Is London Big Enough For A Second Startup Hub?
There was a bunch of warehouses back here, and so we took over the whole warehouse and turned it into our own West London incubator that houses a whole host of different businesses. Having our own four walls was good, he explains. The Advantages Of Heading West This location in FIG Village has other advantages besides a simple set of walls. A lot of the companies we work with are actually out West. If you look at where Cisco, where Microsoft Microsoft , where the big B2B tech is, its actually out this side of town, as is Discovery Channel, Sky and the BBC, Hill says. Wazoku, which provides an internal idea generation and management platform for the BBC has clearly benefited from this proximity. But has being away from the East London tech action created other hassles for the fledgling company? Quite the opposite, claims Hill. A lot of clients, theyre struggling for meeting space in Central London. Theyre really happy to come to us. Weve got a huge space. Weve got a Muay Thai boxing gym in here, so we have two boxing rings in the office people find it quite quirky. If were going to meet clients, then the fact that we can show them an interesting space that isnt just four desks in a really expensive Shoreditch office gives us some more credibility, Hill says.
Goodbye London, hello Gaborone: De Beers sales head to Africa
Search Middle East Real Time1 October 3, 2013, 12:47 PM Stake Sale Plan Behind Ooredoos Potential London Listing? Bloomberg News Qatars Ooredoo is said to be considering at a secondary London listing. A secondary listing in London has some obvious attractions for companies in the Middle East global visibility, diversified investor base and increased liquidity: not surprising then that Qatar-based Ooredoo, a regional telecom giant with global growth aspirations, is considering such a move. The telco, formerly known as Qatar Telecom, has sent out a request for proposal to banks to study the merits of a secondary stock market listing in London, bankers familiar with the matter say. Besides the obvious, the plan for a secondary stock listing could also mean that Ooredoo whose GDRs already trade sparsely on the LSE may be looking at raising fresh cash and/or that a big investor is looking to sell down its stake. The telco is majority-owned by the Qatar government and counts the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as one of its biggest shareholders, according to Zawya.com data. For the Qatari government, a partial stake sale would still leave them in control of the company, while helping raise cash to fund some of the Persian Gulf states ambitious spending plans. Whatever the reason, a London listing is expected to help garner a better valuation, or at least that would be the belief behind such a move. After all, the local Doha-based market isnt very liquid and any big stake sale there will likely impact its stock price. Ooredoo shares last traded at QAR140.90 on the Qatar Exchange, far lower than the QAR157.97 that investment bank EFG Hermes values them at. Victor Sunyer, a director at Delta Partners, a telecom advisory and investment company, reckons it also makes increasing sense for operators that have a more diversified portfolio to pursue a listing abroad. Here they have a very narrow investor base and they are bound by the local markets. The Qatari telco, which has been aggressively expanding abroad, operates subsidiaries across the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia. But not all agree to the benefits of a secondary listing. Im not a fan of dual listing, its better to have a liquid listed company in one market versus having a company listed on multiple exchanges, says Sebastien Henin, a portfolio manager at Abu Dhabi-based The National Investor. For Ooredoo the benefit is even less obvious because theyre not going to benefit from a better cost of capital, one of the main benefits to do such a move.
Chinese developers invest to build replica of London’s Crystal Palace, a Victorian wonder
Britains Crystal Palace, the Victorian exhibition center that was once the largest glass structure in the world, will be brought back to life with investment from Chinese developers. Shanghai-based Zhongrong Group plans to invest 500 million pounds (US$ ) to build a replica of the iron and glass building as a cultural attraction in south London. The Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, was the worlds biggest glass structure before it was destroyed by fire in 1936. The plans, announced Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 will replicate the buildings Victorian design in the original size and scale. (AP Photo/File)The Associated Press In this computer generated image provided by In-Press Photography, showing Shanghai-based Zhongrong Group’s proposed design on rebuilding Crystal Palace on the site of the original Victorian building in south-east London. Britains Crystal Palace, the Victorian exhibition center that was once the largest glass structure in the world, will be brought back to life with investment from Chinese developers. Shanghai-based Zhongrong Group plans to invest 500 million pounds (US$ ) to build a replica of the iron and glass building as a cultural attraction in south London. The Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, was the worlds biggest glass structure before it was destroyed by fire in 1936. The plans, announced Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 will replicate the buildings Victorian design in the original size and scale. (AP Photo/In-Press Photography)The Associated Press
By separating sales from corporate headquarters, the move is also arguably the biggest challenge De Beers has faced to the way it does business since the current sales model was set up nearly a century ago to secure its then-dominant position. END OF AN ERA The shift south, long expected in one form or another, raises practical questions – visa difficulties, a lack of direct flights and suitable hotels – but has also sparked a debate around the future of De Beers and its role in the gem market. Still the world’s largest producer by value, De Beers was taken over by Anglo American in a deal completed last year which bought out the Oppenheimer family, cutting direct links to the dynasty that ran the firm for almost a century. “It is what you would call the end of an era, but it should not be seen as a negative, it should be seen as the natural progression of the industry,” Kieron Hodgson, an equity analyst at Charles Stanley in London. Others are less sanguine. “I don’t think any of them really want to be (in Gaborone), but they don’t have a choice as the diamonds are in the ground there,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Des Kilalea. “It is akin to saying we won’t have an London Metal Exchange, you’ll have to go to Chile to get your copper. It is blatantly inefficient – though in terms of politics and development, if I were president I’d do the same.” De Beers has already moved its diamond sorting and aggregation businesses – the operations that sift through the production from each mine and bring the gems together before they are allocated to buyers – to Gaborone. It has also been supporting cutting and polishing operations by making more diamonds available locally – encouraging international firms like Tannenbaum’s to grow there. The Leo Schachter group now employs some 300 people in Botswana. A TIGHT GRIP De Beers’ London sights date back to the 1930s, when it set up what became the Diamond Trading Company to control supply, secure demand and tighten its grip on the market in rough diamonds, of which it held some 80 percent at its peak in the 1980s and 90s. Gems from all mines were aggregated and quantities for customers were agreed in advance. Buyers were vetted and could not refuse gems in their allocation without risking future supply. In exchange, they were assured a predictable, consistent quality and supply.