English Football Club Arsenal Tricked in Bogus $176,000 Chinese Largest Electric Carmaker BYD Sponsorship Deal

English Football Club Arsenal Tricked in Bogus $176,000 Chinese Largest Electric Carmaker BYD Sponsorship Deal

English premier league football club Arsenal has been tricked in a bogus $176,000 (CNY 1.2 million) “official car and bus partner” sponsorship deal with Chinese largest electric carmaker, BYD.

” English Football Club Arsenal Tricked in Bogus $176,000 Chinese Largest Electric Carmaker BYD Sponsorship Deal “

The fraudsters Li Juan and Chen Zhenyu have tricked at least 30 companies by representing BYD and sign fradulent sponsorship deals of around $177 million (CNY 1.2 billion) in the name of BYD.  They have been reported to have been arrested by Chinese police.

BYD (Build Your Dreams) was founded in 1995 and is a listed company on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of more than $16 billion (18/7/2018). The company is the IT industry, with businesses in rechargeable battery, handset and computer components and assembly services, automobile business in traditional fuel-powered vehicles and new energy vehicles.  The company also actively develop new energy products such as rail transit, solar farm, energy storage station, electric vehicles, LED, electric forklift.  BYD has nearly 220,000 employees and 30 industrial parks worldwide.  The company was founded as a rechargeable battery company by Wang Chuanfu.  He is a billionaire and is estimated to be worth almost $3.8 billion (Forbes).

Arsenal Football Club is one of the leading football club in England alongside Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.  The club has 1.9 million members (Red & Digital members) and 38 million Facebook fans.  In 2016/2017, the football club reported revenue of $553 million (£424.0 million).  It is valued at $2.238 billion and ranked #39 in the 50 most valuable sports teams of 2018 by Forbes.

< Arsenal have issued the following statement:

BYD has informed Arsenal that they believe they have been the victim of a fraud in relation to various advertising agreements. This includes our partnership with BYD which was formally launched by both parties at an event at Emirates Stadium on 8th May. We are investigating the situation and discussing it with senior level BYD representatives who were involved in the launch of the partnership. We will make no further comments on this matter. >

Source: Arsenal, Caixin, BBC, The Sun, Forbes

 

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Hollywood Star George Clooney is Best Paid Actor with $239 Million Earnings in 2017/2018

Hollywood Star George Clooney is Best Paid Actor with $239 Million Earnings in 2017/2018

Hollywood star George Clooney is the best paid actor in the world with $239 million earnings in 2017/2018 ( June 2017 – May 2018), in the list of the world’s 100 highest-paid entertainers by Forbes.  The highest paid celebrity is boxer Floyd Mayweather (#1) with $285 million earnings while there are 2 Asians on the top 100 list with Jackie Chan (joint #49) with $45.5 million earnings and Bollywood actor Salman Khan (#82) with $37.7 million earnings.

” Hollywood Star George Clooney is Best Paid Actor with $239 Million Earnings in 2017/2018 “

George Clooney is a Hollywood A-list celebrity and is most known for his roles in the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ films, with Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon.  He also received an Oscar for his performance in ‘Syriana.’

George Clooney (Age 57) was born in 1961 in Kentucky, United States.  He was born into a family of entertainers with his father being a television personality and news anchor, while his aunt was a singer and actress.

 

Forbes Top 10 highest paid celebrities:

  1. Floyd Mayweather – $285 million
  2. George Clooney – $239 million
  3. Kylie Jenner – $166.5 million
  4. Judy Sheindlin – $147 million
  5. Dwayne Johnson – $124 million
  6. U2 – $118 million
  7. Coldplay – $115.5 million
  8. Lionel Messi – $111 million
  9. Ed Sheeran – $110 million
  10. Cristiano Ronaldo – $108 million

 

Joint #59 Jackie Chan $45.5 million (Asian celebrity)
#89 Salman Khan  $37.7 million (Asian celebrity) (edited and included in this article on 20th July 2018)

 

Source: BioReutersBBCIndependent, Forbes

 

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UAE Court Drops Charges over $48.2 Million Bounced Cheque Against Founder of Middle East Largest Private Equity Abraaj Group

UAE Court Drops Charges over $48.2 Million Bounced Cheque Against Founder of Middle East Largest Private Equity Abraaj Group

The UAE court has dropped charges over a $48.2 million bounced cheque against Arif Naqvi, founder of  Middle East largest private equity group, Abraaj Group.

” UAE Court Drops Charges over $48.2 Million Bounced Cheque Against Founder of Middle East Largest Private Equity Abraaj Group “

Hamid Jafar, a businessman and also founding shareholder of Abraaj Group, had requested the UAW court to drop the proceedings against Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj Group.  The $48.2 million bounced cheque is reported to be part of a settlement of $300 million loan from Hamid Jafar to Arif Naqvi.

In June 2018, Abraaj Group with $13.6 billion AUM has filed for restructuring in the Cayman Islands to facilitate the orderly restructuring of the firm.

The restructuring filing is to stop legal action by Kuwait’s pension fund, Kuwait Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) and other creditors who are seeking the liquidation and winding up of Abraaj for non-payment of debt.  Investors including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through accountants had also uncovered lapses in control in the usage of funds.  The appointment of provisional liquidators (PwC) imposes a moratorium (temporarily restriction) of all claims against Abraaj, allowing an orderly restructuring process.

The Abraaj Group is Middle East’s biggest private equity firm with $13.6 billion AUM, $8.1 billion in deployed capital in over 200 investments and had exited more than 100 investments totalling $6.8 billion (data as of 30th June 2017).  The firm specialises in private equity, private credit, impact investing and real estate and invest into growth markets across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Turkey.

The Abraaj Group was founded in 2002 by Pakistani Arif Naqvi in 2002 with $60 million.  He grew the firm into Middle East’s biggest private equity firm with $13.6 billion AUM in 2017, presence in over 20 country offices and 5 regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore.

Source: FTThe NationalWSJ , TWI

 

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Chinese Top Actress Shu Qi Buys $16.23 Million Apartment in Hong Kong Mid-Levels West

Chinese Top Actress Shu Qi Buys $16.23 Million Apartment in Hong Kong Mid-Levels West

Chinese top actress Shu Qi has bought a $16.23 Million (HK$ 127.5 million) apartment in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels West in June 2018.  The apartment is a duplex (2,499 sq ft) at yoo 18 Bonham in the luxury residential area in Mid-Levels West.  Mid-Levels West is located near Soho, Lan Kwai Fong and top education institutions including University of Hong Kong, King’s College, St. Paul’s College, Ying Wa Girls’ School and St. Stephen’s Girls’ College.

” Chinese Top Actress Shu Qi Buys $16.23 Million Apartment in Hong Kong Mid-Levels West “

The luxury development, yoo 18 Bonham, has only 12 large luxury residential flats, with 3 simplexes, 8 duplexes and 1 single triplex ranging from 1,200 to 3,700 sq ft.  Each unit at yoo 18 Bonham has 2 lifts (a main lift & a service lift).  The triplex and each duplex have 2 private lift lobbies, while each simplex has one private lift lobby.  The upper floor units offer a 270-degree panoramic view of Victoria Harbour.  The project was developed by YOO Studio founded by John Hitchcox and Phillippe Starck in 1999.  YOO Studio has developed 82 projects across 57 cities in 24 countries.

Shu Qi is one of China’s top actress and in the 2017 Forbes China Celebrity List, she was ranked 48th with earnings of $6.81 million (CNY 45 million).  She was born in 1976 (age 42) in Taiwan, and had relocated to Hong Kong to develop her movie career.

Source: SCMP, JLL, Forbes

 

2017 Forbes China Celebrity List: Selected

Rank Name USD CNY
1 Fan Bingbing $45.5 Million 300 Million
2 Lu Han $31.9 Million 210 Million
3 Yang Mi $30.3 Million 200 Million
7 Jackie $50.1 Million 330 Million
8 Angelababy $33.4 Million 220 Million
9 Jay Chou $39.4 Million 260 Million
23 Liu Yifei $6.1 Million 40 Million
27 Andy Lau $21.2 Million 140 Million
28 Zhao Wei $6.1 Million 40 Million
29 Li Bingbing $12.9 Million 85 Million
32 Lin Chi-Ling $22.0 Million 145 Million
45 Faye Wong $13.7 Million 90 Million
48 Shu Qi $6.8 Million 45 Million
57 Jacky Cheung $18.2 Million 120 Million
58 Eason Chan $13.7 Million 90 Million
59 Donnie Yen $14.4 Million 95 Million
61 Louis Koo $16.7 Million 110 Million
65 Show Lo $12.1 Million 80 Million
66 Tony  Leung $12.1 Million 80 Million
68 Ruby Lin $6.1 Million 40 Million
82 Carina Lau $9.1 Million 60 Million
84 Nicholas Tse $9.1 Million 60 Million
85 Aaron Kwok $8.3 Million 55 Million
97 A Mei $11.4 Million 75 Million
98 Zhang Yimou $6.1 Million 40 Million

 

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Credit Suisse to Pay $76 Million to US Authorities for Hiring Practices in Asia-Pacific

Credit Suisse to Pay $76 Million to US Authorities for Hiring Practices in Asia-Pacific

Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) has agreed to pay United States authorities $76 million to resolve investigations of the Swiss bank hiring practices in Asia-Pacific.  The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) have announced that Credit Suisse had engaged in a corrupt scheme by by hiring friends and family of Chinese government officials to win business with Chinese state-owned entities, generating at least $46 million in profits.

” Credit Suisse to Pay $76 Million to US Authorities for Hiring Practices in Asia-Pacific “

Between 2007 and 2013, several Credit Suisse senior managers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region had hired and promoted candidates of government officials and executives of clients that were state-owned entities (SOEs) to win business for Credit Suisse.  These ‘relationship hires’ often lacked necessary technical skills, and offered fewer qualifications and significantly less relevant banking experience than other candidates for the jobs.  The hiring of friends and family of Chinese government officials had generated the bank at least $46 million in profits.

The DoJ and Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) have entered into a non-prosecution agreement, with the Swiss bank paying a criminal penalty of $47 million ($76,853,720) to resolve the matter.  In related proceedings, Credit Suisse Group also settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paying a total of $24,989,843 in disgorgement of profits and $4.8 million ($4,833,961) in prejudgment interest.  The total fine from both United States authorities DoJ and SEC, amounted to $76 million ($76,853,720).

Other banks have also made settlements with U.S. authorities for hiring practices, including JP Morgan paying more than $260 million in 2017.

Source: Credit Suisse, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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6 of the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats are in Asia in 2018 Mercer Survey

6 of the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats are in Asia in 2018 Mercer Survey

6 of the top 10 most expensive cities for expatriates are in Asia with Hong Kong being the most expensive city in the world, in a 2018 report released in the 24th edition of Mercer Cost of Living Survey.  The 2nd most expensive city is Tokyo (Japan) and 3rd is Zurich (Switzerland).  The 4th and 5th most expensive cities are Asian cities Singapore and Seoul.  This also means 4 out of the top 5 most expensive cities are in Asia.  The other Asian cities in the top 10 are Shanghai (7th) and Beijing (9th).

” 6 of the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats are in Asia in 2018 Mercer Survey “

The figures for Mercer’s cost of living and rental accommodation cost comparisons are derived from a survey conducted in March 2018.  Governments and major companies use data from this survey to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad and rental accommodation costs data is used to assess local expatriate housing allowances.

List of Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expatriates:

  1. Hong Kong (China SAR)
  2. Tokyo (Japan)
  3. Zurich (Switzerland)
  4. Singapore (Singapore)
  5. Seoul (Korea)
  6. Luanda (Angola)
  7. Shanghai (China)
  8. Ndjamena (Chad)
  9. Beijing (China)
  10. Bern (Switzerland)

New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes over 375 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. 

Source: Mercer

 

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JD.com Receives $550 million Investment from Google in Strategic Partnership

JD.com Receives $550 million Investment from Google in Strategic Partnership

China leading e-commerce company has received $550 million cash investment from Google in a strategic partnership to improve user shopping experiences in the world, including Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Europe.  The two leading technology companies aim to explore the creation of next generation retail infrastructure solutions, to offer helpful, personalized and frictionless shopping experiences.

” JD.com Receives $550 million Investment from Google in Strategic Partnership “

JD.com is a major rival of Alibaba, while Google is competing with Amazon on online shopping experience.  JD.com investors includes Tencent and Walmart, and has strategic partnership with French giant hypermarket, Carrefour.

JD.com is China’s leading one-stop e-commerce platform, providing 301.8 million active customers.  In 2014, JD.com became publicly listed on NASDAQ with a market value of more than $26 billion.  In 2018 June,  JD.com is trading around $58 billion in market value, more than twice its IPO price.  JD.com is China’s largest online retailer and its biggest overall retailer, as well as the country’s biggest Internet company by revenue.  It reported more than 266 million annual active customers, 405 warehouses and $37.5 billion revenue in 2016.  The company was founded in 2004 in Beijing by CEO, Richard Liu who has an estimated net worth of around $10 billion.

Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, and owns products and platforms including Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube.

Source: JD.com, Reuters, SCMP

 

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Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested by German Authorities for Emissions Test Fraud

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested by German Authorities for Emissions Test Fraud

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been arrested by German authorities for car emissions test fraud.  In September 2015, the German carmaker admitted using an illegal software to cheat diesel emissions tests in the incident referred as the “Dieselgate” scandal.

” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested by German Authorities for Car Emissions Test Fraud “

On 18th June 2018, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was taken into custody at the request of the Munich II Public Prosecutor’s Office (Germany).  He has also been released from his duties as Board of Management of Volkswagen and Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI.

In 2017, Audi delivered 1.87 million cars, setting a new record for the group.  The 4 brands Audi, Lamborghini, Ducati und Italdesign form the Audi Group, which has been part of Volkswagen Group since 1965.

The Volkswagen Group has 12 brands including Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Scania and MAN.  It also offers a wide range of financial services, including dealer and customer financing, leasing, banking and insurance activities, and fleet management.

Source: Audi, Bloomberg, Reuters

 

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Spanish King Felipe VI Brother-in-Law to Serve Time in Women Prison for Embezzlement & Tax Fraud

Spanish King Felipe VI Brother-in-Law to Serve Time in Women Prison for Embezzlement & Tax Fraud

The brother-in-law of Spain’s King Felipe VI, Iñaki Urdangarin, will be serving his prison sentence of 5 years and 10 months in a women prison for security reason.

” Spanish King Felipe VI Brother-in-Law to Serve Time in Women Prison for Embezzlement & Tax Fraud “

Iñaki Urdangarin was found guilty in 2017 for embezzling millions of dollar and tax fraud between 2004 to 2006 from a non-profit foundation (Noos Foundation) he headed in Majorca.  He had used his royal connections to win public event contracts, overcharged for the events and had hid millions abroad.  Money from the non-profit foundation were used to pay for personal expenses including family holidays and home furnishings.

Iñaki Urdangarin is the husband of Princess Cristina, who is the sister of Spain’s current King Felipe VI (Reign – from 2014) and daughter of former King Juan Carlos (Reign 1975 – 2014).  In 2014, King Juan Carlos abdicated from the throne.

Princess Cristina was the first member of the Spanish royal family ever to stand in court.  Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, is a former Spanish national handball player.  Brieva prison, where he is serving his sentence, is a women prison, but has 4 cells reserved for males.

Source: Euronews, Reuters

 

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Assets of Thai Royal Family Holding Company Officially Transferred to Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn

Assets of Thai Royal Family Holding Company Officially Transferred to Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn

Assets of Thailand’s royal family in the holding company Crown Property Bureau has been officially transferred to King Maha Vajiralongkorn.  The assets will now be held in the individual name of the Thai King, which will be subjected to individual taxes and duties.

” Assets of Thai Royal Family Holding Company Officially Transferred to Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn “

Assets under the Crown Property Bureau has been exempt from taxes and duties.  In 2017, a law was enacted to allow the assets of the Crown Property Bureau founded in 1937, to be reverted to the ownership of the Thai King.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun became the King of Thailand after his father’s death (King Bhumibol) at age 88  in 2016.  Born in 1952 and the only son, he was made crown prince in 1972 at the age of 20.  His father, King Bhumibol, was the Thai King for more than 70 years (1946-2016).  Professional managers and trusted aides had administered the royal family assets under the Crown Property Bureau.  In 2011, the estimated fortune of the late King Bhumibol and Crown Property Bureau was valued to be worth more than $30 billion in a Forbes report.

The Crown Property Bureau held assets including Thailand oldest bank,  Siam Commercial Bank and one of Thailand’s largest companies, Siam Cement Group.

Source: China Daily, Bloomberg, ReutersCrown Property Bureau

 

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