Architect is one of three pitching for bank’s European HQ
The US bank is looking at building its new office on Farringdon Street and switching staff from a series of offices elsewhere in the City. Any new building would have to be limited to 15 storeys to avoid blocking views of nearby St Paul’s Cathedral.
Pei Cobb Freed designed a building for Credit Suisse bank in the 1990s but its work in the UK has been limited since then. It was one of the firms to miss out on the chance to design the new US embassy building at Nine Elms, which was won by rival US firm Kieran Timberlake.
- Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Barcap have all rebuilt their European businesses since 2008. Where does this leave the rest? (news.efinancialcareers.com)
- Former Goldman Sachs VP Greg Smith could cash in with memoirs (shortformblog.com)
India will allow foreign nationals to invest directly in the country’s listed companies, in a bid to deepen its under-developed capital markets.
“[We] decided to allow qualified foreign investors to directly invest in the Indian equity market in order to widen the class of investors, attract more foreign funds, and reduce market volatility,” the finance ministry said in a statement. The move, which also allows pension funds and trusts greater freedom to invest directly, was announced over the holiday weekend and will come into into effect on January 15.
Foreigners were previously restricted to investing in India's equity market through mutual funds or other institutional channels.
But India is under pressure to attract overseas capital after a dismal year for its financial markets, with some economists warning of possible balance of payments difficulties in the months ahead .
Foreign institutional investors have turned bearish on India in recent months, scaling back investments as the country’s growth prospects dimmed and the global economic outlook worsened. The Sensex, India’s benchmark equity index, was one of the world’s worst performing markets in 2011, falling 25 per cent. Foreign investor returns were further hit by the rupee’s 16 per cent fall against the dollar last year.
Overseas funds withdrew a net $380m last year compared to record inflows of $29bn in 2010.
Last month the market capitalisation of all stocks listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, Asia's fourth largest, fell below $1tn, a level the market first attained in May 2007.
“Such simplification in the procedure can help more inflows into Indian markets, definitely giving a boost to the stagnated current situation," said D.K. Aggarwal, an analyst at Delhi-based SMC Investments.
But other analysts are not convinced the initiative will result in an immediate rush of foreign capital to the flagging emerging market. “We are in an established downtrend. There’s no sign of change,” said Heman Kapadia, chief executive at Chart Pundit, a Mumbai-based investment advisory service.
India’s business leaders have urged the government to prioritise large infrastructure projects, as part of a larger effort to restore the country’s status as one of the world’s most promising investment destinations.
In his New Year address, Manmohan Singh, prime minister, told the nation it could not take India’s high economic growth rate for granted and warned of the need to pare back subsidies and implement tax reform.
“I am concerned about fiscal stability in future because our fiscal deficit has worsened in the past three years,” Mr Singh said.
“We have run out of fiscal space and must once again begin the process of fiscal consolidation.”
The Congress party-led government experienced embarrassing setbacks at the end of the year with failed efforts to introduce retail reform and pass anti-corruption legislation.
Source: FT - By James Lamont in New Delhi
- Left criticises opening of equity markets to foreign investors (thehindu.com)
- New Year Bonanza : Qualified Foreign Investors Can Now Invest in Indian Stock Markets (chennaifocus.wordpress.com)
- Government opens domestic equity market to qualified foreign investors (thehindu.com)
- Foreign Investors allowed to directly invest in Indian Equity Markets! (trak.in)
- India to allow individual foreign investors access to its stock market (thestar.com)
- Govt lets foreign individuals invest in stock markets (ibnlive.in.com)
- India to open stock market to foreign investors (marketwatch.com)
- Ministry of Finance Moves to allow Foreigners to Directly Invest in the Indian Stock Market (pxvlaw.wordpress.com)
- Sensex starts New Year on promising note, gains 69 points (thehindu.com)
The India Imperative Road Show.
India’s GDP growth has returned to a level in excess of 8.5% p.a. despite the issues within the broader global economy. This positive growth generates significant ongoing opportunities for UK plc. The UK coalition government has placed India at the heart of its global economic dialogues and through the upgraded diplomatic language of ‘special relationship’ is focusing on increased bilateral trade with India.
According to Ian Gomes, Chairman of High Growth Markets at KPMG in the UK, there are three compelling reasons why India should prominently figure in every business’s strategy – (i) it’s a market for all products, (ii) it serves as a cost reduction platform and (iii) it is a source of innovation and technology.
The potential rewards for doing business in India are thus significant and quite obvious. There are however domestic nuances that companies looking at India need to be aware of. The Indian market requires thorough preparation and a long term view.
The India Imperative road-show, which follows from a joint report titled ‘The India Imperative’ published and launched by UKIBC and KPMG at the UKIBC Annual Summit in March , aims to highlight some of these nuances and provide a roadmap to UK companies looking at doing business in this rapidly emerging market.
Some of the issues that our panel of India experts will be looking at addressing include:
- How India can be a platform for future growth and revenue opportunities
- What the competitive landscape looks like
- What the challenges are and how can these can be navigated
Who should attend?
International directors and senior executives of UK companies looking at doing business in India or expanding their existing presence in the market
When and Where?
Wednesday 22nd June - Leeds
KPMG Leeds Office
1 The Embankment
Thursday 23 June - Birmingham
Radisson Blu Hotel
12 Holloway Circus
Attire: Business Attire
View Event Summary
A statement from the firm said it will also establish a 64 megawatts (MW) power plant of which 50 MW shall be sold to the national grid. Discussions are currently ongoing between the firm and the Ministry of Energy on a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The firm acquired all necessary permits and licences, which include permission from the Ministry of Industrialisation and 99 years of mining rights covering all limestone deposits in Pokot.
A delegation from the Indian firm visited the country in January 2010 and was assured of the government’s support in the completion of the Pokot cement facility as well as the power plant.
The firm paid Ksh.120 million ($1.5 million) to about 100 pastoral families to pave the way for the establishment of the plant with a production capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes of cement per year.
The group expects to directly employ more than 1,700 people and over 5,000 people indirectly.
Source: How We Made It In Africa
Rescued architectural firm Archial has shut two of its 16 offices – but insisted the move would not result in job losses.
The firm, which collapsed into administration last month before being picked up by Canadian business Ingenium, has merged its Ipswich and Bedford offices into a larger operation based at Cambridge.
It said it would move into new offices in the city by the end of the year, with staff working out of a temporary base in nearby Histon till then.
An Archial spokeswoman said the practice was still going through a consultation process with staff which it would complete in the coming weeks. “However, any new potential redundancies are not envisaged,” she added.
Last week Ingenium chief executive Victor Smith said there were no plans to make any more redundancies at the business.
Up to 20 firms bid to buy stricken firm before knot tied with Canadian company Ingenium
Archial was rescued from the brink of total collapse thanks to a lightning-quick deal, with up to 20 potential buyers being whittled down to one in just three days.
The firm announced on Tuesday that it had been bought for an undisclosed sum by privately owned Canadian business Ingenium, a move which Chris Littlemore, who has been retained as Archial chief executive, claimed would result in a “bright future” for the company.
The remarkable level of interest shown in Archial means that, in less than a week, it has gone from the peril of being in administration over millions of pounds-worth of debt to being part of a larger international and multi-disciplinary firm with all 340 UK staff retained on existing contracts.
But the deal thrashed out by administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers will not be such good news for creditors; and shareholders – who received an upbeat trading update from Archial in May – will not receive a penny.
Partner at PwC and joint administrator, David Chubb, revealed he had been handling “15-20” companies bidding to buy Archial last Thursday with the parties involved working through Sunday night to close the deal with Ingenium, the latest in a string of Canadian firms to buy up British practices.
“We had terrific interest,” he told BD. “It was a really good range of industry players. On Friday evening we had a shortlist of five. We later brought that down to two bidders which we looked at through the weekend.
“Circumstances dictated the speed but I would say this couldn’t have gone much better. We had immense challenges last week keeping the business alive in administration.”
It also emerged this week that the founder of Archial’s predecessor SMC Group sold his shares at the beginning of the year.
Stewart McColl had a 3.5% stake in Archial, but sold all 8,399,689 shares on January 28. At the time, the share price was 7 pence, giving his sale a value of £587,978.23.
At its peak in 2007, Archial shares traded at £1.89 but had fallen to 1.5 pence when they were suspended earlier this month.
Prior to going into administration, Archial was involved in at least four legal claims against debtors over unpaid fees, including one against construction and oil tycoon Ian Suttie.
The one part of Archial not acquired by Ingenium is the Sparch Asia arm, which employs around 60 people.
Current Archial projects include much of Birmingham’s BSF work; London’s 251-room Puddle Dock hotel; living quarters and leisure facilities for construction workers for a new Total E&P UK Limited gas processing plant in the Shetland Islands, the £46.5 million Plymouth Life Centre and Alsop Sparch’s newly completed Michael Faraday nursery and primary school in south London.
DUBAI — Arabtec Saudi Arabia, a Saudi joint venture of the Dubai-based construction giant Arabtec Holding, on Monday said it bagged an order from Saudi Binladin Group to construct 5,000 villas valued at $1.33 billion.
The villa construction and site preparation in a new housing project in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia will take place over 48 months, Arabtec, the region’s largest listed contractor, said in an e-mailed statement.
Arabtec Saudi Arabia is 40 per cent owned by Arabtec Holding of Dubai, while CPC Services, a member of the Saudi Binladin Group, holds 35 per cent stake and Prime International Group Services has 20 per cent stake.
“The award of this project demonstrates the strategic importance of the Saudi Market for Arabtec. This is the second major project awarded to Arabtec Saudi Arabia LLC, the first being 46 buildings, part of the Princess Noura University project in Riyadh,” Arabtec chief executive Riad Kamal said.
Companies like Arabtec are increasingly diversifying away from dependence on contracts in Dubai and the UAE and pursuing new sources of income in countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Qatar.
Arabtec shares closed Monday trading down one per cent at Dh2.0.
Source: Khaleej Times
Collapsed architectural practice Archial has been sold to multi-disciplinary Canadian firm Ingenium.
The 400-strong Archial, which was led by chief executive Chris Littlemore and went into administration last week over unpaid taxes, will now become part of a new firm, Ingenium Archial Ltd.
Administrators from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) would not comment on how much Ingenium had paid for Archial, its Asian arm Alsop Sparch and other “assets”, all of which have been trading as normal since going into administration, according to PwC.
The privately owned Ingenium Group employs 800 people working across disciplines including architecture, engineering, project management and interior design, with offices in Canada, the United States, Asia and the Middle East.
David Chubb, joint administrator and partner at PwC said: “We are delighted to be able to secure this sale and provide business continuity for customers, suppliers and employees alike in these uncertain times.
“Trading a professional services business in administration is extremely difficult and this success has only been possible as a result of the support of all these stakeholders. I would like to thank them for their assistance throughout this difficult period.”
Shares in Archial Group PLC were suspended from the Alternative Investment Market on September 17. Following the insolvency of its companies, there will not be any value realised for the holders of the suspended shares, PwC said.
MUMBAI: With the high networth individuals (HNWIs) population showing a robust growth of 33.2 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region last year, India and China are likely to remain the fastest-growing HNWI segment in the world, a report said today.
Emerging Asia (China, India, Indonesia and Thailand) is fast becoming the main engine of growth in the Asia-Pacific region and its HNWI segment showed a robust growth of 33.2 per cent in 2009, with wealth up 40.4 per cent, according to the 2010 Asia-Pacific Wealth Report released by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini, here.
India and China were the only two major Asia-Pacific countries in which industrial production actually rose in 2009, as they enjoyed a more diversified export market and broader domestic demand.
Hong Kong and India, which experienced the world's largest decline in HNWI population and wealth in 2008, experienced the strongest resurgence in 2009. The population of HNWIs grew 104.4 per cent in Hong Kong, almost reaching pre-crisis levels and 50.9 per cent in India, the report said.
HNWI wealth in Hong Kong and India jumped 108.9 per cent and 53.8 per cent, respectively, amid strong growth in both markets and macro-economic drivers of wealth.
"The strong economic resurgence in India has been boosted primarily by the country's stock market capitalisation which more than doubled in 2009 after dropping 64.1 per cent in 2008," Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, India, Chairman, Pradeep Dokania, told reporters here.
"The increased confidence by Indian HNWIs facilitated by the strength of the underlying economy which grew 6.8 per cent in 2009 has resulted in a surge in HNWI wealth in the region," Dokania said.
"China and India will lead the way in the Asia-Pacific region with economic expansion and HNWI growth is likely to keep out-pacing more developed economics," he said.
China's rapid GDP growth is expected to slow a little to 8.3 per cent in 2011. Going forward, China is expected to focus on balancing its economy by boosting the service sector and driving private consumption.
Source: Economic Times
Archial has been put into administration and is up for sale just days after it suspended trading of its shares.
It emerged today that the listed London-based practice, formerly known as SMC, was unable to agree repayment terms over unpaid tax owed to HM Revenue & Customs and appointed joint administrators David Chubb and Graham Frost of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are now seeking a rapid sale of the business.
Chubb said: “In response to changes in market conditions, Archial Group PLC had taken a number of steps to improve operations and to develop a sustainable and profitable business going forward.
“However, due to difficulties in meeting the group’s financial obligations, the directors have concluded that various companies in the Group, including Archial Architects Limited and Alsop Sparch Limited, should be placed into administration to protect the business and assets. “
On 26 August, the practice, which employs 400 staff worldwide including around 200 architects, announced its full year results would be “significantly below market expectations” as a result of the unpaid tax.
A previous update in May by the firm - which is led by chief executive Chris Littlemore - said trading for the first four months of the year was in line with management expectations. It had forecast to make a pre-tax profit this year of £3.4 million on turnover of £30.5 million.
Earlier this year, Archial started work on a £27 million mental health facility in Dumfries and in May the practice, one of two listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), said it had £60 million worth of jobs in the pipeline.