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Business News Archive 16 - June/July 2011
Boden launches catalogue for ‘stroppy’ French women telegraph.co.uk 31 Jul 11 Boden, the successful mail order company that the Eton-educated entrepreneur Johnnie Boden founded in 1991, will launch a catalogue in France later this month. However in a magazine interview yesterday Mr Boden said that he associates Paris with “stroppy” women and described the South of France as “grim”, comments that may not endear him to his new target audience. “I can’t bear the South of France… It’s so built-up and expensive and… really grim. I’m sure it was lovely 50 years ago,” said Mr Boden. Mr Boden owns 60pc of the company, which some City analysts estimate could be worth as much as £500m if it was sold or floated. James Hall.
Single Buoy Moorings Offshore warns of loss upstreamonline.com 28 Jul 11 Single Buoy Moorings (SBM) Offshore has warned of a net loss in the first half as it drags a pair of clients through the courts over contractual wrangling. The Monaco-based outfit has claimed, however, that it expects a breakeven net result for the full year despite taking a large financial hit. SBM has booked a $450 million impairment as a result of legal proceedings between itself, Canadian operator Encana and another operator. Encana has booked SBM’s mobile offshore production unit Deep Panuke for work off Canada while its MOPU Yme is on a contract off Norway. Eoin O'Cinneide.
Unemployment on the rise in the PACA region laprovence.com 28 Jul 11 Unemployment in France is up 1.3% according to figures released for June, with 33,600 additional people in category A registered at job centres. In the PACA region, the number of unemployed jumped 1.9% (4,830 new job seekers) to a total of 253,571 category A unemployed. Including category B & C, the number of job seekers in the region stands at 354,946. An increase of 0.9% following the 1.4% increase in May. No department is immune with a 2.9% increase in the Hautes-Alpes, 1.8% in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, 1.2% in Vaucluse, 1.1% in the Var, 0.7% in the Bouches-du-Rhone and 0.6% in the Alpes-Maritimes.
Tourism professionals optimistic about summer season leparisien.fr 28 Jul 11 Tourism professionals in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) region are so far satisfied with the summer season, according to a study by the Committee for Regional Tourism (CRT). Of the 450 professionals surveyed, 81% said they had a good level of attendance over the period ("good enough" for 27%, "good" for 37% and "very good" 17%), against 73% in 2010. "We find the satisfaction level of the early 2000s, before the heat wave of 2003 and the 2008 crisis," said the chairman of the CRT, Pierre Meffre, at a press conference. With this good start, 86% of professionals are optimistic for the month of August (75% in 2010). Small problem though: if tourists are numerous, they "are really budget conscious" and are eating less at restaurants, regretted Mr Meffre. AFP.
L’Occitane first quarter 2011/12 results show 16.3% growth 4-traders.com 27 Jul 11 L’Occitane International S.A. a global, natural and organic ingredient-based cosmetics and well-being products enterprise with strong regional roots in Provence, announced the unaudited trading update for the three months ending 30 Jun 11. Net sales for the three months reached €182.3 million, a year-on-year growth of 16.3%, in line with growth of 16.2% in 2010/11. Net sales growth was 12.1% if currency impact was taken into account, due to the weaker US dollar against the euro in the first quarter of 2011/2012. China, Hong Kong and Brazil were the three best performing markets in terms of net sales growth. Press Release.
Former bookkeeper loses her unfair dismissal case against hedgie tycoon cityam.com 27 Jul 11 Hedge fund tycoon Elena Ambrosiadou has won an unfair dismissal claim brought by her former bookkeeper Nathalie Pratico, who had filed a claim for €5m. Pratico alleged she was fired from Ambrosiadou’s firm Ikos, after being wrongly accused of passing confidential data to Ambrosiadou’s former husband Martin Coward. But a Monaco court rejected her claims. Ikos co-founders Ambrosiadou and Coward split acrimoniously in 2009 and Coward left the firm but has since been accused of paying Ikos employees for confidential information to help him set up a rival fund in Monaco. Alison Lock.
Ryanair opens six new routes from Marseille this winter leparisien.fr 26 Jul 11 Ryanair will offer fourteen destinations from the airport of Marseille Provence from the end of October. Six new routes (Brest, Eindhoven, Lille, Marrakech, Milan and Nantes) will join the schedule already operated by the low-cost airline. Flights to Brussels, Fez, London, Madrid, Malta, Porto, Rome and Seville are maintained. To these are added the routes from this summer to Brest, Eindhoven, Lille, Nantes and Marrakech, which did not operate last winter. Ryanair adds a new destination from the terminal mp ² low-cost, namely Milan Bergamo. Travelers can purchase tickets for these new routes from Wednesday, July 27.
Chanel launches its Watch Only charity auction design watchshop.com 26 Jul 11 A leading French fashion house has launched a new timepiece for the Watch Only charity auction taking place in the Principality of Monaco in September. Chanel have introduced its J12 Marine watch which comes in 18-carat pink gold. The creation comes in three colours - blue, black and white – with two different cases sizes, allowing the wearer to choose either 38 or 42 mm. It features a matte rubber strap, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and a satin finished ardillon buckle, engraved with the brand name. The sleek design is also waterproof for up to 300 metres, is self-winding and has a 42 hour power reserve.
The Palace wins Best Design Award in Monte Carlo your-story.org 26 Jul 11 The Palace, Malta’s premier boutique hotel, has won the award for Best Design for five-star hotels with 50-200 rooms, at the International Hotel and Property Awards 2011. Angelo Xuereb, chairman of AX Holdings, represented the Group and The Palace Malta at the awarding ceremony which was held at L’Hôtel Hermitage, located in the heart of Monte Carlo. The International Hotel and Property Awards are hosted by design et al, a leading interior design magazine in the United Kingdom. The Palace is owned and managed by AX Holdings. The Palace Malta is a leading stylish five-star Luxury Spa Hotel in Sliema, Malta. Press Release.
Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi to open September 1st zawya.com 25 Jul 11 The Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi will open on 01 Sep 11, making it the first property to become fully operational on Saadiyat Beach. Based on the luxury Monte-Carlo Beach on the French Riviera, the venue is now fully built. The beach club is operated by SBM (Société des Bains de Mer), who have managed the Monte-Carlo Beach in Monaco for around 90 years. General Manager Patrick Nayrolles explained that SBM carefully considered the potential before embarking on the Abu Dhabi venture, which will be the first Monte-Carlo Beach Club to be set up outside its original venue. Press Release.
Royal wedding expected to give Monaco a tourism boost independent.co.uk 25 Jul 11 Monaco's biggest company has predicted a boost in tourism in the wake of this month's wedding of Prince Albert. Founded 147 years ago, Société des Bais de Mer (SBM) owns the Casino de Monte-Carlo and the state's most historic hotels. Revenue from SBM's hotels rose by 10% in the year to 31 March 2011, but there was a 14% fall in casino takings, more than half of total turnover. It led to SBM's overall revenue dropping 3% to €361.7m, while its operating profit tumbled nearly 60% to €21.7m. SBM's chief executive, Bernard Lambert, believes the recent royal wedding will drive trade. Christian Sylt/Caroline Reid.
Semenova joins Societé Generale Private Banking in Monaco hereisthecity.com 25 Jul 11 Eric Bonnin has been appointed Deputy Head of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Independent States region of Societé Generale CIB, based in Paris. He replaces Elena Semenova who will be joining Societe Generale Private Banking in Monaco.
Bmi announces flights from London to Nice air-journal.fr 20 Jul 11 The airline Bmi ( British Midland ) has announced the launch of Nice – London flights from £99 inc. taxes. As of 25 Aug 11 the British company, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, will initially have a daily flight between London Heathrow and Nice, then two (except Sunday) from 30 Oct 11. A BMI Airbus A320 will leave London at 17.30 arriving at 20.40 and depart at 21.30 to land at 22.30. With the move to two daily flights, an Airbus A319 will leave Heathrow at 17.50 and 08.50 returning from the Riviera at 13.00 and 09.35. Bmi compete directly with British Airways (7 daily flights) and indirectly with low cost easyJet, which flies to Nice up to eight times daily from Gatwick, Stansted and Luton.
Modern Monaco puts responsibility ahead of capital gains guardian.co.uk 19 Jul 11 As this tiny kingdom – population 35,000, of which only 7,000 are Monegasque – attempts to kick-start the dream machine with its royal wedding, the principality's real asset, private banking, is in crisis. Outwardly nothing has changed: However, looks are deceptive. In 2010 the assets of the 36 banks and 40 asset-management companies established here were worth a total €78bn. That's a pittance, the equivalent of half the equity capital of an average Swiss bank. Having enjoyed a steady and secure income since the 1970s thanks to the arrival of rich Italians fleeing the Red Brigade, Monaco Inc's flagship industry is losing its momentum. Le Monde.
Health and beauty clinic opens on Cap d’Antibes interestalert.com 19 Jul 11 Based on Cap d'Antibes and founded by plastic surgeon and author Dr. Henry Delmar, visitors to 'Le Clinique Science & Beaute' choose between five or six day 'cure' packages from the team of in-house medical professionals. Dr. Delmar’s team consists of doctors who specialize in: Western modern medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, biology, nutrition, endocrinology, Chinese medicine, osteopathy, dermatology, cosmetic surgery, cardiology, genetics, chiropody, naturopathy and aromatherapy. The clinic is based in Villa Sylvana, near the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Press Release.
Court case adds fuel to hedge-fund divorce independent.co.uk 10 Jul 11 The messy divorce of hedge-fund tycoons Elena Ambrosiadou and Martin Coward has become even uglier following a series of alleged revelations in a legal case in Cyprus. The couple ran IKOS Asset Management, making a £200m fortune in the process, but Mr Coward left the hedge fund in 2009 and they are now fighting around 60 legal battles. IKOS, which used to be based in London but is now headquartered in Cyprus, uses hugely sophisticated technology to make its investments. Mr Pfister was accused of downloading the hedge fund's vital code as part of Mr Coward's alleged plan to set up a rival business in Monaco called Flot SAM. It is alleged that Mr Pfister broke an injunction that ordered him to hand over the data. Mark Leftly.
BNP Paribas Private Bank targets Mediterranean vrl-financial-news.com 06 Jul 11 BNP Paribas has commenced private banking operations in Marseille to target high net worth individuals based in the Mediterranean. The Marseille-based private bank will serve domestic and international HNWIs with at least €5m in investible assets residing in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon and Corse. The bank will offer financial engineering and management services as well as wealth planning, philanthropy and art advisory. BNP Paribas regional director Gerard Uzel said that the Mediterranean region provided “significant economic potential” for wealth management services. Ilya Timofeyev.
Netgem & Monaco Telecom makes the tablet the new truly portable TV reuters.com 06 Jul 11 Netgem announced its new software solution, the @Cloud enabling operators to meet customers' demand for a simple and consistent access to all content, including live TV and video on demand, from any connected device within the home. Monaco Telecom, Netgem's partner, will be the first to deploy this new offer. The @Cloud is a software suite bringing the cloud into the home by transforming the Set-top box into a multimedia server and connected devices into clients. Press Release.
Tyrus set to open Monaco office ft.com 04 Jul 11 Tyrus Capital, the biggest hedge fund to set up in London since the financial crisis hit, is planning to move staff to Monaco with the opening of a new office. According to a person familiar with the firm’s plans, the new Monaco office will initially be small, with plans to hire locally as well as to accommodate London employees. Monaco has until now been home to relatively few hedge fund managers. The principality is the base for Jon Wood’s SRM Global as well as the long-only activist fund manager Knight Vinke. Lee Robinson, the co-founder of Trafalgar Asset Managers, is launching his new hedge fund, Altana, from Monaco. Sam Jones.
BA adds more flights to Nice from London City flightmapping.com 30 Jun 11 British Airways is adding more frequency on flights from London City Airport to Nice (Cote d’Azur), Palma (Majorca) and Ibiza this summer. The Nice flights have been increased to twice-daily until September. Flights to Ibiza and Palma will rise from four to ten a week between July and September. A BA spokesman said: “We first launched leisure only flights from London City last year in direct response to demand from our customers. They proved so popular, particularly during the summer months that we have decided to expand them further this year.”
Swindler in Telecom Fraud Is Set to Plead Guilty wsj.com 23 Jun 11 Thomas Quinn, a notorious international swindler whose fraud career dates back some four decades, has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges in a $21 million telecommunications fraud. The 74-year-old Mr. Quinn, whose career was profiled in The Wall Street Journal last year, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison. Prior to this case, Mr. Quinn's record included three Securities and Exchange Commission injunctions and two federal criminal convictions. He spent several years in French custody for helping to run a giant boiler-room operation out of a villa overlooking the French Riviera. In 1992, a federal judge called Mr. Quinn an "incorrigible" recidivist whose business activities "appear to be devoted exclusively to securities fraud." John R. Emshwiller.
Madoff’s yacht is the talk of Monaco ft.com 21 Jun 11 For the great and the good of the hedge fund world gathered in Monaco this week there is only one trade worth discussing: Bernard Madoff’s boat. The 90ft powerboat is being offered for sale with a €3m pricetag at the Gaim conference – one of the European hedge fund industry’s most glamorous annual events. The boat named “Bull” is being auctioned to raise money to compensate victims of his $65bn Ponzi scheme. Interested bidders were invited to a watch a demonstration of the boat’s prowess from a champagne reception on the balcony of the Llorca Café. The sale of the vessel is an uncomfortable reminder for the hedge fund crowd gathered in Monaco. Sam Jones.
Hedge fund bosses cautious ahead of Monaco summit reuters.com 21 Jun 11 European hedge funds' top executives will be in cautious mood this week as they gather in Monaco for their annual summit, after big losses in May took some of the shine off a year of inflows and strong returns. Bosses such as Man Group CEO Peter Clarke, whose firm is finally enjoying clients inflows, Centaurus chairman Bernard Oppetit and commodity manager Armajaro's co-founder Anthony Ward will discuss how to get the industry back on track. Hedge funds lost 1.2 percent in last month's commodities rout with big-name funds such as Aspect Capital's Diversified fund and Crispin Odey's European fund losing more while many funds, wary of further losses, are keeping their bets small. While hedge funds posted double-digit returns in 2009 and 2010, many are still scarred by 2008's losses of nearly 20 percent and the memory of investors pulling out nearly $300 billion during the crisis, according to Hedge Fund Research. Laurence Fletcher.
Australian ad agencies look forward to another record haul from Cannes theaustralian.com.au 20 Jun 11 Last year was the second-best year on record for Australia at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, with local advertising agencies carrying off a haul of 44 Lions, including a coveted Grand Prix for Media. The performance underscored the continuing rise of the Australian industry in the eyes of the world, protected from the global financial crisis that had crippled agencies in Europe and the US, and aided by clients willing to risk their brands for innovation. The past five years at Cannes has been a roller-coaster for Australian agencies, beginning with Carlton Draught's Big Ad being narrowly pipped at the post for the coveted Grand Prix in 2006. Simon Canning.
Carrefour fined over minimum wage francesoir.fr 16 Jun 11 Carrefour has been fined €3.66m for failing to pay some of its staff the legal minimum wage. A court found the supermarket giant used a compulsory paid 20-minute break to bring workers' earnings up to the minimum. Excluding break times, the hourly rate paid to staff was less than the SMIC - the French minimum wage which is currently set at €9 per hour. The practice affected 1,200 staff in 12 Carrefour stores in the Ile-de-France, Alpes-Maritimes and Bouches-du-Rhône. Each worker will receive up to €2,000 in damages. Carrefour said in a statement that all of its employees were paid above the SMIC. The group has 12 days to decide whether to appeal.
Scott brothers develop taste for pallet business heraldscotland.com 11 Jun 11 A Fife family business which began 24 years ago in a rundown sawmill is now one of Scotland’s unsung UK market leaders, with £120 million of turnover and overseas ambitions. Last year founder and 76% shareholder John Scott, 40, moved out to Monaco to lead the international growth of Scott Group, which employs 1000 worldwide including 300 in Scotland. Holding the fort at headquarters near Dunfermline is older brother and minority shareholder Norman, 42, who has just unveiled a unified rebranding of the group’s businesses from packaging to property, and says: “We can absolutely see more opportunity ahead of us.” Simon Bain.
Boosting decentralised co-operation between Tunisia and PACA zawya.com 10 Jun 11 Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Ennaceur received, on Thursday in Tunis, a delegation from French Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) region. The delegation, on a working visit is led by Mr. Joel Canapa, Regional Councillor and Chairman of the Vocational Training and Apprenticeship Committee of the PACA. The Minister stressed the need to establish new co-operation relations between Tunisia and France. He underlined that training of unemployed graduates and workers returning from Libya. Mr. Joel Canapa, who came to Tunisia to provide donations to the Kasserine and Thala hospitals, expressed PACA region's will to further strengthen decentralised co-operation relations with the governorates of Tunis and Kasserine by means of stepping up training and exchange of experiences in the social field.
Société des Bains de Mer report losses in 2010/2011 boursier.com 09 Jun 11 Revenues for Monaco’s Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), for the financial year 2010/11 were down 3% to €361.7 million, with operating profits showing a deficit of €21.7m and a net loss of €17.3million. Before depreciation, operating income reached €27.1m (against €51.5m last year). SBM revenue was affected by a 14% decline in the gaming division, partially offset by a 10% growth in the hotel division. The results were affected by SBM’s acquisition of a 50% stake in the online gambling company BetClick Everest Group. 300,000 of SBM’s shares in Wynn Resorts sold in April for a gain of €19.3m are recorded in the accounts of the new fiscal year, reducing SBM's stake to 0.8%.
New technologies to be unveiled at MicroStrategy World Monte Carlo prnewswire.com 08 Jun 11 MicroStrategy World Monte Carlo will feature the worldwide launch of multiple new innovative technologies. The four-day event will be held July 11-14, 2011 at the Hotel Fairmont Monte Carlo. MicroStrategy World Monte Carlo will highlight four of the hottest trends impacting businesses today: big data, mobile, cloud, and social media. At this event, MicroStrategy will unveil its new technologies that enable companies to capitalize on these major trends to work more efficiently and gain competitive advantage. This pivotal event will bring together visionaries, industry experts, and innovative technologies that can help to turn these disruptive trends into business opportunities. Press Release.
Monaco alliance for Basel thisisjersey.com 07 Jun 11 Jersey trust company Basel has formed a strategic alliance with a leading Monaco-based law firm whose clients include singers, actors, musicians and sports stars. Basel Trust Group has reached an agreement with Gordon S Blair, which has been based in the principality for 80 years. The deal between the two businesses will increase the range of services both can offer in a variety of jurisdictions. Gordon S Blair provides international legal and tax advice in Monaco and France. It is ranked number one in the wealth management category in Monaco in the 2011 Chambers directory.
Street seller to millionaire: Malaysian woman wins top award in Monaco irishtimes.com 06 Jun 11 Singapore based businesswoman Olivia Lum won the Ernst Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award on Saturday night in Monaco. Ms Lum is the founder and chief executive of water treatment company Hyflux and is the first businesswoman to win the award since it was instituted in 2001. Abandoned as a child and raised in poverty in her native Malaysia, Ms Lum moved to Singapore at the age of 15 and gained a science degree. She worked as a chemist with pharma giant Glaxo before selling her car and house in 1989 to raise 20,000 Singapore dollars to start a company called Hydrochem, a predecessor to Hyflux. Ciaran Hancock.
Nice airport: Parking availability extended and refined nicematin.com 02 Jun 11 The new P6 car park was opened Wednesday with 2,600 spaces, 1,200 available to the public. To access the two public levels, green and red, costs €2 per hour (€14 for 24 hours). This is midway between the short stay parking areas (P2, P3 for Terminal 1 and P5 for Terminal 2) and the long term P7. P6 is located on the access road for Terminal 2 and cost €33.5 million. It will become fully operational in July when all nine entrances and exits will be available. There are now 11 public parking areas, with 6,300 spaces hosting 2.2 million vehicles per year generating €18 million of turnover.
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