CI VIEW: Google’s Schmidt making & possibly unmaking the Arab Spring UPDATE


WASHINGTON/TRIPOLI (CI MENA) (Updating on April 9, 2016 to add interview with father of internet Vinton Cerf) – It was surprising to see Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt casually walking between market booths through the winding streets of old town Tripoli with a small entourage of staff and two low-key PSDs (personal security detail).

[Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks to Capitol Intelligence using Google Glass at New America Foundation in Washington, DC on May 22, 2014]

Mr. Schmidt was equally surprised to bump into a DC-based American financial reporter wearing an Italian suit and tie also strolling through the Kasbah on a late sunny January, 2012 afternoon fresh from a meeting with the Libyan Central Bank. Continue reading

CI VIEW: Uganda Oil Minister Irene Muloni says country seeks to turn “black gold” into “green gold” Update:

HOUSTON/WASHINGTON (CI Africa) – (Update on Feb. 2, 2015 to add interview with Uganda Finance Minister Ugandan Minister Hon. Maria Kiwanuka) Uganda Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon Eng Irene Muloni said the African nation is planning to re-invest much of its oil revenue windfall into the country’s agriculture sector as way to provide sustainable growth to the country.

[Uganda Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Eng Irene Muloni speaks to Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at  IHS CERAWEEK in Houston]

Muloni told Capitol Intelligence that Uganda is seeking to transform “black gold” from oil revenues to “green gold” of a flourishing agriculture industry. Continue reading

CI VIEW: Veyseloglu open to PE approaches for Ulduz confectionery unit, CFO

WARSAW/CERNOBBIO (CI Central Asia) —Veyseloglu Group, the privately-held Azerbaijan food and retail group, is open to approaches by private equity into its Ulduz Chocolate & Candy unit, Veyseloglu chief financial officer Ilgar Isayev said.

[Veyseloglu Group CFO Ilgas Isayev speaks to Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at EBRD Annual meeting in Warsaw, Poland]

In an interview with Capitol Intelligence following the signing of a USD 9m loan from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Isayev said that the company would be willing to open the share capital of Ulduz to financial investors

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Gulf Keystone: MOL does not exclude bidding for company, PKN Orlen not actively seeking deals

Todd KozelVIENNA/WASHINGTON (CI MENA) — Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE:GKP), the London AIM listed exploration and production company, could be taken over by listed Hungarian oil concern MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Public and Limited Company, a MOL director said.

The MOL director said that Gulf Keystone, which has major oil production sites in Iraqi Kurdistan, is looking for both a “cash-in” and an “exit” and that MOL could look at making a bid for the company.

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Nostrum Energy could open R&D, manufacturing center in Tunisia, CEO says

Kaushil K. VyasWASHINGTON  (BBN) – Nostrum Energy, the privately-held Fort Washington, Maryland automotive group, could open a R&D and manufacturing facility in Tunisia, Nostrum CEO Kaushik K. Vyas said.

Speaking to Black Business News at a Secure America’s Future Energy (SAFE) summit in Washington, Vyas said the company is looking at Tunisia both for its advanced automotive industry and supply of qualified engineers and scientists. Continue reading

Monte dei Paschi di Siena attracting investment interest from Qatar – sources

Ignazio ViscoWASHINGTON/ROME (CI MENA) — Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank, is attracting preliminary investment interest from Qatar, sources close to the matter said.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is currently examining whether to make a sizeable stake purchase in Monte Dei Paschi di Siena, European banking sources close to the matter said. A stake purchase could be announced by the end of 2013 or early 2014. Continue reading

Gulftainer evaluating investment in US Port, Benghazi terminal, CEO says

Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al QassimiWASHINGTON (CI MENA) — Gulftainer Group of Companies, the privately-held port operator owned by Sharjah, UAE based Crescent Enterprises, is looking at investing in a port in the United States and is currently bidding to re-redevelop the port of Benghazi, Crescent Entreprises CEO Badr Jafar said.

Speaking to Capitol Intelligence during the Sharjah USA 2013 Roadshow in Washington DC led by HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Quassimi on September 30/October 1, Jafar said Gulftainer is very interested in bringing its expertise to a US port and also developing the Libyan ports of Benghazi, Zliten and Misurata.

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Washington Post Company attracts interest from GCC funds – sources

news2ABU DHABI/WASHINGTON  (CI MENA) UPDATE: Washington Post announced the sale of the Washington Post newspaper to Amazon owner Jeff Bezos for USD 250m August 5, 2013.  Sources in Abu Dhabi and Qatar said the sale of the Washington Post newspaper now makes Kaplan a more attractive investment target. Other potential bidders for Kaplan include Pearson PLC. The original story below was published on February 17, 2013.

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Ashok Leyland looking at truck and bus assembly in Tunisia, Chairman says

Prakash HindujaWASHINGTON/TUNIS (CI MENA) —  Ashok Leyland, the listed commercial vehicle manufacturer, is looking at assembling trucks and busses in Tunisia to supply the growth markets of Libya and Algeria, part-owner and Hinduja Group of Companies’ Eurpe Chairman Prakash P. Hinduja said.

Speaking with Capitol Intelligence in New York and Washington, DC, Hinduja said the Indian family conglomerate that owns Ashok Leyland is very interested in pursuing BRT (bus rapid rapid transit) opportunities in Libya, Algeria and possibly West Africa.

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Sage to relocate 500 workers to new mid-Atlantic regional HQ, NA CEO says

rushern-bakerFORT WASHINGTON, MD (BBN) – Sage (SGE: LN), the listed New Castle, UK accounting ad ERP software firm, is looking to relocate 500 workers based in McLean and Herndon, Virginia to a new centralized location, Sage North American President and CEO Pascal Houillon said.

In an interview with Black Business News  at the Sage City convention at National Harbor, Houillon said he would like to move the IT developers and staff based Mclean and Herndon to a single location in the next 18 months.

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Atlantic City Convention Center privatization attracting interest from Dubai, Shanghai

ssATLANTIC CITY (BBN) –  Atlantic City Convention Center privatization attracting interest from Dubai, Shanghai Atlantic City (BBN) – The Atlantic City Convention Center is attracting initial investment interest both from Dubai and Shanghai as New Jersey ponders privatizing the convention center.

At a forum in Atlantic City organized by the Mid-Atlantic Export Council, an official representing the chairman of Dubai World, Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, said the UAE emirate could be interested in the potential privatization of the Atlantic City Convention Center.

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Opinion: Libya can use ENI promises to kick-start private sector economic growth

geTRIPOLI (CI MENA) — By PK Semler. Republished in Libya Herald, 19 January 2013

Almost a year ago today, chief executive Paolo Scaroni of ENI, the oil and gas giant, traveled to Libya with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata and promised $400m in much-needed funds to help rebuild critical infrastructure such as hospitals, transport and schools. Continue reading