinator in Mali for MSF-Spain, told
IRIN they have six beds for suspected
cases and six for confirmed cases,
adding: “We are working on enlarging
the site and giving technical advice on
how to set up the CNAM treatment
In one area, at least, Mali’s health
system seems to be already up to
speed. Mali’s national laboratory,
SEREFO, one of one of the hills
overlooking Bamako, boasts a level-3
biosafety laboratory, equipped by
the US National Institutes of Health
(NIH) to handle the diagnosis of
tuberculosis, HIV and Ebola.
SEREFO director Ousmane Koita
said their lab can get Ebola test
results within a few hours. Even so,
if the number of suspected cases
continues to rise, it will have a hard
time keeping up.
Weather report
The Fed’s culture war
Three-day forecast
By Mark Roe
t a closed-door conference
attended by senior bankers,
regulators, and some
academics, Federal Reserve
Governor Daniel Tarullo and Federal
Reserve Bank of New York President
William Dudley used their bully
pulpit to do something unexpected.
Instead of focusing on how to bolster
bank stability – channelling more
capital toward the largest institutions,
curbing their riskiest activities,
and determining how to manage a
failing bank without bailing it out –
the officials discussed the bankers
Tarullo focused on managerial
misbehaviour, arguing that managers
who do not comply fully and
willingly with regulations should
face tougher sanctions than they do
now. Instead of blaming “a few bad
apples” for wrongdoing, he insisted,
institutions should implement
controls that prevent “bad apples”
from poisoning the organisation. To
this end, organisations should embed
respect for law, regulation, and the
public trust in internal compensation
Moreover, Tarullo cited criminal
prosecution and imprisonment of
individuals as the most effective
way to deter illegal conduct, such as
breaches of antitrust law. Of course,
as he acknowledged, prosecuting
an individual for such violations is
difficult, because regulators lack
criminal enforcement powers,
evidentiary hurdles are high, and the
circumstances are often uncertain.
But regulators have not taken enough
advantage of the authority that they
do have to punish errant managers:
they can ban these individuals from
working in п¬Ѓnance.
According to Tarullo, a few wellchosen “bans from banking” could
change the п¬Ѓnancial industry for the
better. He urged bank boards and
senior executives to preempt such
bans by п¬Ѓring highly problematic
managers publicly, rather than
sending them quietly out the back
door. Public executions would deter
the rest of the organisation from bad
Dudley also placed the onus for
change on senior bank managers. In
discussing bank culture – a major
topic of interest for him and the New
York Fed – he encouraged senior
bankers to align their organisations’
cultures with the public interest
and regulatory parameters. Instead
of viewing the law as a problem
to manage and, if possible, evade,
bankers should recognise and
respect its vital importance (a point
that Tarullo also made). In this
sense, Dudley said, the banking
industry “is not close to where it
needs to be.”
Like Tarullo, Dudley stressed that
violations should not be treated as
isolated actions by deviant employees,
but as evidence of failure by senior
managers – from the boardroom to
the executive suite – to orient bank
culture properly. Violations should
thus catalyse a concerted effort by
senior managers to bring so-called
rogue bankers under control and to
infuse their organisations with an
ethos of compliance and integrity.
If they are unable to do so, Dudley
argued, a reasonable conclusion would
be that the organisation is too big to
For at least a few listeners, this
statement probably evoked memories
of the trader known as the “London
Whale,” who lost at least $6bn at JP
Morgan Chase – America’s largest
bank – in 2012. The bank’s riskmanagement team, reputedly the best
in the world, failed to identify a rogue
trader in their midst until it was too
The focus on individuals’
responsibility within banks represents
a notable change in regulators’
approach, and it was reinforced by a
third initiative, which other speakers
emphasised: using deferred debtbased compensation to tie managers’
pay to bank safety and soundness.
Catalysing a shift in bank culture
will not be easy. Bankers know that
assuming substantial amounts of
low-probability, high-impact risk
often benefits bank shareholders and
bolsters their own bonuses. But, when
things go wrong, the government
picks up much of the bill – and the real
economy suffers.
Complicating matters further is
that risk-taking by banks – even
at extreme levels – is not always
unethical, rogue, or fraudulent.
It often appears responsible and
innovative. The problem with
innovation is that no one can predict
the precise impact it will have. In
fact, the 2008-2009 п¬Ѓnancial crisis
was more a consequence of error and
misdirection than fraud and explicit
misconduct by bankers.
Nonetheless, the kind of cultural
and behavioral initiatives that
Tarullo and Dudley proposed are
worth pursuing. Indeed, aligning the
п¬Ѓnancial interests of managers and
senior bankers with regulators’ efforts
to boost capital, reduce risk, and make
bank failure a real possibility would go
a long way toward making banks safer.
But there is one critical caveat:
Regulators’ core organisational
objectives must have priority over
soft, culture-related goals, with the
latter supporting – not displacing
– the former. Tarullo and Dudley
understand this – but other, less adept
officials may not.
If people-focused efforts
begin to eclipse regulators’ core
responsibilities, much of the progress
that has been made in recent years
toward bolstering banking safety
will be lost. That could turn out to
be the riskiest move of all. - Project
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Moderate temperature during the
day with scattered clouds
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Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: NW-NE 08-18/22 KT
Waves: 3-5/7 & 2-4 Feet
Wind: NW-NE 03-13 KT
Waves: 1-2/3 Feet
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Abu Dhabi
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O Mark Roe is a professor at Harvard
Law School.
Live issues
�Lost’ first languages leave permanent mark on brain
By Holly Young
Guardian News & Media
Lost” first languages leave a
permanent mark on the brain,
a report has found. The study,
published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences
(PNAS) in the US, challenges the
existing understanding that exposure to a language in the п¬Ѓrst year of
a child’s life can be “erased” if he or
she is moved to a different linguistic
The study showed that Chinese
children, adopted at 12 months to
French-speaking families in Canada,
responded to Chinese tones, despite
having no conscious understanding of
the language.
The experiment involved 49 girls
aged between nine and 17 in the
Montreal area. The girls fell into three
groups: monolingual French speakers with no exposure to Chinese, girls
bilingual in French and Chinese, and
the Chinese adoptees. All groups were
asked to listen to “pseudo words” that
used the tones prevalent in Chinese
languages. MRI scans revealed that
the adoptees showed the same brain
activity as native speakers, despite no
longer being able to understand and
speak anything in the language.
Fred Genesse, professor emeritus at
the psychology department at McGill
University and co-author of the
report, highlighted the significance
of the MRI results. He said: “In most
people when you process language
your left hemisphere is involved.
When the monolinguals are listening
to these pseudo words, they’re not
processing them as language. For them
it just sounds like a jumble of sounds.
When you look at the two other
groups, the areas of the brain they are
activating are in the left hemisphere,
so they are treating these pseudo
words as linguistic units, as words.”
In tonal languages, such as Mandarin,
the same word can have many meanings
depending on the tone it is spoken in.
David Stringer, associate professor
of second-language studies at Indiana
University, said the study challenged
existing research on the impact early
languages have on the brain. “It appears to contradict the findings of
similar FMRI studies, which suggested that the childhood language
of adoptees may be erased from the
brain as the children acquire their new
A 2003 study observed Korean
children who were adopted by Frenchspeaking families and suggested that
early languages were lost.
Alison Mackey, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, said the
new п¬Ѓndings provided evidence for
the hyphothesis that early language
learning is permanent, and what can
look like language loss might actually
be a problem of retrieval. She said:
“It’s there, but it’s not easily accessed,
in other words.”
Although the new study was generally well received, Angela Creese, professor of educational linguistics at the
University of Birmingham, questioned
what was meant by “Chinese” in the
study and suggested the results would
be strengthened with more detail on
the linguistic histories of the babies.
She added that the age of the adoptees (on average 12.8 months) was significant: “It is at that stage that speech
starts to emerge in children. The
babies would have been able to isolate
sounds particular to their language.”
In addition to challenging existing
understandings of the impact early
languages have on the brain, Kate
Watkins, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford,
said it had interesting implications for
those who may choose to “relearn”
their п¬Ѓrst languages.
“It would suggest that someone
who had this very short exposure
would have an advantage if they
wanted to learn this language again. If
your brain is wired up to detect these
[sound] categories you are probably
going to have an easier time learning
the language.”
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ANZ suspends
seven traders
for misconduct
Truck makers
face fines as EU
steps up probe
Friday, November 21, 2014
Moharram 28, 1436 AH
5.2% FOOD INDEX GAIN: Page 3
Bright outlook for
$2tn global halal
industry with stock
gains prospects
QIA plans to invest up to $20bn
in �Greater Asia’ over five years
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
atar’s sovereign wealth fund
plans to invest up to $20bn
in “Greater Asia” over the
next five years as part of portfolio diversification, said Qatar Investment
Authority chief executive officer, HE
Ahmed al-Sayed.
“In the region we plan to invest
(initially) between $15bn and $20bn…
it could be more… it could be less. It
depends on the time. The timing and
market situation will govern our п¬Ѓnal
decision to execute investments. But
we have a good appetite. That will give
us good diversification of our portfolio as a global fund,” al-Sayed, also the
Minister of State told reporters on the
sidelines of the 6th annual meeting of
the International Forum of Sovereign
Wealth Funds (IFSWF) at the RitzCarlton yesterday.
The proposed investments, he said,
would target healthcare, infrastructure, real estate and retail sectors.
Recently, the QIA signed a $10bn
investment venture with China’s Citic
Group and agreed to pay HK$4.78bn
($616mn) for a stake in Hong Kong
department-store owner Lifestyle International Holdings.
Asked about the impact of oil price
slump on the QIA’s investment plans,
al-Sayed said, “At QIA, we have a
long-term strategy, which takes into
account the volatility in the market.
Volatile oil prices will not force us to
change our investment strategy.”
On whether there will be a shortterm adjustment al-Sayed said, “No, I
don’t think so. We evaluate the market
from time to time.”
A Reuters’ dispatch said Gulf sovereign wealth funds such as the QIA
have built up large savings over recent years thanks to high oil prices of
above $100 per barrel. The QIA, one
of the top investors globally, has an
estimated $170bn worth of assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund
Al-Sayed also declined to comment
on whether the fund would make a
new bid for Songbird Estates.
Songbird, the majority owner of
London’s Canary Wharf, rejected a
ВЈ2.2bn takeover proposal from the
HE Sheikh Abdullah inaugurating the 6th annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha yesterday.
Right: Al-Sayed delivering the welcome address at the meeting. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil
QIA and Brookfield Property Partners earlier this month, saying the 295
pence-a-share offer undervalued the
The QIA already owns 28.6% of
Songbird, which in turn owns 69%
of Canary Wharf Group, the owner
of the estate, which rivals the City of
London as a п¬Ѓnancial services centre.
The QIA is a sovereign wealth fund
that investments domestically and
internationally to curtail reliance on
energy price volatility. According to
its constitutive instrument, the QIA’s
objectives are to develop, invest and
manage the state reserve funds and
other property assigned to it by the
government via the Qatar Supreme
Council of Economic Affairs and Investments.
Earlier, the 6th annual meeting of
the International Forum of Sovereign
Wealth Funds (IFSWF) was inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister and
Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah
bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani. He
emphasised Qatar’s policy of sustain-
able development with an eye on future generations. “HH the Father Emir
and HH the Emir have laid a clear vision for Qatar, to make it a solid economy and provide decent living to its
people. Our economy is expected to
grow well in excess of 6%, driven by
the non-energy segment,” Sheikh Abdullah said. Page 16
Iran to double
oil exports in
2 months if
sanctions end
Iran will double its oil exports within
two months if sanctions against it end,
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told official
news agency IRNA.
Zanganeh said he will talk with top oil
exporter Saudi Arabia about market
share when Opec meets next week,
IRNA said yesterday.
Iran currently exports around 1.3mn
bpd of oil. At Opec’s June meeting
Zanganeh said Iran could increase oil
exports by 500,000 bpd immediately
after any lifting of sanctions and could
pump 4mn bpd in less than three
months after.
“The countries in the south of the
Gulf are interested in keeping their
market share and a decrease in market
share will be difficult,” Zanganeh told
IRNA. “Under no circumstance, will we
reduce our global market share, even
by one barrel.”
Analysts said it will take longer for
Iran to ramp up exports, noting that
sanctions on its energy sector may
be the last to be lifted if the system is
“Zanganeh is being too optimistic in
his assessment,” said Dubai-based oil
analyst Amir Handjani. It could take
anywhere between three to five years
to raise Iran’s oil production to 4mn5mn bpd, he said.
The Vienna Opec meeting on November 27 will be one of the most important in years. Some in the producing
group have called for a supply cut to
support oil prices which have fallen by
over 25% since July.
Iran is in talks with six major powers
on curbing its nuclear programme
in exchange for an end to Western
sanctions. But a comprehensive deal
by a November 24 deadline appears
unlikely, a US official has said.
In the past two weeks, Zanganeh
has visited Gulf countries Qatar,
Kuwait and the UAE in a bid to win
support for action to stabilise oil
He also held talks in Tehran with Venezuela. Both Opec members need a
higher oil price to balance their budget
than Gulf Arab oil producers.
Mohammad al-Sabban, a former
senior adviser to Saudi Oil Minister
Ali al-Naimi, said he expected Opec to
keep its output ceiling of 30mn bpd
Gulf seen rejecting Opec cuts to guard market share
Kuwait City
ulf oil producers led by Saudi
Arabia will likely reject output
cuts at an Opec meeting next
week unless they are guaranteed their
market share in a highly competitive
market, analysts say.
The stance of Kuwait, Qatar, UAE
and Saudi Arabia is seen as crucial for
a positive Opec decision on reducing
supplies to boost crude prices, which
have shed a third of their value since
The four pump a total 16.2mn bpd,
or 52% of the 12-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but they account for two-thirds
of the group’s exports, according to
п¬Ѓgures from Opec and other agencies.
“Opec members are looking at
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE to
shoulder the bulk of any production
cuts, and they can,” said Kuwaiti oil
expert Kamel al-Harami. “But it is
extremely unlikely for Gulf states to
accept output cuts unless other Opec
members take the initiative ... They
need assurances other Opec or nonOpec producers won’t fill the gap,”
said the former oil executive.
“It is not in the interest of the Gulf
states to cut output because they risk
losing highly valuable market share,”
he told AFP.
Oil prices have crashed to four-year
lows on dampening demand from a
combination of factors including a
sluggish world economy, a sharp rise
in output from unconventional sources like shale oil, and a strong dollar.
This has resulted in slumping revenues for most Opec and non-Opec
producers heavily reliant on oil for
their budgets.
Venezuela has called for a meeting
of both Opec and non-Opec countries to address the price slide, joining
hands with Ecuador to urge the group
to cut output.
“The fear of non-Opec producers
boosting output will make most Opec
members very cautious in accepting
cuts,” said Khaled Bodai, head of the
Horizon for Administrative Consultations. “I am not optimistic there will
be an agreement for cuts,” Bodai, a
former member of Kuwait’s Supreme
Petroleum Council, told AFP.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair
said last week an Opec decision to cut
output “will be very difficult”.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude
exporter, has not commented on pos-
sible output cuts but in early November it sent oil prices tumbling when it
eased its crude price for the US to preserve market share.
“The focus at the moment is on
Saudi Arabia and whether it will
succumb to pressure from within
the Opec and outside to cut production,” said Michael McCarthy, chief
market strategist at CMC Markets in
Saudi economist Abdulwahab AbuDahesh said Gulf states would “fiercely resist pressure to cut output.
“The battle now is for market share,
and if they cut output, they lose market share,” he told AFP.
Markets for crude oil and petroleum
products have tightened due to ample
supplies and waning demand.
Saudi Arabia exports two-thirds of
its crude to Asia, less than 20% to the
US and just 10% to Europe, according
to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Kuwait sends 75% of exports to
Asia, while UAE and Qatar export almost all their crude to Asia.
Oil production in the US, the
world’s top energy consumer, surpassed 8.5mn bpd this year thanks to
rising shale output.
Consequently, its net imports
dropped by 1.2mn bpd to about 5.2mn
bpd, Opec п¬Ѓgures show.
Saudi exports to the US dropped
from 1.25mn bpd in July to under
900,000 bpd in August, but it remains the second largest US supplier
after Canada, according to the EIA.
With Gulf exports to Europe very
small and decreasing, the only markets left for crude are Asia and the
“The interests of the Gulf states is
better served by п¬Ѓghting the battle for
market share and refusing the cuts.
This will push prices down, but will
force high-cost producers out,” AbuDahesh said.
Mohammed Suroor al-Sabban, a
former adviser to the Saudi oil minister, has said he expects Opec to stick
with its current output ceiling.
Opec, which is to meet in Vienna on
November 27, pumps about a third of
global crude and currently produces
just under 31mn bpd, about 1mn more
than its target.
“If Gulf states have to choose between a high price for oil or preserving
their market share, they will certainly
opt for the latter,” said Abu-Dahesh.
“They have huge fiscal reserves to
survive low oil prices for two to three
The stance of Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia is seen as crucial
for a positive Opec decision on reducing supplies to boost crude prices,
which have shed a third of their value since June
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Palestinian Air seeks Gulf funding for aircraft buy
alestinian Airlines said it’s
seeking help from Gulf
States or other Arab countries in adding two jetliners to
lift passenger capacity serving
the Gaza Strip.
The carrier, which operates
out of Arish airport in Egypt
because of Israeli security restrictions and the destruction
of Gaza airport in 2000, aims
to source Boeing Co or Airbus
Group planes to upgrade an aging fleet of smaller aircraft.
“We hope to get funding from
Arab countries, or they can give
us two planes,” chief executive
officer Zeyad al-Bada said in an
interview at the Arab Air Carriers Organisation summit in
Dubai. “I’m here for talks and
there’s acceptance from some of
the Gulf countries. Egypt is our
biggest supporter.”
Owned by the Palestinian Authority, the carrier offers sched-
uled flights from Arish to Amman, Jordan, allowing people
to reach the West Bank, as well
as Jeddah in Saudi Arabia during the Haj and Umrah pilgrimages. It operates two Fokker 50s
turboprops and two Bombardier
Challenger 604 business jets.
The carrier employs 75 people in Arish, compared with
the 1,500 once on the payroll in
Gaza. Growth is limited by its
location across the Egyptian
border in Sinai, according to alBada, who once worked as a pilot
for Yasser Arafat.
Palestinian Airlines boosts
passenger numbers by providing charter trips within Egypt,
where it’s registered, serving
Cairo, Sharm al Sheikh, Aswan,
Luxor and Taba, though traffic
fluctuates according to tourist
agency bookings, the CEO said.
The company carried 19,000 pilgrims to Jeddah this year and there’s
scope to increase that in 2015, alBada said yesterday, depending on
constraints on travel from Gaza.
The airline’s base in Sinai is
potentially vulnerable to attacks,
he said, with Islamist militants
based in the region, adding that
having a base at Jerusalem’s
Atarot airport, located in the
West Bank town of Kalandia, remains a “dream.”
The airport has been closed
since the second Palestinian uprising or intifada of 2001.
Iraq, Kurdish region
implement deal on
oil exports, salaries
A Turkish worker at a building site in Istanbul, which is experiencing a construction boom. Turkish inflation is the highest among leading emerging markets and is embarrassingly far above target, according to
Nicholas Spiro of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London.
Turkey keeps interest rates
on hold as inflation stays high
Inflation among highest in
emerging markets; most
economists expected no change in
rates; bank sees inflation falling in
he Turkish central bank kept
interest rates on hold yesterday
and said it would keep monetary
policy tight until the inflation outlook
improves significantly, hinting that no
cuts are likely until next year. The central bank, which is battling to rein in inflation even as the economy slows and
conflict rages in neighbouring countries, said it expects consumer prices to
start falling in 2015. It left its one-week
repo rate at 8.25%, as forecast by 15 of
16 economists polled by Reuters. One
economist had expected a cut in the
main rate to 7.75%.
The lira п¬Ѓrmed slightly to 2.2271 to
the dollar after the decision. The Istanbul stock index and 10-year benchmark
bond were little moved.
After hiking rates sharply in Janu-
ary to halt a slide in the lira, the central
bank cut rates in May, June, July and
August before leaving them on hold in
September and October.
“We think the bank will be patient
before cutting rates and it will wait
for inflation to fall in the first quarter
of 2015,” said Tufan Comert, a strategist at Garanti Securities. Businesses
and economists now expect a year-end
consumer price inflation rate of 9.22%,
a central bank survey showed last week,
creeping up from its previous poll and
well above its target rate of 5.3%.
Turkish inflation is the highest
Dubai Festival City said to seek $1.1bn loan
Dubai Festival City, which owns the district that’s home
to Ikea and Hard Rock Cafe in the emirate, is seeking a
$1.1bn loan to repay debt and help fund expansion, two
people with knowledge of the deal said.
The company owned by Dubai’s Al-Futtaim Group plans
to raise a 10-year, amortising facility from about eight
to 10 banks, said the people, asking not to be identified
because the information is private. The funding will
be a secured, non-recourse financing, where banks
won’t have access to cash from other businesses of the
group in the case of a default, according to the people.
A spokesman for Al-Futtaim said by telephone that he
couldn’t immediately comment.
Companies in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, are raising loans to take advantage of record-low
interest rates and ample liquidity at banks. Emaar Properties, which owns one of the world’s biggest shopping
malls in Dubai, obtained a $1.5bn, seven-year Islamic
loan in May to replace older debt and fund growth, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Al-Futtaim Group is one of the biggest family-owned
businesses in the UAE that employs more than 20,000
people in over 70 companies, according to its website.
Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, a unit
of one of the emirate’s three main holding companies,
owns 30% of Dubai Festival City, according to its 2013
annual report.
The three-month Emirates interbank offered rate, a
benchmark used to price some loans, was at 0.68%
yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
That is the lowest since at least 2006, when Bloomberg
began collecting the data.
Dubai’s economy, the second-biggest of the seven that
make up the UAE, is expected to grow at its fastest pace
in seven years in 2014, according to forecasts from
the International Monetary Fund. The growth is being
driven by expansion in the emirate’s tourism, retail and
property industries.
Dubai Festival City includes a shopping mall, hotels,
residences and offices along Dubai’s creek.
Dubai Festival City owns the district that is home to Ikea and Hard Rock Cafe
among leading emerging markets and
is embarrassingly far above target, according to Nicholas Spiro of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London.
“If the (central bank) continues to
keep rates on hold until inflation starts
to meaningfully decline ... it will win
back credibility in the eyes of investors,” he said.
The ruling AK Party is keen to maintain growth before parliamentary elections next June but faces numerous
obstacles. The economy slowed more
than expected in the second quarter.
The government slashed its growth
estimates and raised its inflation forecast for 2014 and 2015 last month, citing unfavourable conditions in the global economy.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
presented a programme of steps aimed
at boosting the economy this month,
including reducing its dependence on
imports and boosting domestic energy
The central bank kept its overnight
lending rate at 11.25%, its primary dealers’ overnight borrowing rate at 10.75%
and its overnight borrowing rate at
The government of Iraq and
the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have begun implementing a deal under which
Baghdad resumes funding
Kurdish civil servant salaries in
return for a share of Kurdish oil
exports, Iraq’s finance minister
has said.
The accord aims to reduce
friction between Baghdad and
Kurdish authorities as they
face a common threat from Islamic State insurgents who have
seized large parts of the north
and west of the country.
Under the agreement reached
last week, Kurdish authorities
committed to pumping 150,000
bpd of oil - around half their
overall shipments - to Iraqi
government export tanks in the
Turkish port of Ceyhan.
Baghdad agreed to pay $500mn
towards Kurdish salaries.
Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari
said that the Kurdish Regional
Government began pumping oil
to State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) tanks at Ceyhan on
Tuesday and the $500mn was
transferred on Wednesday.
“This payment will be followed
by other payments,” Zebari, who
is a Kurd, told a news conference
in Baghdad.
Baghdad cut the Kurds’ share of
the budget to punish them for
exporting oil without its consent.
The region was plunged into
financial crisis, but has continued pumping oil through its
independent pipeline to Turkey,
and exports recently increased
to around 300,000 bpd.
Iraqi leaders are under
pressure to bury differences
in order to counter Islamic
State militants who control
substantial parts of Iraq and
neighbouring Syria.
In July, then-foreign minister
Zebari said the Kurdish political
bloc withdrew from the national
government in protest against
then-prime minister Nuri al-Maliki’s accusation that Kurds were
harbouring Islamist insurgents
in their capital.
The Kurds later rejoined the administration. But tensions persist
even after Maliki’s replacement by Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi, also a Shia Muslim but
seen as more moderate and
capable of co-operating with
Sunni Muslims and Kurds. There
are about 5mn Kurds in majority
Arab Iraq, which has a population of more than 30mn. Most
live in the north, where they run
their own affairs.
Gulf markets edge higher as
investors hunt for bargains
ost stock markets
in the Middle East
edged up yesterday
as oil prices paused in their
decline ahead of next week’s
Opec summit and stocks that
usually see little trading took
centre stage on several bourses.
But Qatar’s bourse edged
down 0.4% after four days of
gains. Heavyweight Industries
Qatar pulled back 1.3% and
topped trading volumes.
Dubai’s index rose 0.3%,
largely on the back of telecommunications operator du,
which jumped 3.6% to 5.49
dirhams in its highest trading volume for more than six
Equity research house AlphaMena highlighted the
stock in a note on Wednesday,
rating it as a “buy” with a target price of 7.44 dirhams, a potential upside of over 40%.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark
climbed 0.4% and National
Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK) was the most traded
Saudi Arabia’s main index rose 0.3% yesterday.
stock, jumping 4.0% to 9.45
dirhams. Trading volume in
the stock was the highest in
п¬Ѓve months.
RAKBANK broke through
technical resistance at 9.30
dirhams, its October high;
it faces strong resistance at
10dirhams, this year’s high,
which was hit in August.
Saudi Arabia’s main index
rose 0.3% as Malath Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance Co dominated trading
and rose 1.6%.
The п¬Ѓrm said this month
it had signed an insurance
agreement with Abdulatif Al
Issa Holding Group which
would earn it about 275mn
riyals ($73mn) a year in premiums, a sum larger than its
current quarterly revenue. The
stock has since climbed 56%
as trading activity surged to an
all-time highs.
Egypt’s index edged up
0.4%, recovering further from
last week’s slump. El-Sewedy
Electric, the largest listed cable maker in the Arab world,
was the main support, jumping 4.2%.
Stocks appeared to ignore
the Egyptian pound’s recent
weakness on the black market,
which prompted the central
bank on Wednesday to prom-
ise to take “technical measures” to control the exchange
rate. The pound edged up in
the black market yesterday.
“It has no implications on
the equity market,” said Allen
Sandeep, director of research
at Naeem brokerage in Cairo,
adding that foreign investors,
whose returns could be affected by the exchange rate, still
accounted for only a small part
of overall trading activity.
Kuwait’s index fell 0.6%
as Kuwait Finance House
dropped 2.7% to a nine-month
low of 720 п¬Ѓls. The stock came
under fresh pressure after
Moody’s last Thursday affirmed the Islamic lender’s
ratings with a negative outlook, citing weak asset quality
among other issues.
Shares in Commercial Bank
of Kuwait rose 1.5% after Kuwait’s central bank approved
the appointment of Elham
Yousri Mahfouz as its chief executive officer.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s measure fell 0.6% to
6,986 points; Oman’s index
rose 0.5% to 7,079 points,
while Bahrain’s index fell 0.5%
to 1,441 points.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
rules as
growth falls
Bright outlook for $2tn
global halal industry
with stock gain promise
Kuala Lumpur
ight years ago, Taleb Mohamad
Almahmoud started importing a
non-alcoholic drink popular in
the Middle East to Malaysia. Now he’s
bringing more than 300,000 bottles of
Dubai-brewed Barbican into the country a month.
“There are many Arabs here and they
like the drink because there’s no alcohol,” the Syrian-born Almahmoud said
in a November 17 interview near his
shop in downtown Kuala Lumpur that
also stocks spices, couscous, pickled
olives and Turkish coffee. “Malaysians
like it too.”
The popularity of halal products
such as Barbican that comply with the
Shariah principles helped drive a 5.2%
gain in the SAMI Halal Food Index of
shares this year, beating a 0.6% rise in
the Bloomberg World Food Index. The
industry’s expansion is also flowing
through to debt markets, with the Malaysia International Islamic Financial
Centre estimating companies involved
in Shariah-compliant food, textiles,
tourism and healthcare have sold $5bn
of sukuk to date.
The outlook for the $2tn global halal industry that also includes fashion
and entertainment is underpinned by a
worldwide Muslim population that the
Pew Research Centre sees growing at
twice the rate of non-believers through
2030. Demographics like that have
lured Switzerland’s Nestle, the world’s
biggest food company, which markets
Shariah-compliant noodles and breakfast cereals.
“Halal is a huge industry and the
growth rate is massive,” Baiza Bain, director at Islamic finance consultancy
Amanie Advisors Pty Ltd (Australia)
in Melbourne, said in a November 17
phone interview. “Companies are making sure that they adopt the inclusiveness policy that will broaden their market.”
Spending by Muslim consumers on
halal products and services worldwide
is forecast to increase 52% to $2.47tn by
2018 from 2012, according to a September report by the Kuala Lumpur-based
“The relationship between Islamic
п¬Ѓnance and halal industries is mutually
beneficial,” the MIFC said in the report,
adding that there are opportunities to
invest surplus funds throughout the
value chain.
Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd ships its
products to more than 50 countries
and may soon start exporting to Europe and South America, Zainun Abdul
Rauf, executive director for corporate
affairs, said in a November 17 e-mail
interview from Selangor state near
Kuala Lumpur.
The share price of the company, which set up a 700mn ringgit
($208mn) sukuk programme in 2003,
has risen 0.9% this year, beating a
2.6% drop in Malaysia’s benchmark
stock index.
Worldwide sales of bonds that comply with Islam’s ban on interest have
increased tenfold in the last decade. Issuance has reached $42.1bn so far this
year, 18% more than at the same point
in 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg
Ajinomoto Co, Japan’s third-largest
food company, sells Shariah-compliant
food seasonings and drink sweeteners.
The Asian nation and Spain have held
halal summits this year to explore ways
to develop the industry, while the UK
plans to set up a business park to produce Shariah-compliant meat, according the MIFC report.
As well as prohibiting products that
include alcohol and pork and banning
gambling, Islamic tenets require that
animals be slaughtered in a particular
way accompanied by the recitation of a
Halal Industry Development Corp,
a Malaysian government agency, estimates the global industry excluding п¬Ѓnancial services exceeds $2tn and
will grow 4% to 5% annually. Demand
for Shariah-compliant products will
come from established centres such
as the Middle East as well as emerging
markets including India, Pakistan and
Bangladesh, said Chief Executive Officer Jamil Bidin.
“The global demand is huge,” he
said in a Nov. 13 interview near Kuala
Lumpur. “Many non-Muslim countries
are participating in this because they
see that halal is big business.”
Dreams of record year fade
as sukuk sales slump
Global Islamic bond sales, which had the busiest first three
quarters on record, are mired in what’s set to be the worst
end to a year since 2008.
Borrowers have raised $1.9bn in the fourth quarter so far,
73% less than in the same period a year ago, according to
data compiled by Bloomberg. Issuers have also sold the
fewest number of securities in six years, Bloomberg data
During the first nine months, the UK, Luxembourg, South
Africa and Hong Kong were among debut issuers of Islamic
bonds entering a market that Ernst & Young LLP estimated
will exceed $3.4tn by 2018. Some borrowers probably
accelerated sales on concern borrowing costs may rise as
the Federal Reserve ended its bond buying programme,
according to Jefferies International Ltd.
“It will end up being a very slow quarter, with dismal
sentiment,” Richard Segal, the London-based head of
international credit strategy at Jefferies, said by e-mail on
November 10. Explanations include “expectations of possible
Fed tightening,” which encouraged borrowers to bring their
sales forward, he said.
The slowdown threatens to derail issuance in a year that
some banks - including CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and
Standard Chartered Saadiq - had expected to exceed 2012’s
record of $46.8bn.
Borrowers in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, all oil
producers, are the biggest issuers of sukuk, according to
data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales this quarter may have
slowed after crude prices declined 14% in the period, the
lowest in four years. Economies in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East rely on oil revenue to
fund growth.
“There was a lot of volatility at the end of September and the
beginning of October,” Abdul Kadir Hussain, chief executive
officer of Mashreq Capital DIFC Ltd, which manages about
$1.2bn, said by phone from Dubai on November 10. “There
were major sell-offs and major volatility, which has caused a
lot of issuers to wait longer than they would have wanted to.”
The average yield on global sukuk rose to 2.82% on November
10 from 2.77% on September 9, the lowest since May 2013,
according to a gauge compiled by Deutsche Bank AG.
While the quarter has started slowly, Hussain said “the
pipeline for the remainder of the year is quite strong.”
“There’s been a surge in issuance in the past few years, so a
lull would be natural at some point,” Segal said. “Unusual first
time issuers such as the UK and South Africa have entered
the market, as will other non-traditional borrowers, but they
are more likely to take their time.”
A woman sells halal food in a market in the area of Little India in Singapore. The popularity of halal products such as Barbican
that comply with the Shariah principles helped drive a 5.2% gain in the SAMI Halal Food Index of shares this year, beating a
0.6% rise in the Bloomberg World Food Index.
Indonesia’s regulator has issued
revised Islamic banking rules
covering asset quality and capital
adequacy to help clarify market
practices, while industry growth
has now dropped to single-digits.
Authorities want to encourage
a wider product range to help
Islamic banks grab a bigger share
of the Indonesian market, a sector which remains behind more
mature markets in Malaysia and
the Middle East.
Indonesia’s financial services authority, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan
(OJK), announced the move on
Wednesday as part of a package
of 20 new rules, which range
from corporate governance to
Indonesia has the world’s biggest Muslim population but
its Islamic finance market only
holds a 4.5% of total banking
assets in the country as of September, the latest central bank
data showed.
Authorities want Islamic banks
to hold at least 15% of the market
by 2023, but the sector’s growth
is stalling.
As of September, there were 11
full-fledged Islamic banks and 23
Islamic business units in Indonesia with combined assets of
244tn rupiah ($20.1bn), representing a 7.2% growth year-on-year.
This remains above the 3.7%
growth of conventional banks,
although the OJK had projected
Islamic banking assets would
grow by 14.4% in 2014 under a
moderate scenario, down from
24.2% in 2013 and 34.1% in 2012.
Under the revised rules, Islamic
banks must hold increasing levels
of capital depending on their risk
profile, with regulators outlining
four such categories.
The previous capital adequacy
requirement for Islamic banks
was 8%, while the highest risk
profile would require such banks
to hold as much as 14%.
This requirements applies only
to full-fledged Islamic banks and
not to the Islamic units of conventional banks.
The rules also detail the types of
capital-boosting debt that Islamic
banks can issue, which must
include a loss absorption feature
that allows regulators to convert
such debt into equity if a lender
faces insolvency.
Mashreq sees sukuk pipeline starts
spilling deals after market volatility
he past week has been telling in the
market for Shariah-compliant debt.
After sales of Islamic bonds began
the fourth quarter at the slowest pace in
six years, sukuk from companies including
FlyDubai and Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding
Co are among deals announced or sold this
week. They will increase the amount raised
this quarter to at least $5bn.
“These deals have been in the pipeline
and the market volatility in September and
October delayed them,” said Abdul Kadir Hussain, the chief executive officer of
Mashreq Capital DIFC Ltd, who correctly
predicted last week that sales would rebound. “The market seems supportive now
and issuers are trying to get them out of the
Bond volatility dropped 32% since
reaching a more than one-year high on October 15, according to the Bank of America
Merrill Lynch’s MOVE Index, which measures price swings in Treasuries based on
options. There is demand for Islamic debt,
especially for some of the new issuers,
as they offer a higher yield than the more
established ones, according to Apostolos
Bantis, a credit analyst at Commerzbank
AG in Dubai.
FlyDubai, the Dubai-based budget carrier, is selling as much as $500mn in sukuk.
Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund tapped the
Islamic bond market for the п¬Ѓrst time on
Tuesday, raising $600mn, while Drake &
Scull International issued Shariah-compliant debt earlier this week.
FlyDubai, which is wholly owned by the
Dubai government, is said to pay as much
as 212.5 basis points above midswaps, the
people said. That compares with about 165
basis points over the corresponding midswap that Emirates is paying on its sukuk
maturing in March 2023. The airline is the
FlyDubai, the Dubai-based budget carrier, is selling as much as $500mn in sukuk
world’s biggest by international passenger
Global sukuk yields have retreated 17
basis points since reaching a п¬Ѓve-month
high in October to 2.8% on November 18,
according to a gauge compiled by Deutsche
Bank AG.
The latest transactions won’t be enough
to make for a record sukuk issuance year,
Hussain at Mashreq Capital, which manages about $1.2bn, said by e-mail from Du-
bai on Tuesday. “Net new issuance will be
flat to lower,” he said.
Sukuk sales have exceeded $40bn in 2014
compared with last year’s total of $43.1bn,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Turkey sold $1bn in 10-year Islamic
bonds on Tuesday, the first sukuk offering since October 2013. Advanced Petrochemicals Co in Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it sold a five-year floating-rate sukuk
in a private placement, issuing 1bn riyals
($267mn). Drake & Scull, based in Dubai,
also raised $120mn via a п¬Ѓve-year sukuk in
a private placement.
The issuer base is “widening,” Afaq
Khan, chief executive officer of Standard
Chartered Saadiq, said by phone on Tuesday. “It’s diversifying portfolios not only in
terms of industries, but also geographies
and in terms of risk reward so you can have
Islamic Development Bank and FlyDubai in
your portfolio.”
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
ANZ suspends 7 traders amid
investigation by regulators
ustralia & New Zealand Banking Group has suspended seven
traders amid an investigation by
regulators into whether market participants tried to influence Australia’s
benchmark interest rates.
ANZ’s internal review and the investigation by the Australian Securities &
Investments Commission “may not be
complete for some time,” the bank said
in a statement yesterday. Since mid2012, ASIC has inquired into possible
manipulation of the bank-bill swap
rate, or BBSW, the local equivalent of
the London interbank offered rate, by
14 banks that contributed prices to the
rate-setting process.
ANZ didn’t name the traders in
yesterday’s statement. Banks across
the globe have paid billions of dollars
in п¬Ѓnes and made legal provisions as
regulators probed rigging of foreignexchange markets and benchmark interest rates including Libor.
ASIC said in July that traders from
Royal Bank of Scotland Group sought
to manipulate the Australian benchmark, and in January that traders from
BNP Paribas tried to influence the
French lender’s submissions on it.
“It’s a good opportunity for ASIC
to assert its authority given it’s been
criticised for not doing enough on
market manipulation,” said Martin
Smith, a senior market analyst with
Sydney-based research п¬Ѓrm East &
Partners Pty.
“If the misconduct is clear, ASIC
needs to act swiftly.” Voluntary Contribution Royal Bank of Scotland agreed
July 21 to make a A$1.6mn ($1.4mn)
voluntary contribution toward п¬Ѓnancial literacy projects after acknowledg-
Pedestrians walk past an Australia & New Zealand Banking Group branch in Singapore. The ANZ has suspended seven traders
amid an investigation by regulators into whether market participants tried to influence Australia’s benchmark interest rates.
ing limited instances of communications discussing the rate setting.
UBS AG and BNP Paribas agreed to
make a A$1mn contribution December
23 and January 28 respectively, according to statements from ASIC.
“ASIC can confirm it is investigating
ANZ, including the conduct of individuals, as part of its wider probe into the
BBSW submission process and trading
in reference bank bills,” Daniel Wright,
a Sydney based spokesman for the
commission, said in an e-mailed statement, without commenting further.
ANZ Chief Risk Officer Nigel Williams said the bank is “taking the precaution of having seven staff involved
in markets trading step down pend-
ing completion of the investigation
into practices” over a period ending
in 2013.
“We have been treating this matter
very seriously and we are continuing
to cooperate fully with ASIC,” Williams
said in the statement.
The potential outcomes from the
regulator’s inquiries include civil and
criminal penalties, ANZ said.
The Australian Financial Markets
Association shut the rate- setting
panel last year and moved to a mechanism where the benchmark is compiled
directly using prices from brokers and
electronic markets.
At least A$350bn of Australian syndicated loans and floating-rate bonds
are priced off BBSW, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg last year.
Trading of swaps, forward rate
agreements and options tied to BBSW
was valued at more than A$8.7tn in
the 2009 п¬Ѓnancial year, according to
a letter from the Australian Financial
Markets Association to global banking
regulators in 2010.
BBSW rates “substantially differed”
from Libor in that lenders were required to make submissions based on
the average mid-rate observed on bank
bills, while Libor is subjective and not
tied to observable transactions, ASIC
said yesterday.
Singapore’s central bank said this
month that it gave back as much as
S$12bn ($9.2bn) taken from 19 lenders
last year as a penalty for trying to manipulate benchmark rates.
The lenders took steps to prevent
a recurrence of attempts to rig rates,
the Monetary Authority of Singapore
said. Before ANZ’s announcement,
shares of the Melbourne-based bank
closed 0.2% lower at A$31.77 in Sydney. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200
Index fell 0.6%.
German bond
yields decline
erman bond yields dipped
yesterday as disappointing business activity data
fed demand for safe-haven assets and п¬Ѓrmed up bets that the
European Central Bank will adopt
more stimulus measures.
Markit’s Composite Flash
Purchasing Managers’ Index
for the eurozone, seen as a good
growth indicator, fell to 51.4 in
November, missing the lowest
forecast in a Reuters poll. New
orders dropped for the п¬Ѓrst time
in over a year.
The weak outlook prompted
some investors to take refuge in
top-rated German bonds, but
there was little evidence of selling pressures in the bloc’s riskier
debt markets as accounts remained positioned for additional
central bank easing.
The ECB is set to start buying
asset-backed securities this week,
extending its purchase scheme
from covered bonds, but many
remain sceptical that this will help
expand the central bank’s balance
sheet by the €1tn pledged.
These barriers, plus the weakening outlook, are enough to
convince many that controversial
purchases of public debt are just
around the corner. “You can argue that the worse the situation
gets the more likely it is that the
ECB will buy government bonds,”
said Alessandro Tentori, global
head of rates strategy at Citi.
“That is why you have a hard
time getting people to sell BTPs
(Italian bonds) and Bonos (Spanish bonds) just because the
economy is faltering.” German
10-year yields dipped 3 basis
points to 0.81%. Italian and
Spanish equivalents were both 2
bps lower at 2.30 and 2.11%, respectively, after Spain offloaded
3bn euros of debt at auction.
ThyssenKrupp restarts dividend as turnaround takes hold
“We have found a niche in the market, which is very
robust,” he said. The defence, support services and
engineering contractor has profited over the past
year as military and engineering clients, under
pressure from tighter government budgets, have
outsourced work to cut costs.
Babcock repairs and maintains Britain’s submarines
and on Wednesday said it was the preferred bidder
for the sale of the Ministry of Defence’s business
that repairs and maintains equipment for land
The 123-year-old company reaffirmed its full-year
profit forecast after underlying pretax profit for the
six months to September 30 jumped to ВЈ187mn
($292.5mn) from ВЈ141.7mn.
Shares in the company were up 4.6% at 11 pence by
GMT, making it the biggest gainer on the FTSE 100
Telekom Slovenia
Germany’s biggest steelmaker ThyssenKrupp is
resuming dividend payments a year earlier than
expected, signalling confidence in a turnaround
with the promise of a modest payout for shareholders after it beat profit forecasts. ThyssenKrupp said
yesterday it would pay €0.11 ($0.14) a share for the
year to end-September. “It is a signal to our shareholders that we have reached a turning point in our
earnings development,” Chief Executive Heinrich
Hiesinger said. ThyssenKrupp shares rose more
than 3% before settling back to trade 1.6% higher at
€20.04 by 1243 GMT, and were the top gainers in a
0.7%-lower German DAX.
“They came out with a quite small 11 cents per share
announcement, but it’s symbolic of the company’s
transformation after it was pushed into a distressed
asset sale and a capital increase a year ago,” said
analyst Seth Rosenfeld of Jefferies.
Hiesinger took over in 2011, inheriting a company
that had spent 12bn euros on expanding its steel
businesses in Brazil and Alabama, only to be hit by
a global economic crisis that choked steel demand,
and a strengthening of Brazil’s real.
He began to turn ThyssenKrupp away from its steelmaking roots towards higher-margin businesses
like high-tech elevators, but was still forced into a
fire sale of the Alabama plant and an emergency
rights issue last year to keep creditors at bay.
ThyssenKrupp reported yesterday its first net profit
in four years, as all its units reported improvements
except for logistics, which was depressed by two
loss-making units the company wants to sell.
Underlying operating profit more than doubled
to €1.33bnin the year to end-September, and the
company said that should rise to at least 1.5bn this
year, although it would need to make 2bn before it
could raise its dividend.
Johnson Matthey
The London-listed Johnson Matthey, which also refines and recycles platinum group metals, reported
an underlying pretax profit of ВЈ216.4mn ($338.6mn)
for the half year to the end of September, up 2%
from last year and ahead of a company-provided
analyst consensus of ВЈ206.7mn.
Although the largest chunk of the company’s revenue comes from autocatalysts currently, Johnson
Matthey is looking to grow other areas such as
batteries technology.
Johnson Matthey expects higher earnings this year
after the specialty chemicals company increased
first-half profits due to stronger sales of its products
that help to make cars more environmentally
The company said tighter environmental legislation
was mainly responsible for boosting sales in Europe
and Asia of its auto catalysts, which control car
emissions. Growth in car production and truck sales
also helped.
“Our growth is going to be driven by car production growth in certain areas such as Asia and North
America,” finance director Den Jones said. “And our
customers in Europe are doing better than others
so we are benefiting from that,” he said. “Truck
sales in North America are also doing well.”
Johnson Matthey, the world’s largest auto catalyst
maker, said it expected its performance in the
current financial year would be slightly ahead of
last year.
British engineering firm Babcock said yesterday
strong demand for niche services helped core earnings growth improve to 9% in the first half of the
year, after posting a 32% jump in pretax profits.
Chief Executive Peter Rogers said in July the company, which generates 81% of its business in Britain
and whose largest customer is the Ministry of
Defence, was aiming for 10% core earnings growth
in the coming years.
Rogers, who has been in the role for 11 years, told
Reuters core, or organic, earnings growth in the
first half had risen from the 6-8% seen in recent
Telekom Slovenia, due to be privatised next year,
reported a 19% drop in nine-month group net profit,
partly due to price cuts for its products, the company said yesterday.
Slovenia’s leading telecom operator had net
profit of €37.7mn ($47.3mn), while revenues fell to
€579.3mn from €599.1mn a year ago.
The company said the profit had shrunk due to
lower cost of its products for customers which was
part of plans to improve Telekom’s competitiveness
and retain its market share.
Telekom controls 48.7% in the mobile telephony
market in Slovenia, down 0.8% on a year ago, and
35.6% in fixed telephony, which is 2.5 lower than
last year. “The results are likely to push the share
price down in the short term but in the medium
term the price is probably going to rise because the
company is expected to be sold at some 10 to 20%
above its current market value,” Iztok Trobec at
Dezelna Banka, said.
Telekom Slovenia is the most prized of the 15
companies the government put up for sale last year,
with a market value of about €1bn.
Baby goods retailer Mothercare posted a small rise
in first-half profit and said lower losses and improving sales in the United Kingdom provided early
encouragement for its new turnaround plan.
While Mothercare’s overseas business is profitable,
fierce competition from supermarkets such as
Tesco and Internet retailers like Amazon has hit it
hard at home.
This has left the company with too many stores
and not enough customers, and exposed a need
to boost its online business and improve product
ranges and brands.
In September, new boss Mark Newton-Jones tapped
investors for ВЈ100mn ($157mn) to fund more UK
store closures and revamp others with video walls
and iPads, with the aim of erasing losses by 2017 at
a division which accounts for 60% of sales.
The firm is also pushing more full-price sales
rather than discounts and has said most of its UK
stores, which will be cut to 160 from 220 over the
next three years, will switch to larger out-of-town
formats that house more items and services.
Yesterday, the company said losses at its UK division narrowed slightly to ВЈ13.5mn in the first 28
weeks to October 11, while overall underlying group
pretax profit rose to ВЈ3.3mn from ВЈ2mn a year ago.
Sales at UK stores open more than a year rose 1.5%,
with fewer promotions helping keep gross margins
flat after five years of decline. Its franchised international arm, which has 1,300 stores in 60 countries,
saw underlying sales rise 4.9% with year-on-year
profit flat at ВЈ25mn.
Cloud software company forecast
revenue for the current quarter and full year 2016
that fell short of market expectations, hurt by a
strong dollar.
Shares of Salesforce, which gets about 30% of its
revenue from outside Americas, were down 4.5% in
extended trading on Wednesday.
Net loss narrowed to $38.9mn, or 6 cents per share,
from $124.4mn, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 14 cents
per share. The world’s biggest maker of online sales
software said it expected revenue of $6.45bn to
$6.5bn for the year ending January 2016, missing
analysts’ average estimate of $6.66bn.
“Now keep in mind we are 15 months away from
the end of fiscal 2016 and this is our initial guidance
without knowing our Q4 results,” Chief Executive
Marc Benioff said on a post-earnings call.
The company forecast revenue of about $1.44bn for
the quarter ending January 31, below the average
analyst estimate of $1.45bn.
Revenue rose 28.6% to $1.38bn for the third quarter
ended October 31, above analysts’ expectations,
helped by higher demand for its web-based sales
and marketing software and services.
Keurig Green Mountain forecast first-quarter profit
below analysts’ estimates as the company battles
increasing competition from coffee pod makers and
rising coffee prices.
The company’s shares fell 1.2% in after-market trading on Wednesday. Keurig Green Mountain has tried
to expand beyond its core business of single-serve
coffee packets, as it grapples with competition from
smaller rivals such as TreeHouse Foods. Unfavourable weather patterns in South America had pushed
prices of Arabica coffee to record highs this year.
The company forecast first-quarter 2015 earnings
between 83-88 cents per share, below the average
analyst estimate of 96 cents.
Keurig Green Mountain reported better-thanexpected revenue and profit for the fourth quarter,
helped by higher sales of coffee portion packs, its
largest business.
Total portion pack net sales increased 22% in the
quarter ended Sept. 27, the company said.
Net income attributable to Keurig rose to $141.1mn,
or 86 cents per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter
ended September 27 from $127mn, or 83 cents per
share, a year earlier.
Russia’s second-largest bank VTB expects a tough
end to the year after posting a 98% slide in thirdquarter profit because of higher provisions for
bad loans, an economic slowdown and losses over
The state-controlled bank, which was sanctioned
by the US and European Union over Moscow’s role
in the Ukraine conflict, is a key lender to Russia’s
economy, which has slowed sharply this year and is
on the verge of recession.
“We don’t expect a significant profit (for the full
year),” Herbert Moos, VTB’s chief financial officer,
told journalists. “All that profit will go on forming additional provisions.”
VTB’s third-quarter net profit was 0.4bn roubles
($8.58mn), compared to 18.4bn roubles a year earlier, short of analysts’ expectations of 3bn roubles.
The bank said loan-loss provisions in the third quarter rose to 65bn roubles from 22bn a year earlier,
while its cost of risk rose to 2.9% in the first nine
months from 1.7% a year earlier.
“We see a continuing deterioration of the situation
in Ukraine, we see additional provisions for our
retail portfolio, and we see provisions linked with
construction firms,” Moos said.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Russia needs oil price of
$100 to balance budget
ussia can do little to shore up
slumping global prices even if Opec
wants it to. Russian wells will freeze
if they stop pumping oil, and the country has no capacity to store the output it
would otherwise export.
Before next week’s meeting of Opec,
Russia has already spoken to group member Venezuela about the need to “co-ordinate actions in defence” of oil prices and it
plans to send a high-ranking delegation to
press the message.
But despite needing oil prices of $100
a barrel to balance its budget, Russia has
changed little since 2008 when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries urged Moscow to join forces to
cut supply to shore up prices.
Then and now, the world’s biggest producer lacks the ability to increase or turn
down its own production.
“Nothing has changed,” said Valery
Nesterov, an analyst with Sberbank CIB,
adding that while China has built storage
to beef up its stocks for its energy-intensive economy, Russia has constructed no
new facilities.
Nesterov also said Russia had a harsh
climate and challenging geology which
meant it cannot simply stop wells from
pumping oil. “Russian wells will just
freeze if you stop them.”
But that does not mean that Moscow
will not try to persuade others to help
shore up a price, which has fallen 33%
since June to $78 a barrel.
Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of
Russia’s biggest oil producer Rosneft and
a long-standing ally of President Vladimir
Putin, and Energy Minister Alexander
Novak will both fly to Austria days before
Opec is due to meet in Vienna.
They are due to attend a conference
with Venezualan officials, have not shed
light on the agenda or the other participants. Novak’s spokeswoman said on
Thursday the minister would not attend
the Opec meeting itself.
Oil market watchers are divided on the
outcome of the meeting in Vienna, which
will be the most uncertain for years.
Analysts are split over whether there
will be a co-ordinated cut, with some
saying output could be reduced by up to
Rosneft headquarters is seen behind the Kremlin wall in central Moscow. Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of Russia’s biggest oil
producer Rosneft and Energy Minister Alexander Novak will both fly to Austria days before Opec is due to meet in Vienna.
1.5mn barrels per day (bpd). Some experts argue that Russia could even need
oil prices as high as $115 to balance the
budget, since social and military spending have soared, while Western sanctions
over Ukraine have cut off Moscow from
funds it borrows in Western п¬Ѓnancial
Given that its production cannot be
stopped, the only option left would be for
Russia to cut its exports, which stand at
around 4mn bpd.
Asked if Russia could hold back oil it
would normally export, a trader at a major western oil company said: “And where
would you put it?”
Some oil could be stored in the Transneft pipeline system, one of the world’s
longest, he said. But it was never supposed to be used for prolonged storage,
since it is reserve capacity to be used only
in the event of if technical problems.
Transneft did not respond to a request
for comment.
Russia’s only major oil storage facility,
the floating storage vessel Belokamenka
located in the Barents Sea, can hold 2.6mn
An industry source said that even
though Belokamenka is not full at the moment “you will need 365 like it to take off
2mn bpd from the market”.
The position is different with Saudi
Arabia, Opec’s leading producer. Unlike
in Russia, where around a half of oil production is in private hands, Saudi Arabia
controls all of its output via state-owned
Saudi Aramco.
The company has a large fleet of supertankers which can be used to store oil at
sea and also owns or leases oil storage facilities around the world.
Russia sells a big chunk of its oil to trading houses and oil majors, thus leaving the
decisions where and how to store crude to
its buyers.
Mikhail Krutikhin, a partner with
RusEnergy consultancy, said Russia could
not influence oil prices through export
cuts and joked that more drastic measures
might be needed.
“There is no real way for Russia to support prices, only to make a revolution
some oil producing country,” he said.
VSMPO sees output unaffected by supplier’s mine accident
ussia’s VSMPO-Avisma,
the world’s largest titanium producer, dismissed
concerns yesterday that its output could be affected by a mine
accident suffered by its main raw
material supplier, Uralkali.
VSMPO, whose biggest customers are Airbus and Boeing,
said it had enough stocks of carnallite ore, a raw material used in
Russian п¬Ѓrms
face huge
insurance costs
as foreign
providers flee
titanium production, to last for
three to six months if supplies
dried up from Uralkali.
“We’re working as usual. We
have a long-term stock of carnallite ore,” Marina Voronkova,
VSMPO spokeswoman, said.
“We will be able to find alternative sources of raw materials,
and we’ve purchased carnallite
ore in Israel before.”
Russia’s Uralkali, the world’s
top potash producer, suspended
work at its Solikamsk-2 mine
following an inflow of water on
Tuesday. It did not comment on
the VSMPO remarks.
If the mine floods, there
could be a risk to the nearby Solikamsk-1 mine, from which it
is separated by a concrete dam.
VSMPO gets carnallite ore from
“Uralkali has not informed
us of any threat of Solikamsk-1
flooding,” Voronkova said.
Titanium is used in the aerospace, energy, chemical engineering and medicine industries.
VSMPO, which is owned by
Russian state defence conglomerate Rostec, supplies Airbus
with 60% of its titanium products and Boeing with 40%.
Its ability to sell to Western
clients has not been affected by
the fact that its chief executive,
Sergei Chemezov, was included
on a list of officials hit by visa
bans and asset freezes over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
It told Airbus in May that the
European planemaker would
face п¬Ѓnancial penalties if it terminated its $4bn contract for
VSMPO to supply it with rolled
titanium alloys until 2020.
VSMPO, which exports 70%
of its titanium output, aims
to boost production to about
45,000 tonnes in the medium
term, up from last year’s 28,855
Flooding is a common problem for the potash mining industry. In previous cases of
flooding, there has been clarity
on the fate of a mine within a
week, analysts at VTB Capital
said on Wednesday.
ussian companies face
billions of dollars in
extra insurance costs
as Western sanctions prompt
foreign insurance п¬Ѓrms to
start pulling out, worried that
any business they undertake
is at risk from future measures and an increasingly sick
Russian President Vladimir
Putin came under heavy criticism at a G20 summit last
weekend, where Western
leaders accused him of continuing to destabilise Ukraine
in violation of a September
peace agreement.
Existing sanctions, along
with an oil price tumble, have
brought Russia to the brink of
recession. The rouble is down
some 30% over the year and
lending costs are soaring for all
companies, be they on sanctions lists or not. That has led
foreign insurers to conclude
that it’s simply not worth the
risk of offering their services,
say industry sources.
“There is a concern that
further sanctions could be
imposed (and) there is uncertainty about where they might
be imposed,” said Andrew van
den Born at insurance broker
“If (insurance companies)
were to write credit risk for
Russia – even if the companies
are not sanctioned – and they
were to default, they would
have a difficult conversation
as to why they chose to write
the risk.”
Russian companies are likely to be hit in several ways.
Domestic insurers will
struggle to п¬Ѓnd foreign reinsurers to share the cost of
insuring Russian energy or
shipping projects – for example – which in turn will put increased financial pressure on
those projects to п¬Ѓnd far more
money for coverage.
Secondly, in the credit
market, Western bankers will
be reluctant to lend to Russian companies because those
п¬Ѓrms now cannot get insurance against the risk of defaulting on their loans.
“Whilst certain Russian
entities can insure a certain
amount of risk in the Russian market, they need to get
re-insurance from the world
market and that is an area
where difficulties are created
currently for Russian companies,” said Michael Kingston
of law п¬Ѓrm DWF who works
with insurance companies on
Arctic operations.
One industry source said
Russian insurance business
worth at least $3bn – including oil and gas assets - was
shared out through reinsurers
via specialist provider Lloyd’s
of London alone, and this was
in danger of drying up.
A Lloyd’s market spokesman said it complied with all
international sanctions and
declined further comments.
Participants in the global
credit risk market are based
everywhere from London to
New York, Bermuda and Singapore and may be exposed to
up to $15bn of Russian loans,
van den Born said.
Peter Jenkins, co-head of
political and credit risk at Brit
– one of several specialist underwriters with a presence in
the Lloyd’s of London market – said: “I would suspect
for many (credit risk) players,
Russian-related income will
have represented between 10
and 25% of their income.”
Moscow is already under
pressure to secure п¬Ѓnancing
for critical oil and gas projects
including in the remote parts
of the Arctic, as Western lenders pull out.
Russian insurers may follow
the example set by sanctioned
oil п¬Ѓrms like Novatek that are
talking to Chinese lenders
in an attempt to fund future
Three Western insurance
sources looking at the current
situation say Russian energy
insurer SOGAZ – one of the
country’s biggest specialist
insurers – is among the domestic insurers likely to find it
harder to re-insure its risk in
markets like London and New
“For US insurers in general,
I suspect there is some caution with respect to SOGAZ,
which is so far as I am aware
not itself a sanctioned entity,”
said Thomas Dawson, partner
at the insurance arm of law
п¬Ѓrm Drinker Biddle in New
SOGAZ First Deputy Chief
Executive Nikolai Galushin
told Reuters it had not experienced any reinsurers refusing
to deal with the company, but
added the company was diversifying its reinsurance providers by “deepening ties with
emerging markets”.
Global aluminium pricing may never be the same again
By Andy Home
The splintering of the global aluminium
price is becoming ever more acute.
Physical premiums on both sides of the
Atlantic have just sailed through the $500
per tonne level, widening the disconnect
between the global reference price set on
the London Metal Exchange (LME) and the
“all-in” price paid by manufacturers.
There is accumulating evidence that
first-stage aluminium users, who have up
to now taken the unhedgeable premium
pain, are looking to pass it down the supply chain to their own customers.
If they do, what was once considered
a temporary aberration risks becoming
embedded throughout the aluminium
The LME is racing to catch up with its
US competitor CME Group in offering
premium contracts, a potentially valuable
hedging tool but one that may act to cement the fracturing of the previous pricing
And all the time the premiums keep
rising. Why? And what will halt this seemingly unstoppable premium machine?
Aluminium manufacturers have blamed
the LME’s warehousing network for causing premiums to rise. The exchange has in
turn pointed to the extraordinary combination of financial crash in 2008-2009 and
the subsequent period of negative real
interest rates.
What’s not in doubt is that huge
amounts of unwanted metal flowed into
LME warehouses, particularly in Detroit,
at the end of the last decade as financial
crisis became manufacturing crisis.
That transformed the LME forward aluminium curve into “super contango”, attracting the attention of stocks financiers,
who realised they could earn a return by
buying spot and selling forward. “Free” QE
money both facilitated the trade and, by
obliterating any positive return in fixedincome markets, incentivised it.
The main cost of what LME veterans
still call the cash-and-carry business is
storage. LME rent rates are much higher
than off-exchange costs, so it was no
surprise that there was a collective rush to
move metal out of LME sheds.
A delivery system designed to handle
industrial-scale flows couldn’t cope with
the load-out requirements of financiers,
who were dealing in the hundreds of
thousands of tonnes.
Metro, the LME warehousing operator that found itself in the eye of this
aluminium storm in Detroit, decided to
capitalise on its good fortune of being in
the right place at the right time by using
the rental income from its load-out queue
to bid for more metal.
The more metal that flowed in, the more
metal that was hoovered up by financiers,
who then cancelled it with a view to moving it to cheaper sheds elsewhere in the
city. The load-out queue grew and grew,
a virtuous circle for Metro, a vicious circle
for anyone else trying to buy physical
It was inevitable that such a great
money-making scheme would attract
the attention of bigger players. Goldman
Sachs snapped up Metro in 2010 and
finessed the revolving-door warehousing
strategy. Glencore, one of the power players in the aluminium market, bought its
own LME warehousing operator, Pacorini,
and rapidly built its own load-out queue at
the Dutch port of Vlissingen.
Whatever the disputed drivers of the
original disconnect between LME basis
price and premium, the linkage between
lengthening queues and rising premiums
was indisputable.
It seemed logical then that if the LME
could reduce the queues, premiums would
The LME’s new load-in-load-out formula
has brought to an end the revolving-door
warehouse model. Even though it only
comes into effect next February, both
Metro and Pacorini have preemptively
changed their behaviour.
The load-out queue at Vlissingen has
been trending lower, now at 637 calendar
days, compared with 748 at the end of
April. That at Detroit has been capped at
around 700 days in recent months and
should now start falling, given there is
hardly any metal left there to cancel.
Premiums, it follows, should have
topped out, if load-out queues were the
primary driver.
But they haven’t, as the graphic below
The premium for Midwest delivery
as assessed by Platts, a leading global
energy, metals and petrochemicals information provider, currently stands at 23.5
cents per lb, equivalent to $518 per tonne.
The cost of getting metal out of Detroit,
factoring in the length of queue, the corresponding rent and the load-out charge,
is $382 per tonne.
The physical premium, in other words,
has itself disconnected from the queue
That doesn’t mean that the queues are
not still in the mix. It’s just that they have
changed from primary driver of rising
premiums to invisible floor.
There is still a “hard” arbitrage between
getting metal out of the LME system and
the physical market, even if it is not currently profitable.
But, quite evidently, other factors are
now driving physical premiums over and
above anything that could be explained by
the length of LME load-out queues.
And, in many ways, they are the
traditional drivers of physical premiums,
reflecting both the cost of delivering metal
to a manufacturer’s yard and the nuances
of regional supply-demand dynamics.
Right now, for example, at a very local
level trucking rates are rising in the US,
increasing the costs of delivery.
At a regional level, the US and Europe
are evolving into ever deeper deficit
markets, reflecting the closure of smelter
capacity over the last few years.
Annualised primary aluminium production in North America has fallen from
5.9mn tonnes at the end of 2007 to a
current 4.5mn tonnes.
Consumption is booming and the US
is sucking in ever greater quantities of
imported metal. And, because traditional
sources of supply such as South America
have also seen smelter capacity slashed,
those imports are coming from ever
further afield.
Imports from both Russia and the
Middle East, in particular, are rising but
the freight is significantly higher, directly
impacting the cost of physical delivery.
Physical premiums, in other words,
are reflecting what they are supposed to
reflect, just off a higher base.
That’s one half of the pricing disconnect.
The other is the LME basis price, which
remains low at least in part due to the
hedge short position associated with
financing all the stock overhang, both that
still in the LME system and that now being
stored outside it.
The stocks financing trade is still profitable, even if the returns are much diminished from the days of “super contango”.
Some 1.77mn tonnes of aluminium have
left the LME system this year and most of
it hasn’t gone anywhere near an industrial
buyer. After all, that was why the metal
was queuing in the first place, to be shifted
to lower-cost storage which would make
financing it more profitable.
Physical premiums are also about pricing accessibility of metal. And while they
have risen because of rising import and
transportation costs, the simple fact is that
much of the metal in the US and Europe is
still locked down in financing deals.
It is no more accessible to a spot physical buyer than when it was sitting in an
LME load-out queue.
Andy Home is a columnist for Reuters.
The opinions expressed are his own.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Rich values, poor rules dog
HK-Shanghai stock trading
Hong Kong
rofit-taking and queasiness
about the rules blighted trading via the Shanghai-Hong Kong
stock connect this week after a brisk
п¬Ѓrst day when mostly hedge funds and
private banks snapped up all the available mainland shares within hours.
The scheme, which lets foreign investors directly invest in Shanghailisted shares for the п¬Ѓrst time and
mainland investors buy Hong Kong
stocks, reached the 13bn yuan ($2.1bn)
daily “northbound” quota on Monday,
but achieved only 37% on Tuesday,
20% on Wednesday and 18% yesterday.
That was partly down to a welltelegraphed ambush by mainland investors, who ran up the price of their
stocks in the months before the launch,
and promptly sold them into the initial
rush from Hong Kong.
But big institutions gave the scheme
a wide berth, concerned about taxation
matters and technical rules that make
trades more risky and uncertain.
The Shanghai market has picked itself up from a multi-year trough to rise
27% this year, the third best performer
in Asia after India and Pakistan.
“There was a lot of anticipation
on the stock connect scheme before
the launch,” said Arnout Van Rijn,
Asia-Pacific equities fund manager at
Robeco in Hong Kong, part of a team
that manages $250bn in assets globally.
That was particularly true of stocks
that Hong Kong brokerages had been
pushing hard.
For example, Kweichou Moutai
Co, which has been among the top 10
stocks traded on the northbound leg in
the п¬Ѓrst three days of trading, had raced
up more than 50% so far this year. It fell
10% this week as mainland investors
pocketed their profits.
Another brokerage favourite, Daqin
Railway, operator of railroad coal transport in northern China, has risen more
than 50% since March and hit a 4-1/2
year high on Monday, but has since declined nearly 10%.
“Further intakes of A-shares will
be much slower as the excitement has
been exhausted on the launch day, and
potential investors turn cautious,” said
A woman walks past a banner reading �First time ever, stock-connect China’ during the launch ceremony of the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect at the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange. The Shanghai market has picked itself up from a multi-year trough to rise 27% this year, the third best performer in Asia after India and Pakistan.
Du Changchun, analyst at Northeast
Securities in Shanghai.
Southbound trade was always expected to be lighter, as mainland investors have shown little enthusiasm
for previous schemes to invest abroad,
preferring the lure of real estate.
Even so, the take-up was dismal,
falling from 17% on the п¬Ѓrst day to 2%
While the fast money may still dip in
and out of the market, the rules governing the scheme are deterring traditional
long-only funds, which serve retail
investors and have more risk-averse
Rahul Chadha, co-chief investment officer at Mirae Asset Global
Investments in Hong Kong, said they
hadn’t invested but would do so “in
due course” and had instead invested
in Chinese companies with listings in
Hong Kong.
One complication in trading a
Shanghai listing through the connect
is the “pre-selling” requirement to deliver stock to a broker the day before
sale, which leaves the seller exposed to
movements in the stock for longer.
Institutions are also unnerved by the
lack of a concept of beneficial ownership in China, which elsewhere in the
world makes a clear distinction between those conducting the mechanics of a trade and the owner on whose
behalf they trade.
And while China said last week it
would temporarily exempt taxes on
profits made from the stock connect
scheme, fund managers are wary of a
retrospective tax charge.
“The taxation issue hasn’t really
been solved, and large institutional
investors dislike any uncertainty,” said
Jesse Lazarus, an analyst at Shanghaibased Z-Ben Advisors.
Such concerns have dogged previous attempts to give foreigners access
to Chinese stocks, such as the Qualified
Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII)
and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) schemes.
The government has yet to clarify the
tax treatment for those schemes, and
Sensex edges higher on buy support
Hedge funds
face exit tax
as Iceland
central bank
mulls plan
ndian shares edged up yesterday as exporters such as Infosys rallied after the
rupee fell to a nine-month low, although
the weaker local currency hit other bluechips such as Tata Motors by tempering
hopes of interest rate cuts.
Meanwhile, a television news channel reported that Kotak Mahindra Bank may buy
ING Vysya Bank, sending both stocks to their
record highs. Kotak said no decision had been
made in relation to any merger.
Broader gains were capped by worries that
overseas investors may slow down purchases
or lock in some profits after local shares rose
to record highs on Tuesday.
Foreign institutional investors bought
shares worth $11.59mn on Wednesday and
$2.4mn on Tuesday. They have bought a net
$15.47bn worth of shares so far in 2014, according to regulatory data.
Investors are waiting for the winter session
of the parliament scheduled to begin next
week and the Reserve Bank of India’s policy
review on December 2, to decide their further
course of action.
“There is event risk of winter session, RBI
review. Foreign investors are also in a wait
mode before these events and are likely to
pare some positions,” said Vinod Nair, head
of fundamental research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
The BSE index rose 0.12% to 28,067.56,
0.8% away from its record high hit on Tuesday.
The NSE index gained 0.23% to 8,401.90,
above the psychologically important 8,400
level, and 0.64% away from its all-time high
of 8,455.65.
Exporters led gains. Infosys rose 1.3%,
while Tata Consultancy Services ended up
Tech Mahindra rose 3%, HCL Technologies gained 1.1% and Wipro advanced 1.2%.
Among drug exporters, Cipla rose 3.2%
and Lupin gained 1.3%.
Kotak Mahindra ended 7.4% higher after
marking a record high of Rs1,163 earlier in
the day, while ING Vysya soared 7.8% after
marking an all-time high of Rs865.
Earlier in the day, ET Now business news
channel reported Kotak is close to acquiring
ING Vysya.
Among losers, blue-chips, including ratesensitive stocks, such as Tata Motors declined 0.9% as investors tempered rate-cut
hopes after the rupee fell to its weakest in
nine months.
HDFC Bank ended lower 0.9%, while Axis
Bank lost 0.8%.
Z-Ben’s Lazarus estimates between
$400mn and $1.2bn in tax could be
owed by fund managers under the QFII
quota, if the government were to call it
“Think about the documentation
and how many days the (tax) lawyers
need to look at that - and pre-selling
of stock is still an issue for many institutional investors,” said Vincent Chan,
head of China research at Credit Suisse.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange declined to comment for this story.
The Hong Kong exchange said: “We
believe initial performance has been
satisfactory if it is judged from the perspectives of safety, stability and convenience.”
Rupee recoups losses to end nearly flat
The rupee ended nearly flat
yesterday after a fall to a ninemonth low had sparked mild
intervention from the central
bank, as emerging market
currencies were hit by a weak
reading in a private survey of
China’s manufacturing.
The China flash HSBC/Markit
manufacturing purchasing
managers’ index (PMI) fell to
a six-month low in November,
with output contracting for the
first time in six months.
The falls in the rupee are
raising the prospect of higher
imported inflation, although the
slump in global crude prices
is tempering some of those
Analysts also note the rupee
could prove sturdier than other
emerging market economies
given confidence about a recov-
ery in the country’s economy.
Earlier in the day, traders
said the central bank was
likely selling dollars through
state-owned banks to stem the
rupee’s fall.
“We might see some retracement towards 61.90 (per dollar)
and then some bounce again,”
said Hemal Doshi, a currency
strategist at Geojit Comtrade
“Exporters in India got 62
plus levels after a long time so
they also sold today, and these
dollar sales will keep coming
around 62.20 levels,” Doshi
The partially convertible
rupee closed at 61.94/95 per
dollar versus its previous close
of 61.96/97, after earlier touching a low of 62.22, its weakest
level since February 20.
edge funds and other
creditors with claims
against Iceland’s failed
banks face an exit tax as the island looks for ways to unwind
capital controls without hurting
the economy.
The government targets having a plan it can present by yearend that would map out how
Iceland will scale back currency
controls currently blocking
about $6.6bn from exiting the
The framework will build on
analysis conducted by the central bank and external advisers, including JPMorgan Chase
& Co “Some sort of exit tax in
some form will be some part of
the removal of capital controls,”
central bank Governor Mar Gudmundsson said in an interview in
“How large, and what role or
what percentage, is not timely to
discuss.” Newspaper Morgunbladid, whose editor-in-chief
is Gudmundsson’s predecessor,
David Oddsson, reported this
week that a tax for investors trying
to leave Iceland may be set at 35%.
It didn’t say how it got the
information and Gudmundsson
declined to confirm the figure.
An exit tax at that level would
be fought by the administrators
of the failed banks, according to
Johannes Runar Johannsson, a
member of Kaupthing Bank hf’s
winding-up committee. “That’s
clearly something that we would
object to,” Johannsson said yesterday in an interview.
“There’s a thin line between
justifiable taxation and expropriation of assets. I think a 35%
exit tax is much closer to an expropriation of assets than a lawful taxation.” Creditors that have
bought claims against Iceland’s
failed banks include hedge funds
Davidson Kempner Capital
Management and Taconic Capital Advisors.
The winding-up committees that represent investors
have urged the government to
let them sidestep the currency
controls to end the payment dispute. “We have not yet received
a substantive response from the
authorities,” Johannsson said.
“We expect that they will approach us in the near term.” Since
Iceland’s three biggest banks
defaulted on $85bn in 2008, the
island has struggled to resurrect
its $15bn economy. Though its
recovery programme initially involved leaving bank bondholders
in the lurch, the island is now
prodding the estates of its failed
lenders to settle creditor claims
without disrupting its balance of
Winning Praise Iceland’s approach has won praise from
economists including Nobel
Laureate Paul Krugman and organisations such as the International Monetary Fund. Removing the controls would mark a
final milestone in efforts to rebuild Iceland’s economy.
Asian markets mostly down; yen hits fresh lows
sian markets were mixed yesterday after another round of weak
manufacturing data underlined
the slowdown in China’s economy,
while minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s latest meeting gave few hints
about its plans for interest rates.
Further losses in the yen to multiyear lows against the dollar and euro
were not enough to give a strong boost
Tokyo’s Nikkei after this week’s surprise news that Japan had slipped into
Tokyo ended flat, dipping 12.11
points to 17,300.86, Seoul fell 0.45%,
or 8.83 points, to 1,958.04 and Sydney
sank 0.98%, or 52.6 points, to 5,316.2.
Hong Kong lost 0.10%, or 21.67
points, to close at 23,349.64. Shanghai was flat, edging up 1.67 points to
In other markets, Bangkok dropped
0.56%, or 8.87 points, to 1,568.68;
telecoms company Total Access Communication fell 3.47% to 97.50 baht,
while Bangchak Petroleum slid 2.03%
to 36.25 baht.
Jakarta ended down 0.67%, or 34.37
points, at 5,093.57; palm oil п¬Ѓrm Astra
Agro Lestari gained 3.34% to 24,775
rupiah, while auto maker Astra International dipped 3.85% to 6,875 rupiah.
Kuala Lumpur fell 2.1 points, or
0.12%, to close at 1,822.290; RHB Capital fell 2.13% to 8.27 ringgit and Telekom Malaysia dropped 0.68% to 7.25.
Singapore closed down 0.57%, or
18.96 points, to 3,315.60; DBS Bank fell
0.81% to Sg$19.56 while vehicle distributor Jardine Cycle & Carriage was
down 1.51% to Sg$40.97.
Taipei rose 1.29%, or 115.63 points,
to 9,078.87; Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co gained 2.21% to
Tw$139.0 while Hon Hai was 0.73%
higher at Tw$96.7.
Wellington ended marginally higher,
adding 4.89 points to 5,526.95; Fletcher Building added 0.48% to NZ$8.44
and Chorus was up 1.46% at NZ$2.08.
Manila was flat, dipping 0.54 points
to 7,268.95; Ayala Corp slid 4.88%
to 682 pesos, while Philippine Long
Distance Telephone gained 0.07% to
2,994 pesos.
Preliminary п¬Ѓgures from British
banking giant HSBC yesterday indicated manufacturing activity in China
Dealers work at a foreign exchange brokerage in Tokyo. The yen drifted lower in
Asia yesterday, hitting multi-year lows against the dollar and euro as investors bet
on further Bank of Japan monetary easing measures.
was stagnant in November. Its purchasing managers index (PMI) came
in at 50. Anything above that points
to growth, and a п¬Ѓgure below suggests
The result compares with 50.4 in
October, and is the latest data showing the world’s number two economy
and key driver of regional and global
growth is struggling with soft exports
and a weakening property sector.
However, it will likely raise hopes
that Beijing will unveil a fresh stimulus as the impact of growth-inducing
measures from earlier this year fades.
“We still see uncertainties in the
months ahead from the property market and on the export front,” HSBC
economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement. “Growth still faces significant
downward pressures.”
Traders were given a tepid lead from
Wall Street after the Fed’s minutes
shed little light on its plans for monetary policy.
Minutes from the US central bank’s
October 28-29 policy meeting showed
policymakers were confident enough in
the economy to bring an end to its vast
bond-buying stimulus programme.
However, they also made clear there
was little thought of departing from its
current policy of keeping interest rates
at the current zero level well into 2015.
Most analysts forecast initial hikes in
around the middle of next year.
In New York, the Dow edged down
0.01% and the S&P 500 lost 0.15%,
while the Nasdaq dropped 0.57%.
On currency markets, the yen fell
further against the dollar after Japan’s
central bank trimmed its inflation expectations and held off unveiling any
more easing measures to boost the
country’s economy, despite it slipping
into recession in July-September.
“The BoJ may be prepared to become
even more aggressive to achieve its inflation target,” Credit Agricole said in
a note. The dollar rose to ВҐ118.50 from
ВҐ118.01 in New York, its highest level
since August 2007. The euro bought
ВҐ148.74 against ВҐ148.11 in US trade, its
strongest since October 2008. The single currency was also at $1.2557 compared with $1.2551.
The yen has plunged this month
after the Bank of Japan ramped up its
own vast asset-purchasing scheme on
October 31.
Traders were given a lift by news that
Japan’s trade deficit narrowed by more
than a third year-on-year in October,
helped by higher exports and lower oil
prices, which reduced the country’s
massive energy bill.
Oil prices were higher. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for
December added two cents to $74.60
while Brent crude for January was up
one cent at $78.11.
Gold was at $1,195.791 an ounce,
compared with $1,200.30 late
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Company Name
Company Name
Zad Holding Co
Widam Food Co
Vodafone Qatar
United Development Co
Salam International Investme
Qatar & Oman Investment Co
Qatar Navigation
Qatar National Cement Co
Qatar National Bank
Qatar Islamic Insurance
Qatar Industrial Manufactur
Qatar International Islamic
Qatari Investors Group
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)
Qatar General Insurance & Re
Qatar German Co For Medical
Qatar Fuel Co
Qatar Electricity & Water Co
Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib
Qatar Insurance Co
Ooredoo Qsc
National Leasing
Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi
Al Meera Consumer Goods Co
Medicare Group
Mannai Corporation Qsc
Masraf Al Rayan
Al Khalij Commercial Bank
Industries Qatar
Islamic Holding Group
Gulf Warehousing Company
Gulf International Services
Ezdan Holding Group
Doha Insurance Co
Doha Bank Qsc
Dlala Holding
Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc
Barwa Real Estate Co
Al Khaleej Takaful Group
Aamal Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Saudi Hollandi Bank
Al-Ahsa Development Co.
Al-Baha Development & Invest
Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur
Allied Cooperative Insurance
Arriyadh Development Company
Fitaihi Holding Group
Arabia Insurance Cooperative
Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv
Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran
Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur
Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev
Al Babtain Power & Telecommu
Bank Albilad
Alujain Corporation (Alco)
Aldrees Petroleum And Transp
Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C
Alinma Bank
Alinma Tokio Marine
Al Khaleej Training And Educ
Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son
Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera
Almarai Co
Saudi Integrated Telecom Co
Alsorayai Group
Al Tayyar
Amana Cooperative Insurance
Anaam International Holding
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Arabian Pipes Co
Advanced Petrochemicals Co
Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative
Arabian Cement
Arab National Bank
Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co
United Wire Factories Compan
Astra Industrial Group
Alahli Takaful Co
Axa Cooperative Insurance
Basic Chemical Industries
Bishah Agriculture
Bank Al-Jazira
Banque Saudi Fransi
United International Transpo
Bupa Arabia For Cooperative
Buruj Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Airlines Catering Co
Methanol Chemicals Co
City Cement Co
Eastern Cement
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat
Etihad Etisalat Co
Emaar Economic City
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu
United Electronics Co
Falcom Saudi Equity Etf
Filing & Packing Materials M
Wafrah For Industry And Deve
Falcom Petrochemical Etf
Gulf General Cooperative Ins
Jazan Development Co
Gulf Union Cooperative Insur
Halwani Bros Co
Hail Cement
Herfy Food Services Co
Al Jouf Agriculture Developm
Jarir Marketing Co
Jabal Omar Development Co
Al Jouf Cement
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
Knowledge Economic City
Kingdom Holding Co
Saudi Arabian Mining Co
Malath Cooperative & Reinsur
Makkah Construction & Devepl
Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran
Middle East Specialized Cabl
Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co
Al Mouwasat Medical Services
The National Agriculture Dev
Najran Cement Co
Nama Chemicals Co
National Gypsum
National Gas & Industrializa
National Industrialization C
National Shipping Co Of/The
National Petrochemical Co
Rabigh Refining And Petroche
Al Qassim Agricultural Co
Qassim Cement/The
Red Sea Housing Services Co
Saudi Research And Marketing
Riyad Bank
Al Rajhi Bank
Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Saudi British Bank
Sabb Takaful
Saudi Basic Industries Corp
Saudi Cement
Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co
Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran
Saudi Advanced Industries
Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co
Salama Cooperative Insurance
Samba Financial Group
Sanad Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Public Transport Co
Saudi Arabia Refineries Co
Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf
Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei
Saudi Cable Co
Saudi Chemical Company
Saudi Ceramic
Saudi Electricity Co
Saudi Fisheries
Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co
Dur Hospitality Co
Arabian Shield Cooperative
Saudi Investment Bank/The
Saudi Industrial Development
Saudi Industrial Export Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Securities Group Co
Sultan Center Food Products
Kuwait Foundry Co Sak
Kuwait Financial Centre
Ajial Real Estate Entmt
Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc
Kuwait Finance & Investment
National Industries Co
Kuwait Real Estate Holding C
Securities House/The
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co
Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)
National Bank Of Kuwait
Commercial Bank Of Kuwait
Kuwait International Bank
Gulf Bank
Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co
Al Arabiya Real Estate Co
Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co
Alkout Industrial Projects C
A’ayan Real Estate Co
Investors Holding Group Co.K
Markaz Real Estate Fund
Al-Mazaya Holding Co
Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co
Gulf Petroleum Investment
Mabanee Co Sakc
City Group
Inovest Co Bsc
Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing
Al-Deera Holding Co
Alshamel International Hold
United Industries Co
Mena Real Estate Co
National Slaughter House
Amar Finance & Leasing Co
United Projects Group Kscc
National Consumer Holding Co
Amwal International Investme
Jeeran Holdings
Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C
Nafais Holding
Safwan Trading & Contracting
Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate
Gulf Finance House Ec
Energy House Holding Co Kscc
Kuwait Slaughter House Co
Kuwait Co For Process Plant
Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K
National Ranges Company
Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser
Al-Themar Real International
Al-Ahleia Insurance Co
Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co
Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C
Aqar Real Estate Investments
Hayat Communications
Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg
Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc
Alargan International Real
Burgan Co For Well Drilling
Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc
Oula Fuel Marketing Co
Palms Agro Production Co
Ikarus Petroleum Industries
Mubarrad Transport Co
Al Mowasat Health Care Co
Shuaiba Industrial Co
Kuwait Invest Co Holding
Hits Telecom Holding
First Takaful Insurance Co
Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co
National Cleaning Company
Eyas For High & Technical Ed
United Real Estate Company
Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv
Fujairah Cement Industries
Livestock Transport & Tradng
International Resorts Co
National Industries Grp Hold
Marine Services Co
Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate
Warba Insurance Co
Kuwait United Poultry Co
First Dubai Real Estate Deve
Al Arabi Group Holding Co
Kuwait Hotels Co
Mobile Telecommunications Co
Al Safat Real Estate Co
Tamdeen Real Estate Co Kscc
Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co
Kuwait Cement Co Ksc
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Kuwait Portland Cement Co
Educational Holding Group
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Kuwait China Investment Co
Kuwait Investment Co
Burgan Bank
Kuwait Projects Co Holdings
Al Madina For Finance And In
Kuwait Insurance Co
Al Masaken Intl Real Estate
Intl Financial Advisors
First Investment Co Kscc
Al Mal Investment Company
Bayan Investment Co Kscc
Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae
Coast Investment Development
Privatization Holding Compan
Kuwait Medical Services Co
Injazzat Real State Company
Kuwait Cable Vision Sak
Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Aviation Lease And Finance C
Arzan Financial Group For Fi
Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co
Manafae Investment Co
Kuwait Business Town Real Es
Future Kid Entertainment And
Specialities Group Holding C
Abyaar Real Eastate Developm
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C
Al-Dar National Real Estate
Kgl Logistics Company Kscc
Combined Group Contracting
Zima Holding Co Ksc
Qurain Holding Co
Boubyan Intl Industries Hold
Gulf Investment House
Boubyan Bank K.S.C
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Al-Safat Tec Holding Co
Al-Eid Food Co
Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co
Advanced Technology Co
Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C
Kout Food Group
Real Estate Trade Centers Co
Acico Industries Co Kscc
Kipco Asset Management Co
National Petroleum Services
Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc
Ras Al Khaimah White Cement
Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc
Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport
Human Soft Holding Co
Automated Systems Co
Metal & Recycling Co
Gulf Franchising Holding Co
Al-Enma’a Real Estate Co
National Mobile Telecommuni
Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc
Union Real Estate Co
Housing Finance Co Sak
Al Salam Group Holding Co
United Foodstuff Industries
Al Aman Investment Company
Mashaer Holdings
Manazel Holding
Mushrif Trading & Contractin
Tijara And Real Estate Inves
Kuwait Building Materials
Jazeera Airways
Commercial Real Estate Co
Future Communications Co
National International Co
Taameer Real Estate Invest C
Gulf Cement Co
Heavy Engineering And Ship B
Refrigeration Industries & S
National Real Estate Co
Al Safat Energy Holding Comp
Kuwait National Cinema Co
Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co
Independent Petroleum Group
Kuwait Real Estate Co
Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc
Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind
Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C
Kuwait Finance House
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Voltamp Energy Saog
United Finance Co
United Power Co
United Power/Energy Co- Pref
Al Madina Investment Co
Taageer Finance
Salalah Port Services
A’saffa Foods Saog
Sohar Poultry
Shell Oman Marketing
Shell Oman Marketing - Pref
Smn Power Holding Saog
Al Shurooq Inv Ser
Al Sharqiya Invest Holding
Sohar Power Co
Salalah Beach Resort Saog
Salalah Mills Co
Sahara Hospitality
Renaissance Services Saog
Raysut Cement Co
Port Service Corporation
Packaging Co Ltd
Oman United Insurance Co
Oman Textile Holding Co Saog
Oman Telecommunications Co
Sweets Of Oman
Oman Orix Leasing Co.
Oman Refreshment Co
Oman Packaging
Oman Oil Marketing Company
0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref
Oman National Investment Co
Oman National Engineering An
Oman National Dairy Products
Oman Medical Projects
Oman Ceramic Com
Oman Intl Marketing
Oman Investment & Finance
Hsbc Bank Oman
Oman Hotels & Tourism Co
Oman Holding International
Oman Fiber Optics
Oman Flour Mills
Oman Filters Industry
Oman Fisheries Co
Oman Education & Training In
Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
Oman Europe Foods Industries
Oman Cement Co
Oman Chlorine
Oman Chromite
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Agricultural Dev
Omani Qatari Telecommunicati
National Securities
Oman Foods International Soa
National Pharmaceutical-Rts
National Pharmaceutical
National Packaging Fac
National Mineral Water
National Hospitality Institu
National Gas Co
National Finance Co
National Detergents/The
National Carpet Factory
National Bank Of Oman Saog
National Biscuit Industries
National Real Estate Develop
Natl Aluminium Products
Muscat Thread Mills Co
Muscat Insurance Company
Modern Poultry Farms
Muscat National Holding
Musandam Marketing & Invest
Al Maha Petroleum Products M
Muscat Gases Company Saog
Majan Glass Company
Muscat Finance
Al Kamil Power Co
Interior Hotels
Hotels Management Co Interna
Al-Hassan Engineering Co
Gulf Stone
Gulf Mushroom Company
Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar
Gulf Investments Services
Gulf International Chemicals
Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd
Global Fin Investment
Galfar Engineering&Contract
Galfar Engineering -Prefer
Financial Services Co.
Flexible Ind Packages
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Financial Corp/The
Dhofar Tourism
Dhofar Poultry
Aloula Co
Dhofar Intl Development
Dhofar Insurance
Dhofar University
Dhofar Power Co
Dhofar Power Co-Pfd
Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu
Dhofar Cattlefeed
Al Batinah Dev & Inv
Dhofar Beverages Co
Computer Stationery Inds
Construction Materials Ind
Cement & Gypsum Pro
Marine Bander Al-Rowdha
Bank Sohar
Bankmuscat Saog
Bank Dhofar Saog
Al Batinah Hotels
Majan College
Areej Vegetable Oils
Al Jazeera Steel Products Co
Al Sallan Food Industry
Acwa Power Barka Saog
Al-Omaniya Financial Service
Taghleef Industries Saog
Gulf Plastic Industries Co
Al Jazeera Services
Al Jazerah Services -Pfd
Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co
Ahli Bank
Abrasives Manufacturing Co S
Al-Batinah Intl Saog
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
National Takaful Company
Waha Capital Pjsc
Union Insurance Co
Union National Bank/Abu Dhab
United Insurance Company
Union Cement Co
United Arab Bank
Abu Dhabi National Takaful C
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Sorouh Real Estate Company
Sharjah Insurance Company
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Ras Al Khaima Poultry
Ras Al Khaimah White Cement
Rak Properties
Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics
Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co
National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai
Ooredoo Qsc
Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
National Marine Dredging Co
National Corp Tourism & Hote
Sharjah Islamic Bank
National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw
National Bank Of Fujairah
National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Methaq Takaful Insurance
#N/A Invalid Security
Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp
Invest Bank
Insurance House
Gulf Medical Projects
Gulf Livestock Co
Green Crescent Insurance Co
Gulf Cement Co
Foodco Holding
Finance House
First Gulf Bank
Fujairah Cement Industries
Fujairah Building Industries
Emirates Telecom Corporation
Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc
Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)
Emirates Driving Company
Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S.
Dana Gas
Commercial Bank Internationa
Bank Of Sharjah
Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi
Al Wathba National Insurance
Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak
Arkan Building Materials Co
Aldar Properties Pjsc
Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co.
Al Khazna Insurance Co
Agthia Group Pjsc
Al Fujairah National Insuran
Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co
Abu Dhabi National Insurance
Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Aviation
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
United Paper Industries Bsc
United Gulf Investment Corp
United Gulf Bank
United Finance Co
Trafco Group Bsc
Takaful International Co
Taib Bank -$Us
Securities & Investment Co
Seef Properties
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Al-Salam Bank
Delmon Poultry Co
National Hotels Co
National Bank Of Bahrain
Nass Corp Bsc
Khaleeji Commercial Bank
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Investcorp Bank -$Us
Inovest Co Bsc
Intl Investment Group-Kuwait
Gulf Monetary Group
Global Investment House Kscc
Gulf Finance House Ec
Bahrain Family Leisure Co
Esterad Investment Co B.S.C.
Bahrain Duty Free Complex
Bahrain Car Park Co
Bahrain Cinema Co
Bahrain Tourism Co
Bahraini Saudi Bank/The
Bahrain National Holding
Bankmuscat Saog
Bmmi Bsc
Bmb Investment Bank
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Bahrain Islamic Bank
Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C
Bahrain Flour Mills Co
Bahrain Commercial Facilitie
Bbk Bsc
Bahrain Telecom Co
Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin
Albaraka Banking Group
Banader Hotels Co
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Lt Price
% Chg
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Company Name
Exxon Mobil Corp
Microsoft Corp
Johnson & Johnson
General Electric Co
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Chevron Corp
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Verizon Communications Inc
Intl Business Machines Corp
Pfizer Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
At&T Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intel Corp
Walt Disney Co/The
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Cisco Systems Inc
Home Depot Inc
United Technologies Corp
Mcdonald’s Corp
Boeing Co/The
American Express Co
3M Co
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Caterpillar Inc
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Lt Price
% Chg
FTSE 100
Company Name
Wpp Plc
Wolseley Plc
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
Whitbread Plc
Weir Group Plc/The
Vodafone Group Plc
United Utilities Group Plc
Unilever Plc
Tullow Oil Plc
Tui Travel Plc
Travis Perkins Plc
Tesco Plc
Standard Life Plc
Standard Chartered Plc
St James’s Place Plc
Sse Plc
Sports Direct International
Smiths Group Plc
Smith & Nephew Plc
Shire Plc
Severn Trent Plc
Schroders Plc
Sainsbury (J) Plc
Sage Group Plc/The
Sabmiller Plc
Rsa Insurance Group Plc
Royal Mail Plc
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs
Royal Bank Of Scotland Group
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc
Rio Tinto Plc
Reed Elsevier Plc
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc
Randgold Resources Ltd
Prudential Plc
Petrofac Ltd
Persimmon Plc
Pearson Plc
Old Mutual Plc
Next Plc
National Grid Plc
Mondi Plc
Meggitt Plc
Marks & Spencer Group Plc
London Stock Exchange Group
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Legal & General Group Plc
Land Securities Group Plc
Kingfisher Plc
Johnson Matthey Plc
Itv Plc
Intu Properties Plc
Intl Consolidated Airline-Di
Intertek Group Plc
Intercontinental Hotels Grou
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc
Imi Plc
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hargreaves Lansdown Plc
Hammerson Plc
Glencore Plc
Glaxosmithkline Plc
Gkn Plc
G4s Plc
Friends Life Group Ltd
Fresnillo Plc
Experian Plc
Easyjet Plc
Dixons Carphone Plc
Direct Line Insurance Group
Diageo Plc
Crh Plc
Compass Group Plc
Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-Cdi
Centrica Plc
Carnival Plc
Capita Plc
Burberry Group Plc
Bunzl Plc
Bt Group Plc
British Sky Broadcasting Gro
British Land Co Plc
British American Tobacco Plc
Bp Plc
Bhp Billiton Plc
Bg Group Plc
Barclays Plc
Bae Systems Plc
Babcock Intl Group Plc
Aviva Plc
Astrazeneca Plc
Associated British Foods Plc
Ashtead Group Plc
Arm Holdings Plc
Antofagasta Plc
Anglo American Plc
Aggreko Plc
Admiral Group Plc
Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc
3I Group Plc
#N/A Invalid Security
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Inpex Corp
Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd
Sekisui House Ltd
Kirin Holdings Co Ltd
Japan Tobacco Inc
Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd
Toray Industries Inc
Asahi Kasei Corp
Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Kao Corp
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
Astellas Pharma Inc
Eisai Co Ltd
Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd
Fujifilm Holdings Corp
Shiseido Co Ltd
Jx Holdings Inc
Lt Price
% Chg
Lt Price
Dow Jones Indus. Avg
S&P 500 Index
Nasdaq Composite Index
S&P/Tsx Composite Index
Mexico Bolsa Index
Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx
Ftse 100 Index
Cac 40 Index
Dax Index
Ibex 35 Tr
Nikkei 225
Japan Topix
Hang Seng Index
All Ordinaries Indx
Nzx All Index
Bse Sensex 30 Index
Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index
Straits Times Index
Karachi All Share Index
Jakarta Composite Index
Company Name
Bridgestone Corp
Asahi Glass Co Ltd
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Meta
Sumitomo Metal Industries
Kobe Steel Ltd
Jfe Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd
Sumitomo Electric Industries
Smc Corp
Komatsu Ltd
Kubota Corp
Daikin Industries Ltd
Hitachi Ltd
Toshiba Corp
Mitsubishi Electric Corp
Nidec Corp
Nec Corp
Fujitsu Ltd
Panasonic Corp
Sharp Corp
Sony Corp
Tdk Corp
Keyence Corp
Denso Corp
Fanuc Corp
Rohm Co Ltd
Kyocera Corp
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd
Nitto Denko Corp
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Nissan Motor Co Ltd
Toyota Motor Corp
Honda Motor Co Ltd
Suzuki Motor Corp
Nikon Corp
Hoya Corp
Canon Inc
Ricoh Co Ltd
Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd
Nintendo Co Ltd
Itochu Corp
Marubeni Corp
Mitsui & Co Ltd
Tokyo Electron Ltd
Sumitomo Corp
Mitsubishi Corp
Aeon Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro
Resona Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdin
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr
Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/The
Mizuho Financial Group Inc
Orix Corp
Daiwa Securities Group Inc
Nomura Holdings Inc
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdin
Ms&Ad Insurance Group Holdin
Dai-Ichi Life Insurance
Tokio Marine Holdings Inc
T&D Holdings Inc
Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd
Sumitomo Realty & Developmen
East Japan Railway Co
West Japan Railway Co
Central Japan Railway Co
Ana Holdings Inc
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Kddi Corp
Ntt Docomo Inc
Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
Chubu Electric Power Co Inc
Kansai Electric Power Co Inc
Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc
Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc
Tokyo Gas Co Ltd
Secom Co Ltd
Yamada Denki Co Ltd
Fast Retailing Co Ltd
Softbank Corp
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Zee Entertainment Enterprise
Wipro Ltd
Ultratech Cement Ltd
Tech Mahindra Ltd
Tata Steel Ltd
Tata Power Co Ltd
Tata Motors Ltd
Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd
Sun Pharmaceutical Indus
State Bank Of India
Sesa Sterlite Ltd
Reliance Industries Ltd
Punjab National Bank
Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd
Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
Ntpc Ltd
Nmdc Ltd
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
Lupin Ltd
Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
Itc Ltd
Infosys Ltd
Indusind Bank Ltd
Idfc Ltd
Icici Bank Ltd
Housing Development Finance
Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Hindalco Industries Ltd
Hero Motocorp Ltd
Hdfc Bank Limited
Hcl Technologies Ltd
Grasim Industries Ltd
Gail India Ltd
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Dlf Ltd
Coal India Ltd
Cipla Ltd
Cairn India Ltd
Bharti Airtel Ltd
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd
Bharat Heavy Electricals
Bank Of Baroda
Bajaj Auto Ltd
Axis Bank Ltd
Asian Paints Ltd
Ambuja Cements Ltd
Acc Ltd
Lt Price
% Chg
A sign is seen at the entrance to the offices of Anglo American in the Marshalltown district of Johannesburg. Shares in Anglo
American dropped 2.23% to close at 1,293.50 pence in London yesterday.
Weak eurozone, China data
weigh on European markets
uropean stock markets closed
mixed yesterday, weighed down
by weak eurozone and Chinese
data while getting a bit of help from
some positive US indicators.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 0.26% to stand at 6.678.9
points at the close of trading.
The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.75%
compared with Wednesday’s closing
level to 4,234.21 points, while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 finished up 0.12% to
9,483.97 points.
In yesterday’s trade, the European
single currency edged down to $1.2528
from $1.2551 late in New York on
“Stocks saw a mildly negative open
after Chinese manufacturing PMI
stalled at a six-month low overnight,”
said Atif Latif, head of trading at
Guardian Stockbrokers in London.
“Losses then accelerated as inves-
tors digested weak eurozone PMI figures,” he said.
The FTSE’s miners were dragged
down by the Chinese numbers, he added. Shares in Anglo American dropped
2.23% to close at 1,293.50 pence and
Rio Tinto lost 2.62% to 2,865 pence.
Preliminary п¬Ѓgures from British
banking giant HSBC indicated manufacturing activity in China was stagnant in November. The composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in
at 50 — anything above that points to
growth, below suggests contraction.
In the eurozone growth was at its
slowest pace in 16 months as new orders dipped, survey company Markit
said yesterday.
“The biggest drag on global growth
since the start of the year has come
from the sustained downturn in the
eurozone,” said Michael Pearce, global
economist at Capital Economics.
Fresh US data gave stocks a little
lift showing flat inflation, a pickup in
home sales, an unexpected surge in the
Philadelphia regional manufacturing
Company Name
Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of East Asia
Bank Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of Communications Co-H
Belle International Holdings
Boc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd
Cathay Pacific Airways
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd
China Coal Energy Co-H
China Construction Bank-H
China Life Insurance Co-H
China Merchants Hldgs Intl
China Mobile Ltd
China Overseas Land & Invest
China Petroleum & Chemical-H
China Resources Enterprise
China Resources Land Ltd
China Resources Power Holdin
China Shenhua Energy Co-H
China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd
Citic Ltd
Clp Holdings Ltd
Cnooc Ltd
Cosco Pacific Ltd
Esprit Holdings Ltd
Fih Mobile Ltd
Hang Lung Properties Ltd
Hang Seng Bank Ltd
Henderson Land Development
index, and overall improvement in the
Conference Board’s Leading Economic
Index, an amalgamation of several key
economic indicators.
The international data left US stocks
also mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.15% at 17,659.47,
about 35 minutes into trade.
The broad-based S&P 500 dipped
a slight 0.05% to 2,047.69, while the
tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index
added 0.15% to 4,682.75.
While the manufacturing PMIs point to
slightly slower global growth, “the slowdown has been more gradual than many
commentators have suggested, and the
pace of global growth remains fairly strong
by the standards of the past few years,” said
Pearce of Capital Economics.
In foreign exchange trading yesterday, the euro eased to 79.88 British
pence from 80.03 late on Wednesday
in New York. The British pound gained
slightly to $1.5684 from $1.5681.
On the London Bullion Market, the
price of gold dipped to $1,190 an ounce
from $1,196 late on Wednesday.
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Hong Kong & China Gas
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clear
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd
Ind & Comm Bk Of China-H
Li & Fung Ltd
Mtr Corp
New World Development
Petrochina Co Ltd-H
Ping An Insurance Group Co-H
Power Assets Holdings Ltd
Sino Land Co
Sun Hung Kai Properties
Swire Pacific Ltd-A
Tencent Holdings Ltd
Wharf Holdings Ltd
Lt Price
% Chg
Doha Securities Market
Saudi Tadawul
Kuwait Stocks Exchange
Bahrain Stock Exchage
Oman Stock Market
Abudhabi Stock Market
Dubai Financial Market
Lt Price
“Information contained herein is believed to be reliable and had been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The
accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This publication is for providing information only and is not intended
as an offer or solicitation for a purchase or sale of any of the financial instruments mentioned. Gulf Times and Doha Bank
or any of their employees shall not be held accountable and will not accept any losses or liabilities for actions based on
this data.”
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
�Wall St banking giants had unfair
advantage from commodity units’
all Street’s biggest
banks have used their
ownership of metals warehouses, oil tankers and
other commodities businesses
to gain unfair trading advantages
and dominate markets, according to a US Senate investigation.
In a report on Goldman Sachs
Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and
JPMorgan Chase & Co, a Senate
panel said the п¬Ѓrms have eroded
the line separating banking from
commercial activities to the detriment of consumers and the
п¬Ѓnancial system. The holdings
give banks access to non-public
information that could move
markets and increase the likelihood that industrial accidents
will spur taxpayer bailouts, the
report said.
“We simply cannot allow a
large, powerful Wall Street bank
the power to influence the price
of a commodity essential to our
economy,” Senator Carl Levin,
who chairs the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations,
told reporters in Washington on
Wednesday. He added that his
staff “found substantial evidence
that these activities expose major banks to catastrophic risks
that are poorly understood.”
The scrutiny over banks’ involvement with commodities
has spurred the Federal Reserve
to consider tightening regulations and prompted some Wall
Street п¬Ѓrms to try to shed assets.
Levin’s new findings include
details on Deutsche Bank AG and
other clients who entered into
controversial aluminium transactions with Goldman Sachs and
reveal that a former employee
questioned whether the New
York-based bank had adequate
safeguards to prevent marketmoving data from being passed
on to the firm’s traders.
The 400-page report also referenced a 2012 Fed study of four
banks that found each had capital and insurance shortfalls for
commodity units of as much as
$15bn. That meant that if each
bank experienced a catastrophe on the scale of BP’s 2010 oil
spill in the Gulf of Mexico, they
Traders work on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in New York. In a report on Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley
and JPMorgan Chase , a US Senate panel said the firms have eroded the line separating banking from commercial activities to the detriment
of consumers and the financial system.
couldn’t cover the losses, the report said.
The investigation, which is the
focus of a two-day public hearings
that started yesterday, is a swan
song for retiring Levin, a Michigan Democrat who’s long been a
scourge of the banking industry.
His 2010 showcase of Goldman
Sachs’s mortgage trades helped
crystallise the п¬Ѓnancial crisis in
the minds of the American public
and left a stain on the bank that it
has yet to fully erase.
The commodities probe, unlike some investigations done
by the panel, doesn’t feature as
many smoking-gun e-mails and
instead points to circumstantial evidence. The report still
highlights the breadth of Wall
Street’s reach into non-banking
businesses and the potential
conflicts of interest that come
with it.
The investigation covers a
broad range of commodity investments in recent years including Goldman Sachs’s ownership of Colombian coal mines
as well as a uranium trading
business; Morgan Stanley’s natural gas and oil transport operations; and JPMorgan’s electricity
and metals businesses.
A focus of Levin’s examination is Goldman Sachs’s 2010
purchase of Metro International
Trade Services, an operator of
warehouses that’s part of the
London Metal Exchange system. The Senate report said the
acquisition allowed the bank to
have a major influence on aluminium trading.
With Goldman Sachs employees in control of Metro’s board
of directors, the warehouse took
steps to increase the amount
of time it took to remove alu-
minium, which may have led
to higher prices, according to
the report. Soon after Goldman
Sachs bought it, Metro began
paying incentives to traders to
store aluminium in the company’s warehouses.
In a series of private deals
worked out in e-mails and unsigned contracts, Metro also
gave special incentives to a small
group of п¬Ѓnancial п¬Ѓrms to keep
metal in its Detroit warehouses
by п¬Ѓrst loading it out and then
back in. Six so-called “merrygo-round deals” from 2010, 2012
and 2013 were struck with Deutsche Bank; Red Kite Group, a
London-based hedge fund; and
Swiss-based commodity trader
Glencore Plc, according to the
A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment, while
officials at Red Kite and Glencore
didn’t respond to e-mails sent
after regular European business
The September 2010 deal with
Deutsche Bank was suggested by
senior executives at Metro and a
board subcommittee composed
of Goldman Sachs employees,
the report said. The transaction
wound up having an immediate impact on the queues at the
warehouse and resulted in other
users having to wait longer and
pay more to store their aluminium. The transaction increased
the wait in Detroit from about 20
days to almost 120 days, the report found.
The report alleged the long
delays led to a surge in the price
of aluminium, which Goldman
Sachs was trading at the same
In a statement, Goldman
Sachs said the transactions re-
sponded to client requests and
weren’t improper. The bank said
the deals had “no impact” on the
п¬Ѓnal price consumers paid.
In July 2013, Goldman Sachs
offered to speed up delivery of
aluminium to users of the metal,
and said no client accepted the
offer to swap their metal stuck in
queues for immediately available
aluminium. In August, a district
judge dismissed a suit against
the п¬Ѓrm and others brought by
aluminium consumers, saying
that an increase in a price component of aluminium was “an
unintended consequence of rational profit maximising behaviour rather than the product of
conspiratorial design.”
Goldman Sachs’s ownership
of Metro also raises conflicts
of interest and potential unfair
trading advantages, Levin said.
While Goldman Sachs said it
had policies against the misuse
of warehouse information, the
Senate investigators found that
confidential Metro data was
made available to dozens of bank
employees, including those active in trading commodities.
The report included a 2013 email from a resigning Metro employee who expressed concerns
that market-moving information could be shared with Goldman Sachs’s traders.
Michael Whelan, the former
Metro vice president of business
development, expressed “questions and concerns regarding
the Chinese Wall Policy that is in
place” regulating the interaction
between the warehousing unit
and Goldman Sachs’s primary
commodities trading subsidiary,
J Aron.
Goldman Sachs told the Senate investigators there was no
breach of information barriers
required by the LME.
“Regular reviews by Goldman
Sachs personnel have not found
a single instance where confidential Metro information went
to the metals-trading personnel
of Goldman Sachs,” Jacques Gabillon, head of the bank’s global
commodities principal investments group, said in prepared
remarks. An outside auditor reviewed the information barriers
at Metro and found “no issues,”
Gabillon said.
The Senate report was critical
of regulators’ inconsistent attempts to rein in the growth of
banks’ commodities businesses.
A memorandum from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
said JPMorgan “pushed regulatory limits and their interpretation” as it integrated commodity businesses with its trading
units, the Senate investigation
found. The largest US bank by
assets allegedly gamed the limits on commodities activities,
and the report said regulators at
one point realised JPMorgan had
breached the cap.
JPMorgan exceeded the limit
only once in an incident that
took place in 2011, according to
a statement on Wednesday from
the bank. It has been selling off
large portions of its physicalcommodities business and will
focus on derivatives in the future, the bank said.
On Morgan Stanley, the Senate report said the п¬Ѓrm presents
a “case study of banking mixed
with commerce” that poses conflicts over trading “financial and
physical oil products.”
“Morgan Stanley is proud of
its comprehensive approach to
risk management, which has
enabled the п¬Ѓrm to manage its
commodities business prudently and effectively over the last
three decades,” said Mark Lake,
a spokesman for the New Yorkbased bank.
Wall Street commodity units
п¬Ѓrst drew criticism in 2013 after
beer makers complained that
long wait times for metal deliveries from bank-owned warehouses had led to price spikes.
The Fed, facing calls from lawmakers to bar lenders from owning physical commodities, responded by seeking input from
banks and the public on the risk
posed by п¬Ѓnancial companies
owning and trading oil, gas and
Levin’s investigation adds
pressure on the central bank
and other regulators to toughen
rules. The Senate report urged
the Fed to impose a “clear” limit
on how much banks can participate in physical commodities
and “reaffirm” the separation
between lending and other businesses.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Creaking EU, China sound
warnings for global growth
urveys sounded warning bells for
the global economy yesterday as
eurozone businesses grew less
quickly than any forecaster expected,
and China and US factories lost momentum.
The downbeat data, alongside evidence of further price-cutting, will add
to calls for more policy action from the
European Central Bank, while the п¬Ѓrst
drop in Chinese manufacturing output
for six months will heap similar pressure on authorities in Beijing.
“It does reinforce the case for quantitative easing from the European Central Bank,” said Alan Clarke, European
economist at Scotiabank, of the eurozone PMIs.
Markit’s Composite Flash Purchasing
Managers’ Index for November, based
on surveys of thousands of companies
and seen as a good growth indicator, fell
to 51.4, missing even the lowest forecast
in a Reuters poll.
The service industry PMI also undershot all forecasts by falling to 51.3, while
the factory PMI’s dip to 50.4 missed
consensus. However, all three readings
held above the 50 mark that separates
growth from contraction.
Markit said the PMI pointed to 0.10.2% GDP growth in the eurozone in
the current quarter, compared with the
0.2% forecast in a Reuters poll taken
last week.
“November’s fall in the eurozone
composite PMI is a serious blow to
hopes that the recovery would resume
towards the end of the year,” said Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics.
Forward-looking indicators suggest
the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon.
The composite new orders index fell
below 50 for the first time since July
2013, and factories, which barely increased staffing levels, ran down old
orders faster than last month.
But likely of greatest concern for
the ECB, which is facing the spectre
of deflation, service firms cut prices
they charge again, as they have done
ever since late-2011.
Eurozone prices rose 0.4% in October, well below the ECB’s target of just
under 2% and stuck firmly in what it
terms the inflation danger zone.
To keep the region from slipping
into deflation, the ECB has been
pumping money into the banking
A Chinese worker pushes a trolley with goods past a construction site in Beijing. Manufacturing activity in China stagnated in November, HSBC said yesterday.
system by buying covered bonds and
offering cheap long-term loans to
The chances it takes the plunge and
buys sovereign bonds are now 50-50,
a Reuters poll found.
In China, the world’s second biggest economy, the HSBC/Markit
manufacturing PMI reading showed a
drop to a six-month low of 50.0 in November. The factory output sub-index
fell to 49.5, its first contraction since
May. A cooling property market, erratic foreign demand and overcapacity have weighed on its manufacturers
and the broader economy this year
despite a steady stream of stimulus
China’s annual growth slowed to
7.3% in the third quarter, leaving 2014
on track to be the slowest in 24 years.
“We still see uncertainties in the
months ahead from the property
market and on the export front. We
think more monetary and fiscal easing
measures should be deployed.” said
Hongbin Qu, chief China economist
at HSBC.
The Markit/JMMA version of Japan’s PMI was more mixed. While
the headline index edged down to 52.1
in November, from 52.4 in October,
output expanded at its fastest clip in
eight months.
Firms may have been responding
to better offshore demand as exports
soared, reflecting a weaker yen.
Policymakers were taken by sur-
Infosys arm’s overbilling Apple
led to exits of top executives
Bangalore, India
ndian outsourcing major Infosys
Ltd’s back-office services unit was
overcharging Apple Inc, leading to
the exit of top executives, two senior
Infosys people said yesterday. Infosys, India’s second-largest IT services
exporter, said on Tuesday it had п¬Ѓred
Abraham Mathews, chief financial officer of its Infosys BPO unit, for failure
to comply with the company’s code of
Infosys BPO chief executive officer
Gautam Thakkar resigned on “moral
grounds” and would leave the com-
$6.9tn on
pany on November 30, Infosys said. It
did not give details about the charges
against Mathews. Infosys spokeswoman Sarah Gideon said the company would not comment further on the
confidential investigations.
“The financial irregularities are not
material in nature and the company
has already made required disclosures.
The company has taken disciplinary
action on employees,” she said in an
e-mail. Apple did not immediately respond to an e-mail sent outside business hours seeking comment. The irregularities in Infosys BPO’s dealings
with Apple came out during an internal
audit, said one of the people at Infosys,
who declined to be named as he was
not authorised to speak to the media.
Though the audit showed that the
п¬Ѓnancial impact of the wrongdoing
on the company was minimal, Infosys decided to take a tough stance
to demonstrate its “zero-tolerance
policy for any improper conduct,” he
said. The Economic Times newspaper yesterday said Infosys would soon
п¬Ѓre at least six more employees at the
unit, after investigations revealed that
they had produced inflated invoices
and allegedly overbilled Apple for
many months. Infosys earlier this year
brought in Vishal Sikka as its new CEO
to chart a new strategy for the company, once a trend-setter for India’s more
than $100bn IT outsourcing industry.
prise earlier this week when data
showed the economy fell into recession in the third quarter, underlining
the necessity of the Bank of Japan’s
super-loose policy and sending the
yen to fresh lows.
The US manufacturing sector
growth also slowed in November, falling to its lowest rate since January
while a gauge of new orders also fell
for a third straight month, an industry
report showed yesterday.
Markit said its preliminary or
“flash” US Manufacturing Purchasing
Managers Index fell to 54.7 from October’s final reading of 55.9. Economists polled by Reuters had expected
it to rise to 56.4.
The index was at its lowest level
since January, as was the new orders
subindex. Output fell from 57.8 in October to 55.6, also at its lowest since
January, when severe weather impacted economic activity.
“Export market weakness holds
the key to the recent slowdown, with
manufacturers reporting the largest
drop in export orders for nearly one
and a half years,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
“There’s some reassurance from
manufacturers continuing to boost
their payroll numbers at a robust pace,
but with backlogs of work showing almost no growth, the rate of job creation looks likely to moderate in coming months unless new order inflows
pick up again.”
hina wasted an approximate 42tn yuan ($6.9tn)
on “ineffective investment” in the five years from
2009, with the problem worsening in the past two years, a government official and an economist were quoted as saying in the
local media.
From relying too much on investment to lift the economy to
supplying state п¬Ѓrms with cheap
loans that fuelled unnecessary
spending, the two pressed China
to face up to its problem of making investment with low or no
Their calculations – one of
the starkest to date – showed
that unproductive investment
took up almost half of China’s
total investment in 2009 and
The remarks were made by
Xu Ce of the development and
planning department at China’s
top economic planner, the National Development and Reform
Commission, and Wang Yuan
from the Academy of Macro
Economic Research, which is
linked to the commission.
Their comments were published in an opinion piece in the
Shanghai Securities News yesterday, with the caveat that their
views did not reflect official
“The problem of low or no-efficiency investment has reached
a time where it must be faced up
to,” Xu and Wang wrote.
China has acknowledged that
it is overly-dependent on investment to power the world’s
second-biggest economy, but
re-ordering the growth model
takes time. Investment contributed to 42% of China’s economic
growth between January and
September this year.
Xu and Wang said the problem should be addressed now as
China seeks to develop regional
economies, including those
along the old Silk Road trading
route where it has promised to
spend $40bn.
Kotak Mahindra set to
buy ING Vysya Bank
ndian private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank said yesterday its board had approved the acquisition of local rival ING Vysya Bank Ltd in an all-stock deal, a
move that could kick-start consolidation in the banking
Dutch lender ING Groep NV owns roughly a 43% stake
in ING Vysya, and will become the second-largest shareholder in Kotak Mahindra with about a 7% stake after the
takeover, which is subject to regulatory approvals. The
combined banking entity will have 1,214 branches with
a widespread network across the country, the two banks
said in a statement issued after market hours yesterday,
adding it would also explore international business.
India, Asia’s third-largest economy, has 40 publicly
traded lenders with 24 of them majority owned by the
government. Many analysts were expecting consolidation in the sector after the central bank in April granted
licences to set up two new banks.
The share exchange ratio indicates a price of Rs790 for
each ING Vysya share based on the average closing price
of Kotak shares during the month to November 19, valuing the deal at $2.4bn.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half
of 2015, the statement said.
Based on ING Vysya’s book value as of September 30,
the proposed transaction is estimated to result in a proforma net profit for ING of about €150mn ($188mn) to be
booked at closing.
Unusual gold moves in Asian hours puzzle jittery traders
Gold has seen a flurry of trading activity since the first break below $1,180 and its
volatility is currently at its highest in 2014.
Some of the biggest price moves in gold since late
October have, unusually, occurred in Asian hours
and traders more accustomed to following the lead
of their Western counterparts suspect a big increase
in algorithmic trading may be to blame.
Sensitivity to the dollar-yen exchange rate may also
help explain the moves, although some traders
speculated that the timing looked suspiciously like
attempts to catch Chinese traders off-guard during
their lunch break.
Liquidity in Asia tends to be thin until Europe wakes
up but recent weeks have been different: COMEX
gold futures, the busiest gold contract in the world,
have suffered sharp sell-offs in Asia, sometimes
sparked by the news flow or currency moves but
often for no identifiable reason.
“It is unusual for Asia to be seeing these busy trading
sessions,” said David Govett, head of precious
metals at broker Marex Spectron in London.
“I have spoken to a lot of people about it and the
general consensus seems to be that there is a big
increase in algorithmic and high-frequency trading
in this time zone nowadays as it can be quite easy to
push about,” he said.
The trend began on October 31, when US gold
futures fell through a major technical level of $1,180
an ounce at around 3pm Singapore time (0700
GMT). They fell $11 in a minute and nearly 9,000 lots
were traded in five minutes, compared with just 535
lots in the five minutes preceding the drop.
Some of the dips in price have tracked dollar-yen
movements, including that one on October 31, when
the Bank of Japan announced a surprise increase in
monetary stimulus and the yen tumbled.
The breach of $1,180 – the lowest level hit by gold
during last year’s 28% slide – sparked a huge sell-off in
the precious metal over the next two weeks.
In the days following the first dip, gold tumbled 1% or
hit new lows almost every other day around the same
time, between 12:45pm and 1:45pm Singapore time.
The slide took gold all the way down to $1,130.40 an
ounce, its lowest since March 2010, reached in Asian
hours on Nov. 7, when nearly 4,000 lots changed
hands in just one minute.
It has since recovered and is back trading near
$1,180. The price lurches that took the market lower
often happened when traders in top gold consumer
China, which usually provides support for the metal,
were out for lunch. “Someone is utilising these thin
trading volumes to get a turbo steroid move,” said a
precious metals trader in Hong Kong.
Traders in Tokyo have also noticed that the falls tend
to happen a few minutes before their markets are
set to close.
Gold has seen a flurry of trading activity since the
first break below $1,180 and its volatility is currently
at its highest in 2014. A growing awareness of the
new Asian trend may have served to intensify it.
“At one point in the last two weeks, there was huge
selling at around the same time every other day,”
said a trader in Tokyo. “Some people noticed that
and went short just before that particular hour.”
This trader and others speculated that the selling
could be coming from hedge funds.
The simplest explanation for the volatility in Asia
remains the rise in the dollar to a seven-year high
against the yen. A stronger greenback makes dollardenominated bullion more expensive for holders of
other currencies.
“There is definitely more Japanese participation.
Gold could be sold off along with the yen so that
Japanese investors could put money into the
Nikkei,” said Tan Tien Leong, chief investment officer
of Singapore-based hedge fund AN Commodity.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Oct export
orders hit
Japan’s refiners plan to cut
crude distillation capacity
ooming shipments of
Apple’s iPhone 6 pushed
Taiwan’s export orders to a
new record high in October, the
ninth straight month of gains,
the government and media said
yesterday. Orders, a key indicator for the island’s export-reliant
economy, jumped 13.4% yearon-year to $44.91bn, according
to the economic affairs ministry.
Orders for information and
mobile devices surged 21% from
a year ago to a record $12.9bn,
thanks to brisk sales of new mobile devices, the ministry said.
The ministry did not identify
the brands but the state-funded
Central News Agency said strong
demand for the iPhone 6 continued to boost export orders.
Apple said last month it sold
39.3mn iPhones in the three
months ending September 27, up
16% from the same period a year
earlier. Taiwan’s Hon Hai, also
known as Foxconn, is the world’s
largest computer components
manufacturer and assembles
products for leading international
brands including Apple’s iPhones.
Media reports say local п¬Ѓrms
Pegatron worked on the assembly of the new iPhone and TSMC
– the world’s biggest contract
microchip maker – manufactured its chips.
apanese refiners are planning to cut
crude distillation capacities to meet
a new government directive, but
analysts say the moves will not forestall
the need for them to consolidate at some
point over the next several years.
An earlier government directive reduced refining capacity by 20% from
2007 levels, putting demand and supply
in balance and pushing up gas oil margins to a two-year high. But industry
executives say they are still resigned to a
long-term bleak outlook as Japan’s ageing population shrinks and domestic oil
demand falls 2% to 3% every year.
The trade ministry’s second directive
says “reorganisation” of the industry is a
goal, with refiners encouraged to merge
or cooperate in areas where plants are
clustered together to make it easier to
comply with requirements to reduce the
percentage output of high-value products like diesel and jet fuel.
To further spur reorganisation, industry sources say the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is likely
to impose a third directive after the current one ends in 2017.
“From the trade ministry’s point of
view, an alliance is regarded as a must,”
said Okasan Securities senior sector
analyst Shinichi Yamazaki, adding that
shrinking demand casts a pall over the
sector’s finances.
“There is a chance that the number
of major refiners could be down to four,
from п¬Ѓve now, by 2020 or 2021 during
the third directive. By then consump-
Tonen General Sekiyu’s refinery is illuminated at night in Kawasaki City. Tonen General, Japan’s second biggest refiner by
capacity, is set to form a loose alliance at their Chiba complexes as part of a consolidation move.
tion should have fallen substantially and
made their financial situation dire.”
Despite the improvement in fuel margins, Japan’s five major refiners posted
inventory valuation losses that totalled
to 62.3bn yen ($526mn) in April-Sep-
tember due to oil price declines.
Reiji Ogino, a senior analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities,
also expects consolidation to occur
down the line. “This could occur ... after the current directive ends (in March
2017),” he said. TonenGeneral Sekiyu,
Japan’s second biggest refiner by capacity, and Cosmo Oil, the fourth-biggest,
are set to form a loose alliance at their
Chiba complexes, an example METI
hopes other refiners will imitate. Refin-
ers submitted their initial plans to meet
METI’s July directive by October 31,
many indicating they plan to cut crude
capacities while they seek suitable alliances with others.
The second directive will cut refining
capacity by 9.5% to 3.57mn barrels per
day (bpd) by the deadline in March 2017,
according to Reuters calculations based
on government data.
Even with the cuts, the domestic market could still be oversupplied by about
400,000 bpd, as oil demand in the
world’s fourth-biggest user is projected
to fall to 3.15mn bpd by then.
“At METI they are thinking that in the
oil industry two or three (companies) is
enough,” said a senior executive at one of
the smaller refiners.
Japan’s biggest refiner JX Holdings,
which controls about a third of domestic demand, cannot grow any bigger by
absorbing a smaller oil processor due to
antitrust concerns.
No.2 TonenGeneral, though, which
does not have any upstream business,
could play a key part in any future consolidation, Yamazaki said.
Some industry executives are chafing
at the latest METI directive and question
its effectiveness.
“There is no need to scrap refining
units,” said an executive with a refiner
who declined to be identified. “How
does that enhance competitiveness?”
A senior METI official who did not
want to be identified said that the refiners misunderstood the intent of the
directive. “The objective is not capacity
reduction but enhancing business reorganisation toward improving (efficiency),” the official said.
US clashes with Takata on airbag recall
New York/Tokyo
The US government demanded
automakers and Takata Corp expand
an airbag recall nationwide, a move the
Japanese supplier called dangerous
because it could slow the distribution of
replacements in the riskiest regions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration yesterday called for Takata
and 10 automakers to repair all cars with
potentially defective driver’s side airbags,
adding to the almost 8mn cars already
recalled in the past two years in highhumidity states and territories.
Piecemeal, regional recalls have left car
owners unsure about whether the air bags
in their vehicles are prone to rupturing.
NHTSA said it will use its legal authority
to ensure vehicles that use the same or
similar airbag inflator are repaired if Takata
and the carmakers don’t agree quickly
to a national recall. Takata says diverting
replacement parts from where they’re
needed may put “lives at risk.”
“These regional recalls are ludicrous and
inappropriate,” said Joan Claybrook, a
former NHTSA administrator who now
advocates for consumer safety. “People
take their cars to different parts of the
country all the time.”
It’s still not known whether there’s a
design defect and whether there are other
problematic designs, Claybrook said.
NHTSA has been investigating Takata
airbag inflators that could malfunction if
exposed to consistently high humidity.
The agency has said the condition could
cause the devices to deploy with too
much force, break apart metal pieces and
strike passengers. The air bags are linked
to four deaths in Honda Motor vehicles in
the US and a fatal accident in Malaysia.
“We’re pushing Takata and all affected
manufacturers to issue the recall and
to ensure the recalls capture the full
scope of the problems,” NHTSA Deputy
Administrator David Friedman said in a
November 18 statement on the agency’s
As part of Takata’s investigation, the
company has tested almost 1,000 driver
and passenger airbag inflators from
outside high-humidity areas and none
of those have ruptured, the Tokyo-based
parts maker said yesterday in an e-mailed
“Takata is concerned that a national
recall under these circumstances could
potentially divert replacement airbags
from where they’re needed, putting lives
at risk,” Alby Berman, an Auburn Hills,
Michigan-based spokesman, said in the
The company will continue evaluating
inflators and is prepared for “appropriate
expansions” of recalls if analysis by Takata
and NHTSA indicate safety risk, he said.
The expansion of US recalls nationwide
was the biggest risk Takata faced,
company executives told analysts in
Tokyo last week during a briefing closed
to the media. The comments were
confirmed by Hitoshi Sano, Takata’s head
of investor relations.
Takata fell 7.4% in Tokyo to ВҐ1,099, the
lowest closing price since April 2009.
The stock has plunged 64% this year, the
fourth-biggest decline among more than
1,800 companies in Japan’s benchmark
Topix index, which has gained 7.2%.
NHTSA didn’t say how many additional
vehicles would be recalled if Takata and
the automakers comply with its demand.
Expanding recalls nationwide could result
in more than 20mn vehicles getting called
back and ВҐ100bn ($852mn) in additional
expenses for Takata, Shintaro Niimura,
a credit analyst at Nomura Holdings
Inc, wrote in an October 27 report.
Niimura, based in Tokyo, said yesterday
the estimate applied to the number of
cars that could be recalled if the NHTSA
requires national safety actions for both
driver’s and passenger’s side air bags.
Takata has already been struggling to
ramp up production of replacement
air bags under the regional recalls. The
company projected as of September that
it would be able to make only one-third of
the 4.3mn repair kits needed by February.
Toyota Motor Corp anticipates having a
greater supply of inflators next month,
Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of
Toyota’s North American operations, said
“I don’t know if it’s more production, if
they’re getting it from other suppliers,”
Lentz said yesterday in an interview at
the Los Angeles Auto Show. “I don’t know
where it’s coming from. We just know
we’re getting more inflators. As long
as I get good inflators, that’s all that’s
Safety advocates have blamed NHTSA for
not doing enough in its probe of Takata. A
federal grand jury has sent the company
a subpoena to turn over documents and
explain the defects with its safety devices,
and the US Senate has scheduled a
hearing this week to obtain more answers.
Honda, the automaker with the most US
models affected by the earlier recalls,
is working with NHTSA to investigate
abnormal airbag inflator deployments,
said Chris Martin, a company spokesman.
The Tokyo-based company will expand
the recalls affecting its vehicles if the
investigation warrants it, Martin said.
General Motors Co is recalling only the
2002-2005 Pontiac Vibe, which was built
under a joint agreement with Toyota, Alan
Adler, a GM spokesman, said in an e-mail.
Subaru, owned by Fuji Heavy Industries,
is recalling a small number of Saab 9-2X
models, which were built by Subaru for
GM when the Detroit-based automaker
owned Saab.
“We have no field data indicating a problem
with Takata air bags in our vehicles,” Adler
said. “We are continuing to monitor the
situation and will put our customers’ safety
ahead of all else.”
Nissan Motor Co, which has recalled seven
models including the Sentra sedan in
southern states since October, used driver’s
side air bags manufactured by another
supplier for its vehicles, Steve Yaeger, a
company spokesman, said in an e-mail.
Ford Motor Co will continue to cooperate
with NHTSA and take appropriate
action, said Kelli Felker, a spokeswoman
for the Dearborn, Michigan-based
company. Mazda Motor has just seen the
notification and will work closely with
regulators, company spokesman Jeremy
Barnes said.
Takata’s senior vice president in charge of
global quality assurance, Hiroshi Shimizu,
is scheduled to testify tomorrow at a
hearing of the US Senate Committee on
Commerce, Science and Transportation
on “how defective Takata air bags became
installed in so many vehicles” and the
responses of both the industry regulators
to protect consumers.
Jian: Sharing expertise.
China mulling
easing rules on
hina’s central bank is
considering changing
the way it calculates
banks’ loan-to-deposit ratios,
a government official briefed
on the matter said, signalling
efforts to boost credit as the
economy falters.
Savings that banks hold for
non-deposit-taking п¬Ѓnancial
institutions may be classified
as deposits, the person said,
declining to be identified as
he’s not authorised to speak
publicly about the matter.
Money that banks lent to such
institutions would be classified as loans, according to the
official. The changes may take
effect on January 1.
Chinese banks are allowed
to lend a maximum of 75% of
deposits. China International
Capital Corp says that loanratio rule changes could see
an extra 7tn yuan ($1.1tn) of
money classified as deposits,
14 times more than the likely
boost to loans. That would
increase lenders’ ability to extend credit.
Such moves “could help
to improve credit allocation
across banks and regions,”
Chang Jian, chief China economist at Barclays in Hong
Kong, said in a note yesterday.
At the same time, “we do not
think this will change the fundamental picture facing the
Chinese economy,” she said.
Calls and faxes to the PBoC
seeking comment weren’t immediately answered.
Premier Li Keqiang said on
Wednesday at a meeting of the
State Council that the government will make the loan-todeposit ratio more flexible and
improve loan management.
Policy makers are seeking to
cut funding costs and feed
credit into the economy as
manufacturing growth weakens and economists predict
the nation’s slowest expansion
since 1990.
In June, the China Banking
Regulatory Commission loosened loan-to-deposit calculations through changes that related to negotiable certificates
of deposit and some credit
extended to small enterprises
and the rural sector.
The central bank may include 500bn yuan of interbank
loans to non-deposit taking
п¬Ѓnancial institutions in the
revised calculations, CICC’s
Beijing-based analyst Huang
Jie wrote in a note yesterday.
Banks’ loan-to-deposit ratio
may drop to about 60% to 61%
from 64.2% at the end of September, Huang estimated.
A change in the calculations to include interbank
deposits could have the sideeffect of cuts in banks’ reserve requirements, Huang
said. Extra deposits mean
banks have to set aside extra
reserves. The central bank
may need to cut reserve ratios
two or three times to offset
the impact and maintain liquidity, Huang said.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Ma warns Alibaba facing
�most dangerous’ moment
ust two months after its record
initial public offering, Alibaba
Group Holding is facing its “most
dangerous moment,” according to
founder Jack Ma.
That’s because people may be expecting too much from China’s biggest e-commerce company since its
IPO, said Ma, who is known for often
peppering his speeches with controversial comments.
The warning echoes previous remarks from the billionaire about the
challenges facing the company, from
employees becoming complacent and
stopping innovation to failing to embrace opportunities in the mobile age.
Ma is steering Alibaba into new businesses of digital entertainment and
health care as it adjusts to post-IPO
life as the 10th-largest company by
market value, surpassing Coca-Cola
Co and Facebook Inc.
“Even two months before the IPO,
people didn’t think we would make
money,” Ma said in a speech yesterday
at the World Internet Conference in
Wuzhen, China. “Now the problem is
people think we are too good - we can
do anything. This is the most dangerous moment.”
Alibaba raised a record $25bn in
September’s IPO. Since then, the
shares have surged 60% and the com-
Ma: Worried over challenges the company is facing after mega public issue.
pany’s Singles’ Day promotion on
November 11 saw shoppers spend a
record 57.1bn yuan ($9.3bn) on goods.
“This is Ma’s typical speech style,”
said Li Yujie, an analyst at RHB Research Institute Sdn in Hong Kong.
“He’s probably worried that his staff
will become too complacent, and
wants to remind them that the company isn’t as good as what people are
expecting it to be.”
Ma is spearheading Alibaba’s hunt
for Hollywood movies and television
shows as it expands its video and
entertainment content on set-top
Alibaba prefers to invest in specific
films rather than in movie studios, a
person familiar with the matter said
this month. The Hangzhou-based
company wants to become a more
significant distributor of content by
using customer shopping and viewing
data to forecast what productions will
become hits among Chinese viewers,
the person said.
The company is focusing on health
and entertainment because China’s
biggest troubles in 10 years will be in
health and happiness, Ma said.
Hangzhou-based Alibaba released
its first set-top box in collaboration with Wasu Media Holding Co in
September 2013. A month later, it announced another box under the Tmall
brand, the name of one of Alibaba’s
biggest e-commerce platforms.
Users of Alibaba’s set-top boxes
can watch TV channels and high-definition movies, shop online and play
games. Alibaba buys rights from studios that control films and TV content
to show them online for a fee, often by
The e-commerce giant is also planning to raise as much as $8bn as soon
as this week in its first US bond sale,
people with knowledge of the matter
The company will use the pro-
ceeds to refinance its credit facilities, according to a statement. The
bonds will be rated A+, or the fifth
highest investment-grade, by Standard & Poor’s and an equivalent A1 by
Moody’s Investors Service.
Alibaba already has $11bn in loans
and credit lines, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.
Should Alibaba raise $8bn, the bond
sale would be the largest ever denominated in US dollars in Asia, according
to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ma sees many opportunities for
Alibaba around the world and doesn’t
want to compete with EBay Inc and in the US.
“We invest in the future,” Ma said.
“Don’t run after money. Money will
run after people.”
Alibaba already is the top shopping site in Russia and Brazil, markets
where it currently has no employees.
AliExpress, an Alibaba site for users
outside China, has become the No. 1
shopping site in Russia, according to
researcher TNS.
The company is also building its
online payment system Alipay globally as it tries to process more digital
sales for small businesses around the
Alipay has 17.9mn active users
overseas in more than 100 countries
and is accepted by 2,000 merchants
overseas, Sabrina Peng, vice president
for Alibaba’s finance arm’s international business, said in October.
Volkswagen China growth slows to 10%
olkswagen AG’s growth in China is expected to slow to around 10% this year from
16% in 2013 due to a conservative strategy
that has limited its production capacity, the head
of its Chinese operations said on Tuesday.
A shortage in capacity is the only reason
Volkswagen’s growth rate has lagged overall growth in China’s vehicle market recently,
Volkswagen China President Jochem Heizmann
told reporters in Guangzhou, ahead of an annual
auto show that will open today in the southern
Chinese city.
The German car maker plans to step up investment in manufacturing so that this is no longer an
impediment, he said.
Heizmann said he expected Volkswagen Group,
whose brands include Audi, Skoda and Porsche, to
deliver a total of 3.6mn vehicles in China this year,
which amounts to an annual increase of around
10%. That’s a slowdown from last year’s 16%
Volkswagen said in late 2013 it planned to invest
€18.2bn ($22.8bn) from 2014 to 2018 to increase
annual production capacity to around 4mn vehicles.
That plan was based on an average annual sales
growth estimate of around 5%, which Heizmann
said was “a very conservative planning base. This
is why we have a lack of capacity. We’re clearly going beyond this 4mn issue.”
Volkswagen also plans to significantly extend its
product portfolio to better compete with General
Motors for the top spot in China.
It is “making very good progress” towards
launching a budget car in China and is also developing a China-only luxury sedan “to show the
customers that the Volkswagen brand is not just a
volume brand in China”, Heizmann said.
The company also aims to launch more than
20 electric or plug-in hybrid models in China by
“There is still potential in China’s passenger
car market, especially in tier three, four or five
cities,” Heizmann said, brushing aside concerns
of a drastic slowdown in the world’s biggest
auto market.
A model poses beside a Volkswagen car at the Auto China Expo in Beijing. Volkswagen growth in China is expected to slow to around 10% this year from 16%
in 2013 due to a conservative strategy that has limited its production capacity, the head of its Chinese operations said.
Even as growth in China’s overall car market is
expected to slow to single-digit pace over the next
five years, it will still be “tremendous growth ...
much higher than any other relevant market in the
world”, he said.
Separately, Heizmann said that plans to raise
Volkswagen’s current 40% stake in its joint venture with Chinese partner FAW Group Corp would
likely take time.
“This is a process which is not just done in
weeks,” Heizmann said, adding that the two
companies had held talks earlier and agreed
to go to the next step. Company sources told
Reuters last week that Volkswagen’s bid to increase its stake in a joint venture with Chinese
partner FAW Group Corp to about 50% from
40% currently had stalled after more than a
year of talks.
Japan to
lock in low
costs as
debt soars
apan may borrow more debt
over a longer horizon as the
country steps up its already
super-loose monetary policy to
prop up economic growth and
avoid slipping back into deflation.
The plan is seen aimed at taking advantage of central bank
stimulus to lock in low borrowing costs for the longest period
of time and to reduce the need
for future debt rollovers as Japan’s public borrowings continue to snowball.
The Ministry of Finance is
considering raising the issuance
of 30- and 40-year government
bonds by a total of ВҐ2tn ($17bn)
in the new п¬Ѓscal year starting in
April, government officials with
knowledge of the matter told
It is also likely to reduce issuing short-term debt, such as
two- and п¬Ѓve-year notes, and
trim the total issue from ВҐ155.1tn
planned for the current п¬Ѓscal
year, they added.
The MOF is contemplating
an increase of around ВҐ1tn yen
each in the issuance of 30- and
40-year JGBs and plans to float
the idea when ministry officials
meet primary dealers today before making a п¬Ѓnal decision, the
sources said.
The move is not directly related to Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe’s decision on Tuesday to delay a planned consumption tax
hike, but reflects growing concerns among some policymakers
and bureaucrats that bond yields
risk rising if no credible measures are taken to curtail debt.
“Considering Japan’s dire fiscal conditions, it is hard to envisage a sharp improvement, which
is why they want to п¬Ѓx long-term
debt at low rates,” said Hidenori
Suezawa, п¬Ѓscal analyst at SMBC
Nikko Securities.
So far, the country has no
problems п¬Ѓnancing its debt,
which has reached over 200% of
gross domestic product.
Domestic investors, with huge
savings, have been happy to buy
government bonds at time of
deflation even as Japanese government bonds have one of the
lowest yields in the world.
Yet, there are creeping worries that the country’s fiscal time
bomb may be ticking quickly as
Tokyo does not have a plausible
plan to balance its budget even as
its population looks set to age and
decline faster in coming decades.
Highlighting the delicate balance Tokyo has to strike between
spurring growth and tightening its п¬Ѓscal belt, the Japanese
economy unexpectedly slipped
into recession after the п¬Ѓrst leg of
a sales tax increase in April.
Abe’s decision to postpone
the second part of the tax hike
to 10% from 8% further makes
it difficult to achieve the government’s goal of balancing the
budget, excluding debt-related
revenues and expenses, by 2020.
But even before Abe’s move,
the country’s finance ministry
had long been seeking to extend
the average maturity of its debt
stockpile, which reduces the
need for future debt rollovers.
China energy targets show intent, picks winners and losers
By Clyde Russell
Launceston, Australia
China’s energy targets for 2020,
if assumed to be credible and
achievable, give a clear indication of
likely winners and losers.
The “action plan” released on
Wednesday foresees total primary
energy consumption rising almost
30% to 4.8bn tonnes of coal equivalent
by 2020, up from 3.7bn in 2013.
The key element of the plan is the
aim to cap coal consumption at 4.2bn
tonnes per annum, up just 10.5% from
This aspect of the plan is probably
most at risk of slippage, given that
reducing the rate of growth for coal
consumption means increasing the
rates for other, more expensive fuels
and renewable energy sources.
However, all the indications from
China’s leaders have been that the
world’s largest polluter is serious
about tackling air quality and curbs on
coal form a major part of this effort.
If the coal target is met, it’s almost
certainly disastrous news for coal
producers outside of China aiming to
export to the world’s biggest user of
the fuel.
China’s coal output is currently almost
enough to meet the 2020 target of
4.2bn tonnes, implying imports will
have little room to grow and may even
decline in coming years.
Coal production in the first 10 months
of 2014 was 3.42bn tonnes, up 0.3% on
year, according to an industry website
that cited data from the National
Bureau of Statistics. This puts annual
output on track to reach around 4.1bn
It’s also possible that China could
increase coal output, especially if it
goes ahead with plans to build power
plants near mines in the north and
west of the country, and then use long
distance transmission lines to carry
electricity to the more populated east
of the country.
This doesn’t mean coal imports will
drop to zero, but the 7.7% decline
in the first 10 months of the year to
243mn tonnes may be a sign of things
to come.
It’s possible that Chinese coal will also
be exported in increasing volumes,
given reports that the export tax may
be cut to 3% from 10%.
While Chinese coal isn’t currently
competitive because of higher costs,
improving rail links and its proximity
to major Asian buyers South Korea
and Japan raise the possibility of
increased exports in coming years.
The 2020 plan calls for a doubling in
the use of natural gas, from 120.9bn
cubic metres (bcm) in 2013 to at least
245 bcm.
China’s domestic natural gas output
grew 7.1% in the first 10 months to 101.3
bcm, putting it on track to reach about
120 bcm this year.
There is limited scope to boost
domestic output from conventional
wells, meaning unconventional shale
and coal seam gas will have to do
much of the heavy lifting over the next
six years.
The plan targets at least 30 bcm
of shale and 30 bcm of coal seam
gas, but this can be achieved only
at the expense of a concerted
drilling programme and substantial
This makes it more likely that pipeline
gas from Russia and central Asia
and liquefied natural gas will have
to supply a larger share of China’s
expected growth in natural gas
The other areas that will experience
rapid growth under the plan are
renewables and nuclear power.
Wind power is forecast to rise from 77
gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 200 GW in
2020, with hydro jumping from 258
GW to 350 GW and nuclear from 14.6
GW to 58 GW.
The wind increase looks the most
ambitious, again implying huge
investment and commitment from the
authorities. The increase in nuclear
seems feasible, given the current
building programme, and if achieved
should be positive for China’s uranium
imports, even though the nation
appears to have been stockpiling the
atomic fuel in recent years.
Crude oil demand may also get a
boost from the plan’s confirmation
that China intends to complete
construction of the second phase of its
strategic storage by 2020.
It also foresees the commissioning
of nine new oilfields with a capacity
of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd)
each over the coming years, boosting
domestic production from around
4.2mn bpd.
While new domestic output could cut
growth in crude import demand, this
also looks ambitious.
However, the 2020 targets show the
intent of the Chinese leadership, and
they are bullish for both foreign and
domestic natural gas producers, wind
turbine makers and China’s crude
exploration sector.
The biggest loser appears to be
foreign coal miners, who will have to
look elsewhere for growth markets.
Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist.
The views expressed are his own.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
UK retail sales rebound; set to counter growth slowdown
ritish retail sales jumped in October, suggesting that shoppers
will take the edge off an end-ofyear economic slowdown as Europe’s
weak growth takes its toll on Britain’s
Sales volumes rose by a much strong-
er-than-expected 0.8% on the month,
helped by purchases of furniture after
the housing market surged earlier this
year and by falling prices, data from the
Office for National Statistics showed
Consumer spending has driven Britain’s strong economic recovery which
began in mid-2013 and is likely to remain its main driver as the global economic outlook worsens.
A survey showed British manufacturers expect output in the next three
months to be its lowest in over a year,
hurt by the sluggish eurozone and a
slowdown in China.
A separate report showed British car
production fell by nearly 7% in October
due to weak exports.
Spending by British consumers is
growing less strongly than earlier this
year, but there are signs it will hold up.
Wages are edging up and inflation looks
set to dip below 1%.
Bank of England policymakers have
questioned how long private demand
can continue to offset weak exports and
the effects of public sector spending
cuts, according to minutes of their November meeting which were published
on Wednesday.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping that in the short term,
the combination of wage growth and
low inflation will help earn him a second term at national elections in May.
Yesterday’s data showed prices
among retailers fell by 1.5% in October
compared with a year earlier, their biggest fall since 2002, pushed down by
lower petrol prices.
Strong furniture sales could reflect
what the ONS believes to be a sixmonth lag between mortgage approvals
and house purchases and consumers
buying household goods.
Liz Martins, an HSBC economist,
said the recent slowdown in the housing market could weigh on retail sales in
coming months.
“However, the broader picture is
that, amid concerns about a potential slowdown in the UK economy, this
number marks a strong start to the п¬Ѓnal
quarter of the year,” she said.
No repeat of
system crash
after $88mn
п¬Ѓne, says RBS
A view of the Court of Justice of the European Community. Britain’s legal challenge to a limit on bankers’ bonuses was rejected by an adviser to the bloc’s top court.
UK heading for defeat over
limit to EU bank bonuses
Britain says the law would push up
fixed pay and goes beyond the EU’s
powers; ECJ says fixing the ratio
of variable remuneration to basic
salaries does not equate to a cap
on bankers bonuses; adviser says
bonuses were an internal market
matter as they relate to risk taking
at banks
ritain’s relations with the European Union took another knock
yesterday when its legal challenge to a limit on bankers’ bonuses
was rejected by an adviser to the bloc’s
top court.
The EU law aims to curb the kind of
risk-taking that led to the 2007 to 2009
п¬Ѓnancial crisis by limiting bonuses
awarded from next year to a sum no
more than a banker’s fixed pay, or twice
that level with shareholder approval.
Britain, home to the City of London
where most of the bankers hit by the
cap are based, said the law would push
up fixed pay and goes beyond the EU’s
powers, a sensitive subject at a time of
rising British anti-EU sentiment.
The adviser, whose opinions are
non-binding but are generally followed
at least in part by the Luxembourgbased European Court of Justice, supported the limit on banker bonuses and
said it did not restrict the total amount
of pay.
“Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen
suggests that all the UK’s pleas should
be rejected and that the Court of Justice
dismiss the action,” the ECJ said in a
“Fixing the ratio of variable remuneration to basic salaries does not
equate to a �cap on bankers bonuses’, or
п¬Ѓxing the level of pay, because there is
no limit imposed on the basic salaries
that the bonuses are pegged against.”
Jaaskinen said that bonuses were an
internal market matter as they relate to
risk taking at banks that could affect п¬Ѓnancial stability in Europe.
Britain’s finance ministry said it was
considering the opinion and its implications. The full court is expect to issue
its ruling on the UK challenge in early
“It doesn’t give the UK much hope
of success when the Court hands
down its decision early next year,” said
Rob Moulton, a regulatory partner at
Ashurst lawfirm.
“Some may even say it’s a clear indication of the likely winner in the power
struggle between the EU and the UK.”
The opinion is a setback for Britain and gives ammunition to anti-EU
campaigners who object to having decisions imposed by Brussels. The UK
Independence Party, which rejects the
EU’s influence over Britain, is hoping
to win a vote on Thursday that would
give it a second seat in the British parliament.
Steven Woolfe, a UKIP member of
the European Parliament, said the
opinion showed UK Prime Minister
David Cameron’s attempts to reform
the EU before a promised referendum
on Britain’s EU membership “were
dead in the water”.
Britain, the only EU state to oppose
the bonus law, had said that giving
the EU’s European Banking Authority
powers to set the cap was illegal but the
opinion said the EBA had flexibility to
interpret the law. Barclays, HSBC and
Standard Chartered have raised allowances to compensate for the impact of
the bonus limit. The EBA has said most
of these allowances are illegal.
Bank of England governor Mark
Carney and others have said that
bankers’ fixed salaries may also need
“The bonus cap alone is too blunt an
instrument to curb risk taking in the
banking industry,” said Tom Gosling,
head of PwC’s reward practice.
“It’s unlikely that the bonus cap
itself causes existing business to up
sticks and move away from London.
However, it does make London somewhat less attractive as a place to build
new capability.”
The British Bankers’ Association said
shareholders and not politicians should
have the powers to determine pay.
oyal Bank of Scotland
vowed there would be no
repeat of a system crash
two years ago that left millions
of customers unable to make or
receive payments, after it was
п¬Ѓned ВЈ56mn ($88mn) by British
regulators yesterday.
The 2012 outage, caused by a
botched software upgrade, affected 6.5mn customers of RBS,
NatWest and Ulster Bank in
Britain for several weeks and
raised questions about the resilience of the group’s technology.
Some industry sources say
RBS’s systems are outdated and
made up of a complex patchwork
of systems after dozens of acquisitions.
To prevent a recurrence of the
problems, RBS has said it will invest an extra ВЈ750mn by the end
of 2015 to enhance the security
and resilience of its IT systems.
Chief administration officer
Simon McNamara said that more
than ВЈ500mn of that investment
had already been invested to improve the bank’s systems.
“I can pretty much guarantee
that that incident will not happen again because of the actions
we’ve taken,” he said.
The penalties imposed yesterday comprised a ВЈ42mn п¬Ѓne
from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and a ВЈ14mn п¬Ѓne
from the Prudential Regulation
Authority (PRA).
The two regulators conducted
a joint investigation into the matter, concluding that RBS’s systems
and controls had been inadequate.
PRA chief executive Andrew
Bailey said the incident “revealed a very poor legacy of IT
resilience and inadequate management of IT risks”.
“It is crucial that RBS, NatWest
and Ulster Bank п¬Ѓx the underlying
problems that have been identified to avoid threatening the safety
and soundness of the banks,” he
said. The group suffered a further technology outage in December last year, which left more
than 1mn customers unable to
withdraw cash or pay for goods.
Following that episode, chief
executive Ross McEwan admitted
RBS — which is 80%-owned by
the British government — had neglected its technology for decades.
The 2012 incident cost RBS
ВЈ175mn in compensation for
customers and extra payments
to staff after the bank opened
branches for longer in response.
The bank said ВЈ6mn was taken
off its wage bill following the incident as a result of some staff forfeiting pay and bonuses, including
bonuses waived by former RBS
chief executive Stephen Hester
and Ulster Bank CEO Jim Brown.
Answers to Draghi’s $1.3tn Quantitative Easing conundrum
ario Draghi is facing a
€1tn ($1.3tn) problem:
expanding the European
Central Bank’s balance sheet toward €3tn from €2tn.
The fastest route, buying sovereign bonds, may be sealed off
because it risks violating European treaties and infuriating a
significant minority of his policymaking board.
One detour: Let п¬Ѓnancial alchemists invent an asset class
that skirts the potential pitfalls.
Lucrezia Reichlin, the ECB’s
former head of research, and Luis
Garicano of the London School of
Economics say that with the right
signal from the central bank, markets could create an instrument
that mimics a collection of eurozone government securities, what
they term “safe-market bonds.”
The paper would be backed by
quality government debt and the
weight each country’s bonds have
would be determined by its gross
domestic product. The central
bank would buy them, resulting
in the easier liquidity and credit
needed to revive inflation. And no
sovereign debt would have been
purchased. The plan “would not
only help the ECB attain its elusive
inflation target, but would contribute to the financial stability
of the eurozone,” the economists
wrote on the web site VoxEU.
It would also address some of
the euro’s defects by introducing
the equivalent of pan-European
bonds and reducing the direct exposure of banks to governments,
they said.
The proposal is echoed by Carlo Bastasin of the School of Political Economy at LUISS University
— Rome. He proposed a “silver
bullet for the European crisis” by
suggesting the creation of an asset-backed security reflecting the
attributes of existing eurozone
debt that the ECB could then buy.
“The new ABS would not be
an attractive innovation for the
ECB only, but would greatly benefit private investors, both European and non-Europeans, who
are longing for a European liquid
and safe asset,” Bastasin wrote in
a November 14 paper. “If the total amount of QE is estimated at
€1tn, the market behind the new
security would amount to one of
the largest in global finance.”
The euro-area is running the
risk of a renewed slowdown after a Purchasing Managers Index
for factories and services activity
unexpectedly fell in November to
its lowest in 16 months.
Another suggestion from Olivier Garnier, a former ECB adviser and now chief economist at
Societe Generale, is for the ECB to
intervene in the interest rate swap
“Its objective would be the
same as in the case of large- scale
purchases of debt securities
with medium and long maturities: reducing long-term interest
rates once short-term rates have
reached the zero lower bound,”
he said.
Other advantages are that the
swap market is both liquid and
private so the ECB wouldn’t be
buying government bonds, while
flattening the yield curve would
curb п¬Ѓnancing costs for banks,
companies and households.
ECB prepares to buy asset-backed securities from today
The European Central Bank published the legal
act for purchases of asset-backed securities,
setting it up to start buying the debt as soon as
today, says a Bloomberg report.
The decision “shall enter into force on the day
following its publication on the ECB’s website,”
the Frankfurt-based central bank said yesterday.
That’s in line with comments from Executive
Board member Yves Mersch, who has said the
ECB will start buying ABS this week.
The purchase plan is part of President Mario
Draghi’s drive to expand the ECB’s balance sheet
by as much as €1tn ($1.25tn). Policy makers
are expanding stimulus to stave off the threat
of a deflationary spiral of falling prices and
households postponing spending, and Draghi
has said they’re unanimous in their willingness
to take further action such as government-bond
purchases if needed.
The institution sought advice from a unit of
BlackRock on developing the ABS programme.
It hired ING Investment Management, Deutsche
Asset & Wealth Management International, State
Street Global Advisors and Amundi to carry out
the transactions on its behalf under instruction.
ABS purchases will “be implemented in a uniform
and, exceptionally during the initial phase,
centralised manner,” according to the legal act.
Later in the programme, the assets will be bought
in a “decentralised manner by the eurosystem
central banks,” it said.
Securities eligible for purchase may include
bonds backed by residential or commercial
mortgages as long as they fulfil the criteria listed
in the legal act, the ECB said. Banks create ABS
by bundling individual loans such as mortgages,
auto credit and credit-card debt into tradable
It may take as many as five days to approve
purchases of larger ABS while smaller
transactions will be signed off in about 24 hours,
people familiar with the matter said last week.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Airbus set to sign $14bn deal with Delta for 50 planes
European aerospace giant Airbus is poised to sign a contract
to deliver 50 long-haul carriers
to US Delta Airlines in a deal
worth $14bn (€11bn) at catalogue prices, sources told AFP
Under the terms of the deal,
Airbus will deliver 25 A350900s, the company’s new longhaul carrier that this month
received certification from the
US Federal Aviation Authority
and is due to enter service by the
end of the year, a source close to
the negotiations said on condition of anonymity. The other
25 planes will be A330-neos,
an updated version of its widebody medium-haul jet with fuel
saving engines which is slated to
enter into service at the end of
“The order should be finalised
in the coming days,” said one of
the sources. “The announcement could be made at the beginning of next week.”
Delta had asked Airbus and
Boeing in April to submit offers
as the airline considers replacing its ageing fleet of long-haul
747-400 and 767-300 jets, saying it expected to place an or-
der by the end of the year. The
A350-900 is designed to compete with Boeing 777 and 787
jets in the lucrative long-haul
segment and has already received 750 orders.
Equipped with Trent XWB
engines from Rolls-Royce, the
plane can transport 315 passengers up to 14,500km (9,000
Delta already has a sizable
fleet of Airbus aircraft, with
126 single-aisle medium-haul
A320s and 32 A330s. It has recently made orders for another
55 Airbus planes.
Aerospace analyst Christophe Menard said that Airbus
likely benefitted from the fact
that it could deliver A350s rather
quickly after Emirates cancelled
in June an order for 70 of the aircraft.
“Boeing, on the contrary,
doesn’t have quick slots available for its 787,” he said.
Westhouse Securities said in
a note to investors that the order
indicates that the delivery date
is becoming a crucial factor for
The likely order “demonstrates that scarcity of delivery
positions for some aircraft is
becoming a deal-losing issue
- recall that Airbus and Boeing combined have 8.6 years of
backlog...”, said Westhouse Securities. Airlines are in a major
push to modernise their fleets
to reap the fuel savings that the
latest generation of engines offer, especially as competition in
the sector is п¬Ѓerce and fuel is one
of biggest costs.
As Airbus and Rolls-Royce
still have relatively low market share with the older, or socalled legacy US airlines, “this is
an important win — particularly
as the US legacies have old fleets
and thus big future replacement
demand,” said Westhouse Securities.
Delta’s fleet is on average 17
years old.
Menard noted Delta was one
of the airlines which had been
encouraging Airbus to offer a
version of the A330 with new
“This order would therefore
be logical,” he said.
The order, if confirmed,
would be the second major deal
this month for Airbus.
Earlier Airbus announced
that it had signed a preliminary
deal to supply the China Aircraft Leasing Company with
100 planes in a contract worth
around $10.2bn (€8.1bn) at catalogue prices.
The orders will help Airbus
narrow Boeing’s lead in new or-
ders for this year as the US manufacturer has not announced
any major new contracts this
At the end of October Boeing
had 1,046 net new aircraft orders for this year against 794 for
Shares in Airbus Group initially rose on the news, but were
later pulled down along with the
wider French market as survey
data showed business activity
continues to contract.
In afternoon trading Airbus Group shares were down
0.73% to €46.65 while the CAC
40 index had given up 1.17% to
4,216.18 points.
Goldman п¬Ѓres
2 bankers after
getting secret
Fed documents
New York
Heavy goods trucks manufactured by Volvo are parked in line as the company logo is seen on flags flying outside the Volvo demo centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. Truck
manufacturers including Volvo, Daimler and Iveco parent CNH Industrial all confirmed yesterday receipt of the European Commission’s formal charge sheets of suspected price fixing.
Truck makers face
п¬Ѓnes as EU steps up
cartel investigation
Companies could be fined
10% of annual revenue;
Daimler, Volvo, MAN and
Iveco among companies
notified; Volvo and Daimler
have warned of potential hit
to results
he European Commission
has stepped up a wideranging cartel investigation that could lead to heavy п¬Ѓnes
for some of the world’s biggest
truck makers.
The Commission announced
yesterday that it had sent formal
charge sheets to several manufacturers it suspected of price
п¬Ѓxing, marking the next phase
of a complex investigation that
began with raids on a number of
companies’ headquarters in January 2011.
Daimler, Volvo and Iveco parent CNH Industrial all confirmed
receipt of the European regulator’s so-called statements of objections, together with Volkswa-
gen-controlled Scania and MAN.
Companies can be п¬Ѓned up to
10% of their annual revenue if
the Commission concludes that
there is sufficient evidence of an
infringement of EU rules barring
cartels and the abuse of market
New EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
said yesterday that she believed
the case would be extremely difficult to resolve though agreed
settlements, in which companies
typically pay reduced п¬Ѓnes in return for admitting anticompeti-
tive behaviour to expedite the investigation.
Vestager, who took office this
month, also emphasised the
broader impact of price-п¬Ѓxing.
“Keeping the cost of road
transportation high has a damaging effect on the rest of the
economy,” she said during a news
conference in Brussels.
In its 2013 annual report, Volvo
said it may face a significant financial hit as a result of the pricefixing probe. “It is probable that
the group’s result and cash flow
may be materially adversely af-
fected as a result of the ongoing
investigation,” the company said.
Daimler has also warned
shareholders that it may have to
pay “considerable fines”.
The EU executive declined to
identify the companies that had
received notice of its п¬Ѓndings,
saying only that a large number
were involved. “The Commission has concerns that certain
heavy and medium-duty truck
producers may have agreed or
coordinated their pricing behaviour,” the Commission said in a
oldman Sachs Group
dismissed two bankers
after one of them allegedly brought secret documents
from the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York into the п¬Ѓrm.
A junior banker, who had
joined the company in July from
the New York Fed, was п¬Ѓred a
week after the discovery in late
September along with another
employee who failed to escalate
the issue, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News that didn’t identify the
pair. Jake Siewert, a bank spokesman, confirmed the contents of
the memo, which was prompted
by a report on Wednesday in the
New York Times.
“We have zero tolerance for
improper handling of confidential information,” Goldman Sachs said in the memo.
“We are reviewing our policies
regarding any hiring from governmental institutions to ensure that they are appropriately
effective and robust.”
The bank and the New York
Fed have faced questions
about their relationship since
a former examiner, Carmen
Segarra, said her ex-colleagues
at the regulator were too deferential in their oversight of the
New York-based п¬Ѓrm. She gave
what she said were secretly
recorded conversations with
those co-workers to the radio
programme “This American
Life” in September.
US Senator Sherrod Brown,
an Ohio Democrat, scheduled
a November 21 hearing before
his banking subcommittee on
“regulatory capture” following Segarra’s claims. On the
same day her recordings became public, Goldman Sachs
changed its policy addressing
conflicts of interest to bar investment bankers from trading
individual stocks and bonds.
The New York Fed also п¬Ѓred
an employee it suspected of
sharing information with the
banker, the New York Times
reported. The regulator said in
a statement that it has “zero
tolerance” for personnel who
don’t safeguard confidential
“We have detailed rules and
controls protecting confidential
information,” according to the
statement. “We also know that
we are not perfect, that information today is more difficult to
safeguard, and we are resolute to
learn from our experiences.”
The incident arose after the
junior banker sent a document to a senior member of
the п¬Ѓnancial institutions group
within the firm’s investment
bank, who then immediately
alerted the compliance department, according to the company memo. The records included
information on at least one
of Goldman Sachs’s clients, a
mid-size bank overseen by the
regulator, according to the New
York Times.
Goldman Sachs’s general
counsel alerted the New York
Fed’s top lawyer the day the information was shared, and the
firm notified other regulators
within days, according to the
Germany to leave door ajar for fracking
Germany’s government plans
to stop short of an outright ban
on the controversial technique
of fracking for gas, bowing
to pressure from industry,
according to the latest draft of
a law from the environment
ministry seen by Reuters.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing
to extract gas and oil has
transformed the US energy
market, boosting domestic
supplies. The process is banned
in France on environmental
grounds. It is allowed in Britain
but has strict environmental
and safety guidelines.
German industry is concerned
that its competitiveness is
being hurt by rising energy
costs at home compared to
lower prices in the US which
has seen a fracking boom.
A deterioration in ties with
Russia over the Ukraine crisis
has also raised pressure on
Europe, especially Germany, to
cut its reliance on Russian gas
and fuelled the fracking debate.
Germany is drawing up
new fracking rules, and has
promised strict environmental
audits and a ban on drilling in
areas where water is protected
due to possible environmental
Environment Minister Barbara
Hendricks said the new law
would set the bar very high for
fracking for gas.
Sanofi eyes more than $38bn from new drugs after CEO exit
anofi, which sacked its chief executive three weeks ago, hopes to
launch up to 18 new drugs by the
end of 2020, with the potential to reap
more than €30bn ($38bn) within the
п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓve years of sales.
Sanofi executives were to lay out
their strategy for bringing several new
drugs to the market later yesterday, in
a bid to win over investors alarmed by
the sudden ouster of its chief executive.
But the French drug maker warned its
diabetes business, accounting for more
than a п¬Ѓfth of group revenue, would show
little growth over the next four years, disappointing some investors and sending
its shares 2.8% lower by 1320 GMT.
Yesterday’s long-planned investor
event will focus on drugs set to launch
in the coming years, including the
world’s first vaccine against dengue fever, its injectable cholesterol-lowering
drug alirocumab and the allergy treatment dupilumab. The company expects
to launch up to six new medicines in
2015 alone, and about one every six
months between 2016 and 2018.
Investors have voiced worries about
Sanofi’s management and financial
prospects since the drug maker warned
last month that sales of its popular Lantus insulin were slowing more sharply
than expected. The board subsequently
sacked CEO Chris Viehbacher over his
solitary management style.
Chairman Serge Weinberg, who has
taken the helm while Sanofi looks for a
new boss, is set to give introductory remarks but has already said there would
be no more detailed guidance on the
company’s financial prospects until annual results in February.
Sanofi, however, said it expected its
global diabetes drug sales to post little
or no growth between 2015 and 2018.
Sanofi’s forecast assumes “a substantial conversion” of patients from
Lantus to an improved version of the
drug, Toujeo, continued sales growth in
emerging markets and US launches of
new diabetes drugs including inhaled
insulin Afrezza.
Leerink analyst Seamus Fernandez
said the downbeat assessment for diabetes sales and the fact Sanofi was banking on substantial patient switching
to Toujeo was below his assumed sales
growth of 2% during the same period.
Diabetes drugs, a market expanding
worldwide as obesity increases, has long
been Sanofi’s cash cow but the drugmaker’s pricing power is set to shrink
as so-called biosimilar copies enter the
market over the next two years.
Sanofi said the launch of new medicines and vaccines in other fields would
help mitigate its dependence on Lantus,
which accounts for nearly a п¬Ѓfth of sales.
In a separate statement, Sanofi and
its US partner Regeneron welcomed
the US Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant a fast-track
development and review process to
their dupilumab drug in the treatment
of atopic dermatitis, a chronic form of
Sanofi has warned its diabetes
business, accounting for more
than a fifth of group revenue,
would show little growth
over the next four years,
disappointing some investors
Friday, November 21, 2014
Bader al-Sa’ad, chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) and
managing director, Kuwait Investment Authority, making introductory remarks at the 6th
annual meeting of the IFSWF at Ritz-Carlton Doha yesterday.
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani with HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheikh Ahmed
bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani; HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada; with Bader al-Sa’ad at the opening session of the
IFSWF yesterday. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil
SWFs’ Doha meeting adopts three-year
strategic plan to enhance investments
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
orld’s leading sovereign
wealth funds (SWFs) yesterday unanimously agreed
upon a “Doha Agreement”, adopting a
three-year strategic plan to ensure free
flow of long-term global capital and
strong real returns for the progeny;
even as they asked recipient countries
to be more transparent.
Moreover, 21 more countries are
planning to establish SWFs; these were
disclosed by the International Forum
of SWFs (IFSWF), which held its sixth
annual meeting here, hosted by the
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
The strategic plan, agreed by IFSWF,
seeks to leverage those strengths to
work towards becoming an important
global reference on the governance, investment and operational practices of
IFSWF-member SWFs.
Additionally, through championing
long-term investment based on п¬Ѓnancial and economic grounds, the funds
will contribute to maintaining a stable
global п¬Ѓnancial system, IFSWF chair
and CEO of Kuwait Investment Authority Bader al-Sa’ad told the media
at the customary press conference.
“We have achieved concrete steps towards delivering on a three-year strategy which we believe will have value for
our members, and for global markets
more broadly. The Santiago Principles
provide a framework for embedding
disciplined long-term governance, investment and operational practices investment strategies,” he said.
Santiago Principles are a framework
of principles and practices voluntarily
endorsed by IFSWF members with an
emphasis on appropriate governance
and accountability arrangements and
sound, prudent conduct of investment
One of the principles is that, wherever the SWF’s activities have significant direct domestic macroeconomic
implications, those activities should be
closely co-ordinated with the domestic п¬Ѓscal and monetary authorities, so
as to ensure consistency with the overall macroeconomic policies.
Majed al-Romaithi, a board member
and the executive director of the Real
Estate and Infrastructure Department
of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority,
said the investments of SWFs in local market were dependent upon the
mandate and from experience, it is
observed that volatility tends to move
together with overseas market.
The three-year strategic plan encompasses knowledge-sharing between IFSWF members; co-operating
on issues of mutual interest; on-going
training and development for new
members; and the potential for combined efforts to identify and implement research,” Adrian Orr, IFSWF
deputy chairman and CEO of New
Zealand Superannuation Fund, said.
To a query on lack of transparency of
SWFs; al-sa’ad shot back asking how
transparent the recipient countries are
and in this regard, he pointed to Dubai
Ports World controversy and added it
showed the lack of transparency.
DP World (DPW), a state-owned
company in the UAE, had acquired Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), a British п¬Ѓrm.
Although the sale was approved by
Washington but various political п¬Ѓgures argued that the takeover would
compromise national security.
International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds leaders at the event’s wrap-up press conference at Ritz-Carlton in Doha yesterday. Seen in the picture are QIA CEO and
HE the Minister of State Ahmad al-Sayed; IFSWF chair Bader al-Sa’ad; deputy chair Adrian Orr; IFSWF board member Majed al-Romaithi and secretary general Kristian
Flyvholm. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
To another query whether the investments by SWFs were politically
motivated, he said there was nothing
to prove that investments were of that
Asked about the current trough in
the oil prices; IFSWF board were of the
opinion that it was one of the “challenges” to deliver “strong real returns
for the future generation”.
IFSWF also welcomed п¬Ѓve new
members: Fondo Strategico Italiano
Spa., Fundo Soberano de Angola, Joint
Stock Company Sovereign Wealth
Fund “Samruk-Kazyna”, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The meeting noted that there are
currently 82 SWFs globally and “21
countries are considering establishing
new sovereign funds, of which many
are already participating in IFSWF
meetings as observers”.
QIA CEO Ahmed M al-Sayed said it
will continue to invest in China as part
of its portfolio management and declined to be specific on the country’s
wealth fund’s investments.
World Bank underscores SWFs’ role in improving access to risk capital
By Peter Alagos
Business Reporter
overeign Wealth Funds
(SWFs) play a vital role in
providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
improved access to risk capital,
which could help contribute to
job generation and sustained
growth, a World Bank official
Michel Noel, manager, NonBank Financial Institutions of
the World Bank, made the statement during a special luncheon
address at the 6th Annual Meeting of the International Forum of
Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF)
held yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Doha.
“Building on their experience
in investing in private equity in
more advanced economies, we
believe that SWFs can progressively enrich experience by increasingly investing in private
equity across emerging markets
(EMs) and developing countries
(DCs) by improving the access of
SMEs in these countries to risk
capital and therefore contributing
in a powerful way to create jobs
and sustain growth,” Noel said.
He also clarified that the World
Bank reaffirmed it “fully under-
stands and fully supports the
fact that the primary objective of
SWFs is commercial returns.”
“But we believe in a �sweet
spot’ where commercial and economic returns coincide and can
reinforce each other; and this is
where many of SWFs can bring a
lot to support the development of
EMs and DCs,” he further said.
Noel said the World Bank saw
“a clear developmental angle”
where SWFs diversify the portfolio of emerging markets. The
diversification, he explained,
include both private and public
asset classes, such as emerging
market bonds and public and private equities, whether by way of
direct investing, co-investing, or
investment funds.
He said SWFs made decisions
on diversifications to EMs based
on assessment of political risks,
regulatory risks, public equities
and п¬Ѓxed income, and securities
typically from investment portfolio of SWFs.
Citing the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) managing $700bn in private equity,
Noel said ADIA was also the
largest SWF investing in private
equity with a “target allocation
of about 8%”. “But SWFs are also
active in private assets and as of
last year, 50% of SWFs invested
in private equity, mostly to funds
and increasingly to co-investments alongside fund managers,”
Noel said. He noted that SWFs
were “well-suited” to invest in
private equities due to the size of
the assets they manage and due
to the long-term horizon.
Noel also said the World Bank
was insisting on private equities
because given the right ecosystem,
private equity investments could
have a significant development
impact in providing п¬Ѓrms access
to capital from start-up to growth.
“Private equity, through the
extensive use of due diligence,
undertaken as part of portfolio
companies, ensure that limited
capital resources are allocated
to companies that are the most
likely to be successful,” he said.
The World Bank official also
noted that venture capital and
private equity firms “also provide
guidance to investing companies to improving management
practices in the economy, though
investments provide value to the
п¬Ѓrms by certifying them to the
outside world.”
At the macroeconomic level,
Noel said investments in private
equity in an economy signalled
that there was investment opportunity in that economy and
also served as a signal to other
A view of the delegates attending the 6th annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds at Ritz-Carlton Doha
additional investors. He added
that infrastructure was another
impact across EMs and DCs.
Citing statistics, Noel said 57%
of SWFs have already invested
in the infrastructure asset class,
usually at the early stages of the
infrastructure projects.
“We believe that with the large
infrastructure п¬Ѓnance gap EMs
and DCs are facing given their
experience in investing in infrastructure in more advanced
economies, SWFs, with their asset base and long-term invest-
ment horizon, could provide a
powerful boost to the п¬Ѓnance
segment infrastructure in these
markets given the right conditions,” he said.
cheered by
Ferrari sign
Vettel in bid
to win world
Friday, November 21, 2014
Moharram 28, 1436 AH
Sarfraz ton sets
up thrilling final
day in Dubai
Page 2
Elshorbagy and
Ashour set up
world title clash
Jinx continues for Frenchman Gaultier as he fails to make final
Action from the Gulf Cup match between Oman and Kuwait yesterday. Oman
won 5-0.
Oman to meet
Qatar in Gulf
Cup semis
By Sports Reporter
Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy goes for a shot against England’s Nick Matthew yesterday.
By Satya Rath
t will be an all-Egyptian clash in
the п¬Ѓnal of the PSA World Squash
Championship, to be played today at the Khalifa International
Tennis and Squash Complex.
Two-time champion Ramy Ashour,
who won his last world title at this
very venue in 2012, and compatriot
Mohamed Elshorbagy, chasing his
maiden world crown, have met four
times before, with Ashour winning all
four times.
In yesterday’s semi-finals, Ashour
beat top-seeded Frenchman Gregory
Gaultier 17-15, 11-7, 11-5, while Elshorbagy outclassed defending champion
Nick Matthew 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.
The Worlds jinx continues for Gaultier. The 32-year-old Frenchman, in his
16th year on tour, had been chasing this
one title since turning pro in 1999. He
Results (Semi-finals)
4-Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt 1-Gregory
Gaultier (FRA) 3-0 (17-15, 11-7, 11-5)
2-Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt
3-Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-0 (11-9,
11-5, 11-8)
Final (17:30 start today)
4-Ramy Ashour (EGY) vs 2-Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
came close to realising it four times, but
always faltered at the п¬Ѓnal hurdle.
This time it looked like he would
п¬Ѓnally break that hoodoo, having won
almost everything else the game has
to offer. The way he had been improving with each passing day, the way he
had been raising his game with each
outing, it did look like Gaultier would
п¬Ѓnally land that elusive World title.
Alas, it was not to be.
Against Ashour, Gaultier did everything he could. He tried out all his
tricks, summoned whatever reserves
he had, slipped, fell and rose over and
over again, screamed and argued with
the referee, yet he failed to get past
someone to whom he has now lost 22
times in 29 attempts.
The calm-as-a-monk Egyptian
was just too good for his illustrious
opponent. After the п¬Ѓrst game, which
was neck-to-neck and lasted a long
35 minutes, Gaultier simply surrendered. The next two games were over
in a flash, just 11 minutes, to put the
27-year-old Ashour on the threshold
of repeating his 2012 feat.
The exciting п¬Ѓrst game, which Ashour won 17-15, was a battle among
equals. All the facets of high level
squash were on display in plenty —
tight volleys, unplayable nicks, deceptive lobs, accurate drops — with
neither player ready to concede an
inch. The game went on even keel,
from п¬Ѓve-all till 15-all. Someone had
to give in, and Gaultier obliged, bang-
Two-time champion Ramy Ashour
celebrates winning a point against
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier.
ing the tin twice to undo all the good
work till then.
It was one-way traffic thereafter,
with Gaultier virtually giving up.
He looked a pale shadow of his п¬Ѓrstgame self and just kept gifting Ashour
points. After the 35-minute opening
game, the second took just six while
the deciding third was even less, п¬Ѓve
minutes, and that tells the whole tale.
It’s all the head, they say, and Gaultier simple lost his. Defeats always hurt,
but this defeat, or the manner of it, is
sure to haunt him for long.
“Compared to yesterday, today
I think I was much more confident
coming into the match. My arm was
hurting, but it only made my resolve
stronger. I just wanted to stay focused
and calm till the end, because at the
top level, it’s all in the mind. Yes, I was
a little surprised the way he (Gaultier)
played in the last two games. He’s a
great player, and he knew what he was
doing,” Ashour said.
“I am just happy to have made the
п¬Ѓnal. Doha has always given me happy
memories, I won my last (world) title
here, so yes, I just hope I can do it again,”
added Ashour, who will meet countryman Elshorbagy in today’s final.
It was almost a repeat script in
the second semi-п¬Ѓnal too, between
defending champion Matthew and
Elshorbagy, the reigning Qatar Classic champion. Three-time champion
Matthew had just bulldozed his way to
the last four, but Elshorbagy was in no
mood to let him have his way this time.
Barring the ill-tempered but close
п¬Ѓrst game, where the referee had
a busy time pacifying and warning both, the other two games were
scrappy. There was some great squash
on display, but there were also errors
galore. The one scoring less on the error-sheet had to win, and Elshorbagy
scored big on that count.
man thrashed Kuwait 5-0
to set up a semi-п¬Ѓnal clash
with Qatar in the Gulf Cup
Said Salem was the hero of Oman’s
emphatic win, the forward netting a
sensational hat-trick to help his team
top Group B.
Abdulaziz al-Muqbali scored the
other two goals for Oman who had
drawn with Saudi Arabia and UAE
The Omanis topped the group on
goal difference after the UAE also
scored their п¬Ѓrst win yesterday, a 2-0
romp over Iraq, to п¬Ѓnish on п¬Ѓve points
from three matches.
Ali Ahmed al-Mabkhout scored
both goals for UAE, who will now take
on Group A toppers Saudi Arabia in
the last four.
Qatar qualified for the semis in
second spot from Group A after п¬Ѓnishing on three points from as many
The semi-п¬Ѓnals will be played on
Sunday, while the п¬Ѓnal is slated for
November 26.
Tokyo looks to slash $1.7bn off 2020 bill
Tokyo: Tokyo is looking to slash the
price tag for the 2020 Summer Olympics by $1.7bn through scrapping or
scaling back plans to build new facilities
amid fears over spiralling costs.
Recent estimates put the bill for the
venues, including the construction of 10
new facilities, at 450 billion yen ($3.8bn)
—three times the initial estimate—
triggering renewed belt-tightening
measures and even calls to use existing
venues as far away as Osaka.
“We reviewed our facility plans after
the expense swelled due to unexpected additional construction works
and surging costs of construction in
general,” Katsura Enyo, senior official at
the Tokyo metropolitan government’s
2020 Games planning division, told AFP
“We presented the revised plan to the
IOC (International Olympic Committee)
and I think we gained their understanding. What’s important is that we build
facilities that Tokyoites still find useful
after the Olympics are over.”
IOC vice president John Coates has
urged Japanese officials to look into the
possibility of holding more sports outside Tokyo, which would represent an
embarrassing detour from the city’s bid
plan promising that virtually all events
would take place within eight kilometres
(five miles) of the Olympic village.
Tokyo’s compact bid had been a key
factor in beating Istanbul and Madrid
for the rights to host the 2020 Games,
but Coates suggested basketball
preliminaries could be played in Osaka,
400 kilometres west of Tokyo.
“We should make the maximum use of
existing facilities, and that overrides the
eight kilometre philosophy which we
had as part of the bid,” he said after a
visit to Tokyo.
Tokyo staged Asia’s first Olympics in
1964 when the Japanese government
unveiled the iconic Bullet Train, symbolising the country’s rise from humiliating
defeat in World War II to its emergence
as a major international player.
The 2020 Games are expected to
boost the Japanese economy by an
estimated three trillion yen.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Intriguing final day
set after Sarfraz ton
and Taylor 77 not out
McCullum becomes New Zealand’s second-highest run-getter after Stephen Fleming
Tahir in doubt for fourth
ODI against Australia
Sydney: South Africa could be without frontline spin bowler Imran Tahir for the fourth
one-dayer against Australia at the Melbourne
Cricket Ground after he injured his knee in the
73-run defeat in Canberra on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old leg spinner did not bat in the
loss at Manuka Oval, which left the tourists 2-1
down in the World Cup warm-up series with
matches to come in Melbourne today and
Sydney on Sunday.
“I think he sprained his knee a little bit,”
Proteas skipper AB de Villiers told reporters in
Canberra. “We’ll assess him over the next day
and see what he’s like and make the call on the
morning of the game.
“I’m not sure how serious it is.”
South Africa are already without part-time spin
option in all rounder JP Duminy, who was ruled
out for the series when he aggravated a longstanding knee problem during the Twenty20
series against Australia.
The 30-year-old should be sidelined for about
six weeks and has returned to South Africa for
intensive treatment to ensure he is fit for the
Feb. 14-March 29 World Cup.
“That’s why he went home, to get ready for
end of the year cricket and that World Cup,” De
Villiers added.
Former star Hussey to lead
Aussie PM’s Eleven
Pakistani batsman Sarfraz Ahmed (L) celebrates after reaching his century as New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum applauds in Dubai yesterday. At right, McCullum plays a shot.
oss Taylor hit a return-toform half-century to help
New Zealand recover after
Sarfraz Ahmed hit a п¬Ѓghting hundred for Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai yesterday.
Taylor was 77 not out for his 23rd
п¬Ѓfty to help his team recover from a
shaky 79-4 to close the fourth day
on 167-6, having an overall lead of
177 with four wickets intact.
Mark Craig (nought) was in Taylor’s company as New Zealand will
seek a series-levelling win in the
three-Test series on an intriguing
п¬Ѓnal day.
Pakistan won the п¬Ѓrst Test by 248
runs in Abu Dhabi last week.
Sarfraz’s 112 led Pakistan’s fightback as they managed 393 in their
first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 403, conceding a slender 10run lead.
Pakistani spinners Zulfiqar Babar
(3-60) and Yasir Shah (3-65) had
jolted New Zealand but Taylor stood
Babar removed Brendon McCullum (45), Kane Williamson (11) and
New Zealand 1st innings 403 (T.
Latham 137, M. Craig 43; Zulfiqar
Babar 4-137)
Pakistan 1st innings (overnight
Shan Masood b Sodhi
Taufeeq Umar st Watling b Craig 16
Azhar Ali b Sodhi
Younis Khan c Craig b Neesham 72
Misbah-ul Haq c Taylor b Boult 28
Asad Shafiq c Taylor b Southee 44
Sarfraz Ahmed c and b McCum 112
Yasir Shah c Watling b Southee 2
Ehsan Adil lbw b Southee
Zulfiqar Babar c Watling b Boult 5
Rahat Ali not out
Extras: (b7, lb2, nb1) 10
Total: (all out; 147 overs) 393
Fall of wickets: 1-28 (Masood),
2-32 (Taufeeq), 3-145 (Younis), 4-195
(Misbah), 5-220 (Ali), 6-279 (Shafiq),
7-285 (Shah), 8-287 (Adil), 9-312
Bowling: Boult 30-8-69-2 (1nb),
Southee 30-5-67-3, Craig 28-5-117-1,
Jimmy Neesham (11) in another display of beguiling left-arm spin on a
Dubai stadium pitch which is taking
Sodhi 39-9-92-2, Anderson
7-0-26-0, Neesham 11-2-12-1,
McCullum 2-1-1-1
New Zealand 2nd innings
T. Latham c Shafiq b Shah
B. McCullum lbw b Babar
K. Williamson c Umar b Babar 11
R. Taylor not out
C. Anderson b Shah
J. Neesham b Babar
BJ Watling Shafiq b Shah
M. Craig not out
Extras: (lb3) 3
Total: (for six wkts; 48.2 overs) 167
Fall of wickets: 1-42 (Latham),
2-63 (Williamson), 3-78 (McCullum),
4-79 (Anderson), 5-125 (Neesham),
6-166 (Watling)
Bowling: Rahat 4-0-19-0, Adil
5-1-20-0, Babar 21.2-5-60-3, Shah
Toss: New Zealand
Umpires: Paul Reiffel (AUS) and
Ranmore Martinesz (SRI)
TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS)
notable turn.
Yasir Shah dismissed Tom
Latham (nine), Corey Anderson
(nought) and BJ Watling (11).
McCullum hit six fours in his 62ball knock and when on 39 became
New Zealand’s second top Test runscorer, overhauling Martin Crowe’s
5,444 runs in 77 Tests.
Stephen Fleming is п¬Ѓrst with 7,172
runs in 111 Tests while McCullum
now has 5,451 runs in 89 Tests.
Taylor added 46 with Jimmy Neesham (11) and hit Babar for a boundary to complete his п¬Ѓfty and then
added 41 for the sixth with Watling.
He has so far hit ten fours in his
93-ball knock.
Earlier, Pakistan owed their п¬Ѓghtback to Sarfraz who hit a brilliant
112 for his third hundred—all scored
this year.
He was last man out in the second
over after lunch from McCullum,
hitting 16 fours in a 215-minute stay,
his innings balancing the match after New Zealand looked set for a big
Sarfraz added a record 81 runs for
the tenth wicket stand with Rahat
Ali (16 not out).
Sarfraz hit three fours in one
Craig over and then two more off
leg-spinner Ish Sodhi to come
within four runs of his hundred.
He then cut seamer Tim South-
ee towards deep point for his 15th
boundary to complete the threefigure mark off 153 balls, the first
Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman to
score three hundreds in a year.
He ran a full circle in jubilation,
thumped his bat in the air to warm
applause from his team-mates in
the dressing room.
Sarfraz said he was delighted to
help his team.
“Its nice to score a hundred,” said
Sarfraz. “If we can get their last four
wickets early then we can chase
down the target.”
It was Sarfraz, 28 overnight, who
anchored the batting after Pakistan
resumed the day on 281-6.
Paceman Tim Southee (3-67) removed Yasir Shah in the third over
of the day, caught behind for two
and just two runs later Trent Boult
(2-69) trapped Ehsan Adil leg-before for nought, leaving Pakistan in
danger of conceding a big lead.
But Sarfraz added an invaluable
25 for the ninth wicket with Babar
(п¬Ѓve) and then frustrated the Kiwis,
then bettering the tenth wicket
stand record against New Zealand
of 65 which Salahuddin Ahmed and
Mohamed Farooq set in Rawalpindi
in 1965.
Sydney: Former Test batsman Mike Hussey
will captain the Prime Minister’s XI against
England in Canberra early next year, Cricket
Australia said yesterday.
Hussey, 39, who retired in 2013, played 79
Tests for Australia and 185 one-day internationals.
The match will take place on January 14 at
Manuka Oval, four days before England’s
opening clash of the tri-one-day series
against Australia and India.
“It’s a tremendous honour to be selected to
captain the Prime Minister’s XI,” Hussey said.
“Having played in the Prime Minister’s XI
before, I know how important this fixture is
on the Australian cricketing calendar, and it is
a great tradition.”
In the past two years, Ricky Ponting and Brett
Lee captained the team.
Pietersen offers to
coach British schools
London: Former England batsman Kevin
Pietersen took to Twitter yesterday to offer
his services as a coach to British schools
after expressing concern about falling
participation levels. The England and Wales
Cricket Board (ECB) published the results of
its National Playing Survey on Wednesday,
which revealed a seven percent decrease in
participation among children aged 14 and
under. Meanwhile, total playing numbers fell
from 908,000 to 844,000 compared to the
previous season.
“Any school cricket coaches or after school
clubs doing winter training, tweet me and
I’ll pick a couple next week to join you...?” Pietersen, England’s all-time leading run-scorer,
wrote on Twitter.
“Been off Twitter for a while, but couldn’t stay
off when I heard about today’s announcement re drop off in cricket participation over
“We’ve got a fantastic pool of talent here in
UK and thought of kids dropping out and not
fulfilling potential is frightening and needs
changing. We need to encourage people of
all ages to take part. #ILoveCricket.”
Clarke �hopeful’ for first India Test, says physio
ustralia are hopeful that captain Michael Clarke will be
available for next month’s
п¬Ѓrst Test against India despite
a recurrence of his hamstring injury,
physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said
Clarke has missed just one of Australia’s 39 tests since he assumed the
captaincy in 2011 despite a degenerative long-term back condition which
contributes to his frequent hamstring
The 33-year-old damaged his hamstring for the third time in 12 weeks in
the п¬Ѓrst one-dayer against South Africa in Perth last Friday and Kountouris
said he was not yet ready to play cricket
again. “As he is right now, he hasn’t
started running, he hasn’t started doing any of the functional things that
we want him to do,” Kountouris told
reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground
“So he’s not ready to play at the moment ... (but) I’m still hopeful that he
might be right for the п¬Ѓrst test because
that’s two weeks away.”
Australia play India in four tests,
starting in Brisbane on Dec. 4, before turning their focus towards the
Feb. 14-March 29 50-over World Cup,
which they are co-hosting with New
Zealand. Kountouris said Clarke was
highly frustrated by the injury but was
not at the stage where he needed to
consider retirement because of the recurring injuries.
He also thought it unlikely that
Cricket Australia would be forced to
choose between Clarke playing against
India or in the World Cup.
“Time is not the magic healer here,”
Kountouris added.
“There comes a point when
there’s no more healing to be done,
it doesn’t give you any more benefits
“He could rest now for five months
and the п¬Ѓrst time he comes back he
could tear his hamstring again.”
Clarke’s leadership has been integral to the turnaround in Australia’s
fortunes since the humiliating 2010-11
Ashes series and the World Cup that
followed, where Ricky Ponting’s team
went out in the quarter-п¬Ѓnals.
Regarded as one of the most tactically
astute captains in international cricket,
Clarke has also led from the front with
his batting and scored 13 centuries and
3,555 runs at an average of 57.33 in tests
since succeeding Ponting.
Test vice captain Brad Haddin, who
will stand in for Clarke if he is unfit, was
training in the nets as Kountouris was
speaking and the physio said he was
approaching full п¬Ѓtness after damaging
his shoulder.
“He’s pretty good,” he said. “We’re
hopeful he’ll play Sheffield Shield next
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Ferrari sign Vettel,
underline world
championship aims
Alonso expressed
doubts last year
File picture of Spanish driver Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Abu Dhabi
�Ferrari has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in F1 history’
ernando Alonso revealed
yesterday that he had
doubts about staying at
Ferrari even last year and
had told former chairman Luca
Di Montezemolo months ago
that he knew he wanted out.
“It was not a special moment
of the year that I opened my
eyes,” the Spaniard told reporters
at Formula One’s season-ending
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Last year I had some doubts
about 2014. I knew that it was
a big change of regulations so I
thought it was the best thing to
check how the 2014 new turbo
era was going for Ferrari.”
He was speaking after Ferrari announced his departure, a
move that has been flagged up for
months in the paddock, and the
arrival of Germany’s quadruple
world champion Sebastian Vettel
from Red Bull.
“I had a very close relationship
with president Montezemolo,”
said Alonso. “We talked every week and we, more or less,
agreed that if this year we were
not competitive again, maybe I
could think of different options.
“When the summer break ar-
rived I said maybe it was time to
sit with the president and say, if
for them it’s OK, I would like to
Montezemolo himself left Ferrari in October.
Ferrari are facing their п¬Ѓrst
year since 1993 without a win,
having last tasted victory when
Alonso won his home race in May
The Spaniard had joined the
team hoping to add to his two
championships but has instead
п¬Ѓnished overall runner-up three
times in the last four seasons.
“In September I said maybe it
was the best thing to say bye-bye
if it was possible,” said Alonso.
“I have to be happy, I have to be
motivated, I need to love what
I am doing. And in September I
felt it was not the case.”
Alonso, who had also talked
earlier in the year of extending
his Ferrari contract well beyond
2016 but is now expected to join
McLaren, recognised the Italian team could have refused to
let him go and thanked them for
agreeing to his wishes.
He will wear a special helmet
on Sunday with a picture of a pitstop on one side, the Italian flag
in the middle and signatures of
all the team on the other side as a
mark of respect to them.
Cash-strapped Marussia fail in late bid to race
File picture of Red Bull Racing’s German driver Sebastian Vettel (left) chatting with Ferrari’s Spanish driver Fernando Alonso.
allen Italian giants Ferrari relaunched their Formula One
world title ambitions by confirming Sebastian Vettel on a threeyear deal yesterday that will see the German team up with Kimi Raikkonen from
next year.
Ferrari’s announcement came minutes
after confirmation of Fernando Alonso’s
departure from the team after a п¬Ѓve-year
spell in which the Spaniard ultimately
failed to deliver a world championship title.
The last time the �Scuderia’ topped
the drivers’ standings was in 2007 when
Raikkonen, in his previous spell with
the team, triumphed before quitting the
sport to test his skills in rallying.
Since then, the �Prancing Horse’ and
the iconic red Ferrari cars have been
playing catch-up to the Renault engines
that have п¬Ѓred Red Bull and Vettel to four
consecutive titles in the drivers’ and con-
structors’ standings.
German Vettel is regarded as the heir to
stricken compatriot Michael Schumacher, who won п¬Ѓve of his seven world titles
with Ferrari.
Vettel currently sits fourth in the drivers’ standings, 158 points behind Britain’s
Lewis Hamilton ahead of the п¬Ѓnal race of
the season at Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci
believes Vettel’s “youthfulness and experience” will make him an “invaluable asset” to the team as they look to end their
seven-year title wait.
“Scuderia Ferrari has decided to put its
faith in the youngest multiple champion
in the history of Formula One,” Mattiacci
said. “In Formula One terms, Sebastian
Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings
with him that sense of team spirit which
will prove invaluable when, together with
Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting
us, as we aim to be front runners again as
soon as possible.”
Vettel, who has won four consecu-
tive world titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and
2013 said he was delighted to be given
the chance to emulate his “greatest idol”
“The next stage of my Formula 1 career
will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and
for me that means the dream of a lifetime
has come true,” said Vettel.
“When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest
idol and now it’s an incredible honour to
п¬Ѓnally get the chance to drive a Ferrari.
“The Scuderia has a great tradition in
this sport and I am extremely motivated to
help the team get back to the top. I will put
my heart and soul into making it happen.”
Schumacher, 45, who raced for Ferrari
between 1996 and 2006, is currently receiving treatment at his home in Gland,
Switzerland, after suffering severe brain
injuries in a skiing accident in the French
Alps last December.
Alonso, meanwhile, is being tipped
with a return to the McLaren team after
leaving Ferrari by “mutual consent”, according to a team statement.
“Fernando Alonso leaves the team at
the end of this season, after a п¬Ѓve year
period which, with one race remaining,
saw him score 1186 points, 44 podiums
and 11 wins.
“Everyone at Scuderia Ferrari thanks
Fernando for his great contribution on
both a personal and professional level.”
Alonso, who won two world titles with
Renault in 2005 and 2006, admitted
leaving Ferrari was not an easy decision
to make.
Alonso said: “It was a difficult decision
to take, but a carefully considered one
and from start to п¬Ѓnish, my love for Ferrari was a prime consideration.
“I leave Scuderia Ferrari after five
years, during which I reached my very
best level professionally, tackling major
challenges that pushed me to п¬Ѓnd new
“I am very proud of what we have
achieved together. Now I look to the future with great enthusiasm, knowing
that part of my heart will always belong
to the Prancing Horse.”
The cash-strapped Marussia
team failed in a late bid to
enter this weekend’s Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix, driver Max Chilton
revealed yesterday.
In a comment on Twitter, the British driver said: “Devastated for
everyone involved at Marussia in
the past 24 hours that the hard
work trying to get to Abu Dhabi
didn’t work out as we hoped.”
Marussia went into administration last month and missed
the last two races in the United
States and Brazil.
The administrators announced
that the company had ceased
trading, with the loss of 200
jobs, two weeks ago.
Talks to revive the team with
the involvement of new investors broke down his week.
Struggling rivals Caterham,
who also went into administration in October, succeeded in
raising enough investment
through crowd-funding and
other investments to send a
team to take part in Sunday’s
Abu Dhabi GP agrees contract extension
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix organisers have agreed a contract
extension to keep their race
on the F1 calendar for years to
come. Abu Dhabi Motorsports
Management, announcing the
new agreement yesterday, did
not say how long the deal was
for but the previous one was
not due to expire until 2016.
“Abu Dhabi has played an
important part in pioneering
the modern era of Formula
One racing,” said the sport’s
commercial supremo Bernie
Ecclestone in a statement.
“I said when the Yas Marina
Circuit was opened that it may
one day be matched, but it will
never be bettered. We have a
wonderful partner here.”
Organisers said all tickets had
been sold with its biggest
crowd yet of 60,000 expected.
That figure represents a 20 per
cent increase on the inaugural
grand prix in 2009. “The demand has been unprecedented
and the atmosphere in the
stands is going to be fantastic,”
said Yas Marina chief executive
Al Tareq al-Ameri.
Hamilton, Rosberg bring title duel to Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
fter 18 thrilling rounds of the
Formula One season, the destination of the world title will
be decided at the п¬Ѓnal Grand
Prix in Abu Dhabi Sunday as leader
Lewis Hamilton looks to hold off Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
That the world champion would
come from the Mercedes garage has
seemed certain for months. But with
only 17 points separating the pair and,
for the п¬Ѓrst time ever, double points
awarded at the season-ending п¬Ѓnale,
everything is still to play for.
“I go into this race with no fear and
with every belief that this can be my
title,” Rosberg said. “It’s not over until
that flag drops!”
Rosberg, seeking to become Germany’s third world champion in the sport,
won the Brazilian GP two weeks ago to
close the gap on Hamilton.
But he knows even victory at the Yas
Marina circuit may not be enough to
guarantee overall success as Hamilton
need п¬Ѓnish only second to claim the
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton (left ) with his teammate, Nico Rosberg from Germany.
After a season which threatened
to ruin the relationship between the
teammates following controversial incidents in Monaco, Hungary and Belgium, Rosberg paid tribute to the competition which had been generated.
“The team behind us have done an
incredible job and it’s great that they’ve
given both of us equal opportunity to
compete with each other,” he said.
“There have been difficult moments
just as there have been amazing mo-
ments - but this is what Formula One
is all about and I hope that everyone
watching at home has enjoyed the story
of this battle as much as I have.”
Unlike Rosberg, Hamilton already
has one world title to his name having
triumphed with McLaren in 2008.
“People talk about how long it’s been
since I won the title - but I honestly
feel like I’m fighting for my first world
championship all over again,” Hamilton
“I’ve learnt a lot in the years since
2008 - but I’m still the same driver. I
still have the same hunger, the same will
to win, and I’ve been giving it everything
I’ve got from the word go this season.”
Mercedes can bask in the glory of a
sensational season whoever wins but
boss Toto Wolff explained the pressure
was increasing in the garage to make
sure the title is not decided by an error.
“It is now down to us to ensure that
this fascinating year concludes in the
right way by giving Lewis and Nico a
platform to settle the title purely on the
track. It is fantastic for the sport to have
such a п¬Ѓnale in what has been one of the
great seasons of Formula One. I for one
cannot wait to watch the race in Abu
Dhabi and I’m sure those at home feel
the same.”
Further down the grid, Red Bull are
guaranteed to finish second in the constructors’ championship as they bid
farewell to Ferrari-bound four-time
world champion Sebastian Vettel while
“It is fantastic for the sport to
have such a finale in what has
been one of the great seasons of
Formula One. I for one cannot
wait to watch the race in Abu
Dhabi and I’m sure those at home
feel the same”
Williams look to hold onto third place
above Ferrari.
The Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen
and Fernando Alonso face an uphill task
to prevent the Italian team completing
a п¬Ѓrst winless season since 1993.
Alonso is in his last race for the Scuderia who confirmed yesterday that he will
be leaving and replaced by Vettel, with
McLaren widely tipped as Alonso’s next
destination. This leaves Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, the 2009 world
champion, unsure of their futures.
Sauber have already announced drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez
will not be retained but will hope one
can produce a top 10 п¬Ѓnish to score the
team’s first points of the season.
And Caterham, currently in administration, are aiming to impress a potential buyer as they look to avoid following the same path Marussia, who
went bust earlier this month.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
McIlroy and Lowry
share lead in Dubai
McIlroy is playing his first competitive event since the first week of October
orld number one Rory McIlroy showed
no signs of rust as he came out of a sixweek break and raced straight to the top
of the leaderboard on the opening day of
the $8 million DP World Tour Championship yesterday. At the par-72 Earth Course of Jumeirah Golf Estates, McIlroy shot a bogey-free round of six-under
par 66 to join his good friend Shane Lowry at the top.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen were tied third one shot further behind at
п¬Ѓve-under par 67.
Defending champion and world number four Henrik Stenson opened with a four-under par 68 and was
tied п¬Ѓfth along with Argentine Emiliano Grillo.
McIlroy, who has already secured the European
Tour’s Race to Dubai crown, was playing his first competitive event since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the first week of October. He was scheduled
to play two Final Series events in Shanghai, but had to
pull out to prepare for his ongoing legal battle against
his former management company.
The 25-year-old Northern Irishman started hot
with four birdies in his п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓve holes, before adding two more on the 15th and 16th holes. McIlroy,
who won both the tournament and the Race to Dubai in 2012 and is aiming for a repeat, said: “Probably
should have been п¬Ѓve (birdies) in the п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓve, to be
honest. It was a great way to start.
“You never expect to start like that, but I’ve been
hitting the ball well for the last couple of weeks that
I’ve been practicing and it was just a matter of trying
to take that good range play on to the course, and I was
able to do that today.”
Ireland’s Lowry started birdie-birdie before cooling down a bit. But he finished with four birdies in his
last six holes. It was a good comeback for the 27-yearold Lowry, who was in contention at last week’s Turkish Open before playing the last 12 holes at five-over
par. Lowry, who is ranked 52nd in the world and looking for a good п¬Ѓnish to get inside the top-50, said:
“Last Sunday was quite a difficult day for me. The last
12 holes was just kind of couldn’t wait to get here to
be honest. But once I got here on Monday, I was п¬Ѓne.
“Obviously, I put myself into contention which
is a positive from last week. I’m just looking to give
myself the same chance this week and maybe I won’t
mess it up.”
Stenson, who won both the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai last year, was twounder par after six holes before making back-to-back
bogeys on the seventh and eighth to fall back to even
par. But he recovered well with a birdie on the ninth
and was solid on the back nine.
“I’m pleased with that,” said the Swede, who is
currently second in the Race to Dubai. “I thought I
played quite solid and hit a lot of nice shots. I missed
some good birdie chances early on and I made two bogeys in a row with possibly one or two bad decisions
there which was a little frustrating, but bounced back
and made some nice birdies coming home.”
Mamat storms
to the top
Mamat boosted his
chances of retaining
his Asian Tour card for
next season by making light of
the strong winds to leap into
a share of the lead at the Manila Masters after yesterday’s
п¬Ѓrst round. The 47-year-old
п¬Ѓred eight birdies in a sevenunder-par round of 65 to share
the lead at the $1 million event
with Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka,
21 years his junior.
Mamat has won three times
on the Asian Tour, including
the 2012 Philippine Open, but
has struggled this year and is
74th in the Order of Merit race
with the top 60 retaining playing privileges for next season.
“I hit the ball solid from tee
to green and managed to hole
some putts. It’s not easy out
there, especially on the front
nine where it was really windy,”
said Mamat, who missed only
one green in regulation at the
Jack Nicklaus designed Manila
Southwoods Golf and Country
Club. “I’m trying to not think
about keeping my card. It’s not
the end of the world for me if
I don’t make it into top-60 on
the Order of Merit. I want to
enjoy my golf.”
Last year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Thailand’s
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, was a
shot back in tied third alongside Malaysian Danny Chia,
who is also looking for a good
п¬Ѓnish this week to boost his
chances of retaining his card.
Kiradech, who suffers from
a thyroid disease, has missed
many events this year because
of a knee issue resulting from
an operation he had when he
was 10. He has opted for periods of rest rather than further
surgery but the problem has
not cleared up.
“I was actually hesitating
if I should play this week because my knee is not feeling
too good,” the Thai said. “I only
decided on Monday to play but
I will try my best and we will
see how it goes.”
Pagunsan, Asian Tour Order of
Merit winner in 2011, led the
home charge with a bogey-free
67 to sit two back in a tie with
Australians Terry Pilkadaris
and Sam Brazel, American
Anthony Kang and Taiwan’s
Hung Chien Yao.
Japan’s Yuki Inamori stole the
thunder from a strong п¬Ѓeld
with a birdie blitz yesterday,
п¬Ѓring a seven-under-par 64 for
a one stroke lead after the п¬Ѓrst
round of the Dunlop Phoenix
Aided by a red-hot putter,
the 20-year-old carded nine
birdies against two bogeys to
reach the clubhouse with a
narrow advantage over Australia’s Brendan Jones in Miyazaki, western Japan.
“I made some big putts and
that’s always important to
give you momentum,” said Inamori, who hails from nearby
Kagoshima prefecture and is
chasing his п¬Ѓrst career win.
“It’s a great start to the tournament and puts me in a nice
position.” The Dunlop Phoenix
boasts an illustrious roll-call
of former winners, including
Tiger Woods (2004-05), Tom
Watson (1980, 1997) and Seve
Ballesteros (1977, 1981).
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama,
who recorded his maiden victory on the US PGA Tour at the
Memorial Tournament earlier
this year, shot a 68 while domestic rival Ryo Ishikawa ended the day on even par 71.
But old-timer Tommy Nakajima, winner of the title back in
1985, upstaged the young guns,
as the 60-year-old rolled back
the years with a solid round of
67. American Jordan Spieth,
who п¬Ѓnished joint runner-up
to Bubba Watson at this year’s
US Masters, п¬Ѓred a 69 along
with Australians David Smail
and Kurt Barnes. They were
joined one two-under by South
Korea’s Lee Kyoung-hoon.
66 - Rory McIlroy (NIR), Shane Lowry (IRL)
67 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Richie Ramsay (SCO)
68 - Henrik Stenson (SWE), Emiliano Grillo (ARG)
69 - Edoardo Molinari (ITA), Danny Willett (ENG),
Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Louis Ooosthuizen (RSA),
Ross Fisher (ENG)
70 - Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Kristoffer Broberg (SWE),
Jonas Blixt (SWE), Lee Westwood (ENG), George Coetzee (RSA), Joost Luiten (NED)
71 - David Howell (ENG), Richard Sterne (RSA), Robert
Karlsson (SWE), Marc Warren (SCO), Romain Wattel
(FRA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP), Victor Dubuisson
(FRA), Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Justin Rose (ENG)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot during the first round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament
at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai yesterday. (EPA)
Scott labours in wild winds
at Australian Masters
teven Bowditch shot a п¬Ѓve-under
67 for a share of the lead after
the п¬Ѓrst round of the Australian
Masters in Melbourne yesterday,
upstaging headline act Adam Scott who
struggled to cope with windy conditions.
Bowditch, who celebrated his maiden US Tour win at the Texas Open
in March, rolled in four birdies and
an eagle in mostly foul conditions at
Metropolitan Golf Club before ruing a
missed tap-in putt on the 18th that cost
him the outright lead.
The 31-year-old will start today in
a four-way tie with fellow Australians
Michael Wright, Stephen Allan and Todd
Sinnott, with double defending champion
Scott six strokes behind after labouring to
a one-over 73.
“I don’t know what I did on 18,” Bowditch told reporters after a gloomy day
that blew dust in players’ faces in the
morning before dousing the later groups
with light rain. “It was tough off and on
Mardan Mamat of Singapore fired eight birdies in a seven
under-par round of 65 to share the lead in Manila.
Steven Bowditch was in a four-way tie.
... It got really windy early, then slowed
down, windy (again), changed direction. It
can get tough out there.”
Australians Rhein Gibson and Aaron
Price were a stroke further adrift on fourunder after shooting 68s.
World number two Scott, bidding for
an unprecedented third successive title in
the A$1 million ($860,000) event, fumed
as hot, northerly winds in the morning
turned the sandbelt course into a suburban dust-bowl. Starting on the 10th, Scott
went to the turn at three-over after a double-bogey on the 18th, but clawed back an
eagle on the par-п¬Ѓve sixth and trudged off
with a mixture of relief and frustration.
“If the conditions are the same (tomorrow), just everyone’s out there just hanging on doing the best they can,” last year’s
U.S. Masters champion told reporters by
the scoring hut. “There’s no way to attack
in this wind.”
Wright, however, rolled in six birdies
and begged for more of the same. “If it
blows like this, the greens are going to be
that hard and fast,” said the 40-year-old
Queensland journeyman. “But at the same
time, that’s Australian golf and that’s why
it’s so good.”
A croaky-sounding Geoff Ogilvy kept
in touch, shooting a solid three-under.
“With the sand and stuff flying around,
everyone is going to be a bit messed up
today, getting stuff in the eyes and nose,”
said the 2006 U.S. Open champion. “It’s a
welcome to Melbourne, really.”
Weekley, playing with good friend
Bowditch, shot an even-par 72.
World record holder Gibson
looking for new mark
hein Gibson’s astonishing 55 at an Oklahoma golf course etched
his name in the Guiness
World Records but the unheralded Australian pro is determined
to cast off the tag of “one-hit
wonder”. Gibson’s 2012 round of
16-under at River Oaks Golf Club
in Edmond, Oklahoma, was confirmed as the lowest 18-hole score
last year, an unforgettable feat for
a 28-year-old who has grafted
mostly in lower-tier competitions
in the United States and Asia.
Though Gibson has never won
a tournament of any significant
profile, he underlined his quality
last year with a tie for fourth in the
Australian Open in a п¬Ѓeld boasting Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy.
That result sealed a berth to
his п¬Ѓrst major tournament at
this year’s British Open, where
he snuck into the weekend’s play
courtesy of a 12-foot putt in the
fading light and was grouped with
Tiger Woods and young gun Jordan Spieth in the third round.
Late bloomer Gibson showed
another glimpse of his promise
yesterday, carding a four-under
68 in the п¬Ѓrst round of the Australian Masters in Melbourne to be
a stroke off the lead of a quartet of
local golfers in Steven Bowditch,
Michael Wright, Stephen Allan
and Todd Sinnott.
Though headline act Scott la-
boured to a one-over 73 in tough,
windy conditions, Gibson strolled
off without a blemish on his card,
despite getting his п¬Ѓrst look at
Metropolitan Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon after flying in from
Still on a high from making
it through to the п¬Ѓnal stage of
qualifying for the United States’
second-tier tour, Oklahoma-based Gibson negotiated
his round by watching his playing
partners’ club selections, having
never played a sandbelt course, or
any other, in Melbourne.
“I’m kind of surprised, myself,
a little bit,” Gibson, who grew up
in Lismore, a rural town in northern New South Wales state, told
reporters. “To shoot four-under,
I’m stoked. “I don’t want to be
known as a one-hit wonder. Obviously, I think I can play.” Boasting
a degree in п¬Ѓnance, Gibson said he
could probably get a job tomorrow
if golf did not work out, but was
determined to add something to
the 55 on his CV.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Hodgson cheered by newly
dependable Wilshere
�Basically, he’s very young. He burst on to the scene even younger, of course’
ngland manager Roy Hodgson
believes that he is п¬Ѓnally seeing the best of Jack Wilshere
following the talented Arsenal
midfielder’s well-documented struggles with injury.
Wilshere broke into the Arsenal п¬Ѓrst
team as a teenager during the 2010-11
season, but an unfortunate sequence of
ankle problems meant he had made only
six appearances for England by the end
of 2012.
The 22-year-old has since won a
further 20 caps and has impressed in a
new deep-lying midfield role in recent
games, notably creating the opening
goal in England’s 3-1 friendly win over
Scotland on Tuesday with a п¬Ѓne, raking
pass for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“Basically, he’s very young,” Hodgson told reporters following England’s
victory in Glasgow. “He burst on to the
scene even younger, of course. A very
bright future was predicted for him, but
then he got injured.
“My first year and a half with the
team, we were always thinking, �What
a pity we haven’t got Jack Wilshere,’ or,
�Wouldn’t it be nice if Jack was fit?’ And
it’s really only been since the lead-up to
the World Cup and afterwards that I’ve
had this period with him where I can
always count on him being there. Right
from the start, we saw what he could do.
“Players who can do what he does
with the ball—take the responsibility
of receiving balls from the back, even
under pressure; ability to turn with the
ball; ability to see a pass—all he needs to
add to his game to be totally outstanding is goals.”
England’s victory over Scotland saw
them complete a run of six successive
wins for the п¬Ѓrst time since 2006. Their
only two defeats of the year came during the World Cup, when 2-1 losses to
“My first year and a half with
the team, we were always
thinking, �What a pity we haven’t
got Jack Wilshere,’ or, �Wouldn’t it
be nice if Jack was fit?’
And it’s really only been since
the lead-up to the World Cup
and afterwards that I’ve had
this period with him where I
can always count on him being
there. Right from the start,
we saw what he could do
Jack Wilshere (left) broke into the Arsenal first
team as a teenager during the 2010-11 season, but
injuries meant he had made only six appearances
for England by the end of 2012. (Reuters)
Italy and Uruguay saw them eliminated
at the group phase.
Hodgson has blooded several young
players since the tournament, including Southampton right-back Nathaniel
Clyne, who impressed against Scotland,
and he feels that a new core of players is
beginning to harden.
“Some players who were with us in
the World Cup retired or are no longer
selected, and there are a lot of younger
players who’ve come in who were really
on the fringes of the World Cup team,
and actually ended up playing in the
final game against Costa Rica,” he said.
“They’re the guys now who’ve really
been asked to step up to the plate and
that’s exactly what I think they’ve done,
and we’ve even found a few more along
the way.
“I’m thinking of Fabian Delph, who
unfortunately got injured, but he came
into the squad and looked very comfortable there. I’m thinking of Nathaniel Clyne, who’s come into the squad
and looked very, very comfortable.
“And on top of that, we’ve got the
(Danny) Welbecks and the (Raheem)
Sterlings and the Oxes (Oxlade-Chamberlain), and all these guys that you
know, who have played bit-parts up to
now. But we think in our work going
forward, they’ve got to play more than
bit-parts—they’ve got to show they’re
bona п¬Ѓde, good quality, international
England players, just like you’re mentioning Wayne Rooney.”
Hodgson also said he would be happy
for England Under-21 coach Gareth
Sofia: Bulgaria have sacked
coach Luboslav Penev after
a poor start to their Euro
2016 qualifying campaign,
the Balkan country’s football
union (BFU) announced
“We terminated Penev’s
contract,” BFU president
Borislav Mihaylov told a
news conference.
“The team didn’t perform
well and we almost lost our
chances to qualify for the
(Euro 2016) finals, although
the top two teams qualify
automatically. “I hope we’ll
have a new coach by the
New Year. I can tell you that
the new coach will not be a
Penev, 48, extended his
initial two-year deal last November but a disappointing
start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign triggered his
dismissal after three years in
charge, which was filled by
Bulgaria, who have failed
to reach a major tournament since 2004, are fourth
in Group H with four points
from as many games, six
adrift of leaders Croatia and
Italy and five behind Norway.
Their poor run continued
on Sunday when they drew
1-1 with Malta in their last
qualifier with Penev and the
players severely criticised by
the fans and local media after lacklustre performances
over the last two months.
Former Bulgaria striker
Penev, one of the country’s
football icons, has been
under the spotlight after
Bulgaria were beaten by
Croatia and Norway in
October but the BFU
decided to give him “a
second chance”.
Penev was appointed as
coach in November, 2011,
replacing German Lothar
Matthaeus whose contract
was not renewed following
a poor Euro 2012 qualifying
Under Penev, Bulgaria
were in second place in their
group for most of the 2014
World Cup qualifying campaign but losses to Armenia
and the Czech Republic in
their final matches meant
they missed out on the tournament in Brazil. Penev was
the eighth Bulgaria manager
to be sacked or leave the
post since 2007.
United’s Nani unsure if he
will return after Lisbon loan
By Jamie Jackson
The Guardian
Giroud returns to provide
timely boost for Wenger
By David Hytner
ani has said he is reluctant to return
to Manchester United because of
limited п¬Ѓrst-team opportunities.
The winger, who was not at fault
for an incident which left United’s Angel di
Maria injured in Portugal’s 1-0 friendly win
over Argentina at Old Trafford on Tuesday, is
on loan at Sporting Lisbon. The 28-year-old
is enjoying playing regularly and is unsure if
his future lies with United.
“I am very happy how it is going at Sporting,” he said. “That is what I wanted. I wanted to play more. I wanted to get back to my
best and I wanted to enjoy my football. That
is what is happening. It is going well. It has
turned out very good for me. It has made me
very confident again for the future.
“Yes I had to get away from United to
achieve this. I saw the opportunities were
going not be less for me so I had to make a
choice. I had been at Old Trafford for a long
time, for seven years, and I think I needed a
little time away to understand and п¬Ѓnd my
confidence again.”
Nani stated he did not have to go on loan
but did so to further his career. “Louis van
Gaal gave me the option to go. I could have
stayed but I chose the best option for me at
the time and I think I was right,” he said. “I
am enjoying my game again. Football is the
best thing in my life. Football has given me
everything and when I play I really enjoy myself so I want to play all the time. That wasn’t
happening at United. When I don’t play I am
very disappointed.
“You can accept not playing regularly for
one or two years but after that, when you
know you have the quality to play, you have
to make a choice. That is what I did and it
is working out well. It is a possibility that
I might come back to Manchester United.
Why not? It is something that eventually we
Southgate to select players from the
senior squad for next June’s Under-21
European Championship in the Czech
Republic, despite it clashing with two
England п¬Ѓxtures.
“After Gareth Southgate has picked
his squad, I will pick my squad for Slovenia. I’ll take whoever’s left,” he said.
“If Gareth thinks the best way to win
the tournament is to jettison a lot of
the players he’s been working with and
take players from our team, that’s fine
by me.”
sack Penev
after dismal
Nani is enjoying playing regularly
and is unsure if his future lies with
United. (Reuters)
will have to discuss and see if it is possible.
But at the moment I am focused on my job
at Sporting Lisbon because it is there where
I am doing well. To move back in January is
a little bit more difficult but you never know.
Let’s see what they say. I’m working hard to
be at my best. I just want to continue to work
very hard and play well.”
Di MarГ­a hurt his right foot after 18 minutes of the friendly at Old Trafford on Tuesday. After leaving the п¬Ѓeld he returned to the
game and played until the hour mark before
being taken off by Gerardo Martino, the Argentina coach.
After the match Martino revealed Di MarГ­a
had already been x-rayed and the injury was
being assessed though he downplayed the
seriousness of the incident. While Di MarГ­a
was seen walking without impediment, Van
Gaal is waiting anxiously to discover if he will
be available for Saturday’s trip to Arsenal.
The £59.7mn British record transfer signing is the 13th player on Van Gaal’s long injury list after it emerged Darren Fletcher is also
a doubt. Of the other 11, Phil Jones, Rafael
da Silva, Michael Carrick, Radamel Falcao,
David de Gea, Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo and
Luke Shaw all have varying hopes of being
п¬Ѓt for Arsenal, with the latter coming off in
England’s 3-1 win over Scotland with a tight
Daley Blind, Jesse Lingard and Ashley
Young remain longer term absentees due to
their respective problems.
livier Giroud is back in contention for
Arsenal’s showpiece Premier League
п¬Ѓxture against Manchester United tomorrow, having recovered weeks ahead
of schedule from the fractured tibia that he suffered at Everton on 23 August.
Arsene Wenger had originally ruled out Giroud
until the new year but the manager could now use
him as a substitute against United at the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal intend to bounce
back from their wobbles prior to the international
break. They threw away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3
at home to Anderlecht in the Champions League
before they lost 2-1 at Swansea City in the league,
having been 1-0 up.
Wenger also has Mikel Arteta available after
the hamstring strain that he picked up against
Anderlecht but the prognosis is less encouraging with regard to Laurent Koscielny. Wenger said
two weeks ago that the central defender would be
out for “three or four weeks” because of the tendinitis in the Achilles tendon.
But Wenger now feels it will be another three
weeks before Koscielny can rejoin full training
and there would then a further period for him
to recover п¬Ѓtness. Mathieu Debuchy, the rightback, who has been out since 13 September with
ankle ligament damage, is on a similar comeback
“Giroud and Arteta are both available,” Wenger
said. “It’s just a question of how ready they are.
But they are available. Giroud is weeks ahead of
schedule. Originally we planned to have him back
for competition at the beginning of next year. We
have Giroud back, we have [Theo] Walcott back.
Slowly, they will integrate into the team again and
give us different options.
“Koscielny and Debuchy are doing well, they
are out on the п¬Ѓeld again. We have to see now.
Usually, п¬Ѓeld work is three weeks away from full
group training. Then there is п¬Ѓtness. It looks
straightforward for Debuchy. It’s not inflammation, it’s just repairing surgery. For Koscielny, it
Olivier Giroud has recovered weeks ahead of
schedule from the fractured tibia.
depends how well he responds to training. At the
moment he looks good.”
Wenger will hope that the in-form striker,
Alexis SГЎnchez, shows no ill effects of his exploits on international duty with Chile. Sanchez
played for 85 minutes of his country’s 5-0 home
win over Venezuela last Friday and he completed
the 90 minutes of the 2-1 home loss to Uruguay
on Wednesday night. Both of the matches were
friendlies. SГЎnchez then had to make the 15-hour
return flight from Santiago to London.
Sanchez also played the 90 minutes of Chile’s
home friendlies against Peru and Bolivia during
the October international break and he has not
missed a single minute of Arsenal’s six matches
since then, in which he scored seven goals. He has
12 for the season at club level. He also scored for
Chile against both Venezuela and Uruguay.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Guinea win, Meyiwa
tragedy dominate Cup
Guineans defeat Uganda 2-0 to secure a place among 16 finalists
Reus to Bayern
talk doesn’t
bother Ribery
ayern Munich veteran
Franck Ribery says
he is not concerned
about the possible arrival of Germany winger Marco
Reus at the Bavarian giants for
next season. Bayern chairman
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last
month drew attention to the
release clause, worth 25 million euros, in Reus’s Borussia
Dortmund contract, which
means the 25-year-old could
join the Bavarian giants at the
end of the season.
But France winger Ribery
says he would have no problem
battling the Germany star for
a place on Bayern’s left wing.
“He’s a good player, but I have
been here for a while, even if I
will be 32 (next April),” Ribery
told German magazine Kicker.
“I feel good, things are going well here. “I’m still an important player, you still have to
reckon with me here.” Ribery
has won all possible trophies
with Bayern since joining Munich in 2007. He was part of
the team which won the treble of European, league and
cup titles in 2013 and with Pep
Guardiola’s side currently four
points clear in the table, they
are on course to win a third
straight Bundesliga title. “I
know what I have brought this
club and what I can still bring
to the side,” said Ribery. “I still
want to win titles and want to
work. I am still hungry.”
With Ribery on Bayern’s left
flank and Arjen Robben on the
right, the pair have been a potent attacking force for Guardiola’s Bayern, but injuries
means it is rare for them both
to start together these days.
“When we’re both 100 percent fit, that is a big advantage for the team,” said Ribery.
“This is the best team I have
ever been a part of. When everything runs like normal, we
are hard to stop in the Bundesliga, but in Europe, Real Madrid
could be a hindrance.
“We still have a few players missing like (Javi) Martinez, (Bastian) Schweinsteiger,
Thiago (Alcantara), (Holger)
Badstuber, now (Philipp) Lahm
and (David) Alaba are also injured, but with them back, we
will only improve.”
Ribery has only just returned
from a knee injury and was
outstanding in creating two
goals in Bayern’s 4-0 league
romp at Eintracht Frankfurt a
fortnight ago. “I was worried
about a bit of a reaction on my
knee, it’s still not an easy thing
for me,” he added. “I feel good,
but the knee is not yet in top
Ribery said his international
career is over and ruled out a
return to the France shirt having won 81 caps for Les Bleus
between 2006 and 2014. “For
me, it’s over with the national
team and I enjoy the international break now,” he said. “I
can look after my family and I,
so as things are, it’s going well
for me.”
Guinea players celebrate their win over Uganda during the African Cup of Nations qualifier in Casablanca, Morocco. (AFP)
Cape Town
bola-ravaged Guinea defied the odds to reach the
2015 Africa Cup of Nations while the murder
of South Africa captain Senzo
Meyiwa cast a dark shadow over
the qualifying competition.
Forced to switch three п¬Ѓxtures
from Conakry to Casablanca, the
Guineans defeated Uganda 2-0
at �home’ in a winners-take-all
showdown on Wednesday to secure a place among 16 п¬Ѓnalists.
Coached by Frenchman Michel
Dussuyer, Guinea rely mainly on
professionals scattered across
Europe like Slovakia-based
striker Seydouba Soumah, who
struck п¬Ѓve goals.
Guinea and fellow west African states Liberia and Sierra
Leone have been hardest hit by
the deadly Ebola virus, which
has claimed nearly 5,200 lives
this year, according to the World
Health Organization (WHO).
Goalkeeper Meyiwa, 27, kept
four consecutive clean sheets to
set up South Africa for a return
to the biennial African football
showcase after a three-tournament absence. The hugely popular star was gunned down by
armed robbers while visiting his
pop singer girlfriend near Johannesburg last month ahead of the
final two qualifiers.
Replacement goalkeeper Darren Keet sported a moving, handwritten quote from The Bible on
his gloves for the qualificationclinching victory over Sudan
in Durban. “There is no greater
love than to lay down one’s life
for one’s friend,” were the words
chosen by Belgium-based Keet.
A dramatic qualifying competition included the shock elimination of title-holders Nigeria
and a third consecutive failure to
reach the п¬Ѓnals by record seventime champions Egypt.
Cameroon are back at the Cup
of Nations after missing the last
two tournaments and Algeria
collected 15 points from a possible 18 to show why they are
the top-ranked national team on
the continent. There was also
an Ebola-related, last-minute
change of hosts for the January
17-February 8 football festival
with football minnows Equatorial Guinea replacing Morocco.
Fearing visiting supporters
would bring the virus into the
north African kingdom, Morocco insisted that the Cup of Nations be postponed at least until
next June. But African Football
Confederation (CAF) supremo
Issa Hayatou and his executives
refused to budge from the original dates, noting that Morocco
would host the FIFA Club World
Cup this December.
“Postponing the Cup of Nations would be like signing our
death warrant,” stressed Cameroonian Hayatou, who was
elected CAF president in Morocco 26 years ago.
“We have patiently built this
tournament for 57 years and today it is the pride of all Africans.”
African Union (AU) chairwoman Nkosazama DlaminiZuma from South Africa backed
CAF, saying “Ebola should not
paralyse continental events”.
As hosts, an Equatorial Guinea
team ranked 38 among 54 African
football nations automatically
earn a place at the three-week
Cup of Nations.
This is quite a turnaround for a
side disqualified after a preliminary-round win over Mauritania
for п¬Ѓelding an ineligible Cameroon-born footballer.
A disastrous start that yielded just one point from matches
against Congo Brazzaville, South
Africa and Sudan triggered the
downfall of three-time champions Nigeria. Uncertainty over
2013 Cup of Nations-winning
coach Stephen Keshi did not help
the Super Eagles either as he was
hired, п¬Ѓred and hired again during the six-match campaign.
Egypt will miss three consecutive tournaments for the п¬Ѓrst
time since becoming the maiden
African champions in 1957 in
Khartoum. Age has caught up
with the golden 2006-2010 generation led by midfield maestro
Mohamed Abou Trika that won
three consecutive titles, and
coach Shawky Gharib could not
unearth adequate replacements.
Cameroon put a woeful 2014
World Cup in Brazil behind them
with German coach Volker Finke
deploying a more youthful side
that п¬Ѓnished four points ahead
of star-stacked Ivory Coast in a
tough group.
Algeria were the most impressive African side at the World
Cup, taking eventual champions Germany to extra time before losing narrowly. A change of
coach with Frenchman Christian
Gourcuff succeeding Turkeybound Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic
had no effect on the Desert Foxes,
who secured qualification with
two games to spare.
They will be joined at the п¬Ѓnals by Burkina Faso, Cameroon,
Cape Verde, Congo, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea,
Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, South
Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.
Equatorial Guinea capital Malabo will host a December 3 draw
to separate the 16 countries into
four groups.
Winger Franck Ribery says his international career is over and
ruled out a return to the France shirt. (AFP)
Lahm undergoes surgery on broken ankle
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm broke
his ankle in training on Tuesday and is
sidelined for up to three months. (Reuters)
ayern Munich captain Philipp
Lahm underwent surgery on a
broken right ankle yesterday
and will remain in hospital for
a few more days, the Bundesliga champions said.
Lahm broke his ankle in training
on Tuesday and is sidelined for up to
three months. He will not return until
after the winter break. Bayern said in a
statement “he successfully underwent
surgery on Thursday morning. The
fracture was repaired and п¬Ѓxed using a
surgical plate and screw.
“Lahm will spend the next few days
in hospital and has been ordered to rest
his right leg for several weeks before
starting a sports rehab programme.”
Lahm is the latest addition to a long
injury list as coach Pep Guardiola also
misses the likes of Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba, Bastian
Schweinsteiger and Holger Badstuber.
Bayern hold a four-point Bundesliga
lead ahead of tomorrow’s home game
against Hoffenheim.
Bayern Munich will be able to boost
their star-studded squad in future after paying off the 346 million euros
(US$433.245m) cost of their Allianz
Arena — 16 years ahead of schedule.
“It’s completely paid off,” Bayern
chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
wrote in the match magazine before tomorrow’s clash at home to Hoffenheim.
“We have financed our stadium completely by private means. In the year
2005, we borrowed exactly 346 million
euros in a 25-year plan, which was to
last until 2030. Now we have paid the
stadium off after only nine-and-a-half
years. I’m very proud of that.”
Coach Pep Guardiola will now have
more funds at his disposal, said Rummenigge, who mentioned a п¬Ѓgure of 25
million euros—the exact sum needed
to activate the release clause in Marco
Reus’ Borussia Dortmund contract.
“Revenue generated by the Allianz
Arena will be invested in future in
the quality of the team,” added Rummenigge, who has already said Ger-
many winger Reus is a Bayern target.
The rapid repayment of the Allianz
Arena was made possible by the introduction of Allianz AG as the club’s third
main sponsor, after sports goods manufactures Adidas and car-company
Audi, which injected 110 million euros
into the club’s coffers.
Bayern will unveil their п¬Ѓnances at
the club’s Annual General Meeting on
November 28 and Rummenigge stole
some thunder from the Bavarians’ chief
п¬Ѓnance officer Jan-Christian Dreesen.
“It’s no secret that we broke the magic
mark of half a billion euros during the
2013/14 season,” wrote Rummenigge.
“Also our profit has increased again
Bayern are set to announce п¬Ѓgures of
16.5 million euros profit from a turnover of 528 million euros, compared to
last year’s figures of 14 million profit
from 432.8 million euros.
Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder insisted he had no intention of leaving
Turkish giants Galatasaray, despite
reports linking him with a move to AC
Milan or Manchester United.
“My name is always linked to this
kind of news. But I do not pay attention to this,” Sneijder, 30, told the
Galatasaray TV channel ahead of the
weekend clash with arch Black Sea rivals Trabzonspor.
“I feel good with the team and with
the guys and I am not thinking of leaving here at any time,” he said.
Galatasaray’s Italian manager Cesare Prandelli was quoted by Turkish
media as saying he had spoken to the
player and been assured that a move
was not on the cards. Talk of a possible move came amid Galatasaray’s
woeful Champions League form which
has seen them pick up just one point in
Group D and suffer heavy defeats to Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.
Asian champions Japan have been
awarded a 3-0 win over Venezuela after the South Americans were found to
have п¬Ѓelded an ineligible player during
their friendly in September.
Football’s governing body FIFA have
amended the result of the September
9 game in Yokohama, which ended in
a 2-2 draw, on their official website as
striker Salomon Rondon had picked
up a red card in Venezuela’s friendly
against South Korea a few days earlier.
Japan’s goals, scored by Yoshinori
Muto and Gaku Shibasaki will stand.
The development comes as a bonus
for Japan coach Javier Aguirre after a
poor start in the job and puts a more
positive sheen on his record, which
now stands at four wins and two defeats. Japan, widely panned after their
meek exit from the World Cup under
Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, had failed
to catch the eye under Aguirre until
thrashing Honduras 6-0 and beating
Asian rivals Australia 2-1 during the recent international break.
The Blue Samurai, who won the 2011
Asian Cup under Zaccheroni, travel
to Australia to defend their title in
Blind set for
�long’ lay-off,
says Van Gaal
Manchester: Manchester
United midfielder Daley
Blind’s knee ligament injury
is not as bad as first feared,
but he still faces a “long”
lay-off, manager Louis van
Gaal revealed yesterday.
Blind, 24, hobbled off
during the first half of Holland’s 6-0 defeat of Latvia on
Sunday after injuring himself
in a tangle with opposition
forward Eduards Visnakovs.
Holland coach Guus Hiddink, who succeeded Van
Gaal after the World Cup,
initially suggested Blind
would be out for around six
weeks, and Van Gaal said the
full extent of the injury had
yet to be determined.
“He is not ready to play. He
has now a brace on his knee
and now is on a 10 days’ rest,
and then we’ll have another
scan and say more about
his injury,” Van Gaal told his
weekly press conference
at United’s Carrington
training base.
“It’s not as bad as the doctors thought after the match,
but it shall be a long story, I
believe. But not six months or
something like that.” United
face Arsenal tomorrow.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Caen president charged, Marseille officials released
he president of Ligue 1 side
Caen, Jean-Francois Fortin,
was charged yesterday in connection with a match-п¬Ѓxing
inquiry that has rocked French football, his lawyer told AFP.
In a separate development, Marseille
president Vincent Labrune and around
15 club officials detained since Tuesday
as part of a transfer fraud probe, were
released without charge. Labrune’s
predecessors, Jean-Claude Dassier and
Pape Diouf, were freed on Wednesday.
As police later quizzed more staff
from the Ligue 1 leaders, the lawyer of
Caen boss Jean-Francois Fortin was
proclaiming his client’s innocence. Fortin is accused of corruption as investigators scrutinise a series of matches,
notably a 1-1 draw between Caen and
Nimes on May 13 that saw the former
promoted to Ligue 1 and the latter escape relegation to the third tier.
Recordings of telephone conversations between leading п¬Ѓgures of several
clubs form a key part of the evidence.
Magistrates have been trying to establish if pressure was exerted by Nimes
on other Ligue 2 teams as the club battled against relegation.
Following 48 hours in custody Fortin
was charged after appearing before examining magistrates along with Nimes’
main shareholder, Serge Kasparian,
Nimes president Jean-Marc Conrad,
and Michel Moulin, described as �an
Fortin’s lawyer, Francois Gery, insisted, however: “My client has shown
his complete innocence of the facts
that he is accused of in this case.”
Dijon coach Olivier Dall’Oglio was
released without charge on Wednesday
evening, as was Kasparian’s son. The
Canard Enchaine weekly on Wednesday released a transcript of a telephone
Fortin is accused of corruption as
investigators scrutinise a series
of matches, notably a 1-1 draw
between Caen and Nimes on May
13 that saw the former promoted
to Ligue 1 and the latter escape
relegation to the third tier
Francois Gery, lawyer of the president of French L1 club Caen Jean-Francois
Fortin, talks to the press in Paris. (AFP)
conversation between Fortin and Conrad which it said was made by police.
In the recording, Fortin says: “You
need a point as well?” Conrad replied
“Yes, we need a point too, there it is.”
The Caen president then says: “Well, if
we are not too stupid?”
The weekly said that 24 boxes of
wine, 288 bottles, were left outside the
Caen dressing room after the game.
Meanwhile, down on the south coast
the spectacular raids which led to the
mass arrests on Tuesday of high-ranking Marseille officials have so far led to
no charges being brought.
Police are looking into various
transfers, including that of key striker
Ligue 1 resumes
after turbulent
week in France
Nimes have been targetted as the main culprits of match-fixing
Gerets tips Hazard to lead
Belgium to Euro semis
den Hazard has the talent to overcome a
goal drought and lead Belgium to at least
the semi-п¬Ѓnals of Euro 2016, former captain Eric Gerets told Reuters.
Chelsea playmaker Hazard has gone nine international appearances without scoring, spanning
last summer’s World Cup finals and the ongoing Euro qualifying campaign. Belgium’s latest
struggles—a 0-0 draw at home to Wales on Sunday—led coach Marc Wilmots to criticise Hazard
for showboating, according to media reports.
But Gerets, who captained Belgium at the 1982
and 1990 World Cups and was a member of the
team that п¬Ѓnished fourth in 1986, pleaded for
more patience when asked if Hazard had disappointed for his country. “Disappointment is too
strong,” Gerets told Reuters in Abu Dhabi, where
he coaches the city’s Al Jazira FC.
“Even Messi needed a lot of time before he was
the saviour of the national team. It didn’t happen
for several years. You have to give Hazard more
time. It will come. He has too much talent.”
Hazard, 23, has scored 35 goals in 128 appearances for Chelsea, plus 37 in 162 games for former
club Lille, according to That
equates to a goal every four games. But for Belgium, the playmaker has netted six times in 54
appearances and has gone nine games without
scoring, a paltry return for a player tipped to rival
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale as the world’s
most dangerous winger-cum-forward.
“The future will show if he’s able to get on the
same level as they are,” said Gerets. “Even if he
never makes it to the same level, just below them
is still a world (class) player.”
Belgium lie fourth in their Euro 2016 qualifying
group with п¬Ѓve points from three matches after
trouncing Andorra 6-0 before the Wales draw
and a 1-1 stalemate away to Bosnia.
That leaves the �Red Devils’ four points adrift
of group leaders Israel, yet Belgium remain heavy
favourites to top their section and take part in the
24-team п¬Ѓnals in France.
“With the talent Belgium has at the moment it
would be a disappointment if by the next European Championship or World Cup they don’t get
to the semi-finals,” said Gerets.
He said the squad, with top class talent such as
Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Cortouis and
Vincent Kompany, was better than his 1986 vintage, which lost in the World Cup semi-п¬Ѓnals to
Diego Maradona’s Argentina.
Buffon, Chiellini
extend contracts
at Juventus
Paris Saint-Germain are boosted by the return of superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right). (AFP)
igue 1 leaders Marseille can put their
off-pitch worries aside on Sunday as
they carry a slender one point lead
into the weekend with a top of the table clash against Bordeaux.
During a week that saw the Marseille president Vincent Labrune taken into custody as
part of a probe into transfers including star
striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, French football
was struck by a double scandal after matchfixing accusations in Ligue 2 last season.
Labrune was taken into custody in Marseille along with the club’s director-general
Philippe Perez and former president Pape Diouf. Another former president, Jean-Claude
Dassier, was being held in Paris and a total
of ten people, including agents and middlemen, were held overnight at the investigators’ headquarters. Dassier and Diouf were
released late Wednesday.
The investigation is looking into “contentious” money transfers “made in recent
years”, sources close to the investigation said.
A police source spoke of “fraud linked to several transfers”.
OM coach Marcelo Bielsa must now keep
the focus on the football with second placed
Paris Saint-Germain in position to move top
Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse to
Marseille in 2010.
A police source told AFP that Marseille appeared to be “more of a victim”
in the scandal that has embarrassed the
famous French side as they lead holders Paris Saint-Germain in the title
race. Suspicions of extortion, moneylaundering, fraud and conspiracy with
underworld gangs are being investigated.
Sources close to the investigation
said gangland п¬Ѓgures were suspected
of receiving commission from several major transfers, including that of
French World Cup player Gignac and
Senegalese international Souleymane
Diawara. Diawara joined in 2009 from
Bordeaux and left this year for Nice.
Diouf, who stood down as club president in 2009, emerged from custody
to tell a press conference: “I’ve got absolutely nothing to blame myself for.
“My interviewers were more put out
than I was.”
of the table today with a trip to ninth-placed
PSG were boosted by the return of superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came on
as a second-half substitute in the 2-0 victory
over Marseille in their last outing, and their
talisman scored his п¬Ѓrst goal, since returning
from a heel injury, while on international duty
for Sweden against Montenegro.
Gignac, who is the Ligue 1 second top
scorer with 10 goals, has been cleared of any
wrong-doing in his 2010 transfer from Toulouse, and played in France’s 1-0 win over
Sweden at the Velodrome in midweek. “I can
tell you that he hasn’t really been affected,”
French Football Federation president Noel Le
Graet said this week. “He is innocent in this
affair.” he added.
Nimes have been targetted as the main
(all times 1900 GMT unless stated):
Today: Metz v Paris Saint-Germain (1930)
Tomorrow: Bastia v Lyon (1600), Lorient v
Lens, Guingamp v Rennes, Monaco v Caen,
Nice v Reims
Sunday: Nantes v Saint-Etienne (1300),
Montpellier v Toulouse (1600), Marseille v
Bordeaux (2000)
culprits at the heart of a match-п¬Ѓxing probe
in Ligue 2 with relegation battles against Dijon, Angers and Caen last season, called into
question. Third-placed Lyon can also move
ahead of Marseille on Saturday as they take
a п¬Ѓve-match winning streak to Corsica and
a Saturday afternoon п¬Ѓxture against sixthfrom-bottom Bastia.
Alexandre Lacazette has been the star man
for Hubert Fournier’s seven-time champions and went ahead of Gignac in the scoring
charts last weekend with his 11th goal during
the 3-1 home win over relegation-threatened
Brittany side Guingamp.
Sunday’s slate of three matches includes
a key tie at La Beaujoire stadium where п¬Ѓfth
placed Nantes host a Saint-Etienne side who
are just a point behind the Canaries going into
the weekend.
Montpellier host Toulouse in a battle of
southern clubs in the penultimate match on
the weekend schedule while there are four
other matches on Saturday evening.
Basement dwellers Lorient await second
from bottom Lens in a crucial battle at the
wrong end of the table while Rennes travel to
Guingamp, Monaco are at home to Caen and
Nice and Reims meet on the Cote d’Azur.
Lille’s home match against Evian has been
postponed until January 7 because of France
taking on Switzerland in the tennis Davis Cup
п¬Ѓnal which runs from Friday to Sunday.
uventus veterans Gianluigi Buffon and
Giorgio Chiellini are
expected to п¬Ѓnish
their careers in Turin after
signing contract extensions
With 14 seasons at Juventus already under his belt,
club captain and goalkeeper
Buffon has extended his
contract by two years until
2017, while central defender
Chiellini’s new deal will see
him tied to the club until
June 2018. “This is a very
special day for the club,” Juventus president Andrea Agnelli told media.
“Our captain and vicecaptain have announced
their contract renewals. The
п¬Ѓrst (Buffon) is in his 14th
season with us and will stay
until 2017, and the second
(Chiellini) until 2018.”
Juventus, who have won 30
Italian league titles, including the past three, lead Italy’s
top flight with a three-point
advantage over AS Roma.
Buffon, a record eight-time
winner of Serie A’s goalkeeper of the year award, has won
seven �scudetti’ with Juventus as well as the Serie B title
in 2007 after the Bianconeri
were stripped of their titles
from 2005 and 2006 and demoted to the second tier for
their role in a match-п¬Ѓxing
At 36, Buffon hinted he
could п¬Ѓnish his career with
the club but maintained
he still has plenty to offer.
“As both parties wished to
continue, it was the natural
choice to extend my contract
for another two years,” said
“The fact it could very
well be my last contract was
a factor, but I’m not worried
about that: I feel energised. I
want to continue performing
at a high level, so that I can be
an asset and a point of reference for the club.”
The 30-year-old Chiellini,
who has gleaned four league
titles with Juve since arriving in Turin from Fiorentina
a decade ago, said: “I’ve become a man at this club and
in this city. Leaving Tuscany
and being far away from my
family was traumatic to begin with, but everyone here
made me feel increasingly at
“It makes me proud to
know that, in years to come,
when people talk about Gigi
and Giorgio, they’ll think of
Agnelli, meanwhile, underlined the club’s goal to
rejoin the elite of European
football. “Juventus aim to
win every competition, it’s
in our DNA. We know we’re
not the only ones with this
desire, but we’re taking important steps to make the
Champions League a realistic objective,” added the club
six-month ban
after appeal
Paris: Bastia striker Brandao’s
six-month ban for his postmatch headbutt on Paris St
Germain’s Thiago Motta was
confirmed yesterday after the
French federation rejected the
Brazilian’s appeal, the Ligue 1
club said.
“The Appeal Commission of
the French Football Federation has confirmed today the
sanction inflicted to Brandao
by the French Professional
League’s discipline commission,” Bastia said in a statement.
“The Brazilian forward
remains suspended until
February 2015.”
Security camera footage
broadcast on French television after the game in August,
and replayed repeatedly in
the days afterwards, showed
Brandao standing near the
middle of the corridor outside
the changing rooms at the
Parc des Princes in Paris after
the Corsicans’ 2-0 defeat
at the hands of the Ligue 1
Facing the camera as
Thiago Motta strides into view,
Brandao, who was replaced
during the game after picking
up a yellow card, calmly takes
two steps forward before leaning in to make contact with
the Italy international’s face.
He then turns and runs away
with an angry Thiago Motta in
It is the second time in two
seasons that the former Olympique de Marseille player has
been suspended for foul play.
He also received a threematch ban last season for
elbowing another PSG player,
Yohan Cabaye.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
LeBron denied by
Spurs, yet again
Rangers and Talbot
blank Flyers
�We’re still trying to get ourselves together. We’re not playing well right now’
Cam Talbot of the New York Rangers celebrates after he is awarded
the first star of the game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
New York
Tony Parker (second right) of the San Antonio Spurs steals the ball from LeBron James (right) of the Cleveland Cavaliers during their NBA game in Cleveland, Ohio.
regg Popovich shuffled into
place before a crowded media scrum after shootaround
Wednesday morning at Quicken
Loans Arena, took one look at the supersized gaggle of reporters on hand and
practically groaned. “Is it the playoffs already?” Popovich asked.
By the end of a tough-earned 92-90
victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers that seldom hearkened
back to the Spurs’ “beautiful game” performances of the NBA Finals, Popovich
wasn’t the only coach glad to know it’s
still only November.
In a game billed as a rematch between
James and the team that ended his Miami
run -- so ballyhooed it had ESPN crews
broadcasting throughout the day from
the frozen tundra of downtown Cleveland -- the Spurs got the best of the fourtime NBA MVP. Again.
Staring in place of the ill Matt Bonner, who had been starting in place of the
injured Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw had 19
points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard each
added double-doubles, as the Spurs won
their 10th in a row over the Cavaliers.
The way Popovich sees it, Wednesday’s victory had as much to do with the
timing of the calendar as the tally of the
box score.
“I’m glad we played them now,” Popovich said. “The Cavs, what you see now
you can multiply by two or three. They’re
going to be a hell of a team.”
That seems to be the league-wide consensus for a team that won the July freeagency period, adding James and -- via
trade with Minnesota -- All-Star forward
Kevin Love to a mix that already included
an All-Star, Kyrie Irving, at point guard.
In dropping to 5-5, the Cavs were far
away from that Wednesday.
Down by two after Manu Ginobili missed
the second of two foul shots with 10.1 seconds left, Cleveland fumbled away its п¬Ѓnal
chance -- literally -- when James lost the
ball at midcourt on a fast break.
“That’s just the way the ball rolls
sometimes,” said James, who missed 11 of
17 shots and had п¬Ѓve turnovers on his way
to 15 points and nine assists. “I’m not too
upset about it.”
Still caught in a season-opening slog
of their own, the 7-4 Spurs aren’t about
to quibble with the win.
The Spurs missed 11 of their 16 3-point
tries, got a combined 15 points on 5-of-14
shooting from Ginobili and Tony Parker,
and failed to reach 100 points against the
league’s fourth-worst defensive team.
They fell into an 11-point hole in the
second quarter, and somehow allowed Anderson Varejao to break free for his highestscoring night since 2009 (23 points).
And still ...
“It was a big one,” said Duncan, who
had 19 points and 10 rebounds but also
lost six turnovers. “We’re still trying to
get ourselves together. We’re not playing
well right now.”
One moment early in the third quarter typified that. With the Spurs already
trailing 47-44 after a п¬Ѓrst half Popovich
called “sloppy and passive,” Diaw lost
Love going backdoor on the п¬Ѓrst play of
the third quarter.
Love took a pass from James and scored
a layup, and -- 15 seconds into the second
half -- Popovich called a red-faced timeout. An ESPN microphone caught what
he said to his players.
“They think it’s a playoff game, these
people,” Popovich said. “And we’re letting them get away with it.”
First-year Cleveland coach David Blatt
can be glad this wasn’t the postseason, too.
He exhausted his timeouts early in the
fourth quarter, and left rookie Joe Harris on
the floor for the final 19:28 uninterrupted.
Sucking wind, Harris was beaten
backdoor by Ginobili for a key layup with
17.7 seconds to go.
Not all of Cleveland’s miscues could
be chalked up to simple rookie mistakes.
Two possessions before James’ gameending turnover, Varejao missed James
on an ill-advised lob pass that went out
of bounds.
Worth noting: James and Varejao two
are the only holdovers from the Cleveland
team the Spurs swept in the 2007 Finals.
“They’re a new team, and mostly
teams start gelling in the second half of
the season,” said Leonard, who had 12
points, 10 rebounds and four steals. “I
think they still have time.”
What Popovich said after the game
rang true: “I don’t think either team
played that great. No team will take any
deep satisfaction from it.”
In the end, the Spurs only played a little less worse than did the Cavaliers.
Is it the playoffs already? The Spurs
could be grateful Wednesday night that
it isn’t.
Unlike the Cavs, they could also be
grateful for the win.
“It was important for us to get a win,”
Ginobili said. “We are not in a moment
where we are rolling and beating everybody. We need wins.”
eams try a lot of things to
shake themselves out of
a funk. On Wednesday,
the Rangers, who had
just п¬Ѓve wins in 13 home games in
a decidedly average season so far,
wore white road jerseys at Madison Square Garden against the
Philadelphia Flyers.
Whether the wardrobe change
meant anything was unclear.
But the Rangers did play like
a different team, controlling and
managing the puck, and were
clearly the more dominant group
in a 2-0 win that was more lopsided than the score indicates.
Goals by Kevin Klein and Rick
Nash nudged the Rangers over
.500 at 8-7-4, and backup goalie
Cam Talbot made 31 saves, including numerous key ones in
the third, and won his п¬Ѓrst game
of the season.
For the Blueshirts, it was the
ninth consecutive regular-season win over the Flyers at the
Garden. It was a vastly different
effort than in the 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday. The Rangers had 32 shots on Steve Mason
with п¬Ѓve minutes remaining in
the game; they had 16 all night
against the Lightning.
The 4-2 loss to the Flyers in
Game 2 of last season’s firstround playoff series remains the
only defeat at the hands of the
Philadelphia at the Garden in the
teams’ last 13 games.
With the Rangers up 1-0, Nash
scored his 13th goal on a nifty,
tape-to-tape setup from Derick
Brassard to Martin St. Louis, who
found Nash alone on the left side
on a power play at 7:43 of the
second. It was the Rangers’ third
power-play goal in the last 12 opportunities.
Things had started well, with
Klein scoring his fourth goal, tying a career high, just 5:10 in as
Carl Hagelin won a battle at the
right post to feed Klein between
the circles.
In the п¬Ѓrst, Flyers goalie Steve
Mason denied the Rangers of
their other 12 shots, including
Dom Moore’s early wraparound,
St. Louis’ backhander and two on
a power play. The Flyers are last
in the NHL on the penalty kill,
with a 71.2-percent success rate.
Talbot, who notched his fourth
career shutout, made his п¬Ѓrst
start in goal since Nov. 8 in Toronto, a 5-4 loss. At one point,
the Rangers held an 11-4 edge in
shots, but the next two power
plays went to the Flyers, and
Talbot made a right kick save on
Wayne Simmonds while Matt
Hunwick was in the box for delay
of game at 14:41. He also stopped
Vincent Lecavalier on a breakaway in the second, followed by a
Simmonds’ rebound.
Back when the Rangers began
their current regular-season win
streak at home against the Flyers,
with a 7-0 shutout on March 6,
2011, they wore the road whites.
The Rangers also wore Stadium Series whites at the Garden
against the Islanders last Jan.
31, and Winter Classic whites on
Feb. 5, 2012, against the Flyers,
following those outdoor games.
Wolves’ losing streak ends against Knicks
HOURS AFTER he lived through
what he called one of the worst
nights of his life, Timberwolves
veteran guard Kevin Martin
delivered his best game of the
season in his team’s return to
Target Center after 18 long days
away, a 115-99 victory over New
York on Wednesday night.
Four days after he scored 34
points in a lopsided loss at
Dallas, Martin trumped it with
a 37-point game that helped
the Wolves return home
triumphantly from a 12-day, sixgame trip that ended with five
consecutive losses, including
the last two at New Orleans and
Dallas so convincingly.
On a team already beset by
injury, illness and a family
death, both Martin and teammate Corey Brewer needed
fluids intravenously Wednesday
afternoon after each fell ill
Tuesday night.
“We’re going to be out in the
corridors to see if there are any
tall guys out there,” Wolves
coach Flip Saunders said before
the game.
Hey, what about activating
front-office executive Calvin
Booth? “It’s not that easy,” Saunders said. “If it was, we would
Lakers defeat Rockets for second win in row
10-for-28 shooting at Toyota Center.
Jordan Hill and Nick Young each had 16
points. Carlos Boozer had 12 points and
13 rebounds.
wight Howard sat out because of a strained knee, immediately eliminating a captivating part of Wednesday’s
Nobody called anybody “soft.” No
wild elbows flew. The referees didn’t
have to separate anybody.
But with Dwight vs. Kobe Bryant
off the board, something unexpected
popped up to take its place. Would
you believe Wesley Johnson vs. James
Johnson came up with the play of the
game, and maybe the Los Angeles Lakers’ season so far, in a 98-92 victory
Wednesday over the Houston Rockets.
Johnson stripped Harden, moved
quickly downcourt and converted a
three-point play after getting fouled by
Harden on a layup with 43.2 seconds to
play. It turned a one-point deficit into
a two-point lead as the Lakers (3-9)
found themselves with a _ what’s this?
_ two-game winning streak.
Quite a few players contributed on
a night where Bryant had 29 points on
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a play during their game
against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Above all, there was Johnson.
He sometimes floats through games,
slipping into cruise control and forgetting to come out of it. He’ll score
15 points in a game, draw some minor
media attention, and then go several
games before it happens again.
That’s the way it’s been for the fourth
pick in the 2010 draft, an afterthought
in the Lakers’ off-season plans who
re-signed with them for the veteran’s
Johnson called the theft of Harden
the biggest play of his career. It was
tough to argue.
“I saw what he was trying to do when
I wasn’t in the game,” Johnson said. “I
saw he was sweeping low, he loves to go
left. I was playing the ball and I got my
hand on it.”
Bryant had an efficient п¬Ѓrst half but
went two for 11 in the third quarter and
two of six in the fourth. Not that he
“I mean, we had a bad start. Are we
a 3-9 team? No,” Bryant said. “We’re a
much better team than that. We’ll pick
it up.”
The Rockets (9-3) need to pick up
their pace after an odd week in which
they won a game by scoring 69 points,
got drubbed by Memphis and now fell
to the Lakers at home.
They can try using the Howard excuse. He was a late scratch, surprising
almost everybody by sitting out with
a sore right knee, an announcement
coming within minutes of tipoff.
Bryant and Howard weren’t so
friendly in the Rockets’ 108-90 season-opening victory over the Lakers.
Bryant called him soft, among many
unprintable words, after Howard took a
defensive rebound in the fourth quarter
and swung his elbows as Bryant pestered him. Howard pointed at Bryant
and yelled at him as referees moved
quickly to separate them.
Three weeks later, Bryant was asked
if he really thought Howard was soft.
Kevin Durant appeared to call him
something even more disparaging in a
recent game that the injured Oklahoma
City forward watched from the bench.
“In moments of confrontation during the game, you’ll say things in the
“In moments of confrontation
during the game, you’ll say things
in the heat of the moment,” Bryant said. “I know Dwight and I’m
sure Kevin does. We don’t really
feel that way about him. Just like
when you get in an argument
with somebody, you’ll say something out of frustration, out of
anger that you really don’t mean
heat of the moment,” Bryant said. “I
know Dwight and I’m sure Kevin does.
We don’t really feel that way about him.
Just like when you get in an argument
with somebody, you’ll say something
out of frustration, out of anger that you
really don’t mean.
“You guys that are married, you guys
argue, sometimes you just say things
that you want to take back, you don’t
even mean. But it’s in the heat of confrontation.”
With Howard out, Tarik Black started at center for Houston. He’s a rookie
from Kansas. He had п¬Ѓve points.
Harden had 24 points but was mad at
himself for “silly turnovers” and “silly
He had six turnovers, none bigger
than the last one.
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Qatar’s Torrente,
Carella edged out of
pole in Abu Dhabi
Shane tops Oryx
Cup qualifying
96 Spirit of Qatar’s Theoret makes impressive return to H1 racing
Abu Dhabi
atar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex
Carella will start today’s Grand Prix of
Abu Dhabi, round four of the 2014 UIM
F1 H2O World Championship, from
second and п¬Ѓfth positions after a scintillating
qualifying session at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater
yesterday afternoon.
The Qatar Team duo will lock horns again today afternoon in a crucial race that could either
decide the outcome of the world championship or
throw the title race wide open again. Torrente also
closed to within one point of Carella in the п¬Ѓght
for the UIM F1 H2O Pole Position Championship.
A mere 0.53 seconds separated the top п¬Ѓve
in the thrilling Q3 shoot-out and Frenchman
Philippe Chiappe collected the п¬Ѓrst pole position of his long career in his 93rd F1 H2O race.
Behind second-placed Torrente, Swedish rookie
Erik Stark slotted into third place and Team Abu
Dhabi’s Ahmed al-Hameli will start his home race
from fourth spot.
Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari and Mohamed alObaidly were in impressive early form in the UIM
F-4S Trophy category. The Qatar Team duo qualified in pole position and third for the first of the
Abu Dhabi races, but the race didn’t pan out as the
team had hoped.
Sixteen-year-old Australian sensation Briney
Rigby snatched the lead on the first lap and extended her advantage to reach the chequered flag
20.84 seconds clear of runaway series leader Mike
Szymura. Al-Obaidly п¬Ѓnished п¬Ѓfth, but al-Kuwari was sidelined on lap п¬Ѓve of 20 after hooking
the boat and striking a turn buoy.
The qualifying session was split into three sections, as per the F1 car racing, and Q1 and Q2 again
whittled the п¬Ѓeld down to just six boats, which
would take part in the two-lap shoot-out to determine pole position on the six-pin course.
Chiappe set the early target time of 47.67sec
in Q1 and that was surpassed by Torrente’s time
of 47.33sec and Carella’s lap of 47.08sec after 11
of the 20 minutes. The Qatar Team duo held on
to top the session, but Yousef al-Rubayan failed
to start and Tomas Cermak, Jesper Forss, Ivan
Brigada, Duarte Benavente and Ziong Ziwei were
also eliminated.
The wind began to increase as the afternoon
progressed. A position inside the top six was the
target and Carella did his chances no harm at all
by posting a lap of 47.19sec to leap to the top of
the leader board.
The Italian was overtaken by Ahmed al-Hameli
Jean Theoret takes to the water for the first time in 96 Spirit of Qatar at the Oryx Cup in Doha Bay. PICTURE: Chris Denslow
By Sports Reporter
efending Oryx Cup champion Jimmy Shane and 6 Oberto/Beef Jerky
topped the unofficial qualifying
times when nine of the fastest boats
on the planet took to the waters of Doha Bay at
the start of the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, the п¬Ѓnal round of the 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship, yesterday afternoon.
The qualifying limit was reduced from an
average speed of 130mph to 120mph because
of the adverse water conditions, but Shane
was the class of the п¬Ѓeld to record a best average speed of 143.024 mph.
J Michael Kelly, his rival for the 2014 National High Points title, carded the second
fastest qualifying speed of 142.803 mph late
in the session.
Cal Phipps fell foul of a fuel violation in
7 Graham Trucking II and was forced to go
again out late in the afternoon, while 96
Spirit of Qatar’s Jean Theoret broke the bolts
to the wing and the rear strut on his last run
but set an impressive pace on his return to the
sport after a п¬Ѓve-year absence and clocked a
best lap of 134.010mph.
Engine issues meant that Jesse Robertson and the 12 Miss DiJulio hydroplane were
forced to miss the day’s racing.
Theoret hadn’t raced an H1 hydroplane
since п¬Ѓnishing fourth in the 2009 Oryx Cup
п¬Ѓnal at the helm of 37 Schumacher Racing/
Miss Peters & May. But the Canadian settled
back into the 96 Spirit of Qatar hot seat like a
duck to water and posted an impressive opening practice average speed of 130.894 mph
before improving still further as the session
“I was a little nervous when I got back into
the boat this morning,” admitted Theoret. “It
has been п¬Ѓve years. I had a good feeling from
the start, but the water was rough out there in
the testing.
“The objective for today was just to qualify,
take no risks, and get back into everything.
We needed to do 15 laps and 10 over 130mph
(reduced to 120mph) and got six out of the
way early. That second corner, the wind was
very rough. It’s important to be cautious. The
goal for the weekend is to take no risks, get to
the final and reach the finish.”
Today, drivers will be able to carry out Unlimited testing for up to two hours before the
п¬Ѓrst two pairs of heats take place on Doha
Bay from 13:00hrs. The pit area will be open
to the general public on Doha Corniche from
and Torrente (46.63sec), but both Qatar drivers
looked safe in the top six until impressive rookie
Erik Stark posted a time of 46.21sec. Torrente
(46.20sec) and Carella were classified in first and
fourth when the session ended, but Jonas Andersson, Bartak Marszalak, Filip Roms, Francesco
Cantando, Marit Stromoy and Thani al-Qamzi
failed to reach Q3.
Selio was the п¬Ѓrst out on the water in the twolap shoot-out and he clocked a 47.85sec and improved to record a 47.34sec target. Team Abu
Dhabi’s Ahmed al-Hameli was next up and he
stormed to the top of the leader board with an
opening charge to 46.21sec and improved with a
stunning lap of 45.79sec.
Carella knew the importance of pole position but
his opening lap of 45.86sec fell just short and he
could not match al-Hameli’s time on lap two either.
Philippe Chiappe took up the challenge and he carded a 46.16sec lap to start with and then snatched
provisional pole with a tour of 45.33sec.
Rookie Erik Stark opened his account with a
lap of 45.53sec in his п¬Ѓrst Q3 shoot-out and that
was sufficient to move into second with only Torrente left to race and try and achieve a second pole
position in the space of a week. His п¬Ѓrst lap of
45.48sec moved him into second place but he was
not able to prevent Chiappe taking a п¬Ѓrst career
pole position.
Today, F-4S free practice, time trials and F1
practice precede the second of the F-4S races
from 14:00hrs. The Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi roars
into life from 15.30hrs (14.30hrs Qatar time).
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi qualifying (top five)
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 45.48sec
3. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 45.53sec
4. Ahmed al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi
5. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 45.86sec
F-4S Trophy race one result (top five)
1. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden
2. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic
3. Bincheng Wu (CHN) China CTIC
4. J-A Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1
5. Mohamed al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team 49.04sec
Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team RET
2014 F-4S Trophy standings (top five)
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 110 pts
2. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden
3. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1
4. Mohamed al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team
5. Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team 33
Oryx Cup qualifying times* (top five)
1. 6 Oberto/Beef Jerky - Jimmy Shane
2. 1 Graham Trucking - J. Michael Kelly
3. 9 Red Dot/Les Schwab Tires - Jon Zimmerman
4. 7 Graham Trucking II - Cal Phipps
5. 96 Spirit of Qatar - Jean Theoret
*Times exclude penalties and fuel violations
Today’s schedule
09:00-11:00 - Unlimited testing
11:15 - Drivers’ meeting
13:00 - Heat 1A
13:30 - Heat 1B
14:45 - Heat 2A
15:15 - Heat 2B
15:35 - Draw for third heats
16:30-18:30 - Pit area open to public and VIP
Shaun Torrente of Qatar Team at UIM F1 H20 Powerboat Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi yesterday.
McCaw to lead All Blacks for Speight among four
100th time against Wales
Wallabies’ changes
ichie McCaw will become the
п¬Ѓrst player to captain an international team in 100 Tests after
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen
reverted to virtually his п¬Ѓrst choice selection to face Wales in Cardiff tomorrow.
McCaw, who п¬Ѓrst captained the side
against Wales in Cardiff on Nov. 20, 2004,
played blindside flanker last week against
Scotland but has switched back to his normal role in the number seven jersey for his
137th Test.
Beauden Barrett has won the hotly contested battle for the starting flyhalf position, with Hansen opting not to give world
leading points scorer Daniel Carter another run after his rusty performance last
week against Scotland.
Aaron Cruden, who had started the
majority of the Tests this year in Carter’s
absence, also failed to make the squad as
Hansen said he wanted to give Barrett an
opportunity to start a Test on their fourgame tour.
“We’re using this tour to find out more
about the guys we’ve got,” Hansen told
New Zealand media in Cardiff.
“We’ve seen Crudes on this tour in one
of the big games against England and we
wanted to see Beauden against one as
The 32-year-old Carter has barely
played this year after a six-month break
from the game and an injury-enforced absence from a broken leg.
He looked rusty last week against Scotland in his п¬Ѓrst start for the team in a year
and Hansen said it was a major reason why
he was not considered.
“If he had come through the other day
probably a little bit better he might have
been on the bench,” Hansen added.
“But it’s impossible to ask a guy who has
played the amount of rugby he’s had to not
be rusty. It was a big ask.
“For him it’s great that he’s got confidence that his body is right, we’ve got
confidence his body is right.
“He just needs to go home now and play
some Super Rugby and lots of it.”
ijian-born winger Henry
Speight will make his Test
debut for Australia in one
of four team changes made
yesterday for this weekend’s Test
against Ireland in Dublin.
Speight will become the third
player to make his debut for Australia on this month’s European
tour, joining Sean McMahon and
Tetera Faulkner.
The 26-year-old has been
knocking on the door for Test selection after some exciting attacking displays for the ACT Brumbies
in this year’s Super 15 season.
“Henry has done all the right
things to earn his selection, has
had an outstanding Super Rugby
season and deserves his opportunity to play for Australia,” coach
Michael Cheika said.
“He is very passionate about
representing Australia and we’re
all looking forward to seeing him
bring his best attributes to our
In other changes made by Cheika
following last week’s 29-26 loss to
France in Paris, lock Sam Carter,
back-row Luke Jones and centre
Matt Toomua come into the starting XV.
Jones, of the Melbourne Rebels,
gets his п¬Ѓrst run-on opportunity
for the Wallabies in his second Test
match following his debut against
France in Melbourne in June.
He displaces McMahon at blindside flanker, while Carter replaces
James Horwill and Toomua takes
over from his ACT Brumbies teammate Christian Leali’ifano.
“The other changes have been
made to give the other players who
have been knocking on the door an
opportunity to start a Test match
on this tour,” Cheika said.
“All our changes will bring a new
energy into the team and I know
everyone is looking forward to the
opportunities our match against
Ireland will bring.”
Cheika later confirmed his replacements which could see “bad
boy” utility back Kurtley Beale play
his п¬Ѓrst international rugby since
the texting scandal that saw him
п¬Ѓned and resulted in the target of
his text message, business manager
Di Patston, leaving and Cheika’s
predecessor Ewen McKenzie resigning.
Beale, who was also punished
for being rude and disrespectful
to the team management, has not
played for Australia since the defeat in Cape Town by South Africa
on September 27.
The match is Australia’s fourth
of their п¬Ѓve-game European tour
which, prior to the French match,
had seen them beat the Barbarians
and Wales. They round off the series against England at Twickenham next weekend.
Australia (15-1): Israel Folau; Adam
Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Henry Speight;
Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Ben
McCalman, Michael Hooper (capt),
Luke Jones; Rob Simmons, Sam
Carter; Sekope Kepu, Saia Fainga’a,
James Slipper
Replacements: James Hanson,
Benn Robinson, Tetera Faulkner,
Will Skelton, Jake Schatz, Will
Genia, Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Federer fit for duty,
but doubts persists
Wawrinka says he’s
ready for the final
�Only the match gives you all the answers really. Today in practice, it wasn’t the goal
to go to 100 per cent. I never do in practice the day before a potential match’
Switzerland’s Roger Federer (left) and Stanislas Wawrinka.
Wawrinka left the ATP
World Tour Finals feeling wrecked last weekend
but said yesterday he had fully
recovered for the Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal
against France.
He showed terrific improvement in London and is now mentally rested as well.
“Clearly on Saturday night I
was destroyed. It was difficult
to accept that loss. I did everything I could to win that match,”
Wawrinka told a news conference on Thursday after the draw
ceremony fort this weekend’s
Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal.
“Sunday was also a difficult
day. It’s always difficult to take. I
was hurt.”
But a change of scenery and
a new objective have helped
Wawrinka turn the page. “When
I came here with the physio and
everything, everything was different. It was a new week, a new
state of mind,” he said.
“So mentally it was easy for me
to switch, to forget about this big
disappointment, start on something positive.”
Reflecting on his London
week, where he rediscovered his
touch, Wawrinka said the overall
experience was rewarding.
“I took a lot of positives from
that week. I’m feeling great from
London, a lot of confidence from
there. Playing really good tennis,” he said
“I had five days here to change
surface, to play on clay. I did
what I could here with some
good practice. I’m feeling ready
for the weekend.”
Davis Cup final talking points
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball during a Davis Cup tennis training session at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, northern France, yesterday.
oger Federer is set to play for
Switzerland in the Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal against France in Lille today
despite a back injury that laid
him low.
There had been concerns in the Swiss
camp that he would be unable to compete
after injuring his back playing in London
last weekend.
But the draw announced yesterday
afternoon sees him go up against Gael
Monfils in the second of the opening two
singles rubbers.
French number one Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays Stan Wawrinka in the opening
The doubles tomorrow opposes Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet of
France against the Swiss pairing of Marco
Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer.
Sunday’s reverse singles stands will
start with Tsonga against Federer to be
followed by Monfils versus Wawrinka.
Federer injured his back playing
Wawrinka in the last four at the ATP
World Tour п¬Ѓnals in London on Saturday evening and he was unable to contest
the п¬Ѓnal the following day against Novak
He was unable to train at the indoor
claycourt in Lille which is hosting this
year’s final on Monday and Tuesday.
But he had a short practice session on
Wednesday evening and did so again on
Thursday morning just before the draw
was made.
There is still a possibility that Federer
would not play as the Davis Cup rules stipulate that an injured player can be replaced
up to one hour before his match begins as
long as a doctor confirms the injury.
But having looked at ease and in no
pain during Thursday morning’s practice
session all the signs are that he will play
his 45th singles tie for his country in the
Davis Cup.
Federer admitted that there he would
be taking an element of uncertainty into
Friday’s rubber.
“We’ll see tomorrow,” he replied when
asked if he would be at 100%.
“Only the match gives you all the answers really. Today in practice, it wasn’t
the goal to go to 100%. I never do in practice the day before a potential match.
“So I’m just really pleased that I’m actually able to play tomorrow. I’ll give it a
“Definitely looking forward to playing
against Gael. I think he’s a great player. Very exciting to watch. I like to play
against him, too.”
French captain Arnaud Clement said
he had always believed that Federer
would be п¬Ѓt enough to play alongside
Wawrinka and had prepared his players
“No, it’s not really a surprise,” he said
when asked of Federer’s inclusion.
“It was obvious to us that he was going to play. Our preparation was to be
able to play against him and Stan.”
Despite being a 17-time major title
winner Federer has never before appeared in a Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal and he has
made winning the trophy for Switzerland
for the п¬Ѓrst time a priority.
Without Federer, Switzerland’s chances of winning a first Davis Cup look extremely slim, with the French boasting
a strength-in-depth and experienced
line-up of Tsonga, Monfils, Gasquet and
The problem for the Swiss is that although world number four Wawrinka is
comfortably ranked above all the French
players, after him the fall-off in the Swiss
team is steep with Chiudinelli 212th and
Lammer 508th in the rankings.
The п¬Ѓnal will be the 13th meeting between the two countries in the Davis
Cup with France leading 10-2 in previous
clashes. France have won the Davis Cup
nine times before, third equal best with
Britain, the last being away to Australia
in 2001.
Golden Zou transforms China’s
professional boxing landscape
Li also manages former NBA
icon Yao Ming and it was he who
п¬Ѓrst contacted Arum two years
ago about the possibility of promoting Zou and conquering new
horizons for the sport in China.
Veteran Arum, well into his
eighties, saw the vibrant possibilities in a potentially huge new
market and promoted Zou’s first
pro п¬Ѓght at the Venetian Macau
in April 2013.
anny Pacquiao will
be cheered by thousands of fellow Filipinos as he defends
his WBO welterweight title
in Macau at the weekend, but
without Zou Shiming the п¬Ѓght
would be happening elsewhere.
Chris Algieri is Pacquiao’s latest opponent at the 15,000-seat
Cotai Arena where the eightweight world champion defeated
Brandon Rios a year ago in the
southern Chinese city less than
two hours flight from Manila.
But it is double Olympic gold
medal-winning flyweight Zou
who has been the driving force
behind pro boxing’s rise in China
and who is rapidly assuming superstar status.
Zou had a cameo appearance
in the latest “Transformers”
п¬Ѓlm blockbuster and stars in a
new TV advertisement for Beats
headphones which will debut
this weekend in Asia alongside
NBA star LeBron James and tennis legend Serena Williams.
“Zou is the engine behind all
This file picture shows Zou Shiming (right) of China competing
against Yokthong Kokietgym of Thailand.
of this activity in China,” said
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.
“He’s the poster boy.”
Arum’s association with Zou
and his manager Sheng Li, CEO
of China sport events giants
SECA, has resulted in the Vene-
tian Macau becoming Asia’s
premier boxing venue in less
than two years.
It also saw Top Rank and
SECA stage the п¬Ѓrst ever professional card in mainland China in
Shanghai three months ago.
Sunday will see unbeaten Zou’s
sixth contest, a 12-round п¬Ѓnal
eliminator for a world title shot,
and Li believes Zou can do for
pro boxing, once banned in China, what Yao did for basketball.
“Young kids in sports, they always love the celebrity status of
it. That helps to attract them to
it,” Li told AFP yesterday.
“Like we put Zou in Transformers 4. They loved they way
he had that killer look. Basically
his role was to give that look and
knock the other guy down. It
was perfect.”
The film was a huge box office hit across the world’s most
populous nation, raising Zou’s
profile further.
Now Top Rank and SECA
produce a weekly hour-long
pro boxing magazine show on
national TV and plan a second
п¬Ѓght programme next month
in Shanghai before rolling out a
new “Fists of Power” series to
begin next year and go around
the country.
“The goal is to have a world title fight in China sometime next
year,” added Li, who acknowledged it has taken Zou’s success
to change official opinion about
professional boxing.
“The problem has been in
China that the Olympic machine
only cares about the amateurs.
In the past they have seen pro
boxing as a competing interest,”
he added.
“What we’re trying to do is
convince these guys at every
level is that pro boxing offers you
a second career after amateur
boxing. The two work together,
not against each other.”
Pacquiao sells pay-per-view
subscriptions in the States, but
it is the lad who п¬Ѓrst won gold
in Beijing who has been the real
catalyst for the long-term plan
to develop pro boxing in the huge
new China market.
Can Federer finally win the
Davis Cup to go with the alltime best 17 Grand Slam titles
he has to his name?
The only other top prize that
has eluded him is singles gold
at the Olympics. Rafael Nadal
has won the lot — all four Grand
Slam titles, the Davis Cup and
Olympic singles gold. Andre
Agassi is the only other player
to have achieved this feat,
known as the “Golden Slam”.
Can France move up to third
overall in the history of the
Davis Cup?
They are currently level with
Britain on nine wins with only
the United States (32) and
Australia (28) ahead of them.
The last French win was in 2001
away to Australia.
Will the crowd record for the
Davis Cup be smashed?
It currently stands at 27,200,
the number of spectators who
watched Spain play the United
States in the 2004 final. This
year’s final is being played in
the Stade Pierre Mauroy, home
to Lille football club, with half
the ground partitioned off and
roofed to accommodate the red
claycourt. The crowd capacity
is given as 27,000. Now to see if
all of this adds up.
IPTL boss Bhupathi
unconcerned over
Federer injury
he head of the new International
Tennis League (IPTL)
shrugged off concerns
over Roger Federer’s fitness yesterday as the Swiss star battles a
back injury.
Founder and managing director Mahesh Bhupathi said he had
received reassurances from Federer’s camp as the clock ticks
down to the innovative tournament’s debut season.
“We spoke to them. He’s fine,
he’s playing Davis Cup this
weekend,” Bhupathi told AFP in
Singapore, one of four venues
for the IPTL which starts in Manila next week.
A possible withdrawal by Federer, who pulled out of Sunday’s
World Tour Finals decider but is
playing the Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal against
France this weekend, would be a
major blow to the IPTL.
Rafael Nadal, who is recovering from appendix surgery, is the
notable absentee in a tournament which features a who’swho of current and former tennis stars.
Bhupathi said he hoped the
made-for-TV IPTL, which puts
a limit on match-times and
features a shot-clock, DJs and
cheerleaders, would become a
strong draw for players even at
the end of a long season.
“We’ve created this exciting format and they’ll hopefully
schedule us along with the four
Slams and they can work around
it,” he said at the launch of the
Singapore Slammers team.
“People say that the season is
long but we’re creating something that is exciting enough for
them to come so that they’ll automatically schedule us.”
Doubts have been raised over
the viability and format of the
tournament, which has ties of
five single-set matches in men’s
and women’s singles, mixed
doubles, men’s doubles and
men’s veterans.
Teams representing Manila,
Singapore, New Delhi and Dubai
will play each other in the four
cities in a mini-league packed
into a compact schedule of
about three weeks.
But it has piqued interest elsewhere with the professional
women’s tour floating the idea of
its own team tournament and the
India-based Champions Tennis
League starting only this week.
“I know it’s been discussed
at the ATP board level, I know
it’s been discussed at the WTA,”
Bhupathi said, referring to the
men’s and women’s tours.
“They should be—this is a big
market, tennis is extremely popular. Fortunately for us we’ve
captured the first mover advantage. First in, last out.”
Bhupathi said he wanted the
tournament to grow to eight
teams in the Asian region by
2020, with China, Hong Kong,
Indonesia and Japan among the
list of destinations.
But п¬Ѓrst the IPTL will need a
successful launch, starting on
November 28 in the Philippine
capital where Andy Murray and
Maria Sharapova headline the
Manila Mavericks.
“There’s a lot of intrigue,
there’s a lot of excitement,
there’s a lot of scepticism. Obviously we feel like the format
should work... we’ve made it
time-sensitive and got our fingers crossed,” Bhupathi said.
“The sceptics have been there
for the last two years, and now
they’re like, �Holy crap! It’s actually happening’. Let’s see what
they say about the season.”
Gulf Times
Friday, November 21, 2014
Ghazali, Bentley dazzle
with five winners and
Al Wakra Cup victory
�It is an incredible achievement for myself and I am very happy to have won five races today’
By Chris Hoover
rainer Jassim al-Ghazali and
jockey Harry Bentley dazzled
with п¬Ѓve winners each, which
also included the victory in
the Al Wakra Cup, which featured the
races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. Having ridden
four winners already, Bentley rode out
confidently to pilot Sheikh Abdullah bin Mishal bin Hamad al-Thani
owned Al Mizan (Vert Duzan-Nevasa
De Cardonne) to a fluent victory in the
mile race for Local Bred Pure Arabians
which carried a purse of QR100,000.
Kaydoum guided the п¬Ѓeld into the
straight with Al Mizan ready to pounce
on the leader. The Ghazali trained Al
Mizan quickly came alongside the front
runner and soon Bentley gave him the
go. Al Mizan was shifting gears and
stretched out nicely to build a handy
lead. With the others not gaining any
ground, Al Mizan was home and dry
with a furlong to go. Stable mates Thawi and Zahi ran on to take the second
and third places respectively.
This was indeed an amazing performance by the Dubai based jockey
who had earlier won six races in a card
of eight event last season.
“It is an incredible achievement for
myself and I am very happy to have won
п¬Ѓve races today. Trainer Ghazali has
been a great supporter for me and I very
much appreciate his backing and support. He has played a massive part in
my success here in Doha. We had a nice
draw and Al Mizan ran a great race. The
horse in front went on a sensible gallop
and I was able to quicken off the bend
and everything went very smoothly,” a
delighted Bentley told the Gulf Times.
Trainer Ghazali was elated with the
success of Al Mizan, who beat some
formidable contenders. “I am very
lucky today. This has been a comeback
for me and it is never easy to have п¬Ѓve
winners in a day. It was a very tough
race in the feature. There were a couple of runners from Umm Qarn who
are champions and Al Mizan did very
well to beat them. I am very happy for
Sheikh Mishal bin Hamad al-Thani and
for Injaaz Stable
Speaking about the prospects of Al
Mizan, Ghazali said. “Al Mizan was not
п¬Ѓt last season and he has come back
to form. This win was very impressive and we will definitely target him in
forthcoming classics. If he stays in this
condition, Al Mizan will definitely be a
serious threat.”
Jockey Bentley started the winning
sequence when he drove out Jelmood to
QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Faleh al-Thani (centre) is seen with the winners of the Al Wakra Cup, which
featured the races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohammed
bin Faleh al-Thani (right) presents the Al
Wakra Cup to trainer Jassim al-Ghazali
QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohammed
bin Faleh al-Thani presents the Al Wakra
Cup to Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari
during the presentation ceremony at
the QREC yesterday.
an exciting win in the Local Thoroughbred Maiden Plate. Inside the final furlong, Osama Omar al-Dhafa’s Al Naif
Countfleet appeared to have gone into
a decisive lead even as Ghazali trained
Jelmood was taking time to accelerate
but once he did, Jelmood came home
with a big rush along the rails to get the
verdict in the closing stages of the race.
Al Dabor also put in an impressive per-
formance to п¬Ѓnish a close third.
The Chazali-Bentley combination
went on to dominate the proceedings
as the duo recorded a back to back treble through River Goddess, Lupie and
Sandbetweenourtoes, who won their
respective races in brilliant fashion.
Sporting the colours of Abdullah
Mohammed Al Kuwari Sons, River
Goddess broke through the maid-
en ranks with a brilliant stretch run
which saw the Ghazali ward, overhaul
Man Amongst Men and win the Thoroughbred Maiden Plate by nearly two
lengths. The power packed ride by
Bentley ensured the п¬Ѓrst victory for
River Goddess.
Lupie was a runaway winner of the
Thoroughbred Graduation Plate. After
racing a handy second behind stable
mate Akeed Misk, Bentley put Lupie
into gear and the Ghazali trainee spedpast his rivals and won with plenty in
hand. He seems to be in good form and
will be a force to reckon with when saddled next.
(Footstepinthesand-Callanish) was a comfortable winner of the Thoroughbred
Conditions race, run over six furlongs.
Bentley had Sandbetweenourtoes race
up front until the home turn and when
asked for an effort, the Ghazali trainee
quickly stretched away to win by a widening margin of three lengths. Bazaruto
was second ahead of Pay Freeze. The
winner clocked a smart timing of one
minute 11.22 seconds.
Julian Smart schooled Al Atique
(Amer-Somra) made a winning п¬Ѓrst
appearance this season with a dominating performance in the Pure Arabi-
an Conditions race, run over 2,000 metres. After racing a handy second until
the halfway mark, jockey Alberto Senna had Al Atique take over the running.
Once the Amer progeny was shown the
daylight, Al Atique surged ahead without muss and later stretched away to
win by six lengths from a late п¬Ѓnishing
stable mate Al Bashtoon and Harir.
Al Busayir (W.J. Lee astride)
trained by Majid Safedeen rose to
the occasion in a splendid manner
to clinch the Thoroughbred Conditions. Taking over the running soon
after entering the homestretch, Al
Busayir found a good rhythm going
and looked completely in command.
The Sfedeen trainee quickly amassed
a winning lead and looked the winner long way from home and galloped
on majestically to win by nearly two
lengths from stable mate Goldenrod.
Alban de Mieulle saddled Aseel (Nizam-Saeedah) п¬Ѓnally shed his maiden
status with a fluent victory in the Pure
Arabian Maiden Plate. Having п¬Ѓnished
a notable п¬Ѓfth to Aden in the Guineas
earlier, Aseel had the credentials to
come good in this event. He did so in
п¬Ѓne style as he came with a sustained
run in the п¬Ѓnal furlong and went past
Haraz Al Naif to win by nearly two
lengths. Jockey Pier Convertino rode a
well-judged race on the winner.
1st race: Jelmood (Harry Bentley)
1, Al Naif Countfleet 2, Al Dabor
3, My Way 4. Won by: Nk, Nk, 2.
Time: 1:29.55. Trained by: Jassim
al-Ghazali. Owned by: Jassim
Mohammed al-Badi
2nd race: Aseel (Pier Convertino)
1, Haraz Al Naif 2, Khrash Al Naif 3,
Kampanule De Ghazal 4. Won by:
1 ВЅ, 1 ВЅ, 3. Time: 2:05.92. Trained
by: Alban de Mieulle. Owned by:
Oliver Materne
3rd race: River Goddess (Harry
Bentley) 1, Man Amongst Men 2,
Pure Amber 3, Galaxy 4. Won by:
ВЅ, Hd, Nk. Time: 1:38.49. Trained
by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by:
Abdullah Mohammed Al Kuwari
4th race: Lupie (Harry Bentley)
1, Dahaab 2, Fine Prince 3, Ko
Cache 4. Won by: 1 ВЅ, 1 ВЅ, Nk.
Time: 1:12.93.Trained by: Jassim
al-Ghazali. Owned by: Sheail bin
Khalifa al-Kuwari
5th race: Sandbetweenourtoes
(Harry Bentley) 1, Bazaruto 2,
Pay Freeze 3, Marcus Augustus
4. Won by: 3, 1 ВЅ, ВЅ. Time: 1:11.22.
Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali.
Owned by: Sheail bin Khalifa
6th race: Al Atique (Alberto
Senna) 1, Al Bashtoon 2, Harir 3,
Qabas 4. Won by: 6, ВЅ, 6. Time:
2:13.21. Trained by: Julian Smart.
Owned by: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani
7th race: Al Busayir (W.J. Lee) 1,
Goldenrod 2, Arrigo 3, Free Spin
4. Won by: 1 Вѕ, 1 Вѕ, Nk. Time:
2:03.57. Trained by: Majid Safedeen. Owned by: Saeed Mubarak
Saeed Aljafali al-Naimi
8th race: Al Mizan (Harry Bentley) 1, Thawi 2, Zahi 3, Tameh 4.
Won by: 1 Вј, 1 Вј, ВЅ. Time: 1:46.38.
Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali.
Owned by: Sheikh Abdullah bin
Mishal bin Hamd al-Thani
Jockey Harry Bentley rides Al Mizan to victory in the Al Wakra Cup at the QREC
yesterday. The Dubai based rider was in the limelight with five winners in a card
of eight events framed for the races at the QREC yesterday.
�Real-life Rocky’ Algieri faces
daunting reality in Pacquiao
ine months ago, American Chris Algieri was
п¬Ѓghting in a venue
2,000 spectators, but on Sunday
he enters the big time when he
challenges eight-division world
champion Manny Pacquiao for
the WBO welterweight title at
the Venetian Macao.
The 30-year-old Algieri, has
been billed by promoters as the
�real-life Rocky’ because of his
rapid and improbable ascension
to world title challenger, is not
overawed by his situation.
“Yeah, it’s cool, but it doesn’t
faze me,” he told reporters in
Macau this week ahead of his
clash with Pacquiao in the
15,000 seat arena in the former
Portuguese colony.
“I’ve literally seen this in my
mind for a long time. And now
it’s here, it isn’t I made it; it’s,
this is where I’m supposed to
Chris Algieri
Algieri earned his title shot
the hard way.
Nine months ago, his bout with
Emanuel Taylor was headlining at
a 1,555-seat venue in his hometown of Huntington, New York.
That unanimous points decision victory gave him an opportunity against Russia’s WBO
light welterweight champion
Ruslan Provodnikov in June.
Despite suffering two п¬Ѓrstround knockdowns and having
to п¬Ѓght with a swollen right eye,
Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) prevailed
via a 12-round decision to set up
the Pacquiao clash.
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs)
recognised that Algieri, who
holds a Masters degree and is
contemplating attending medical school, could see the п¬Ѓght as
a potential springboard, in much
the same way his own 2008
victory over Oscar De La Hoya
helped transform him into a global name.
“I will not let that happen,”
the 35-year-old Pacquiao said.
“My time is not over yet. I’m
not predicting a knockout, but
I’m looking for a good fight and
looking to prove I can still fight.”
That is about as close to �talking trash’ as Pacquiao will allow
himself, but his voluble trainer
Freddie Roach was far more willing to dismiss Algieri’s chances.
“He’s in way over his head this
time,” Roach told Reuters.
“Manny’s really on top of his
game right now and he’s looking really good. He can’t wait
to get in the ring with this guy
and show the world he’s a better
Undaunted, Algieri insists
that he had the ability to beat
“We’re not worried about
what Manny’s going to do, we’re
focused on what I’m going to do.
“And if I fight my fight, I win.”
The bravado only elicited a
snort of derision from Roach.
“They’re trying to make out
like Algieri is the next Rocky,” he
said. “But this isn’t a movie.”
DeMarco fights for
his �sister’s life’
merican Jesse Vargas
defends his World Boxing Association junior welterweight title
on the Manny Pacquiao-Chris
Algieri undercard in Macau on
Sunday undaunted by an opponent who has a huge motivation.
Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 KOs) received
the devastating news that his
13-year-old sister had been
struck down with cancer on his
arrival at training camp in the
Philippines last month.
“I fight for the life of my sister—it’s for her that I’m going in
the ring,” DeMarco told reporters
yesterday. His sister Mariana was
diagnosed with bone cancer in the
shoulder and has already started
chemotherapy. DeMarco was distraught at the news but vowed to
win the title to show her that the
odds can be overcome.
“She would see everything in
life can be accomplished with
hard work. I’m fighting for her
dream to have a life”
Unbeaten Vargas said he was
aware of DeMarco’s sad news,
but said it would not affect the
outcome. “We spoke yesterday,”
Vargas told reporters yesterday.
“He told me about his sister’s
situation which is very sad news
for us as well. I told him I hope a
miracle would happen.
“But with this it doesn’t matter him having extra motivation,
I’m still going to put him down.
Instead of him lasting six, seven
rounds it might make him last
another round or two.”
Vargas has his own motivational weapon in his corner in the
form of ring legend Roy Jones Jr,
the multiple world champion who
has been training the п¬Ѓghter in his
gym in Las Vegas, and his making
his debut as a cornerman.
“He’s taking me to the next
level,” said Vargas.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Support for al-Attiyah as he bids for re-election as FIM VP
By Sports Reporter
n the run up to the FГ©dГ©ration Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) elections, Qatar Motor and Motorcycle
Federation (QMMF) president Nasser
Khalifa al-Attiyah has received support
from various stakeholders for his bid for the
second term as the vice president.
Re-election will only be a further validation of Qatar’s “leadership in motorsport,”
as FIM president Vito Ippolito said.
Ippolito himself is up for re-election for
the president’s post.
“I feel very comfortable belong to an international organisation which puts in a lot
of hard work. The idea of standing for reelection has come through the experience
I have gained being in this position and
through the friendships have forged all over
the world. I am confident that everyone
shares this feeling with me,” Ippolito said
ahead of the November 22 election in Jerez.
The Venezuelan added that the Gulf region had a lot of potential. “Qatar, represented by QMMF, has become a benchmark
in promotion of the sport. I understand that
Nasser al-Attiyah and his experience will
be open to all without exception to further
promote motorsport in the region and the
Asian continent,” he said.
FIM Europe president Wolfgang Srb was
also appreciative of the efforts of al-Attiyah
and QMMF. “Asia is having some of its best
days in motorsport these days. Many countries across the world have been trying to
follow the unique performance and path
of QMMF president Nasser al-Attiyah,” he
FIM Asia president Wan Zaharuddin said
that as the continental federation they are
proud of al-Attiyah achievements and efforts. “We can see that Asia is now becoming one of the most important continents
in motorsport,” Zaharuddin said. “Nasser
al-Attiyah is a п¬Ѓrst class leader and as
the Asian federation we are proud of his
achievements and we will support him by
all means.”
Automobile Association of Malaysia
chairman Tunku Datuk said: “Asia is geographically big but there is team work and
good communication between us. There is
true support from Mr. Nasser al-Attiyah.”
QMMF president and FIM vice president Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah (second from right) with Automobile Association of Malaysia chairman Tunku Datuk (left), FIM
Asia president Wan Zaharuddin (second from left), FIM president Vito Ippolito and FIM Europe president Wolfgang Srb (right).
Ultrarunners set
to thrill Qatar
Over 200 athletes from 39 countries will take to Aspire Zone for bragging rights
By Mikhil Bhat
100km World
back on track
with Aspire
By Mikhil Bhat
ost people would sweat at the
thought of a marathon. How
about running two marathons? And some more?
That is what some of the top ultrarunners from 39 countries will be doing today around Aspire Zone in the IAU
100km World Championships. The event,
which will see more than 200 athletes run
20 laps around a 5km course, will kick off
at 6pm and the last runner is expected to
cross the п¬Ѓnish line latest by 6am tomorrow.
However, most of the top runners
would have been done long before dawn.
Italy’s Giorgio Calcaterra won the last
edition of the event in 2012 in a time of
6h23’20”, while the women’s winner Amy
Sproston of USA crossed the п¬Ѓnish line
after a 7h34’08” run.
“It is very difficult to repeat the same
result of 2012 again,” three-time world
champion Calcaterra said yesterday.
“There are a lot of new and strong athletes now. I think I just want to do a good
race, do my best.”
In terms of times, young Russian star
Vasily Larkin with a time of 6h18’26” is
right up there followed by Britain’s Steven Way (6h19’20). Sweden’s Jonas Buud
(6h29’00”) has finish second thrice —
2009, 2010, 2012 — and would definitely
be aiming to go one better. Japan’s Hideo
Nojo (6h40’15”) completes the top five in
the men’s field.
But none of the athletes expect to post
blistering fast times today.
“There are a lot of curves which are
very heavy on the legs,” Calcaterra said.
“Also the surface is not so easy to run on.
There is also the problem of the weather.
So I don’t think the final time will be as
Nojo, however, is confident going into
the race. “I am confident because of two
reasons. This course is not great in terms
of temperature because it is a bit higher
but I have been training in higher temperatures before coming here. Near Tokyo, where I live, it was a little warmer
this time than usual and so I had a good
training. Also, I have been working on
strengthening my performance in the last
part of the race. I am targeting a time of
6h30m, try and beat my personal best,”
the Japanese ultra-runner said, adding
that ideal temperature to run in would be
around 15 degrees Celsius.
Sproston said that she wants to focus
on the team event. “To be honest it is a
very strong п¬Ѓeld and I had a great day in
2012. There are 5-10 athletes out there
who could win and some of them are
probably bigger favourites than I am,”
Sproston said.
“So I don’t think it is about defending
the title. In the US, we are more interested
in the team competition and it is always
about getting together and going after the
team goal. So my main priority is to help
the team.”
Sproston couldn’t be bothered about
the weather and course because “we all
run on the same course in the same temperature”.
She, however, did add: “Most of us are
running the 100km world championship
after quite some time. So when we do, it
would be nice to be at a course where you
can go for your personal record. But a lot
Men’s defending champion Giorgio Calcaterra of Italy will bid to defend his title against a host of ultrarunners, including Japan’s
Hideo Nojo (bottom right). Defending women’s champion Amy Sproston (bottom left) of US said the team event will be her focus.
of us look forward to this event because it
didn’t happen last year.”
Sproston will have competition from
Italy’s Monica Carlin, who is just under a
minute off the American’s 2012 winning
effort at 7h35’05”, and, after having finished third twice and second once in the
last п¬Ѓve editions, would be gunning for
the top title.
Others in the fray for the women’s title
are Russia’s Irina Antrapova (7h36’01”),
Britain’s Joasia Zakrzewski (7h41’06”)
and Meghan Arbogast (7h41’52”) of USA.
In addition to winning the world championships, athletes and the top team will
be vying for total prize money of $11,200,
which has been posted by the Aspire Zone
fter a year’s absence
from the calendar,
the IAU 100km World
Championships will be
held tonight at the Aspire Zone
bringing together some of the
world’s top ultrarunners.
The International Association
of Ultrarunners’ (IAU) event last
year in Jeju Island, South Korea,
was scrapped after a sponsor
pullout. It was п¬Ѓrst time in 27
years that the race had been cancelled.
Given that the 100km event is
recognised by the International
Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and is IAU’s flagship
event, it was a setback.
“The organisation was good;
we had a few sight visits but at
the 11th hour, despite the agreements we had with the organisers, they had to drop out due
to the loss of one of their major
sponsors,” IAU president Dirk
Strumane said yesterday. “It’s always sad to see these things happen but we have to be realistic.
And 100km is our most important event, sanctioned by IAAF,
official distance, they keep world
However, in January this year,
Aspire Zone bid for the IAU 50km
World Trophy Final, which was
hosted three weeks ago, and the
50km World Championships.
They were convinced enough to
host the 100km event too.
“We met [Aspire Venues and
Events director] Philip Templar
and [Aspire Logistics Events
manager] Abdullah al-Khater
when they came to Monaco in
January this year. Their main
goal was 50km but we were able
to convince them to host the
100km too. The international
ultra-running community was
eagerly waiting for this, for a new
world championship,” Strumane
“There is relief and also hunger to compete once again. Because you can run the 10km
or the 20km events every now
and then but they are able to do
100km only a couple of times in
a year.”
It is also a relief for Strumane
to be working with Aspire for the
event. “We are dealing with professionals here, in all aspects of
the organisation. In medical, in
protocol, etc. For us it is a relief to
work with people who know exactly what they want to achieve
and also to have the means to do
so. We would love to continue
this cooperation with Aspire,” he
Templar was positive that Aspire is looking for a partnership
approach in hosting these events
with IAU. “I think it is always
difficult for a federation that is
not football or one of those high
profile ones to find quality events
where athletes can get to relatively easily. It is a partnership
approach that we have taken.
They are obviously very keen,
and very pleased that we have
hosted the event with them. It
definitely has helped them get
the sport back on the map,” Templar said.
Hosting events in Doha has
its advantages. “It is a very good
place geographically. From Australia you don’t have to go to
America and vice versa to get
here. We are quite well placed,”
Templar said.
Looking to the future, Strumane has a plan in mind to avoid
any more cancellations a la 2013.
“We will organise the 100km
World Championships and the
for 100km in alternate years.
And the 24-hour races will also
be organised the same way,
but the 100km and 24hr World
Championships will not be in
the same year. We want to avoid
cancellation, and that is the
main goal behind this,” Strumane said.
IAU is looking to increase its
footprint in Asia, where, according to Strumane, they have 12-13
member federations.
Talking of Aspire Zone’s future
with the sport, Templar said,
“We have a three-year plan to
have the 50km World Championship here (2015-17), and hopefully we will have repeat athletes
and a growing sport in the region.”
Asked about hosting the flagship 100km event, Templar said,
“The IAU like to take it around
the world. We are very happy to
host it again if they would like
us to. But I know that next year
is already committed. It might
come back in the future, and who
knows maybe we will also look at
the 24 hours.”
International Association of Ultrarunners president Dirk Strumane.
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