Tuesday, November 30, 2010

European Tour Ends In Dubai

The Dubai World Championship ended the golf year for the European Tour this past weekend.Only the heat reminded one it was a desert location.The Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth course has no sand to speak of-just the ordinary bunker sand.The rest of the course is grass,trees and wood chips,with a lake to cool things off visually.
Ironically,the golfer from the coldest country,Robert Karlsson of Sweden,did the best in Dubai,winning the tournament in a second playoff with England's Ian Poulter.Poulter faltered when his first shot landed in the wood chips.After a lackluster second shot,he then made an error when he dropped his ball on top of its marker,incurring a one-shot penalty.
It was Karlsson's 11th career victory and Sweden's 6th win of the season.Overall winner of the Race to Dubai,as the European Tour is also known,was Germany's Martin Kaymer.Karlsson was awarded a golden scepter for a trophy.
Sponsors of the tournament included DP World,Emirates Air and Rolex.
Jumeirah Golf Estates has an oasis ambiance,with grass and trees throughout the luxury development.There are four golf courses.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prince Alwaleed Buys GM Shares

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has purchased shares of the newly relisted General Motors stock.A 1% stake in GM was acquired by the prince's holding company for about 500 million dollars.Kingdom Holding Company cited GM's global brand and strength in India and China as reasons for the purchase.The prince had been considering the acquisition for some time before last week's initial public offering.
Prince Alwaleed is also a major investor in Citigroup.He said that,under Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit,things have stabilized and we are beginning to look at growth.Citi has 2 trillion dollars in assets in 120 countries,and Vikram has surprised the market by doing a good,meticulous job.
Saudi Arabia is booming,and Dubai is trying to find its bottom.They aren't there yet,but Dubai has a good infrastructure,Prince Alwaleed observed.
General Motors(GM),Citigroup(C)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SAP's View of the Asia-Pac

Business software titan SAP has a Q4 pipeline that looks strong in the Asia-Pacific region.They're seeing continued strength across Asia right now.
SAP thinks it has every reason to be confident in the future.Business is strong across Asia.India and China are seen as being their two favored children.It's a rising tide right now,and it's going to lift SAP up.
The Oracle v. SAP trial is a storm in a teacup.It's more noise from their bitter rival than anything else,in the opinion of Steve Watts,President of SAP Asia-Pacific-Japan.
Oracle is suing SAP for copyright infringement,fraud,breach of contract and intentional interference.SAP has admitted to a mistake by a subsidiary,and offered to pay Oracle 40 million dollars,but Oracle rejects that amount as insufficient.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cruise Ship Vulnerability:Remembering The Achille Lauro

In October 1985,four Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt,riveting the world's attention.They demanded that Israel release 50 Palestinian prisoners.
Among the liner's 400 passengers and crew was a disabled American,Leon Klinghoffer,69.The terrorists killed him and dumped his body and wheelchair overboard in one of the most brazen atrocities in the history of the Middle East.To this day,the event is recalled with considerable emotion.
After a two-day ordeal,the terrorists agreed to surrender to Egypt in exchange for safe passage.An Egyptian jet took off with the terrorists,but U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighters forced the escape plane to land in Sicily,where Italian troops arrested the hijackers.
In August 1997,the Palestine Liberation Organisation reached a settlement with the Klinghoffer family.
The Achille Lauro memory came back when the cruise liner Carnival Splendor became stranded off of a Mexico terrorized by drug gangs this week.
Carnival Corp(CCL)

Please Note

I am preparing some historical context on cruise ship vulnerability.It should be available within thirty minutes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scoping The Rare Earth Issue

Chinese dominance of rare earth metal production,and its alleged hoarding of the materials,has drawn the attention of governments and businesses worldwide.There are 17 of the metallic chemicals,which are essential to the manufacture of sophisticated national security and consumer products,such as precision weapons and important information and automotive technology.
Matt Gerthner,senior China analyst at Stratfor,says what is really scaring people is these shortages in the short term.It takes several years to ramp up production of the strategic substances.In the long term,these concerns may start to peter out,since rare earth is found in other places besides China.
Japan has been concerned about access to the metals because it has a territorial dispute with China,but China's monopoly is not forever,Mr.Gerthner believes.
For instance,Japan has recently entered into an agreement with Vietnam to discover and produce the elements.
China has had problems reigning in illegal rare earth mining,which often leaves an enormous black footprint of environmental degradation.In North America,a Vancouver,B.C. firm,Rare Element Resources,Ltd.,is seeking to develop a rare earth mine in Wyoming.
Rare Element Resources,Ltd.(REE)