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Business News Archive 14 - February/March 2011

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4,426 business assets sold in PACA region in 2010  cession-entreprise.com 31 Mar 11 44,147 businesses or industries were taken over in France last year, an increase of 0.9% from 2009 but down 18% if one refers to 2008. The total amount of these transactions amounted to €6.3 billion. These stgatistics are from the Barometer BODACC and Altares on "sales and transfers of Commerce and Industry in France". Note that only the sales of business assets have been listed and the sales of shares. Topping the list of regions, the Ile-de-France leads with 7,073 business assets sold last year, before Rhone Alps (4,893 sales) and Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur (4,426 sales). Cyril Andre.

MIP TV - 3D, smart devices move TV towards new entertainment era  expatica.com 31 Mar 11 The advent of 3D television and a new wave of smart mobile devices are energising the four-day MIPTV audiovisual entertainment industry show that gets underway Monday on the French Riviera. This year's MIPTV will see key decision-makers and innovators from the digital, mobile telephone and entertainment industries brainstorm in hopes of finding great new experiences for consumers. Most importantly from an industry point of view, it will also focus on how companies can make money from these new experiences in a world that has become used to downloading or buying content often for free. AFP.

Nice Côte d'Azur Airport registers strong growth  econostrum.com 31 Mar 11 Nice Côte d'Azur Airport registered a strong growth of 8.8% in passenger traffic in the first quarter of 2011 versus the disappointing first quarter of 2010. The forecast for the year expects a rise of 3.8% which should see the airport exceed 10 million passengers in 2011. For the summer season which begins early April 2011, with 57 airlines and more destinations, flights and seats up weekly, nearly 500,000 more seats will be available compared to the same period in 2010, 36% of these thanks to to additional flights from Qatar Airways to the Middle East. Christiane Navas.

French State plans to reduce unemployment in PACA region  laprovence.com 31 Mar 11 The regional prefect High Parant says that the French state aims to bring unemployment in the PACA (Provence-Alps-Cote d’azur) region down to the national average. Long term unemployment in the region for under 25 year olds regularly exceeds 2% of the national average. Parant says he hopes to “break the cycle before reversing the trend” and hopes to do this within a year. Initiatives include an additional 1,200 “Contrats aidés supplémentaires” (jobs co-funded by the state) to the 12,000 already budgeted for 2011. Tax incentives will also be offered to companies offering apprenticeships. Patrice Maggio.

Lack of wharfs hinders cruise business on Cote d’azur  metrofrance.com 29 Mar 11 Riviera ports will likely accommodate 10,000 less crusie ship passengers than in 2010 as they compete with better equipped ports. In Antibes, a proposed new quay for large crusie ships is under consideration. Cannes, Golfe Juan, Antibes, Nice and Villefranche should see some 662,000 passengers disembark this year. "A cautious forecast," said Bernard Kleynhoff, President of CCI, down from 2010 (672 000), and seriously depleted compared to 2009, the record year, with nearly 745,000 passengers. Only Monaco bucks the trend with 300 000 cruise passengers whilst Marseilles caters for 800,000 passengers a year.

Oxford Pharmassist chooses Sophia Antipolis to develop its activities  investincotedazur.com 28 Mar 11 The medical writing and pharmaceutical consulting company found in the Côte d’Azur a first class Life Sciences ecosystem. CEO Norman Miller says, “My wife and I started our company when we were clinical academics in Oxford University, to offer a service to pharmaceutical and other life science companies that combines medical writing with consultation. We chose Sophia Antipolis for several reasons.  First and foremost we were attracted by the concentration of first class companies and research facilities in the life sciences. Other factors were the excellent transportation, communication, health care and educational infrastructure of the region."

Sophia Antipolis: Sogeti organizes a recruitment day  investincotedazur.com 28 Mar 11 The event will take place on 15th April. Sogeti is a leading provider of professional technology services. Sogeti is a leading provider of professional technology services, specialising in application and infrastructure management, high-tech engineering and testing. With over 360 employees across the PACA region (Aix-en-Provence and Sophia Antipolis) and Languedoc-Roussillon (Montpellier), Sogeti plans to hire more than 95 people in the region and is organising dedicated recruitment days. These sessions will be conducted by the Technical Managers and the HR team. To take part in this recruitment day on 15th April, send your application (CV and covering letter) by email, specifying your preferred location to bumed_recrute@sogeti.com.

Monaco 'royalty' to visit Ireland  breakingnews.ie 28 Mar 11 Prince Albert II of Monaco will make a two-day State visit to Ireland next week. Prince Albert and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock will attend a series of events in Dublin and Galway from Monday April 4. His trip takes place 50 years after his late father and mother, Prince Rainier III and Hollywood actress Princess Grace, visited Ireland in 1961. Prince Albert will be accompanied by a delegation from the Monaco Chamber of Economic Development during certain events. The Department of Foreign Affairs said there is considerable potential to develop Ireland’s business and research links with Monaco, particularly in the areas of sustainable development, green energy, biodiversity and the marine environment.

8 new destinations this summer from Nice airport  nicematin.com 26 Mar 11 For Riviera travellers, summer 2011 offers eight new destinations from Nice by regular flights including daily links by helicopter to Cannes between 08.50 and 18.30. Also new: three weekly flights to Doha (Qatar). The 8 new destinations: Cannes by helicopter with Héli-Sécuritié daily; Limoges Airlinair: 1 flight per week; Brive with Airliner: 1 flight per week; Glasgow (Scotland) with Jet 2: 2 flights per week; Oslo (Norway) with Norweigian: 1 flight per week; Eindhoven (Netherlands) with Transavia: 1 flight daily; Prague (Czech Republic) with Smartwings: 2 flights per week; Doha (Qatar) with Qatar Airways: 3 flights per week. Jean-Michel Chevalier.

The Billionaire Behind L'Occitane's Asian Expansion  forbes.com 23 Mar 11 Every fall Jean-Pierre Jaubert drives his tractor up to each of the 10,000 almond trees on his Provence farm. The choicest almonds are driven to the Noël family's mill in Pont-Saint-Esprit to be cold-pressed, and this extract is taken south through the Rhône Valley to a converted soap factory in the town of Manosque. The final product is a 3.4-ounce vial of syrupy, sweet-smelling Almond Supple Skin Oil. It is one of the bestselling products for its maker, L'Occitane, whose Chief Executive Reinold Geiger, a onetime Austrian junior ski champion, swears by the stuff. Clare O’Connor.

06 ski resorts balance sheet + 5.9%  lepetitnicois.fr 18 Mar 11 Winter tourism has been running at full capacity in the Alpes-Maritimes ski resorts. Revenues were up 5.9% (€14m) for the 2010-2011 season compared to the previous season (€13.3m). The Mercantour ski stations are no longer subject to the weather with natural snow cannons, (no additives or chemicals). Valberg had the best snow coverage of 85%, just ahead of Isola 2000 with 80% and 40% for Auron. As a result, the decline in snow cover this winter, after a good start, did not diminish attendance rates with 60% Christmas week, 90% for New Years and 75-100% for the February vacation.

Global growth for Monaco's SBM chain  etravelblackboard.com 18 Mar 11 The French Riviera's largest hotel, casino and spa operator are planning a global brand portfolio spanning the Middle East and Europe. Visiting Sydney earlier this week, S.B.M Hotels & Casino, Monaco's Director of Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific, Benoit Badufle revealed plans to open properties in Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island, Marrakech, the French Alps and possibly London and Paris. The company which operates Monaco's most popular hotels including the Monte-Carlo Casino, now expects to reinvent the brand in other destinations.

Fifth club for France's Fitlane  leisureopportunities.co.uk 17 Mar 11 FITLane has opened its fifth club on the French Riviera in Cannes La Bocca. The club offers 1,500sq m of fitness, encompassing a large cardio area, three strength lines, cable training zone, free weights and a multi-functional Personal Training Zone. There is also a large group exercise studio, a group cycling studio, sauna and changing rooms. All members are on direct debit, paying an average monthly fee of €50. This latest club, located on the main artery into Cannes, takes the FITLane group of clubs up to 8,000sq m of fitness provision in the Nice / Cannes area, with more than 14,000 members. FITLane is now in discussions to open two more facilities in the Nice area. Press Release.

Marseille Jewish leader charged with money laundering  haaretz.com 17 Mar 11 French Jewish businessman Zvi Ammar, president of the Marseille Jewish "Consistory", was arrested and indicted last week for misappropriation of funds and money laundering. The charges against Ammar date to 2007 when his name was connected to a police investigation into the contract killing of Olivier Plançon, the commercial director for sportswear company Mercure International of Monaco. Ammar, who runs another sportswear company, International Sports Fashion, does business with Adnan Houdrouge, Mercure's wealthy Lebanese owner. The Plançon killing took place in a parking lot owned by ISF. Danna Harman.

Norwegian Air Shuttle to launch Nice-Gothenburg  tourmag.com 15 Mar 11 Norwegian Air Shuttle will launch a new Nice-Gothenburg route on 24 Jun 11. It will be the low cost airline’s eighth route from Nice airport. The route will be operated three times a week, departing Monday and Saturday at 20.50 and on Fridays at 21.00. Flights will leave Gothenburg’s Landvetter airport for Nice Monday and Saturday at 17.25 and Fridays at 17.35. The other routes operated by Norwegian out of Nice are; Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Copenhagen.

Heli Air Monaco launches one time "Check and fly"  maprincipaute.com 15 Mar 11 For two months, Heli Air Monaco has been offering a new "check & fly" service. Travelers leaving from Monaco are now able to perform all the check-in formalities for their Nice flight from Fontvieille. "We wanted to implement this service for years,” says Jacques Crovetto, CEO of Heli Air. “It took a lot of time and negotiation, particularly with customs. We have entered into interline agreements with airlines." Now, Monaco - New York is considered a single route with a stopover in Paris or Nice. Luggage at the heliport undergoes the same controls (x-ray) as in any airport, and its owner no longer has to re-register for the next step. Axelle Truquet.

Monaco's luxury car show gets its own Chinese edition  independent.co.uk 14 Mar 11 China has established itself as the world's largest car-buying market and when the Chinese like to buy, they like to buy luxury. Daimler AG announced it had shifted 15,000 units in January, while BMW moved more than 20,000, up more than 70 percent. It's a fair guess that those sorts of figures are why Top Marques Monaco (April 14 - 17) has decided upon the southern Chinese enclave of Macau to host its first Asian edition. Top Marques Macau will now be hosted annually at The Venetian Macao resort, with the first edition set down for November 24-27. MS. Watch RivieraLife.tv's video report from Top Marques Monaco 2010.

Sophia Antipolis: GrooViz acquired by Kappa  investincotedazur.com 14 Mar 11 KAPPA Engineering SA announce the acquisition of Grooviz SAS, a company specialized in 3D visual collaboration. Grooviz flagship product is RealityLounge, a scalable solution that allows workgroups to share the 3D display of very large data objects over small bandwidths. Over the last three years RealityLounge has seen successful deployment in the Oil, Gas and aerospace industries. “In 2010 we decided to develop a joint project. The collaboration between the teams was so successful that it lead us to make an offer for the acquisition of Grooviz,” says Olivier Houzé, KAPPA Managing Director.

Inauguration of photovoltaic plant PAL EcoVallée in Nice  environnement-france.fr 14 Mar 11 The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of the Alpes-Maritimes and Valsolar have inaugurated the largest solar photovoltaic installation in the region. With 9,000m2 of roof fitted with photovoltaic cells on a total of 20,000m2 spread over 4 buildings, it is a major project located in Nice St Isidore at the Business Park Logistics Ecovallée. CCI Nice Côte d'Azur, owner of the buildings, selected Valsolar to re-seal the entire building, install a photovoltaic unit to become the largest producer of green energy in the department with an annual electricity production of 630,000kWh (kilowatt hour), the equivalent of the annual consumption of 260 homes.

Linley opts not to open Monte-Carlo store  monaco247.com 13 Mar 11 Linley, the top-level UK furniture design company, has confirmed to Monaco Today that the company will not be going ahead with plans to open a store in Monaco. Last autumn a spokeswoman for the firm, founded by Princess Margaret’s son David Linley, said it would refurbish the retail space in the Sporting d’Hiver building with a view to a spring opening this year. No reason was given for the decision, but may be connected with the uncertainty presently surrounding the landmark building which stands overlooking the gardens of Casino Square.

Hugo Boss openings in Monaco and Antibes  fashion-dailynews.com 11 Mar 11 Hugo Boss will open two stores on the Cote d’azur. Friday 25 Mar 11 the designer brand will open a 86m2 store on the first floor of the Metropole Gallery in Monaco. On Monday 25 Apr 11 a Hugo Boss store will open in Antibes at 4, Boulevard President Wilson. The Antibes store will be 202m2 over two floors. The Monaco store will have a contemporary design with black and white lacquered furniture and a mix of stainless steel, glass and natural wood. The Antibes store will feature a shopfront in Tokusei stone. Céline Vautard.

Monaco Telecom and Cable & Wireless launch Afinis Communications  investincotedazur.com 10 Mar 11 Afinis Communications has been created through the combination of Divona and Connecteo, two African telecoms businesses owned and operated by Monaco Telecom, transformed to focus solely on serving the growing telecom needs of Africa’s largest businesses. Afinis Communications will offer African businesses highly resilient satellite and fibre-optic network communications services, from secure Internet Services to fully managed network solutions over VSAT and MPLS technologies. African enterprise data market is worth $2.5billion and is expected to record double digit growth in the next five years to reach $4 billion in 2015.

Two indictments for money laundering including President of the Consistory of Marseille  leparisien.fr 09 Mar 11 The entrepreneur Zvi Ammar (pic left), who is also president of the Jewish Consistory of Marseille and Monaco businessman Adnan Houdrouge (pic right) have been indicted in an alleged money laundering case. Houdrouge is the former vice-president of AS Monaco. Thirteen people were placed in custody Monday, including former international soccer referee Gilles Veissière, who was released after questioning Tuesday. Marseilles police are also investigating the murder of a man in Marseille in late 2007. The victim, Olivier Plançon was a sales executive with Mercure International of Monaco (MiM) headed by Mr. Houdrouge. He was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle while driving his car. The murderers fled the parking lot of International Sport Fashion (ISF) led by Zvi Ammar in the northern suburbs of Marseille where Mr. Plançon had an appointment. The investigation is focussing on financial transactions between ISF and MiM. Gilles Veissière, Responsible for Sports on Nice council, was taken in for questioning in his capacity as a manager of the City Sport store chain, owned by MiM. AFP.

Welcome Air announces Innsbruck–Nice & Nice-Olbia for Summer 11  tourmag.com 08 Mar 11 The Austrian carrier Welcome Air will fly Innsbruck - Nice twice a week (Sat & Sun) for €79 each way inc. taxes and Nice-Olbia on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda for €99 each way inc.taxes. The routes fly from 21 May – 25 Sep 11. The company has been flying from Nice Cote d’azur since 2005 and is the charter partner for the OCG Nice soccer team. Tickets are available from travel agents and online: www.welcomeair.com

Bulgari acquisition by LVMH sets up showdown with Cartier  theautralian.com.au 08 Mar 11 The French luxury goods tycoon bought the Italian jeweller yesterday for €4.3 billion. It almost certainly presages a showdown with Cartier for pre-eminence in the global marketplace for the finest in diamond rings. The battle will be given an extra edge because Richemont, the Swiss owner of the French brand, was one of those that had cast envious eyes in Bulgari's direction before yesterday's announcement. LVMH said that it had agreed to buy a controlling stake in the Rome-based company from Bulgari’s founding family in a share swap, and added that it would make a cash offer for minority shares, which involved a premium of almost 60 per cent. Adam Sage.

Michel Comboul takes control of Monaco's EPI Communication  info-economique.com 07 Mar 11 Michel Comboul, former president of the Nice-Matin Group, has acquired a stake in the Monaco based publisher Epi communication. Launched in 1989 by Italo Bazzoli, it was actually founded 20 years earlier as Studio Bazzoli specializing in graphic design and photography. Relaunched as Epi Communication, the company diversified with the creation of a publishing division including glossy magazines (City Monaco) and guides (Monaco Bienvenu). Michel Comboul becomes president of the company. Italo Bazzoli remains a director and becomes honorary president. Laurence Genevet, former commercial director of Nice-Matin becomes Managing Director.

Stelios awards €10,000 to green entrepreneur  realbusiness.co.uk 07 Mar 11 Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, has announced the winner of his Stelios Award for Young Clean-tech Entrepreneur 2011: Jonathan Halls and the team at Solar Press. Solar Press is a young London-based company offering low-cost, light-weight, flexible solar panels targeted at developing markets. As the winner, Jonathan Hall received a €10,000 grant, recognising his innovation, entrepreneurial passion and business acumen. "I think entrepreneurs will have a big role to play in finding the solutions to reduce our impact on the environment,” says Stelios. The award was presented in Monaco at the Clean Equity Monaco 2011 conference. Jason Hesse.

Employees in the South of France, champions of absenteeism  lexpansion.com 07 Mar 11 Is it the sun and the sea? The absenteeism rate in enterprises in regions bordering the Mediterranean (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon and Corsica) reached 7.39%, or 26 days per year. In Ile-de-France, the rate is only 3.57%, while the national average is 4%, or 14.5 days absent, according to a study by the Alma Consulting Group. The overall rate of absenteeism is down compared to 2009, when it was 4.85%, or 17.8 days. Small businesses with fewer than 250 employees recorded the highest rate of 4.7%, followed closely by large companies (500 to 1,000 employees) with a rate of 4.61%. Jean-Paul Pelissier.

Côte d’Azur ahead in software, microelectronics and eco-technology  investincotedazur.com 07 Mar 11 The Alpes Maritimes was awarded 27 new investment decisions and 3 business extensions, for a total of 30 successful projects for Team Côte d’Azur in 2010. These new set-ups and business extensions represent €96m in private investment over the next three years. The investment will generate 621 direct jobs of high added value inducing an impetus in employment for subcontractors and the tertiary sector. The 3 business extension investment decisions represent €29m of investment for 113 jobs. Software represented 23% of investment decisions and 28% of jobs, and microelectronics had 20% of investment decisions and 18% of jobs.

CleanEquity Monaco 2011 – Awards  prnewswire.com 04 Mar 11 CleanEquity Monaco, the forum for emerging cleantech companies, closed Friday 4 March with the CleanEquity Awards Ceremony presided over by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. The annual invitation-only event hosted 34 next-generation companies from four continents, presenting to an audience of over 250 delegates, comprising specialist financial and strategic investors, policy makers, end-users and international trade and technical media. The award for Excellence in the Field of Environmental Technology Research went to Halo IPT, a high technology start up based in the UK developing wireless charging systems for electric cars, busses and commercial vehicles. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannu presented the Stelios Award for the Young Cleantech Entrepreneur of 2011 to Solar Press a young, innovative, London-based company offering low-cost, light-weight, flexible solar panels targeted at developing markets. Press Release.

Single Bouy Moorings claims for mounting Deep Panuke costs  offshore-mag.com 04 Mar 11 Monaco based SBM Offshore says construction of EnCana’s MOPU platform for the Deep Panuke project off Nova Scotia is at the commissioning stage in the dry dock in Abu Dhabi. Completion and load out is scheduled later this year. During the project, modifications requested by the client to the original design were implemented, resulting in increased construction time and higher costs. SBM has claimed these additional costs via change orders to the contract, but has so far not reached agreement on the level of compensation.

Petrol price shock and return of fuel crisis imminent  rivierartimes.com 03 Mar 11 Petrol prices hit record levels yesterday, piling pressure on motorists on the Côte d’Azur who fear a national oil crisis may be imminent. Motoring groups from the trade union “Syndicat des Transporteurs 06” have described the escalating rates as “unjustified” as the petrol being sold at the pumps was bought six months before the crisis. They added that the prices should not have surged to the current rate of almost €1.50 per litre for unleaded petrol. The manager of a filling station on the Promenade des Anglais told the press that diesel fluctuates between 1.29 euros and 1.45 euros and drivers in Nice are cutting corners by filling their tanks to a half or even a quarter full.

Ryanair revives Nice - Dublin  air-journal.fr 02 Mar 11 Low cost airline Ryanair has revived its direct service between Nice and Dublin for the spring/summer season from Tuesday 1st March 2011 and until late October. Frequency is initially two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays, before the addition of a flight Thursday from early April. Nice departures are Tuesday and Thursday at 20.10 (arriving 21.40) and Saturday at 21.05 (arrival 22.35). In the other direction Ryanair planes leave the Irish capital on Tuesday and Thursday at 16.00 (arriving 19.45) and Saturday at 16.55 (arrival 20:40). In 2010 Ryanair carried more than 32,000 passengers on this route, on which it faces competition from national carrier Aer Lingus.

The Beautiful Lightning GT – Going To CleanEquity Monaco  electrovelocity.com 02 Mar 11 The Lightning GT, is on it’s way to CleanEquity Monaco. The stunning E-Type inspired design has been widely acclaimed and the battery technology the car is reported to use is quite revolutionary, how does a 10 minute recharge sound? The Lightning Car Company is planning to start production early next year and is expecting to produce 250 cars per year. It has a claimed top speed of 120mph and a range of 150 miles is claimed. The car will be in Monte Carlo (Place du Casino) from the 2nd to the 4th of March if you’re in the area and want to take a look in person.

Italy’s trans-frontier workers on war-footing  sanremonews.it 28 Feb 11 The FAI association that represents Italy’s transfrontier employees working on the Cote d’azur and in Monaco are preparing to protest the possible removal of their income tax credit. The credit was renewed for 3 years in 2007, with a one year extension covering 2011. However new fiscal laws make no provision for extending it beyond this year. A bill to extend the tax credit has been bogged down in the Italian parliament for the past two years. There will be a town hall meeting in Ventimiglia 12 Mar 11 to confront the issue and decide what action should be taken.

Single travel card for all Cote d’azur transport  pariscotedazur.com 26 Feb 11 The new ‘Carte Azur’ travel card will be launched at the Parc Phoenix in Nice on Monday. It will entitle the holder to travel freely on buses and trams throughout the Alpes-Maritimes as well as in Monaco. The traveller can validate the ticket on any bus or tram. Experiments conducted since March 2010 with the first 'pilot' consumers was used to check the proper functioning of the system between the urban networks of Nice, Sophia Antipolis and Monaco. For now, two types of membership are offered: monthly €45, and annual €365. Between mid-2011 and mid-2012, all of the bus and tram transport networks of the Alpes-Maritimes will be integrated into the system.

Slight increase in unemployment in Alpes Maritimes January  nicematin.com 25 Feb 11 The number of Class A unemployed increased 0.4% in January in the Alpes-Maritimes, contrasting with a decline at the national level of -0.7%. Category A refers to long term unemployed of one year or more.

Gaddafi's Dutch millions has links with Monaco  rnw.nl 24 Feb 11 Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi keeps part of his billion dollar empire in the Netherlands. Tamoil, the Libyan state oil company, which has around 160 petrol stations in the Netherlands, is located in the town of Ridderkerk. Tamoil is a subsidiary of Oilinvest, which is headquartered in Monaco and is active in other European countries. Another substantial part of Gaddafi’s fortune is in Italy, the former colonial power in Libya. Gaddafi also owns shares in UniCredit, one of Italy's biggest banks, and Finmeccanica, which produces defence equipment. Financially less impressive, is the Libyan leader's stake in football club Juventus. Estimates put his total financial worth at €60 billion.

Thales Alenia Space: Unions lift blockade at Cannes plant  boursereflex.com 24 Feb 11  Trade unions at the Thales Alenia Space plant in Cannes decided Wednesday night, following a court decision, to lift the blockade on the arrival of nitrogen needed for testing a satellite for Eutelsat, a union source said Thursday. The blockade was part of a protest by workers lobbying for a 3% pay increase. Negotiations between unions and management will take place Friday in Paris.

Rising Star Vlachos lands UBS Monaco wealth role  efinancialnews.com 23 Feb 11 A senior private banker named as one of Financial News's Rising Stars in European markets last year, has joined the Monaco office of Swiss bank UBS as an executive director in its ultra-wealthy private client business. Forty year-old Nicholas Vlachos started work this morning (Wednesday Ed.) in UBS's Monaco office, based at 2 Ave. Grande-Bretagne, in the heart of Monte-Carlo. He will lead the ultra-wealthy Greek private client onshore and offshore business. Vlachos joins UBS from Banque Jacob Safra, where he was a director in Monaco for two years. Tara Loader Wilkinson.

IBM to stay at its historic site in La Gaude  zdnet.fr 22 Feb 11 Trade unions, workers and local officials are satisfied: IBM France will stay at their current La Gaude site, after a plan to move to Sophia Antipolis was dropped. Some IBM employees suspected that the project would be used to make redundancies. IBM has occupied its historic premises at La Gaude since 1962, and have been renting since 2003 after the site was sold to the Matrix investment fund. The U.S. group is reported to have secured a discount on the rent paid to Matrix. The abandonment of the project is seen as a victory and a relief for IBM employees.

Stalemate in SNCM Corsica ferry strike  laprovence.com 22 Feb 11 Talks have broken down between unions and management in the SNCM Corsica ferry strike, now in its 22nd day. There are calls for the French state, that holds a 25% stake, to get involved. The strike started after Eric Ciotti, President of the Conseil Général des Alpes Maritimes, reduced SNCM services from the port of Nice. At least one ferry is being removed from the Nice – Corsica route, provoking worries about job losses, however management say that increased services from Marseilles should maintain current employment levels. SNCM revenues shrunk €10 million in 2010 and €4 million of losses have already been reported this year, mainly due to the strike. Jean-Luc Crozet.

Thales Alenia Space Cannes strike spreads to Toulouse  leparisien.fr 22 Feb 11 Unions at Thales Alenia Space have called for the strike that began Monday at the Cannes plant to be extended to the Toulouse factory. Employees of the Franco-Italian manufacturer of satellites, which employs 2,000 people in Cannes and 2,300 in Toulouse, are striking over wage demands. 400 employees in Cannes decided Monday to block the inflow of nitrogen needed to test a satellite for Eutelsat to protest against the latest management proposals. Management say they are offering  a 3% rise plus profit-sharing and a bonus. "For the vast majority the increase is only 2.2%, whereas we want 3% backdated for 2010," said Florence Coppel of the Force ouvrière union. AFP.

New gaming chief at Palais Méditerranée Casino Nice  nicematin.com 21 Feb 11 Monique Gailleurd.has been appointed the new Executive Director responsible for the Casino of the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice.  She began her career as a cashier in the Palm Beach Casino, in her hometown of Cannes, in 1983. She began croupier training in 1990. She then moved to the Eden Casino in Juan-les-Pins with the Partouche group where she went on to open casinos overseas, including Tunisia, Morocco, Spain and Romania. At the Palais Méditerranée she replaces Johnny Wrzalik who has retired, and will be in charge of 105 employees. Christine Rinaudo.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur: 3rd French region in terms of employment in software and services  investincotedazur.com 18 Feb 11 MedInSoft published the results of its study, “the importance of the Software and Services industry on the economy of the PACA region”. With 5.4% of French salaried employment, the PACA Region is 3rd among the regions in France. The Software and Services industry employs over 19,000. Whilst 10,000 jobs have been lost nationally, the PACA region displayed a growth of over 900 jobs in the Alpes Maritimes between 2007 and 2009.  For the large part comprised of SMIs and SMEs, these small organisations have continued to invest in retaining and developing their expertise which relies above all else on human capital.

Air France CCE holiday centre in Gassin could be sold off  lefigaro.fr 17 Feb 11 Air France’s CCE, (Comité Central d'Enterprise) which manages the airline’s social and cultural activities, could sell of its Gassin staff holiday site, near Saint Tropez, to avoid insolvency. “Its an ideal location, a few kilometers from Saint-Tropez, and should enable us to raise a substantial amount," said a company representative. Air France’s CCE is seeking to raise €20.5 million to continue operating in 2011. This follows a €15 million subsidy in 2010 to enable it to continue operating. An internal report has called for radical restructuring, pointing out that the CCE eats up 41% of Air France’s annual subsidies of €42 million. Fabrice Amedeo.

Barclays Wealth Wins Six Euromoney Private Banking Awards  hereisthecity.com 17 Feb 11 Barclays Wealth has won six Euromoney Private Banking Awards including Best Overall Private Bank in the UK and Best Overall Private Bank in Jersey. The awards are voted for by the public, with the results taken from the annual Private Banking Survey conducted by Euromoney. The survey provides a qualitative and quantitative review of the best services in private banking. In addition to the two Private Banking awards, Barclays Wealth also won Best Range of Investment Products in the UK and Jersey, Best Relationship Management in Monaco and Best net-worth-specific services for the super affluent in Western Europe. Press Release.

Moby Line drops Toulon – Bastia ferry route  20minutes.fr 17 Feb 11 From 25 February, Moby Lines will drop its Toulon-Bastia route due to "increased fuel prices and the non-payment of subsidies from the Corsican authorities." The Italian company launched the route in April last year. Passengers who have already booked for this season will be contacted shortly.

In with the new at CCI  rivieratimes.com 17 Feb 11 Having totally swept the board at the December elections to elect the board of the Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Industry and Commerce, new president Bernard Kleynhoff (pic left) presented his team. The 57-year-old businessman, who runs Berkley Packaging and Berkley Paintings in Carros, already has 15 years experience helping to boost the local economy, as member and president of APPIM (Association des Partenaires pour la Promotion Industrielle Méditerranée). Working closely alongside him will be Claude Tardy (pic right) who was appointed Director General at the AGM last month. The new treasurer is Bernard Brincat and the secretary is Maryse Castellani. CL.

CleanEquity Monaco 2011 to address Marine Transport Issues  prnewswire.com 16 Feb 11 CleanEquity Monaco, the forum for emerging cleantech companies to present to specialist financial & strategic investors, policy makers, end-users and international & trade media is happy to announce its partnership with Carbon War Room for Clean Equity Monaco 2011. The Carbon War Room, a Washington DC-based global non-profit, harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change. Founded by Richard Branson and other leading entrepreneurs, its approach is to identify the barriers that are preventing market-based scale up of climate change solutions. Part of the CleanEquity agenda will be devoted to marine transport efficiency and pollution. A plenary session chaired by Peter Boyd of the Carbon War Room will highlight the issues. Press Release.

Music much more expensive for bars and restaurants  nicematin.com 16 Feb 11 Local shop, bar and restaurant owners are complaining about new fees for playing music in their establishments. Phased in over two years, the fees based on a perecentage of turnover, could triple for some businesses. The fees are based on 1.6% of turnover. The main beneficiary of this ‘music tax’ is the SPRE which represents performers and producers. Alain Lahouti, vice president of the Restaurant Employers' Union (UPRL) in Cannes has called for the reopening of negotiations and disobedience: "We call on all professionals to pay their SPRE fees based on the old pricing". Pierre Jaboulet, CEO of the SPRE said that the fees have not been revised since 1987. Pierre Valet.

SNCM employees protest in Nice Port  24ore.club-corsica.com 16 Feb 11 Two hundred employees of SNCM, the Corsica ferry company, protested Wednesday in front of the port of Nice and the HQ of the General Council of the Alpes-Maritimes. They are protesting against the reduction of traffic between Nice and Corsica. General Council Chairman Eric Ciotti (UMP), said in a statement that the srtrike by SNCM employees, now in its third week, did not concern him. Following an agreement between the port of Nice on one side, SNCM and Corsica Ferries on the other, the number of voyages between Nice and Corsica will be reduced to 300 in 2011 against 348 in 2010. AFP.

Monaco cruise ships office established  tourmag.com 15 Feb 11 The tourism directorate of Monaco has created the Cruise Bureau, responsible for co-ordinating the various structures for the reception of cruise ship passengers. In 2010, the Port of Monaco hosted 322,000 cruise ship passengers, an increase of 36%. The goal is to offer them the best experience, so that they may return individually, and also to promote Monaco as a headline destination for cruise ships in the Mediterranean. 21% of cruise ship passengers visited the casinos with 4% playing on the tables.

Microsoft France names Ribet to head mobility division  quote.com 15 Feb 11 Microsoft France has appointed Olivier Ribet as director of its mobility division, tasked with increasing the adoption of Windows Phone 7 in the country, developing its partner ecosystem and to promote Microsoft's innovations. Ribet was previously Microsoft's sales and marketing director for mobile platform and services in the Asia-Pacific region, where his team reached deals on Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7 with Telstra, Singtel, Docomo, China Telecom, China Mobile and others. Ribet started his career with Bull, which he left for EDF, before joining Microsoft in 1996.

Envoy Capital to transfer all Monaco assets to Canada  reuters.com 10 Feb 11 Envoy Capital Group Inc , a merchant banking and financial services company, said it would restructure operations to cut costs and that its CEO and board had resigned. As part of the restructuring, which will save costs by about 60 percent, the Toronto-based company will move its Monaco unit's assets back to Canada and will operate its merchant banking business from its Toronto offices. Envoy, which also offers brand strategy services, said the reduction in costs was expected to better its position as it continues its merchant banking strategy.

Marriott launches new Antibes-Juans les Pins hotel  traveldaily.co.uk 09 Feb 11 Marriott hotels has announced a new addition to its Renaissance Hotels portfolio, the 221-room Renaissance Antibes Juan-les-Pins Hotel in the south of France. The Hotel Ambassadeur, will be re-branded a Renaissance Hotel under a management agreement with Jesta Group. The Renaissance Antibes Juan-les-Pins Hotel will join the soon-to-open JW Marriott Hotel (Palais Stephanie) Cannes as Marriott continues to grow its presence on France’s famed Cote d’ Azur.

DISTREE XXL Confrence in Monaco  channelemea.com 09 Feb 11 DISTREE XXL opened its doors on February 8th, with close to 1000 vendor and channel executives arriving in Monaco, keen to build new business relationships, meet existing partners and network with their peers. With attendees from 80-plus countries and representatives from more than 130 vendors, DISTREE XXL remains the most cost-effective business platform for launching, building or managing channels within EMEA. The main DISTREE XXL exhibition hall was its usual hive of activity on day one with thousands of one-on-one meetings taking place. Delegates also attended a series of Channel Academy workshops moderated by expert speakers on a wide range of channel topics. Stuart Wilson.

Employment rises slightly in Alpes Maritimes  metrofrance.com 07 Feb 11 Unemployment in the Alpes Maritimes fell by 0.1% in 2009 and 2010 to 9.2%, but it is still a lot higher than pre-crisis levels. The rate in the department was 7% in the first quarter of 2008 before reaching 9.5% at the height of global economic crisis, in the fourth quarter of 2009. However, some indicators are now back to green with a real brake on the number of redundancies. Unemployment for young people under 25 years decreased by 2% in 2010. Youth in the West of the department are better off (- 4%) than those of Nice (- 1%). Employment amongst older workers however, remains the greatest concern. The number of jobseekers in their fifties increased by 17% in 2010.

Crédit Agricole Selects Gemalto for Its Mobile Contactless Payment Program in Nice  financialpost.com 08 Feb 11 Crédit Agricole selects Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, to support the bank in deploying Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payment solutions in Nice. As part of the "Nice Ville NFC" initiative, Crédit Agricole Provence Côte d’Azur offers its customers a new trendy and convenient payment means, using an NFC-approved mobile phone. Since Jan 11, customers have been able to subscribe to the NFC payment method at their local branch, enabling them to perform transactions at local stores in a fast and intuitive way. Gemalto supplies the Trusted Service Management operated services allowing for the secure deployment and management of mobile contactless payment, regardless of the mobile network. Business Wire.

Cargo up 28% on airport Nice-Côte d'Azur in 2010  wk-transport-logistique.fr 08 Feb 11 Freight traffic was up 28% at Nice airport in 2010, with 22,628 tonnes processed. 11,947 tons was general cargo, up 48%. "This increase is due to the presence of long-haul flights. Emirates, which now operates a daily flight to Dubai, has seen its traffic grow by 69% with 8,300 tonnes in 2010 (at 3,800 import, 4,400 export). There is a lot of goods in transit through Dubai, which is a bridgehead of traffic towards South-East Asia and East Africa. Delta Airlines, which operates a flight to Nice -New York five days a week, also saw an increase of 110% of its cargo traffic with 1,031 tonnes," explains Nice airport cargo chief Eric Montariol. Nathalie Bureau du Colombier.

Palais des Festivals: Gainche is new Sales and Marketing Manager  investincotedazur.com 07 Feb 11 Native of Aix en Provence where she studied Tourism, Isabelle Gainche has been appointed Sales and Marketing Manager for the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. She has 20 years experience in the marketing and sales fields. Gainche was in charge of international sales for the Concorde and Barriere groups. In 2002 she became Sales, Marketing and Communication Manager of the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice. In 2005, she joined the Floirat group, and was responsible for Sales, Marketing and the creation of the Groupe Floirat brand (including the hotel Byblos St Tropez, Black Legend Night Club restaurants in Monaco and les Caves du Roy in St Tropez).

SBM increases turnover in 3rd trimester  lexpress.fr 04 Feb 11 Monaco's Société des Bains de Mer recorded a turnover of €70.9 million for the third quarter of 2010/2011, against €67.9 million for the same period the year before, an increase of 4.4%. It indicates that the activity of the first half was hard and showed a revenue decline of 10%. Gambling revenues were €39.7 million for the third quarter, against €36.8 million for the same period last year. Hotel revenue increased 3% in the third quarter at €26.8 million. Over nine months, the Société des Bains de Mer recorded a turnover of €288.3 million, down 6%. CercleFinance.com.

Coming soon…the new J W Marriott on La Croisette in Cannes  gotimeshare.org 03 Feb 11 As part of its expansion plans JW Marriott is about to open a new signature hotel on Cannes’ most famous boulevard, La Croisette. The 'new' Marriott hotel is actually the recently refurbished Palais Stephanie which will now fly the JW Marriott flag and be managed by the Jesta Group. The Hotel has a special history, having been built on the former site of the Palais des Festivals of Cannes where the original International Film Festival took place while it ran from 1946 to the mid ‘80s. As a tribute to its star-studded history the hotel has been renovated to reflect its glamorous movie heritage; enormous black and white photos of film icons. Sue McNicol.

Ryanair to re-open Marseille routes  thefrenchpaper.com 01 Feb 11 Low-cost European airline Ryanair said Tuesday it would reopen most of the routes from Marseille which it shut in protest at being prosecuted over its employment practices. ‘We can never get all the traffic back,’ chief executive Michael O’Leary told reporters in the city. But he said he hoped to pick up 75 percent of the traffic from the routes that Ryanair cut last month. Ryanair last month abandoned its base at Marseille airport in protest over French prosecutors’ refusal to drop charges against it for hiring workers on Irish contracts which they said breached employment laws. Michael Streeter.

Monaco: The Principality in 3D at Imagina  maville.com 01 Feb 11 A virtual 3D model of Monaco will be revealed at Imagina taking place in the Grimaldi Forum 01-03 Feb 11. In addition to navigating the city in real time, the 3D model serves for the integration of real estate projects. This representation allows the integration of all buildings in Monaco and its suburban area. Three conferences around the 3D landscape and city planning are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday. The model is visible in 3D using active glasses in the Arts & Crafts immersion room and on the IGO booth. Entrance to visitors is free on the final day Thu 03 Feb 11. Nathalie Pouzoulet.

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