Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just In Time:Countering Beijing's Move

China's recent declaration of a new Air Defence Identification Zone through established international airspace over the East China Sea has been bitterly criticised in the Asia Pacific region and elsewhere;not to mention challenged by US Air Force B-52H bombers.It was critical for the Air Force to quickly assert its right to be in the airspace,analysts point out,lest China's claim to the airspace be legitimised through inaction.*
The bombers were deployed to Guam in August to further America's pivot to the Pacific strategy.What we do day to day with this presence mission is show our ability to fly our airplanes around the Pacific theatre and support whatever contingincies we might be asked to do,said Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mayhan,USAF,commander of the 20th Bomber Squadron based at Barksadale Air Force Base,Louisiana.The continuous bomber presence maintains long term strike capability in theatre,so our national decision makers have assets that they can use sould they ever need to,the commander added.*
In the event,China did not launch fighter aircraft to intercept the unarmed bombers when the Air Force declined to file a flight plan with China under the new zone requirements;nor has Beijing commented to Washington about the incident.This does not mean China will not eventually ramp up its response in defence of its claim.China plays a long haul game,analysts point out,and may just be waiting for a while before taking aggressive action to defend its perceived territory.It will also continue building up its naval and air power beyond what is needed to defend the mainland,a trend that has alarmed the international community for some years now.*
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said the new zone will not in any way change how the United States conducts miltary operations in the region.We see this development as a destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region.This unilateral action increases the risks of misunderstanding and miscalculations.Mr.Hagel's remarks were echoed by new US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy on Wednesday.*
Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting China next week,as well as US allies Japan and South Korea.He will empahsise that America is and always will be there for its allies in the region,while seeking a new and better way to get along with China,a senior administration official said.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Financial Fracas:Prince Alwaleed versus Forbes

Saudi Arabian billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is still engaged in a tussle with Forbes magazine that resulted in his filing a defamation claim in London's High Court on April 30.Appearing on Bloomberg TV's Charlie Rose show Wednesday,the prince said Forbes magazine characterised the Saudi stock market,the Tadawul,as being a casino,whereas it is actually tightly regulated.They got my company's market cap wrong.I didn't even care about that;but to say Saudi Arabia is a casino,that's crossing the red line,Prince Alwaleed complained.
The conflict began even before Forbes published its celebrated Rich List of the world's wealthiest people in March,which the prince heartily disagrees with.He was ranked number 26,with a Forbes estimate of his net worth of 20 billion dollars.His advisors had been intermittently lobbying the publication to boost his ranking,Forbes asserts.In the event,he feels the magazine undervalued his Kingdom Holding firm by 9.6 billion.The Rich List was flawed and innacurate,displaying a bias against Middle East investors and fiancial institutions,he told The Sunday Telegraph.
In a March 25 Forbes article called "Prince Alwaleed and the curious case of Kingdom Holding stock,"it was asserted that the Saudi stock market was subject to manipulation by the wealthy individuals who dominate it,and that King Abdullah had ordered a stop to it.A former Kingdom Holding executive referred to the market as a gambling site,the article reports.
The High Court claim names Forbes publisher Randall Lane,an editor and two journalists,Kerry Dolan and Francine McKenna,a source familiar with the matter said.It contends the Rich List caused harm to his reputation and the finances of his company,Kingdom Holding.
To win a defamation suit,the prince must prove that his reputation in England and Wales suffered serious harm and that Forbes caused Kingdom Holding serious financial loss.London is known as the center of libel tourism,as it is supposedly easier to prove such a claim there than in the US,for example.*
Kingdom Holding consists of large stakes in Apple,Twitter,Newscorp and Citigroup,as well as hotels such as the Savoy in London,plus the Four Seasons and the Plaza in New York,and the George V in Paris.Prince Alwaleed is the largest individual investor in the United States.He said the US economy is great and spectacular.Long term investors have no choice but to look to the United States.It will take decades for China to come even near to the United States.I'm optimistic in general about the world economy and about the United States particularly.America is down in many areas,but is not out,His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed insisted on Charlie Rose,citing entrepreneurs such as Google and Twitter.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DP World Tour Championship,Dubai;Portuguese Visas

The DP World Tour Championship,Dubai is underway in the United Arab Emirates.It is being played at Jumeirah Golf Estates,a luxury resort community.The tournament is the culminating event of the European Tour's Race To Dubai,the overall season championship of the Tour.Henrik Stenson of Sweden is current leader of the Race To Dubai,while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is defending champion of the tournament. McIlroy is currently tied for the first round lead with Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello at -3.*
Partners of the European Tour are BMW;Genworth;and Rolex.Sponsors are ClubCar and Titleist.*
Peter Uihlein is the only American participant.*
Meanwhile,the Australasian PGA Tour is holding the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne.Adam Scott is defending champion,and American Matt Kuchar is also participating.*
NBC Universal's Golf Channel is broadcasting both events.*
Investors who transfer at least 1 million euros to Portugal or create at least 10 jobs are eligible for a Portuguese residence visa.The program is also for those
who buy property in Portugal worth a mimimum of 500,000 euros.Since inception,it has netted 198 million euros of investment.Up to 400 visas will be issued in the program this year;there is currently no limit for 2014.