French Billionaire Vincent Bolloré Charged for Alleged Corruptions and African Election Interference

French Billionaire Vincent Bolloré Charged for Alleged Corruptions and African Election Interference

French billionaire Vincent Bolloré has been charged by French investigators for alleged corruption and swaying elections in two countries in Afric to seal the Lomé port deal in 2010 and Conakry deal in 2011.

” French Billionaire Vincent Bolloré Charged for Alleged Corruptions and African Election Interference “

French billionaire Vincent Bolloré has been charged by French investigators for alleged corruption and swaying elections in two countries in Afric to seal the Lomé port deal in 2010 and Conakry deal in 2011.

The French business tycoon, Vincent Bolloré has been placed under formal investigation.  Two other managers, Bolloré executive Gilles Alix and and  Jean-Philippe Dorent, a senior executive at global communications giant Havas, were also charged in the case. Jean-Philippe was in charge of election campaign for current Guinean President Alpha Condé  and had worked on the communications strategy of current Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé election’s campaign.

Vincent Bolloré is the Chairman of Bolloré Group and is one of France’s richest men with an estimated net worth of $7.6 billion leads.  Bolloré Group is one of the 500 largest companies in the world and is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.  Founded 196 years ago in 1822, it employs about 80,000 people globally and have businesses in transportation and logistics, communication, electricity storage and solutions.

The company has a has a near-monopoly on ports in West and Central Africa, holding concessions to operate container terminals in 15 nations,  and running 25 dry ports including in countries including Burkina Faso and Chad. Vincent Bolloré is also a key shareholder in global media & communication group, Vivendi and Havas.  Vivendi owns Universal Music Group, one of the 3 largest music label alongside Sony Music and Warner Music Group.

Source: France24, Bloomberg, TelegraphBolloré Group

 

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China Largest Truck Hailing Platform Manbang Raises $2.5 Billion from Softbank and Alphabet

China Largest Truck Hailing Platform Manbang Raises $2.5 Billion from Softbank and Alphabet

China’s largest truck hailing platform Manbang, has raised $2.5 billion from leading investors including Softbank and Alphabet, giving the company a valuation of around $6 Billion.  The $2.5 Billion investment is led by leading global technology companies, sovereign wealth funds, private equity and venture capital firms, including Softbank’s Vision Fund, Alphabet venture capital unit CapitalG, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, China Reform Fund, Ward Ferry, Farallon Capital, Tencent, Sequoia Capital China and GVC Capital.

” China Largest Truck Hailing Platform Manbang Raises $2.5 Billion from Softbank and Alphabet ”

Manbang, China’s largest truck hailing platform and also known as the “Uber for Trucks” in China, connects truck drivers with shippers.  The platform also provides an after-service platform which covers truck fuel, auto insurance, auto financing and other services.  Today, China’s largest truck hailing platform has over 5.2 million truck members and 1.25 million logistics company members.

Manbang was founded in 2017 with the merger of Yunmanman and Huochebang.  Yunmanman is backed by Sequoia Capital and Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm co-founded by Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Wang Gang, the Chairman and CEO of Manbang, is an angel investor in Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing technology company.

Source: Reuters, Yunmanman

 

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Heir of Rothschild Bank Replaces Father as New Executive Chairman

Heir of Rothschild Bank Replaces Father as New Executive Chairman

The heir of Rothschild & Co., Alexandre de Rothschild, will be replacing his father David de Rothschild as the new Executive Chairman of Rothschild & Co Gestion, Rothschild & Co’s Managing Partner at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May 2018.

” Heir of Rothschild Bank Replaces Father as New Executive Chairman ”

Rothschild & Co. was founded over 200 years ago by Mayer Amschel Rothschild. It is one of the most famous banking dynasty, with Austrian noble family roots, and have worked on the biggest financing deals in history, including financing Britain’s war against French military leader Napoleon.  Rothschild & Co. is the financial holding company for all the family’s banking interests, covering investment banking, corporate banking, private equity, asset management, and private banking.

Alexandre de Rothschild had joined Rothschild investment banking in 2008. Prior to Rothschild, he was in investment banking in Bear Stearns in New York and private equity in Bank of America in London

Source: Rothschild, Reuters, Business Insider

 

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2 Years Wait for Music Star Prince $200 Million Estate Beneficiaries

2 Years Wait for Music Star Prince $200 Million Estate Beneficiaries

Almost 2 years after the accidental death of legendary music star Prince in 2016, his beneficiaries have yet to receive a single cent from his estimated estate of $200 million.  The legendary singer with 8 Grammy Awards with his hit album Purple Rain, featuring popular songs “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy”, had died in 2016 without a will.

” 2 Years Wait for Music Star Prince  $200 Million Estate Beneficiaries “

Before the money can be distributed to Prince’s beneficiaries, his 6 surviving siblings, the executor of Prince’s estate, Comerica Bank and Trust, and the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have to agree on the value of Prince’s estate.   It is estimated about 50% of his estate will go towards IRS and the state of Minnesota for taxes & estate duties (Prince was born in Minnesota in 1958 and is a resident in Minnesota).  The actual value has  yet to be concluded due to appraisals of his estate, including his music, videos, assets and his Paisley Park studio in Minnesota.

According to filings in 2018, the executor of his estate, Comerica Bank and Trust and its lawyers have already collected at least $5.9 million in fees and expenses.  The heirs are concerned they will be left with little, after all taxes & fees.  In a hearing, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide has told the executors to keep spending under control. The siblings have also been reported to disagree on the estate handling, and some are considering litigations regardless of the final distribution terms.

Prince is one of the most successful and best-selling music artists of all time.  He won numerous awards including 8 Grammy Awards, 6 Americans Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award for the 1984 Purple Rain film and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee in 2004.  Born in 1958, he died at the age of 57 in 2016 due to an accidental drug overdose.

Sources: Star Tribune, ABC News

 

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Billionaire & Descendent of Mellon Family Matthew Mellon has Died at the Age of 54

Billionaire & Descendent of Mellon Family Matthew Mellon has Died at the Age of 54

Billionaire Matthew Taylor Mellon and descendent of founder the now BNY Mellon, has died at the age of 54 in a hotel room in Mexico.  He was due to check in at a rehabilitation centre for drug addiction in Cancun, Mexico.  He had been reported to be addicted to the painkiller, OxyContin.

” Billionaire & Descendent of Mellon Family Matthew Mellon has Died at the Age of 54 “

Matthew Mellon is a descendent of founder of Mellon Financial Corporation (BNY Mellon) and founder of the now defunct investment bank, Drexel Burnham Lambert.  A billionaire, businessman & investor, he had also made a fortune in the digital currency company, Ripple Labs. His investment of $2 million investment is valued at more than $1 billion.  He had also served as the Chairman of the New York Republican Party’s finance committee.

In 2007, BNY Mellon was formed with the merger Mellon Financial Corporation and The Bank of New York, to form one of the largest bank in United States.  Mellon Financial Corporation is founded as T. Mellon & Sons’ Bank in 1869 by Thomas Mellon and his 2 sons, Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon.  The Bank of New York is one of United States’ oldest bank, was founded in 1784 by a group that includes American Founding Fathers Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.  Drexel Burnham Lambert was one the largest investment bank in United States until its closure in 1990.

Born in New York City in 1964, Matthew Mellon had graduated Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and married his first wife Tamara Mellon, co-founder of Jimmy Choo.  He is survived by his second wife, Nicole Hanley, and 4 children, Force, Olympia, Minty and a daughter from his first marriage.

Source: Bloomberg, BBC, The Guardian

 

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Singapore SWF Temasek to Buy 3.6% of Bayer for $3.6 Billion

Singapore SWF Temasek to Buy 3.6% of Bayer for $3.6 Billion

The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Singapore Temasek Holdings with $208 billion managed assets, has agreed to buy 3.6% of German life science company Bayer for $3.6 Billion (Euro 3 Billion).  The German company is currently preparing the final stages of their $66 billion acquisition of leading global seed producer Monsanto.  Temasek will subscribe to 31 million new shares (3.6%) of Bayer, giving it about 4% shareholding, including existing shares.

” Singapore SWF Temasek to Buy 3.6% of Bayer for $3.6 Billion “

Bayer is a global life science enterprise in the field of health care and agriculture, employing almost 100,00 people worldwide and generating Euro 35 billion in sales in 2017.  In recent years, there has been major consolidations in the industry with the $130 billion merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co, and China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta AG.

Source: Bayer, Bloomberg, Reuters

 

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About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of 35.0 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.4 billion euros, R&D expenses to 4.5 billion euros.

Visit: Bayer.com

 

 


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Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China Li Changjun Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China Li Changjun Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China for for Beijing and Shenzhen Li Changjun is being investigated for possible corruption by Chinese authority.  The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had released an official statement that he is being investigated for serious violations of (Communist) party discipline, an announcement that is usually associated with a government official being investigated for corruption.

“Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China Li Changjun Investigated for Possible Corruption”

Earlier in 2018, Li Changjun had reported himself to authorities and admitted to issuing letters of credit or letters of guarantee for personal purposes when he was working at a Shenzhen branch of the Export-Import Bank.  He was the Head of Export-Import Bank of China Shenzhen branch from 2012 to 2016, and thereafter Head of Export-Import Bank of China Beijing branch.

The Export-Import Bank of China is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank that supports China’s foreign trade, investment and international economic cooperation. The bank provides short-term, mid-term and long-term loans approved for foreign trade. This includes export credit, import credit, loans for offshore contracts and overseas investment, concessional loans, trade finance, letter of guarantee and letter of credit.  The bank is also known as the China Exim Bank.

Sources: Caixing Global, China Daily

 

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About Export-Import Bank of China 

The Export-Import Bank of China is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank with the status of an independent legal entity. It is a bank directly under the leadership of the State Council and dedicated to supporting China’s foreign trade, investment and international economic cooperation. With the Chinese government’s credit support, the Bank plays a crucial role in promoting steady economic growth and structural adjustment, supporting foreign trade, and implementing the “going global” strategy. It is committed to reinforcing financial support to key sectors and weak links in the Chinese economy to ensure sustainable and healthy economic and social development. By the end of 2016, the Bank has 29 domestic branches and one domestic representative office in Hong Kong, four overseas institutions, namely, the Paris Branch, Representative Office for Southern and Eastern Africa, Representative Office for Northern and Western Africa, and St. Petersburg Representative Office.

Visit: Export-Import Bank of China

 

 


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Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission Xiang Junbo Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission Xiang Junbo Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Xiang Junbo is being investigated for possible corruption by Chinese authority.  The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had released an official statement that he is being investigated for serious violations of (Communist) party discipline, an announcement that is usually associated with a government official being investigated for corruption.

” Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission Xiang Junbo Investigated for Possible Corruption ”

In 2012, Xiang Junbo was named in an investigation by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on JPMorgan Chase, where the bank had offered jobs to relatives of high-ranking officials in China, in exchange for business opportunities.  In 2017, JPMorgan paid more than $250 million for violation of anti-bribery laws in the United States, without admission of any wrongdoings.

He became the Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) in 2011, and oversaw the transformation of China’s insurance sector.  He liberalised the insurance sector, lifting the cap on equity investment that saw an acquisition spree, growing their assets in 8 years from CNY 6 trillion ($950 billion) in 2011 to CNY 6 trillion ($2.54 trillion) in 2017, more than 2.5 times increase.  Small insurers had also sold controversial insurance products, including short-term products promising high returns with minimal insurance benefits to raise large amount of cash to fund investments in bonds, equities, companies and properties.

Xiang Junbo, aged 61, was a former Deputy Governor of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China and former Chairman of one of China’s largest bank, Agricultural Bank of China.  He was born in 1957 in Chongqing, China, and had fought in the 1979 Vietnamese border war.  Thereafter, he went to Renmin University in Beijing and later, received his doctorate in law from Peking University.  He was an auditor at the National Audit Office for 20 years, and in 2004 became the Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China.  In 2007, he became the Chairman of China’s  bank, Agricultural Bank of China.  In 2011, he became the Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Sources: SCMP, Bloomberg, Caixin Global

 

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About The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (the “CIRC”), established on November 18, 1998, is authorized by the State Council to conduct administration, supervision and regulation of the Chinese insurance market, and to ensure that the insurance industry operates stably in compliance with law.

Visit: CIRC

 

 


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Commonwealth Bank Refunds More than A$100 Million for Charging Fees without Financial Advisory Services 

Commonwealth Bank Refunds More than A$100 Million for Charging Fees without Financial Advisory Services

One of Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has been charging clients for no financial advisory services.  The bank has since refunded more than A$100 million to its clients that who were charged fees for no services between 2007 to 2015.

” Commonwealth Bank Refunds More than A$100 Million for Charging Fees without Financial Advisory Services  “

Commonwealth Bank did not report the illegal behaviour under the Corporations Act to the industry regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) only until 2014.  The bank

reported clients of its’ business subsidiaries, Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) and BW Financial Advice Limited (BWFA), did not receive annual reviews as part of the financial advice service package they paid for.  In one inquiry, one financial advisor in its subsidiary, Count Financial, knew the bank was charging A$1,000 in service fees in 2015, despite the client having died in 2004.

After the self-reporting, the bank worked with Deloitte and EY, to develop and implement a comprehensive Advice Fee Refund program covering the period 2007 to 2015, which involved reviewing approximately 62,000 customer files and making payments of approximately $88 million (plus interest) to affected customers. In November 2017, the Australian government had commenced inquiries into banking, pension and financial services industries, after a series of scandals.

Source: CBA, ABC, CTV News, The Guardian

 

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About Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is Australia’s leading provider of integrated financial services, including retail, premium, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and share-broking products and services.

Visit: Commonwealth Bank

 

 


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Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye Jailed for 24 years for Corruption

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye Jailed for 24 years for Corruption

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye had been sentenced to jail for 24 years for corruption.  A South Korean court found her guilty of colluding with her friend Choi Soon-sil for receiving 7 billion won ($6.53 million) each from South Korea’s conglomerate Lotte Group and Samsung.  She was also fined 18 billion won ($16.8 million) for charges on bribery, abuse of power and coercion.  The bribes received were used to fund non-profit foundations ran by Choi’s family and confidants.

” Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye Jailed for 24 years for Corruption “

The former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was forced out from office in 2017 when the Constitutional Court ordered her out over a corruption scandal between political leaders and the country’s conglomerates.  She is South Korea’s first woman President (2013-2017), and has been in jail since March 2017.  Her father was former dictator and President of South Korea from 1963 to 1979, until he was assassinated in 1979.

In 1996, former South Korea Presidents Chun Doo-hwan (1979-1988) and Roh Tae-woo (1988-1993) were convicted in 1996 of mutiny, treason and corruption and for their roles in the Gwangju Uprising.  Both former Presidents were sentenced to death, amended to jail, and later received presidential pardons.

In recent times, Chairman of the Lotte Group Shin Dong-bin had been sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for corruption.  Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee was also sentenced to 2.5 years, but was freed after 1 year.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, Time

 

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