Subdivision Tips, South Australia (C: +61431138537), https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

1200 light years away, may have active life

1,200 Light-Years Away, This Planet May Have Active Life World | Indo-Asian News Service | Updated: May 28, 2016 11:31 IST by Taboola Sponsored Links Sponsored $230M Divorce War! What's At Stake In Kim & 'Bankrupt' Kanye's BITTER Split (Radar Online) The Ultimate Cheap Flights Finder is Here! (Save70.com) EMAIL PRINT 47 COMMENTS 1,200 Light-Years Away, This Planet May Have Active Life Kepler-62f, the planet is situated in the direction of the constellation Lyra is larger than earth and might also have life on it. WASHINGTON: HIGHLIGHTS Named Kepler-62f, the planet is a good prospect for a habitable world In all probabilities, the planet has surface liquid water: Researchers Kepler-62f is situated in the direction of the constellation Lyra A planet which is about 1,200 light-years from Earth and in all probabilities has surface liquid water is a good prospect for a habitable world, reports researchers from University of California-Los Angeles. Named Kepler-62f, the planet is situated in the direction of the constellation Lyra and is approximately 40 percent larger than Earth. "At that size, Kepler-62f is within the range of planets that are likely to be rocky and possibly could have oceans," said Aomawa Shields, lead author and a astrophysics postdoctoral fellow. NASA's Kepler mission discovered the planetary system that includes Kepler-62f in 2013 and it identified Kepler-62f as the outermost of five planets orbiting a star that is smaller and cooler than the Sun. But the mission did not reveal information about its composition or atmosphere or the shape of its orbit. To determine whether the planet could sustain life, the team came up with possible scenarios about what its atmosphere might be like and what the shape of its orbit might be. "We found there are multiple atmospheric compositions that allow it to be warm enough to have surface liquid water. This makes it a strong candidate for a habitable planet," added Shields. On Earth, carbon dioxide makes up 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. Because Kepler-62f is much farther away from its star than Earth is from the Sun, it would need to have dramatically more carbon dioxide to be warm enough to maintain liquid water on its surface, and to keep from freezing. The team ran computer simulations and found many scenarios that allow it to be habitable, assuming different amounts of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. Shields said that for the planet to be consistently habitable throughout its entire year, it would require an atmosphere that is three to five times thicker than Earth's and composed entirely of carbon dioxide. Having such a high concentration of carbon dioxide would be possible for the planet because, given how far it is from its star, the gas could build up in the planet's atmosphere as temperatures get colder to keep the planet warm. The scientists made their calculations of the shape of the planet's possible orbital path using an existing computer model called HNBody. The research was published online in the journal Astrobiology. According to Shields, the same technique could be applied to understand whether exoplanets much closer to Earth could be habitable, so long as the planets are likely to be rocky. "This will help us understand how likely certain planets are to be habitable over a wide range of factors, for which we don't yet have data from telescopes," she noted. More than 2,300 exoplanets have been confirmed so far and a few thousand others are considered planet candidates, but only a couple dozen are known to be in the "habitable zone".

Monday, May 30, 2016

Wanda's $4.4 bln buyout bid is just good enough

Wanda's $4.4 bln buyout bid is just good enough Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, poses for a photo during an interview at his office in the company's headquarters in Beijing December 3, 2012

Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, the property arm of Dalian Wanda Group, made an offer to buy out its Hong Kong listed shares valuing the company at HK$34.45 billion ($4.4 billion).

The cash offer of HK$52.80 per share represents a 44.5 percent premium to the unit’s closing price on March 29, the day before Wanda Group first announced its intention to make an offer.

The deal, if completed, would result in the privatisation and delisting of China’s largest commercial property developer.

In March, DWCP said its parent would not offer less than HK$48 in cash per share, the same price at which it went public in December 2014.

Privately-held Dalian Wanda Group, led by Wang Jianlin, currently holds a 43.7 percent equity stake in the property unit.

Shares of Wanda Commercial Properties were trading down 2.4 percent at HK$48.75 by early afternoon Hong Kong time on May 30.

DWCP said last July that it planned to raise up to $1.9 billion through an issue of A-shares on the mainland. The company at the time said it planned to retain its Hong Kong listing of H-shares.

Wang Jianlin is offering his property firm’s Hong Kong investors a stingy 10 pct premium to the IPO price 17 months ago. The Chinese tycoon will pocket better returns if it relists on the mainland. Yet while minority investors have reason to hold out, doing so would be risky. Wang Jianlin’s $4.4 billion buyout bid may be just good enough. The Chinese cinema-to-theme parks tycoon has made an offer to take Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties private barely 17 months after the flagship real estate arm of his Wanda empire listed in Hong Kong. Though independent investors could hold out for more, doing so would risky.

Wang is offering to pay HK$52.80 per share in cash for the Hong Kong shares, which account for almost 15 percent of the total outstanding. That is a stingy 10 percent more than the price at which the company went public in December 2014, though it still beats the performance of the local Hang Seng Index, which has fallen 11.4 percent over the same period. What’s more, Wanda’s shares have traded below their IPO price for roughly half the time since their debut.

There are two ways Wang could pocket a big return from buying out the group that has ambitions to roll out another 50 shopping malls in China this year. Take the group private at the offer price, assume 47.16 billion yuan of operating profit in 2018 - based on Eikon estimates - and a 26 percent tax rate, and the annual post-tax return would be almost 11 percent.

If Wang manages to follow through with a listing on the mainland, which he is eyeing within two years, then he could do even better. Property developers listed in Shanghai or Shenzhen currently enjoy a massive premium to their Hong Kong peers: China Vanke and Greenland Holdings trade at over twice Wanda’s earnings multiple.

Wang says the offer is final. Under local rules, that prevents him from immediately making another bid if independent shareholders vote this one down. They can block the deal with just 10 percent of the Hong Kong stock - a threshold within reach of activist investors. But before doing so they must consider the risks of ending up as minority owners of a business where the majority shareholder has little incentive to unlock any value. It looks like Wang may have offered just enough.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Judge criticized by Trump unseals documents in Trump University case

Sun May 29, 2016 | 5:31 PM EDT Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in San Diego, California, U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in San Diego, California, U.S. May 27, 2016. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A judge, called a "hater" by Donald Trump for his handling of a lawsuit related to the businessman's Trump University real estate school, has unsealed documents related to the case. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is fighting a lawsuit that accuses his school venture of misleading thousands of people who paid up to $35,000 for seminars to learn about the billionaire's real estate investment strategies. In an order signed on Friday, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said that materials, including Trump University procedures on dealing with students and the media, should be unsealed. He noted that they had already been published by the media organization Politico and that a magistrate judge described them previously as "routine" and "commonplace." At a rally in San Diego on Friday, Trump criticized Curiel for his handling of the Trump University case. "I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. A hater. He's a hater," Trump said. "We're in front of a very hostile judge. The judge was appointed by Barack Obama," Trump said, adding he believed Curiel was Mexican. Curiel is an American who was born in East Chicago, Indiana, and graduated from the Indiana University School of Law. Trump has drawn criticism for his comments about immigrants from Mexico, some of whom he has said were criminals and rapists. He has proposed building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration and requiring Mexico to pay for it. Hispanics are a critical voting bloc in U.S. presidential elections. Last week, Trump knocked one of the highest profile Hispanic women in the Republican Party, criticizing New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez for her handling of the state's economy. Her office said his criticisms were not substantive. Martinez has been touted as a potential vice presidential pick for a Republican ticket. (Editing by Caren Bohan and Nick Zieminski)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Rent-to-buy house deals can lead to disaster

Rent-to-buy house deals can lead to disaster Rent-to-buy deals that claim buyers with little money or income can secure a property for $1 upfront can lead to massive losses for both buyer and seller. Rent-to-buy deals could end in tears. Photo: Getty With property prices sky-high, some people with no deposit are being lured into rent-to buy property deals that could end in big losses and no property. Australia’s state and federal Consumer Affairs regulators are so concerned about the issue they have launched a joint campaign to warn people off such schemes and their high-pressure selling techniques. • Rents slump, with ritzy suburbs hit worst • Latest rate cut leaves many short-changed • Lenders play musical chairs on negative gearing The rent-to buy schemes that trouble the regulators can take advantage of both stressed buyers and sellers and are usually driven by third parties who are trained at high-pressure seminars. They work like this: For those who can’t get a mortgage People wanting to buy a house but who don’t qualify for a housing loan are attracted by ads from middle people who promise to help them buy a property with no or very little money down. They may put up a little money as a deposit then make what is essentially an “option agreement to buy the property in the future”, said Susan Quinn, senior policy officer with the Consumer Action Law Centre in Melbourne. 0526renttobuy Such option arrangements are usually seen in the commercial property market, not among unsophisticated home buyers. Those agreements see would-be buyers pay lease fees they believe will help them build enough equity to qualify for a home loan when their lease agreement expires, usually in three years. On top of the equity payments, they pay rent. Ms Quinn said the deals can involve “huge fees that are sometimes more than the rent and the rents can be pretty inflated”. There may be no legitimate contract. Photo:AAP At the other end of the deal, property owners, who are often under financial stress, do a deal with the middle people to sell the house on terms that can be below market rates. In some arrangements they get little or none of the equity payments made by the would-be buyer and get just enough rent to pay their interest payments. It’s not a legal sale From the buyers’ viewpoint “the deals are completely unrealistic from the beginning”. “People end up paying far more than the market rent and in the end are not approved for a mortgage and have to walk away from the deal,” Ms Quinn said. When people walk away they often find they have no rights over the property. “The big trick in all this is that it’s not really a property sale: the buyer doesn’t get legal title,” she said. And often they have no rights to the return of their so-called “equity”. “Technically, the installment payments are refundable; but the contract may be written in a way that removes the buyer’s right to a refund,” Vince Pelligra of law firm Slater and Gordon told the Perth Now website. Sellers also get hit In the worst case, vendors, who remain legally responsible for the property where there is no valid sale agreement, may have to accept a below market price for their home from the middle man, and receive little or none of the monthly equity payments. They also lose rights to future capital growth. WA Consumer Protection spokesman Luke Eaton toldThe New Daily that WA had cracked down on rent-to-buy spruikers in recent times. “Consumer Protection WA has received 15 complaints and 84 enquiries on the issue. We are acting before the numbers grow.” Authorities are acting Consumer Protection WA took action against Richard “Rick” Keith Otton, together with his companies Rick Otton.com Pty Ltd and We Buy Houses Pty Ltd, leading them to agree to an enforceable undertaking to refrain from conducting property investment seminars in WA for two years. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also taken action against Mr Otton and his company We Buy Houses claiming misleading and deceptive conduct around their promotion of such schemes in a case due in court in August. WA Consumer Protection in November 2015 also forced Presto Property Solutions Pty Ltd and its director Ms Rowan Amanda Lines, to repay consumers $70,000 over false and misleading declarations made over rent-to-buy schemes. Ms Quinn said her group is pursuing six cases, including one where a complainant lost $57,000 for an off-the-plan property that was never built. Another saw a buyer pay $80,000 over the market price rent on a property over three years. Source: www.thenewdaily.com ================================= Mar 23 2016 at 11:42 AM Updated Mar 23 2016 at 1:01 PM Save article Print Reprints & permissions AMP 'blacklists' more than 140 suburbs for apartment lending Share via Email Share on Google Plus Post on facebook wall Share on twitter Post to Linkedin Share on Reddit "The risk of a potential over-supply of apartments is largest in Melbourne and Brisbane, where apartment building has ... "The risk of a potential over-supply of apartments is largest in Melbourne and Brisbane, where apartment building has been at record highs as a share of the existing stock. There is also some risk of over-supply in Perth, where apartment building has been strong." Graham Denholm by Duncan Hughes Apartments in more than 140 suburbs are on a confidential black list because of growing concerns about oversupply, off-the-plan sales, and, in some areas, falling prices, according to leaked documents. AMP Bank, the banking division of the largest financial services group that compiled the list, claims it is a "prudent" response to managing risks of "over-supply", which could push down prices, rents and lead to defaults. "We have identified certain high density areas where we have put provisions in place to manage risk and over-supply," a spokesman says. "We take a prudent approach to managing risk," she says. AMP is one of several big lenders circulating 'black lists' of suburbs where apartment buyers will face tougher terms and conditions, including increased scrutiny of their ability to pay. It is focusing on developments of more than 10 apartments being built around state capitals and inner-suburban postcodes where there are high volumes of new, or soon-to-be-completed complexes. Suburbs more than 10-kilometres from Sydney's central business district, such as Homebush and Arncliffe, where there is a lot of apartment building underway, have recently been added to the list. AMP borrowers will face tougher terms on the amount borrowed, number of apartments purchased in a single development and a ban on using some incentives offered by developers, such as rental guarantees. Other lenders have recently issued similar warnings about former real estate hot spots that have gone cold, typically in former mining boom towns of Perth and Darwin, where rents and prices have been tumbling. Queensland accounts for an additional 73 suburbs, which is more than half the nation's total, including Cairns and many ... Queensland accounts for an additional 73 suburbs, which is more than half the nation's total, including Cairns and many suburbs along the Gold Coast, including Broadbeach, Mermaid Waters and Florida Gardens. Supplied Rock Building Society has reviewed and expanded its list of 'high risk' postcodes and issued a limit on luxury properties and maximum loan-to-value ratios for those properties of 70 per cent. ANZ is circulating a list of 50 postcodes, concentrated around Western Australia, Queensland and NSW mining towns, that is describes as "not acceptable" for providing lenders mortgage insurance, which is a one-off insurance payment that protects lenders against default. It is also impose tougher controls on the use of commission and overtime payments used in calculating buyer's ability to service a mortgage. AMP's 'high risk' list targets state capitals, particularly Melbourne and Sydney, where the building of apartment buildings has boomed because of demand from investors and first-time buyers that cannot afford a house in suburbs. In Sydney the focus is also for developments around the central business district and inner suburbs of Dawes Point, ... In Sydney the focus is also for developments around the central business district and inner suburbs of Dawes Point, Darling Harbour, Millers Point and Sydney South. Wolter Peeters The main Melbourne focus is the central business district and nearby Docklands and Southbank, where large numbers of high rise complexes continue to be built. Melbourne's overall apartment prices are up about 5 per cent and rents around 4 per cent during the past 12 months, according to SQM Research, a company that analyses property prices. But there are pockets of over-supply, which could be worsened by imminent completions of major construction projects. In Sydney the focus is also for developments around the central business district and inner suburbs of Dawes Point, Darling Harbour, Millers Point and Sydney South. Sydney, which as been the nation's top performing residential property market, posted rises of nearly 10 per cent for apartments and 5.5 per cent for rents during the past 12 months, according to SQM. Inner Brisbane, which has been issued a buyer 'red alert' by SQM because of concerns about over-supply, is also on AMP's watch-list. Queensland accounts for an additional 73 suburbs, which is more than half the nation's total, including Cairns and many suburbs along the Gold Coast, including Broadbeach, Mermaid Waters and Florida Gardens. Prices of Brisbane units have increased by about 1 per cent during the past 12 months and rents are up by about 2.4 per cent, according to SQM. Developers are offering buyers three year rental guarantees on sales, which are three- to-four bedroom apartments selling for about $500,000. Lenders are concerned about the number of new apartments expected to flood onto the market over the coming 12 months, adding to a large existing inventory of unsold, or vacated, apartments in many markets. An estimated 45,000 apartments are due for completion and settlement over the next nine months to Christmas in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, an increase of nearly 25 per cent compared to last year, according to planning consultancy MacroPlan Dimasi. Another 53,000 could be coming to market in the same postcodes next year, the consultancy estimates. Perth, where unit prices have fallen by 9 per cent during the past 12 months, has more than 30 blacklisted suburbs, particularly around central and east Perth, where rents are routinely being slashed by increasingly desperate landlords. Darwin, which is also struggling to absorb developments that were commenced during the mining boom, is also listed. Lenders are also worried that off-the-plan investors might not be able to bridge a deposit gap caused by lower loan-to-value ratios, which means bigger deposits before settlement. A recent survey by WBP Property revealed nearly half off-the-plan sales in the eight months to last August were in negative equity, which means worth less than the purchase price. Average losses were about $40,000, or about 10 per cent, between agreement to buy and pre-settlement valuation, which is required by lenders to assess any changes in value and he amount of money a lender can borrow. Buyers have to bridge the gap between the purchase price and final valuation, which can result in contract breach, deposit loss and, potentially, legal action by vendors. AMP, which says its analysis is based on in-house and independent consultancy, says borrowing restrictions target what it describes as "high density" areas, which are apartments in complexes with more than 10 units and located within the blacklisted postcodes. Under the new lending arrangements, loan-to-value ratios are up to 90 per cent, there is a maximum of two apartments per borrower on any development, rental guarantees will not be accepted and a cap of 25 per cent of any individual development, or 10 units, which ever is the bigger. Other lenders, such as ING Direct, recently banned inducements of rebates, special conditions, furniture, televisions and cars to buyers to complete their off-the-plan deals. Lenders fear the undisclosed incentives could increase the value of a property in a way that cannot be transferred to success buyers. Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/amp-blacklists-more-than-140-suburbs-for-apartment-lending-20160322-gno3em#ixzz49wICboAh Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pakistani, French investors acquire Iranian property portal iHome

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > PAKISTAN Pakistani, French investors acquire Iranian property portal iHome By Osman HusainPublished: May 23, 2016 Tech in Asia Publishing Partner 2 SHARES SHARE TWEET EMAIL Emerging Markets Property Group is parent company of Zameen and Bayut with a concentration on Pakistan and UAE. PHOTO: TECH IN ASIA Emerging Markets Property Group is parent company of Zameen and Bayut with a concentration on Pakistan and UAE. PHOTO: TECH IN ASIA Gilles Blanchard and Imran Ali Khan, the chairman and co-founder of Emerging Markets Property Group respectively, announced on Sunday that they have jointly acquired Iranian property portal iHome in their personal capacity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Emerging Markets Property Group is the parent company of real estate sites Zameen and Bayut with a concentration on Pakistan and the UAE. It raised US$20 million in series C financing in January with the money earmarked for ambitious expansion goals across South and Central Asia. Success story: Local property venture raises $9m in funding Zameen, the group’s flagship venture, was founded in 2006 and counts Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group as one of its investors. In 2014, the startup announced an undisclosed amount in series A funding from Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Frontier Digital Ventures. Gilles is a veteran in the classifieds industry after co-founding France’s largest property portal SeLoger in 1992, which was acquired by German publisher Axel Springer for US$846 million in 2011. He will take up the role of Chairman of iHome. “This is a familiar situation, one that we have tackled several times before, which is why we feel very confident and are certain about success in Iran,” said Gilles. “Iran is a market with immense opportunity. We believe in businesses being run locally and in paying attention to the local milieu. With that in mind, we are well into the process of building the strongest team in the country’s tech industry,” explained Imran. The Pakistan-born internet entrepreneur added that iHome’s team had been strengthened to 40 people. It would now be led by co-founder and CEO Mohammad Hossein Rafatnejad and based out of the capital, Tehran. Property portal: Zameen.com raises $20 million “We are raring to take this market by storm,” said Hossein in an emailed statement. Despite years of crippling sanctions, which were only partly lifted recently, Iran boasts an impressive internet penetration rate of 57.2 per cent. The country has almost 47 million online users with over one-third transacting online every month. Digikala, Iran’s top ecommerce site, employs over 900 people and is valued at approximately US$150 million with 80 per cent share of the online retail space. This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia. Read more: Property portal , Tech in Asia Recommended Stories 814575-university_of_pesh_collegeuni_fb-1419963615-369-640x480-13A click away: Web portal launched to promote development journalism Forum will allow alumni to upload their content, promote development in FATA 674368-hosuexcopy-1392920444-141-640x480-2In a first: Zameen.com launches real estate index Investors can now analyse trends and track the performance of the real estate market over a period of time 56d5305c63faePakistan’s valiant real estate market Karachi emerges leader with 255% growth in five years by Taboola Sponsored Links You May Like Drones Are The Future Of Fleet Management Financial Times Aboard The World, The Sea Is Your Home... How To Spend It for The World-Residences at Sea The Ultimate Cheap Flights Finder Save70 Indira Gandhi's life through her doctor's eyes Oneindia Migrant Camp Health Crisis Is Feared Following Measles Outbreak Financial Times How Central And Eastern Europe Can Benefit From Better Governance Financial Times Reader Comments (3) ALL COMMENTSREADER'S RECOMMENDATIONS Bunny Rabbit 15 hours ago Reply wow suddenly its Iran all the way . KSA seems to have a back seat now . Does OIL have something to do with this . Recommend roadkashehzada 14 hours ago Reply so happy to see pakistani companies growing and going international. all the best Recommend Ishrat salim 11 hours ago Reply Bravo! A very bold step indeed. Good move. Recommend Leave Your Reply Below Name (required) Email Location Web Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ. Most Read 1A video of Abhishek walking away from Ash on the red carpet has gone viral. Trouble in paradise? Abhishek gives cold shoulder to Aishwarya at Sarbjit premiere 2The two actors look adorable together. PHOTO: ALLPAKISTANDRAMAPAGE Revealed: Saba Qamar's first look in Bollywood debut alongside Irrfan Khan 3PHOTO: VOICE FATA 'Jaffarabad police chief’s death likely to be premeditated murder, not suicide' 4The writer is a retired lieutenant colonel of the Pakistan Army and is currently pursuing PhD in civil-military relations from the University of Karachi India — going ‘ballistic’? 5Body-shaming isn't cool, guys. PHOTO: FILE Fardeen Khan's dramatic transformation gives fodder to Twitter trolls 6Security officials and hospital staff move a dead body into a morgue in Quetta on May 22, 2016. PHOTO: AFP Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour killed in US drone strike in Pakistan 7Security officials and hospital staff stand next to unidentified dead bodies placed on stretchers at a morgue in a hospital in Quetta on May 22, 2016, which were brought following a drone strike in the remote town of Ahmad Wal in Balochistan that targeted Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour. PHOTO: AFP Man believed to be Taliban leader had returned from Iran 8Pakistan denounced the US drone strike on Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour as a violation of its air space PHOTO: REUTERS US forces will continue to go after threats on Pakistani soil: Obama 9It was displayed in Queen Mother’s funeral cortege in 2012, causing angst in India and Pakistan. Koh-i-Noor leaves Lahore 10K-P Transaction Alliance says Alesha was targeted by extortionists asking for porn videos. PHOTO: FACEBOOK Transgender activist critically injured after being shot multiple times in Peshawar Connect With Tribune News Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Get News Every Evening RECENT SLIDESHOWS <> Diamonds and dresses Click it wear it Shades of summer Bridal dreams MORE IN PAKISTAN 11 mouthwatering pictures of desi breakfasts

Thursday, May 19, 2016

EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo missing with 66 on board

Thu May 19, 2016 | 5:13 AM EDT 3h ago | 00:44 EgyptAir says flight from Paris to Cairo missing EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo missing with...X By Lin Noueihed and Eric Knecht CAIRO (Reuters) - An EgyptAir flight carrying 66 passengers and crew on a flight from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt's national airline said. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the search was underway to find the missing Airbus A320 and it was too early to rule out any explanation for the incident, including terrorism. Officials with the airline and the Egyptian civil aviation department told Reuters they believed the jet had crashed into the sea. However, it remained unclear whether the disappearance was due to technical failure or any other reason such as sabotage by ultra-hardline Islamists, who have targeted airports, airliners and tourist sites in Europe, Egypt, Tunisia and other Middle Eastern countries over the past few years. Egypt Air said the plane sent an emergency signal - possibly from an emergency beacon attached to the plane - at 04:26 a.m., two hours after it disappeared from radar screens. In water crashes, an underwater locator beacon attached to the aircraft's flight recorders starts to emit a signal or ping. This helps the search and rescue teams to locate the boxes, and the location of the crash. The aircraft was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two infants, and 10 crew, EgyptAir said. They included 30 Egyptian and 15 French nationals, along with nationals from 10 other countries. "The theory that the plane crashed and fell is now confirmed after the preliminary search and after it did not arrive at any of the nearby airports," said a senior aviation source, who declined to be identified. "All causes for the disaster are open, whether it is a major technical fault or a terrorist action or any other circumstance. This will be ascertained when we inspect the plane's wreckage and transcribe its black boxes." Asked if he could rule out that terrorists were behind the incident, Prime Minister Ismail said: "We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause." "Search operations are ongoing at this time for the airplane in the area where it is believed to have lost contact," he told reporters at Cairo airport. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will chair a national security council meeting on Thursday morning, a statement from his office said. It did not say if the meeting would discuss the plane. 'NOTHING UNUSUAL' Families of passengers rushed to Cairo International Airport shortly after dawn while the Egyptian and Greek military scrambled aircraft and boats to search for the plane. The airline said on its Twitter account that Flight MS804 had departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST). It disappeared at 02:30 a.m. at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,280 metres) in Egyptian air space, about 280 km (165 miles) from the Egyptian coast before it was due to land at 03:15 a.m., the airline said. ADVERTISEMENT "There was nothing unusual," EgyptAir vice chairman Ahmed Adel told Reuters. "The search and rescue aircraft from the Egyptian air force are at the position where we lost contact. They are still looking and so far there is nothing found." Egyptian state newspaper Ahram reported no distress call was made and the last contact was 10 minutes before the plane disappeared. The pilot had clocked up 6,275 hours of flying experience, including 2,101 hours on the A320, while the first officer had 2,766 hours, the airline said. Greek air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot as the jet flew over the island of Kea, in what was thought to be the last broadcast from the aircraft. "The pilot did not mention any problems," Kostas Litzerakis, the head of Greece's civil aviation department, told Reuters. However, during the transfer to Cairo airspace, Greek controllers were unable to reach the pilot and the plane vanished from their radars shortly after leaving Greek airspace, he added. Greece said it had deployed aircraft and a frigate to the area to help with the search. ‹ Tv crews wait near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Tv crews wait near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cair... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as they wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building where relatives are being held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as th... Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh + Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as they wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building where relatives are being held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as th... Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh + Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as they wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building where relatives are being held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as th... Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh + Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as they wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building where relatives are being held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as th... Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh + People wait outside the international arrivals terminal at Cairo Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh People wait outside the international arrivals terminal at Cairo Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh An EgyptAir plane is seen on the runway at Cairo Airport, Egypt in this September 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo An EgyptAir plane is seen on the runway at Cairo Airport, Egypt in this September 5, 2013 file photo. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo Security forces are seen outside the international arrivals terminal at Cairo Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Security forces are seen outside the international arrivals terminal at Cairo Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh TV crews report near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann TV crews report near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Ca... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + A general view shows the Terminal 1 at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris September 17, 2014, where missing EgyptAir flight MS804 originated from. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo A general view shows the Terminal 1 at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris September 17, 2014, where missing EgyptAir fli... Reuters/Charles Platiau/File Photo + An EgyptAir plane lands at Cairo Airport in Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh An EgyptAir plane lands at Cairo Airport in Egypt May 19, 2016. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh A journalist reports from the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann A journalist reports from the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris ... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + The company logo is displayed on a video camera screen at the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann The company logo is displayed on a video camera screen at the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from rad... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + The company logo is displayed at the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann The company logo is displayed at the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + A man passes the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann A man passes the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + Police take up position at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Police take up position at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cai... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + EgyptAir planes are pictured parked on the runway at Cairo Airport, September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo EgyptAir planes are pictured parked on the runway at Cairo Airport, September 5, 2013. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo A policeman stands guard at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann A policeman stands guard at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Ca... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via Reuters The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via ... + Tv crews wait near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Tv crews wait near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cair... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as they wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building where relatives are being held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as th... Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh + › A Greek defence ministry source said authorities were also investigating an account from the captain of a merchant ship who reported a 'flame in the sky' about 130 nautical miles south of the island of Karpathos. FRENCH EGYPT TO COOPERATE The weather was clear at the time the plane disappeared, according to Eurocontrol, the European air traffic network. "Our daily weather assessment does not indicate any issues in that area at that time," it said. Speed and altitude data from aviation website FlightRadar24.com indicated the plane was cruising at the time it disappeared. French President Francois Hollande's office said the French leader had just spoken to his Egyptian counterpart and that both sides would cooperate closely. Under U.N. aviation rules, Egypt will automatically lead an investigation into the accident assisted by countries including France, if it is confirmed that an Airbus jet was involved. "We are in close contact with the Egyptian authorities, both civil and military," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French radio. "At this stage, no theory can be ruled out regarding the causes of the disappearance." Related Coverage Egyptian armed forces received distress signal from missing EgyptAir plane Egypt prime minister says cannot rule out terrorism behind vanished plane Greece deploys ship, aircraft to search for EgyptAir plane Egypt, France exchange condolences over vanished EgyptAir plane No weather issues at time of EgyptAir plane disappearance: Eurocontrol Xl Catlin lead underwriter for missing EgyptAir plane: sources SlideshowUnidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building in Cairo With its ancient archeological sites and Red Sea resorts, Egypt is a popular destination for Western tourists. But the industry was badly hit following the downing of a Russian jet last year, an Islamist insurgency and a string of bomb attacks in the country. An Airbus A321 operated by Russia’s Metrojet crashed in the Sinai on Oct. 31, 2015, killing all 224 people on board. Russia and Western governments have said the plane was probably brought down by a bomb, and the Islamic State militant group said it had smuggled an explosive device on board. The crash called into question Egypt's campaign to eradicate Islamist militancy and has damaged its tourism industry, a cornerstone of the economy. Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since Sisi, as army chief, toppled freely elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. In March, an EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus by a man with what authorities said was a fake suicide belt. He was arrested after giving himself up. In March Islamic State suicide bombers hit Brussels airport and a metro train in the worst such attacks in Belgian history, killing 32 people. Investigators believed they were carried out by the same cell that was behind November's gun and bomb attacks in Paris which claimed the lives of 130 people. EgyptAir has a fleet of 57 Airbus and Boeing jets, including 15 of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, according to airfleets.com. The last fatal incident involving an EgyptAir aircraft was in May 2002, when a Boeing 737 crashed into a hill while on approach to Tunis–Carthage International Airport, killing 14 people. (Additional reporting by Siva Govindasamy, Sophie Louet, Tim Hepher, Michele Kambas, Brian Love and Miral Fahmy.; Writing by Lincoln Feast and Samia Nakhoul; Editing by Bill Tarrant, Paul Tait and David Stamp.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

EgyptAir flight 804 missing

Thu May 19, 2016 | 1:18 AM EDT EgyptAir says flight from Paris to Cairo missing with 66 on board ‹ The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via Reuters The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via Reuter... + An EgyptAir plane is seen on the runway at Cairo Airport, Egypt in this September 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo An EgyptAir plane is seen on the runway at Cairo Airport, Egypt in this September 5, 2013 file photo. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo A man passes the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann A man passes the Egyptair desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + Police take up position at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Police take up position at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, i... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + A policeman stands guard at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann A policeman stands guard at terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an Egyptair flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, ... Reuters/Christian Hartmann + The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via Reuters The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via Reuter... + An EgyptAir plane is seen on the runway at Cairo Airport, Egypt in this September 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo An EgyptAir plane is seen on the runway at Cairo Airport, Egypt in this September 5, 2013 file photo. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo › EgyptAir says flight from Paris to Cairo missing...X CAIRO (Reuters) - National carrier EgyptAir said a plane carrying 66 passengers and crew on a flight from Paris to Cairo went missing on Thursday, disappearing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea. "An official source at EgyptAir stated that Flight MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST), heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar," the airline said on its official Twitter account. Later Tweets by EgyptAir said the plane, which was traveling at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,280 meters), disappeared at 02:45 a.m., 20 minutes before it was due to land at 03:05 a.m., after entering Egyptian airspace. The Airbus A320 aircraft was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two infants, and 10 crew, EgyptAir said. Earlier it said 59 passengers were aboard but then revised the figure. The pilot had clocked up 6,275 hours of flying experience, including 2,101 hours on the A320, while the first officer had 2,766 hours, the airline said. According to flightradar24.com, the 12-year-old plane's last known position was above the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt's civil aviation ministry said search and rescue teams were looking for the missing jet. A ministry source also said technical information about the condition of the plane was being gathered. ADVERTISEMENT The New York Times quoted Ehab Mohy el-Deen, the head of Egypt’s air navigation authority, as saying that Greek air traffic controllers notified their Egyptian counterparts that they had lost contact with the plane. “They did not radio for help or lose altitude. They just vanished,” he said. TOURISM DISRUPTED A spokesman at the French foreign ministry said checks were being carried out but the ministry had no further information. The French aviation authority could not be reached immediately for comment. With its ancient archeological sites and Red Sea resorts, Egypt is a popular destination for Western tourists. But the industry was badly hit following the downing of a Russian jet last year, the ongoing Islamist insurgency and a string of bomb attacks in the country. An Airbus A321 operated by Russia’s Metrojet crashed in the Sinai on Oct. 31, 2015, killing all 224 people on board. Russia and Western governments have said the plane was likely brought down by a bomb, and the Islamic State militant group said it had smuggled an explosive device on board. Reuters reported in January that an EgyptAir mechanic, whose cousin joined Islamic State in Syria, is suspected of planting the bomb, according to sources familiar with the matter. In March, an EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus by a man with what authorities said was a fake suicide belt. He was arrested after giving himself up. Related Coverage Egyptian officials believe missing EgyptAir plane crashed into sea Egyptair plane that left Paris for Cairo 'did not land': French official EgyptAir has a fleet of 57 Airbus and Boeing jets, including 15 of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, according to airfleets.com. The last fatal incident involving an EgyptAir aircraft was in May 2002, when a Boeing 737 crashed into a hill while on approach to Tunis–Carthage International Airport, killing 14 people. In October 1999, the first officer of a Boeing 767 deliberately crashed the plane into the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, killing all 217 people on board. (Reporting by Lin Noueihad, Siva Govindasamy, Samia Nakhoul, Sophie Louet, Tim Hepher; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Paul Tait) ==================================== EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 04:25 EgyptAir official tells CNN the missing plane carried no special cargo and no notification had been made to the captain of dangerous goods on board - Guardian Read more on theguardian.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 04:21 EgyptAir flight 804 made no distress call, vice-chairman of EgyptAir holding company Ahmed Abdel tells CNN; says rescue plane has arrived at coordinates of where aircraft lost contact - Guardian Read more on theguardian.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 04:18 Airbus A320 most likely crashed into the sea, Ihab Raslan, a spokesman for the Egyptian civil aviation agency, told SkyNews Arabia - Reuters End of alert EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 04:16 Map: A screenshot from flight radar appears to indicate where the EgyptAir jet disappeared from radar screens - @safimichael See original on twitter.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 04:14 Editor's note: The Associated Press, in its report on the EgyptAir crash, says the incident is likely to renew security concerns in the region. Last October, a a Russian passenger plane was blown up over the Sinai Peninsula, killing 224. Russia said it was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the incident. - Tom End of note Afghanistan 04:08 Azerbaijan's Silk Way freight plane crashes in Afghanistan; 7 of 9 crew members died, per Azeri State Civil Aviation Administration - Reuters End of alert NBA playoffs 2016 04:05 Golden State Warriors beat Oklahoma City Thunder 118-91 in Game 2 of conference finals to even series at 1-1 - USA Today Read more on usatoday.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 04:01 Report: The Egyptian Air Force has been dispatched into the area where the plane is believed to have gone missing - Al Arabiya Read more on alarabiya.net EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:56 EgyptAir said Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo vanished at 2:45 am Egypt time - Al Arabiya Read more on alarabiya.net EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:55 Editor's note: We've corrected an earlier post on the missing EgyptAir flight that incorrectly identified flight 804's destination. Flight 804 went missing while flying from Paris to Cairo. - Jimmy End of note EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:52 EgyptAir says missing jet, flying from Paris to Cairo, disappeared from radar 10 miles after it entered Egyptian airspace - AP End of alert EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:47 More: Missing EgyptAir plane is an Airbus A320, airline says - @EGYPTAIR See original on twitter.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:45 Update: EgyptAir flight 804 went missing about 10 miles after it entered Egyptian air space, airline says See original on twitter.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:35 Search underway after EgyptAir flight 804 disappears from radar on flight from Paris to Cairo, airline says (corrected) - SBS News Read more on sbs.com.au EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:26 Editor's note: Missing EgyptAir flight 804 left the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris at 11:21 pm local and was scheduled to arrive at Cairo International Airport at 2:55 am local, according to Flightradar24. It was at an altitude of 37,000 feet and disappeared before entering Egyptian airspace, EgyptAir says. - Jimmy Read more on flightradar24.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:11 More: Missing EgyptAir flight 804 is carrying 59 passengers and 10 crew, airline says - @EGYPTAIR See original on twitter.com EgyptAir flight 804 missing, May 19, 2016 03:03 EgyptAir flight 804 disappears from radar on way to Cairo from Paris, airline says - Sky News Arabia Read more on skynewsarabia.com 2016 US elections 02:53 Donald Trump uses the word 'rape' when discussing scandals involving former President Bill Clinton - Politico Read more on politico.com United States 02:33 US House passes $602 billion defense policy bill; White House says it objects to numerous provisions and Obama would veto it if it reaches his desk - AP Read more on usnews.com US lethal injection drug controversy 02:26 More: Arizona had tried to speed up legal challenge to its execution methods before its drugs expire at end of month - BuzzFeed News Read more on buzzfeed.com

Senior Contracts Engineer

Location: Doha, Qatar

Duration: 2+ Years Contract (Family Status)

SENIOR CONTRACTS ENGINEER

Qualification:

  • BSc in Engineering Discipline or Quantity Surveying. A post graduate qualification in Contract Management or Project Management desirable.

Experience:

  • 15 years multi-disciplinary experience, at least 8 years of which should be in an oil & gas industry particularly in offshore development
  • Possession of sound knowledge of Contracts Law is a must
  • Proficient in contractual correspondence, preparation / evaluation / negotiation of tenders/contracts of large scale projects with complexity and diversity, report writing with analytical, logical and problem solving skills
  • Thorough understanding of engineering, procurement, construction techniques EPCM & LSTK and maintenance / operation related services for offshore project
  • Well versed in SAP transactions
  • English as native language

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Federal Budget 2016: What it means for South Australia

Budget 2016 Federal Budget 2016: What it means for South Australia May 3, 2016 7:00pm Daniel WillsState Political EditorThe Advertiser Subscriber Exclusive Icon Morrison: 'We can build a brighter, secure future' MAIN WRAP: Job creation centrepiece of Budget REVEALED: Budget winners and losers ANALYSIS: Is this Budget enough for Coalition to retain power? KOCHIE’S VERDICT: There’s good news and bad news ANDREW BOLT: ‘Gunna Budget’ nothing but bunch of IOUs SOUTH Australia’s nation-leading unemployment crisis will be hit in a three-pronged attack of new training for young jobseekers, tax cuts for small business and big spending on defence. Last week’s blockbuster submarines announcement has locked away $90 billion in defence programs for the state, which the Coalition hopes will be a foundation for economic recovery. In addition, the total amount of cash handed to SA by the Federal Government will leap from $8.9 billion to $10 billion in the coming financial year as GST returns surge further ahead. However, the Budget is lacking in detail about a plan to save the Whyalla steelworks as the state and federal governments remain locked in discussions with the administrators. SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis on Monday announced a $10 million loans scheme to help businesses in the Arrium supply chain, and is prepared to help fund a steelworks upgrade. The state also missed out on a major new infrastructure announcement, as other states get cash for rail and airport building. However, SA is considered to have fought well above its weight in recent years by securing money for three separate South Rd upgrades in the past two budgets. Other Stories Ford faces lawsuit over ‘dodgy gearbox’ Ford faces lawsuit over ‘dodgy gearbox’ Woman charged with murdering man Woman charged with murdering man More doors open for SA first home buyers More doors open for SA first home buyers Weird stuff we learnt from the Budget Weird stuff we learnt from the Budget The Budget: your five-minute guide The Budget: your five-minute guide It does include detail on $7.5 million in compensation for an SA community earmarked for a low-level nuclear waste dump, and a plan to send other waste to France for reprocessing. The Future Submarines project is a cornerstone of the Federal Government’s defence spending. Treasurer Scott Morrison’s first Budget also starkly lays out another major difference between SA and the rest of the nation. The Australia-wide jobs growth rate is expected to be 2.1 per cent in the coming year, a staggering three times higher than what is currently projected for SA. Mr Morrison said the transition to a more diversified economy, forced by the tailing off of sectors like mining and manufacturing, required workers to build new skills. The Budget estimates 2800 jobs from subs and 2000 from the future frigates, which are being exclusively built in Adelaide. Four hundred offshore patrol vessel jobs will be split with Perth. “Through our 20-year defence industry plan, we will secure an advanced local defence manufacturing industry, driving new hi-tech jobs in Australia,” Mr Morrison said. “The nine future frigates, 12 offshore patrol vessels and 12 new regionally superior submarines will do the job of boosting our defence capability, but they will also drive jobs and growth in the new economy we are building ... right across the supply chain of our national economy. Treasurer Scott Morrison’s Budget has a strong emphasis on jobs. Picture: Kym Smith A state dominated by small and medium businesses will also get a lift from tax reform, as the Federal Government unveils a 10-year plan to get their tax rates down and investment up. “We ... share the ambition for small businesses to become bigger businesses,” he said. “We will not be able to rely on our natural advantages in resources to secure the jobs of the future like we have in the past. If we wish to continue to see our living standards rise with more jobs and higher wages, we need to ensure that our tax system encourages investment.” Business SA has long warned that local firms are deterred from hiring, especially young people, due to additional costs including state payroll tax and on-the-job training. Mr Morrison’s work for the dole overhaul aims to put more than 100,000 young people to work. It will include internships with businesses, and top-up payments of $200 per week for workers. The 2016 Federal Budget focuses on employment, which will be important for the South Australian economy. Picture: Matt Turner The Federal Government has also sought to repair a rift with the states by returning a fraction of the $80 billion in health and education funding which was axed from the Budget in 2014. The “work and earn” Federal Budget creates a political predicament for Mr Koutsantonis ahead of his own unveiling of documents next month. With the Coalition in full election mode, it has moved to smooth the waters in SA by delivering a huge gesture of goodwill on jobs. The direct investment of subs and frigates has now been augmented with training for workers and tax cuts for businesses that is aimed at helping individuals carve their own path. They also rob Mr Koutsantonis of a political bogeyman on whom much of the state’s economic woes have been blamed in the past three years. The closure of Holden and the fate of Whyalla remain likely political flashpoints. However, the Coalition has offered appeasement in the form of frigates and subs, moving past the blame game but also putting the jobs ball in SA Labor’s court. 2016 BUDGET CALCULATOR FIND OUT IF YOU COME OUT IN FRONT START WHAT THE BUDGET MEANS FOR DIFFERENT SOUTH AUSTRALIANS Jason Byrne, 20, in front of his Woodcroft home. Picture: Tom Huntley UNDER 25 Name: Jason Byrne Age: 20 Suburb: Woodcroft Occupation: Student Marital status: Long-term girlfriend Voting last election: I wasn’t old enough to vote in the last Federal Election but I voted Labor at the 2014 state election Who are you planning to vote for next time: I will be voting for Labor at the Federal Election Wishlist — did they get what they want? 1. No 20 per cent cut to higher education funding and no deregulated fees. YES 2. Australia needs to take more action on climate change and the Budget has to reflect our goals as a nation for doing our part. NO 3. The government has to stop the cuts to domestic violence services, which we have seen in the last six months. YES Sarah Hein in her new unit. Picture: Tricia Watkinson. FIRST HOMEBUYER Name: Sarah Hein Age: 31 Suburb: Kurralta Park Occupation: Teacher Marital status: Single Voting last election: Liberal Who planning to vote for next time: Undecided Wishlist — did they get what they want? 1. More funding for public and independent schools. YES 2. It would be great to see a first homeowners grant that applies to purchasing an already established home. NO Tony and Linda Simmons at their St Peters home. Picture: Calum Robertson EMPTY NESTERS Name: Tony Simmons Age: 57 Occupation: Financial adviser Name: Linda Simmons Age: 55 Occupation: Early childhood worker Suburb: St Peters Marital status: Married Voting last election: Liberal Who planning to vote for next time: Liberal Wishlist - did they get what they want? 1. A progressive and equitable tax system that stimulates job growth generally and employment opportunities for our children specifically. YES 2. On a state basis, provide incentives for businesses to relocate or start up in Adelaide through lower state taxes including payroll tax and further stamp duty exemptions. YES 3. On a Federal basis expand consumption taxes while making an allowance for affected low income earners. YES 4. Assist funding of workers own retirements through flexible superannuation contribution rules that although may put a cap on contributions allow flexibility of contributions regardless of age. NO The Brown family — Lucy, 18, Jane, Stewart and Hannah, 15 — at their Kingswood home. Picture: Bianca De Marchi MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY Name: Stewart Brown Age: 47 Suburb: Kingswood Occupation: Manager Marital status: Married Voting last election: Greens Who planning to vote for next time: Leaning to Liberal Wishlist — did they get what they want? 1. Policies that make the best possible medical facilities available to everyone. NO 2. More research positions to ensure our young people don’t have to leave the country for those jobs. YES 3. More money for early education and especially for literacy to ensure everyone gets a good start in life. NO 4. A fairer tax system where the big companies pay their fair share. YES Michelle Liesker works at Ellex Medical Systems. Picture: Tricia Watkinson. MANUFACTURING WORKER Name: Michelle Liesker, Age: 44. Town/Suburb: Salisbury North. Occupation: Learning and Development Manager at Ellex Medical Systems. Marital status: Single. Voting last election: Greens (with Liberal preferences). Who you plan to vote for next time: Undecided. I will vote for the party I think will improve living standards and do the best job for the future of Australia. Wishlist — did they get what they want? 1. I would like job prospects to improve. YES 2. I think there is a place for free trade but not to the detriment of Australian jobs and products. NO 3. Companies should be responsible for their emissions and product cycle from cradle to grave. NO Originally published as What the Budget means for South Australia Comments5 Sign in14 Post comment as... Newest | Oldest | Top Comments Phillip65 Phillip65 5 hours ago If honesty was possible in this state, voters would see that they have received more than their fair share both from the Labor and Liberal FEDERAL governments over the past decade. Any economical woes can be lobbed straight to the STATE Labor government and the unions. 2LikeReply Eric Eric 21 hours ago When you count how many jobs were lost just in this state, a 2.1% increase is just a spit in the ocean! Our economy is good but most of the money coming in is just very lazy money. That is money on property investments that do very little for jobs. We need long term infrastructure projects that will produce not only jobs but useful end products, how many of us will use the submarines? Roads, bridges and hospitals we will all use. LikeReply Steven Steven 8 hours ago @Eric It's simply good news though so why bag it? 1LikeReply Eric Eric 4 hours ago @Steven @Eric No, it's just business as usual. It doesn't matter if it's Liberal or Labor, nothing huge is ever announced. The Subs will have little effect and the Youth training scheme will just teach youth to collect shopping trolleys and drive taxis. We already have huge numbers of trained university graduates who are unemployed so all that is doing is adding to that number, instead of the unskilled unemployed. We need huge numbers of jobs, not a couple thousand here and there. All of our politicians are very weak willed to take and make the hard decisions. 1LikeReply Christine Christine 1 hour ago @Eric @Steven Trouble is Gov. and free enterprise have become muddled. It used to be Gov. provided all the services, and free enterprise all the goodies, smart oval etc. Now health,education and public services poor, and big business gone as it was usurped by Gov. LikeReply More Stories Leicester City fan makes worst cash-out decision in history Leicester City fan makes worst cash-out decision in history Sport Man who pretended to be a Finks bikie in bungled blackmail attempt jailed for more than two years Man who pretended to be a Finks bikie in bungled blackmail attempt jailed for more… News Promoted Stories Got Private Health Insurance? You Should Read This Now! Got Private Health Insurance? You Should Read This Now! Health Insurance Comparison Australia's emerging supertowns Australia's emerging supertowns realestate.com.au Lee lost 26 kilos & has undergone a complete lifestyle transformation Lee lost 26 kilos & has undergone a complete lifestyle transformation Lite n' Easy If You Own an iPhone or iPad You Must Try This Game If You Own an iPhone or iPad You Must Try This Game APPREVIEWS Vibrating contraception for women that always leaves users, erm, satisfied Vibrating contraception for women that always leaves users, erm, satisfied Parenting Qantas flies Australia Post into a new era Qantas flies Australia Post into a new era Business Recommended by What the 2016 Federal Budget means for you What the 2016 Federal Budget means for you news.com.au Strange goat-man hybrid an unsolved mystery  Strange goat-man hybrid an unsolved mystery  news.com.au Flight attendant tells all about plane ‘no-go items’ which can cause delays Flight attendant tells all about plane ‘no-go items’ which can cause delays Courier Mail Travel Girl, 11, sneaks on Russian flight without ticket and doesn’t get caught Girl, 11, sneaks on Russian flight without ticket and doesn’t get caught Courier Mail Travel Most Viewed The Budget: your five-minute guide Why you need to plan your retirement now What the Budget means for you Treasurer’s first Budget all about jobs Kochie’s verdict: There’s good news and bad news More Budget 2016 Fair Go NT short changed in Federal Budget NT short changed in Federal Budget Live coverage Turnbull: ‘Karl, we’ll be paying more’ Turnbull: ‘Karl, we’ll be paying more’ Budget This kid is the real star of the Budget This kid is the real star of the Budget Budget 2016 $100 a week cash for slackers $100 a week cash for slackers Live blog Cormann takes your budget questions Cormann takes your budget questions

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Russian cruise missiles target Syria

Fri Aug 19, 2016 | 7:00 PM EDT Russian cruise missiles target Syria 3h ago | 01:07 Syrian rebels welcome idea of 'weekly' truce Russian cruise missiles target Syria (Reuters) - Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired cruise missiles at targets near Aleppo on Friday, a further sign of Moscow's broadening military effort in Syria days after it began to fly bombing missions from an airbase in Iran. Russian air power had helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad make steady advances against rebels seeking to oust him since Moscow's intervention a year ago, but a recent insurgent advance in Aleppo has checked that momentum. In northeastern Syria, warplanes from a U.S.-led coalition flew patrols on Thursday to protect local ground forces they back against Syrian government airstrikes that are targeting the Kurdish city of Hasaka, the Pentagon said. "The Syrian regime would be well advised not to interfere with coalition forces or our partners," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said. Russia's three cruise missile launches were its first against targets in Syria from the Mediterranean, with previous ones made from its Caspian Sea fleet. On Tuesday Russian bombers began flying missions in Syria from Hamedan air base in Iran. Russia's Defense Ministry said the strikes targeted the Islamist militant group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, known as the Nusra Front until it broke formal ties with al Qaeda last month before playing a big role in the sudden rebel advances in Aleppo. The upsurge in fighting and airstrikes in and around the city, split between government-held west and rebel-held eastern sectors, has prompted growing international concern, galvanized by pictures on Thursday of a dazed, bloodied child. The plight of civilians in Aleppo has been aggravated in besieged areas by dire shortages of basic goods, leading the World Food Programme to warn of a "nightmarish" situation. In Daraya, a suburb of Damascus, rebels and a war monitor said the Syrian army's helicopters had dropped incendiary barrel bombs early on Friday, putting the opposition-held town's only hospital out of action. On Thursday Russia, Assad's most powerful military ally, said it supported a proposal for a weekly 48-hour pause in fighting in Aleppo to allow aid to reach the besieged areas and that it was ready to start the first one next week. On Friday, the main umbrella group for the Syrian opposition also cautiously welcomed the idea provided the U.N. monitored the truce and enforced compliance. During a previous humanitarian pause this year, both sides complained the other had broken the truce as fighting escalated again. DOZENS KILLED IN HASAKA On Friday Syrian Kurdish authorities evacuated thousands of civilians from Kurdish areas of Hasaka following government air strikes, a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia, an integral part of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said. The SDF is at the heart of Washington's military campaign against Islamic State group and last week seized the town of Manbij from the militant organization, part of a growing swathe of northern Syria it controls. The U.S.-led coalition aircraft arrived at Hasaka as two Syrian SU-24s, which had carried out the strikes, were leaving. "This is very unusual, we have not seen the regime take this kind of action against YPG before," the Pentagon's Davis said. Hasaka is divided into zones of Kurdish and Syrian government control and fighting between them has killed dozens of civilians in the past 48 hours, YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said. The YPG and the government have mostly avoided confrontation during the multi-sided war that has turned Syria into a patchwork of areas held by the state and an array of armed factions. The Syrian army said on Friday that this week's fighting was caused by Kurdish security forces attempting to take over Hasaka, prompting it to return fire on armed groups. A civilian removes the rubble in front of a damaged shop after an airstrike in the rebel held al-Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail A civilian removes the rubble in front of a damaged shop after an airstrike in the rebel held al-Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria August 18, 2016. Reuters/Abdalrhman Ismail A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on August 19, 2016, shows a rocket being launched from a Russian corvette in the Mediterranean Sea at Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant targets in Syria, according to the ministry. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on August 19, 2016, shows a rocket being launched from a Russian corvette in the Mediterranean Sea at Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant targets in Syria, according to the ministry. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on August 19, 2016, shows a rocket being launched from a Russian corvette in the Mediterranean Sea at Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant targets in Syria, according to the ministry. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on August 19, 2016, shows a rocket being launched from a Russian corvette in the Mediterranean Sea at Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant targets in Syria, according to the ministry. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters A civilian removes the rubble in front of a damaged shop after an airstrike in the rebel held al-Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail A civilian removes the rubble in front of a damaged shop after an airstrike in the rebel held al-Saleheen neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria August 18, 2016. Reuters/Abdalrhman Ismail A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on August 19, 2016, shows a rocket being launched from a Russian corvette in the Mediterranean Sea at Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant targets in Syria, according to the ministry. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defence Ministry on August 19, 2016, shows a rocket being launched from a Russian corvette in the Mediterranean Sea at Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant targets in Syria, according to the ministry. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters › Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, has focused mostly on fighting Sunni Arab rebels who have been battling to oust him in western Syria with support from countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The YPG, or People's Protection Units, has meanwhile prioritized carving out and safeguarding predominantly Kurdish regions of northern Syria. The group has ties to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in Turkey. While the YPG controls most of the northeast, the Syrian government has maintained footholds in the cities of Hasaka and Qamishli at the border with Turkey. The SDF seizure of Manbij from Islamic State last week raised the prospect of possible advances towards al-Bab, near Aleppo. Families of Islamic State fighters in al-Bab and another nearby town, Jarablus, were evacuated to the militant group's stronghold of Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based war monitoring group, said. ALEPPO TRUCE Related Coverage Syria army says Hasaka clashes result of Kurdish take-over effort Coalition jets scrambled to defend U.S. forces from Syrian bombing SlideshowStill image shows Russian warship firing cruise missiles at Syrian targets Rebel groups, including Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, stormed a Syrian army complex in southwest Aleppo two weeks ago, breaking a siege on opposition-held parts of Aleppo and prompting fierce counter-attacks. A senior rebel commander said there was a "positive atmosphere" surrounding talk of a ceasefire. "But so far there are no details." Syrian warplanes had carried out 46 sorties in the last 24 hours, including strikes in Aleppo that destroyed a tank, a vehicle loaded with ammunition and three mortar emplacements, and killed dozens of rebel fighters, a military source said. Continuing clashes between rebels and the Syrian army and allied militias were fiercest in the southwest of city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitor of the five-year-old civil war, said on Friday. It added that air strikes and shelling in and around Aleppo had killed 422 civilians, including 142 children, this month. "We need a 48-hour pause, we need it now," WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher told a briefing in Geneva on Friday. While the rebel advance this month opened a narrow corridor into opposition-held areas of Aleppo, access remains very limited and dangerous, meaning aid supplies are scarce. "It's crucially important that we go in there because people are absolutely desperate," Luescher added. "From both sides, these sieges have to stop - it's inhumane, awful, disgusting, nightmarish. Not necessarily U.N. words, but that's what it is." (Reporting by Angus McDowall and Tom Perry in Beirut, Polina Devitt in Moscow, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; editing by Ralph Boulton and Richard Balmforth)

77,000 sacked by Saudi Binladin Group

Friday, 19 August 2016 Saudi building bust may demolish prince’s reforms Trapped 17 August 2016 By Andy Critchlow A man looks at central Riyadh from the Faisaliah Tower - Saudi Arabia, December 14, 2003. - RTXMCCI Spare a thought for the Indian construction labourers abandoned without pay in Saudi Arabia. Thousands have become victims of a slump in oil prices which has left some building contractors on the brink of bankruptcy and others chasing delayed payments. Their plight could add to the complicated task of reforming a country that is too dependent on cheap imported labour and dismissing of its draconian employment laws. A deal reached on Aug. 3 for the government to help some Indian workers who have been laid-off to either return home, or claim unpaid wages, during the current downturn is likely to prove only temporary. The “kafala” system – which leaves workers dependent on their employment sponsor for permission to enter or leave the country – will continue to trap migrants who hand over their passports in return for sponsorship to work. Kafala isn’t just a human rights problem. The plight of stranded workers also undermines Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s published vision of a modern economy that’s no longer dependent on oil – the price of which is around half where it was two years ago – and can attract foreign investors without fear of adverse publicity. More layoffs in construction are likely. Saudi is home to almost one-third of the real estate and infrastructure projects currently ongoing in North Africa and the Middle East, according to Eikon data. The International Monetary Fund expects sluggish growth of 1.2 percent this year, almost a third of the rate of expansion in 2015. Abdullah Abdul Mohsin al-Khodari – one of the few listed building companies in the kingdom – reported an 84 percent drop in new contracts in the second quarter compared with a year earlier. There are a few ways Saudi could stop the problem worsening. One is to bail-out the stricken builders and pay-off outstanding wages – though that sets a bad precedent. Another is to let the price of oil rise by trimming production, and indirectly buoy up the economy. It could even scrap the kafala system, and make the kingdom more attractive for foreign investors. None are simple, but over time, the answer might be all three. A man looks at central Riyadh from the Faisaliah Tower - Saudi Arabia, December 14, 2003. - RTXMCCI A man looks at central Riyadh from the Faisaliah Tower - Saudi Arabia, December 14, 2003. - RTXMCCI Related Links Breakingviews is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. Reuters: India says Saudis to assist thousands of stranded workers Reuters: Saudi market regulator jails two executives of contractor MMG Link to Saudi Gazette story: Saudi Oger expected to declare bankruptcy Subjects Construction Dubai EMEA Gulf Middle East Money & Markets Real Estate Saudi Arabia Related Articles Saudi's three great pillars are showing cracks Context News Thousands of Indian manual workers have been left in a state of limbo in Saudi Arabia after a slump in the oil-rich country’s construction sector. India’s junior foreign minister Vijay Kumar Singh visited the kingdom on Aug. 3 to meet Saudi officials to ensure that stranded foreign construction workers would be repatriated and paid their outstanding wages. Construction companies in the kingdom are suffering from a downturn in the Saudi economy caused by lower oil prices. Saudi Oger - a construction company owned by the Lebanese Hariri family - is reported to be close to bankruptcy and has struggled to pay thousands of employees, the Saudi Gazette reported on Aug. 8. A sharp slowdown in construction work comes as the kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman implements a plan known as Saudi Vision 2030 to encourage foreign investment and diversify the region’s largest economy away from oil exports. Most Popular Young-old financial gap calls for mature debate SEC left red-faced over $35 bln pink-sheet debacle Post-Brexit UK consumers are oddly rational Tencent is sturdiest rock inside China’s firewall Mongolia’s hangover needs more than IMF medicine Breakingviews on Twitter Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions © Thomson Reuters 2016. All rights reserved. ========================== Saudi King Salman orders protection of workers' rights King Salman issued orders to end the suffering of the workers in a decisive and quick way after seeing that the company failed to address these issues. Saudi Gazette, Jeddah Tuesday, 9 August 2016 Text size A A A Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a series of directives with the intention of resolving all cases of unpaid salaries and avoid repetition of such incidents in the Kingdom’s labor market in future, Minister of Labor and Social Development Mofrej Al-Haqbani announced on Monday. Accordingly, special teams have been constituted to closely monitor the firms to check whether they are fulfilling their contractual obligations and to intervene in case of violations, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Saudi Oger contracting company has been the subject of complaints by thousands of its workers for not paying salaries to them for the past nine months. Al-Haqbani said the recent labor issue is not a common phenomenon but a special case with a contracting company because of its violation of contractual obligations. The ministry will take penal action against the company in line with the Labor Law. King Salman’s directive obliges companies to pay salaries to their workers through the Wage Protection Program. Under the system, companies will not be paid for their work by the government until the Ministry of Labor and Social Development confirms that workers’ salaries have been paid on time. The minister emphasized that the Saudi Labor Law and its executive bylaw protects the rights of all workers in the private sector and the Labor Law is keen on having balanced relations between employers and employees with strict adherence to contractual obligations by both the parties in addition to protecting their wages through legislations. “Under the program, all companies have to transfer salaries to bank accounts of their workers and the ministry will strictly follow these transfers every month and take penal action against firms violating the law. The ministry allows workers, who did not receive salary for more than three months, to transfer their sponsorship to another employer without the permission of the current employer and can sue the employer at labor courts for their dues.” “Official inspection team from the ministry found that Saudi Oger Ltd. violated its contractual obligations with workers with regard to salary and accommodation. Serious lapses were found in serving food, providing health services to workers, and maintaining and cleaning accommodation. The King issued orders to end the suffering of the workers in a decisive and quick way after seeing that the company failed to address these issues. Accordingly, the ministry has taken the following measures. The workers are allowed to renew their iqamas (residency permits), and get final exit visa at the state’s expense, and the company will be liable to meet this cost in due course. Saudi Arabia allows workers, who did not receive salary for more than three months, to transfer their sponsorship to another employer without the permission of the current employer. (Reuters) The maintenance and cleaning of their accommodation have been done. The ministry also ensured continuous supply of food and drinking water to the workers and followed up on the efficiency of provision of this service. Free medical services have been made available at their camps. The ministry also entered into contracts with legal firms to offer free legal service to the workers. The ministry will guarantee rights of those workers who decided to leave on final exit. It entrusted Saudi Arabian Airlines to arrange free transportation for such workers and the payment will be levied from the company in due course. The ministry also coordinated with the concerned embassies in identifying those who want to transfer their sponsorship and those who want leave the Kingdom on final exit. Al-Haqbani also said that the ministry launched electronic service called “Mustasharik Al-Omali” to offer free consultancy service to both employers and employees on labor related problems. The ministry, in cooperation with the Saudi Telecom, introduced the scheme to distribute free SIM cards to new workers upon their arrival at airports to contact the ministry if required. The ministry also started contact center with services in eight languages so as to enable workers to lodge grievances. This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Aug. 9, 2016. Last Update: Tuesday, 9 August 2016 KSA 10:19 - GMT 07:19 ======================================= S Arabia OKs vast economic reform plan Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:16PM Home / Others / Business Saudi Arabia has approved a plan for a major economic reform that would cut the kingdom’s reliance on oil by 2030. Saudi Arabia has approved a plan for a major economic reform that would cut the kingdom’s reliance on oil by 2030. Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that it had approved an ambitious economic plan which is meant to turn the economy around from reliance on oil to being investment-driven within the next decade and a half. The approval of the plan – dubbed "Saudi Vision 2030" – was publicized by Saudi King Salman in a televised announcement. The plan – which appears to be the brainchild of the king's son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – is expected to set in motion what could be a period of significant economic change in the oil-rich kingdom. It basically focuses on privatizations, further reductions in subsidies, and selling the shares of the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and the creation of a giant $2 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund. "We plan to sell less than five percent of Aramco. Aramco's size is very big. It is estimated at between $2 trillion and $2.5 trillion," said Prince Salman who is second in line to the throne and serves as the country's defense minister. "We plan to set up a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund... part of its assets will come from the sale of a small part of Aramco," he told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel. The prince further emphasized that another way to drive up non-oil revenue is by investing more in mineral mining and boosting the kingdom's own military production capacity. To the same effect, he said a plan is on agenda to set up a holding company for military industries that would be fully owned by the government at first and listed later on the Saudi bourse. "We are now about to establish a holding company for the military industries 100 percent owned by the government that will be listed later in the Saudi market," Prince Mohammed told Al-Arabiya TV. "We expect it to be launched by end of 2017 with more details." Saudi Arabia was the world's third largest arms buyer last year, with purchases of more than $87 billion last year. The prince also said the kingdom, which annually welcomes millions of Muslim pilgrims to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, would become more welcoming to other types of tourists — in line with Saudi Arabia's values. A new residency visa program could generate additional revenue and would allow Muslims and Arabs to live for extended periods in the country, he said. ======================== 77,000 sacked by Saudi Binladin Group Mon May 2, 2016 3:21PM Home / Others / Business The construction giant Saudi Binladin Group which was at the heart of a deadly crane accident in Mecca last September has reportedly fired 77,000 of its workers. The construction giant Saudi Binladin Group which was at the heart of a deadly crane accident in Mecca last September has reportedly fired 77,000 of its workers. Reports emerged on Monday that the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the kingdom’s most powerful firms, has sacked 77,000 foreign workers. The revelation was made by Al-Watan newspaper which said Binladin, that has built some of the kingdom’s landmarks, is also facing accusations that it is failing to pay salaries to its staff. AFP has quoted an unnamed official working with the firm that “some staff have been let go” without providing an exact number. Another official has also been quoted as saying that the move was in line with a drop in the number of Biladin projects. "The size of our workforce is always appropriate to the nature and size of projects and the timeframe they are to be carried out by the group," Yaseen Alattas, a Saudi Binladin Group spokesman, told AFP. He said workforce changes would be normal "especially when some projects have ended or are about to end". Most of the jobs eliminated "are on specified term contracts" for particular projects, Alattas said The report by Al-Watan said the sacked employees were among 200,000 expatriates – mostly believed to be Egyptians - employed by the company. It added that 12,000 out of the 17,000 Saudis working for the firm as engineers, administrators and inspectors were also expected to be let go. The AFP said it had realized in March that delayed receipts from the government, whose oil revenues collapsed over the past two years, have left employees of the kingdom's construction giants struggling to survive while they await their salaries. However, Binladin Group was also sanctioned by the government after a deadly crane accident in Mecca last September, it added. On Friday, Al-Watan reported that 50,000 of the group's staff were refusing to leave the country while their salaries remained unpaid after more than four months, AFP said. An Arab News report on Monday blamed "unpaid workers" for torching several Binladin Group buses in Mecca over the weekend. The Group developed landmarks including the domed Faisaliah Tower in central Riyadh and the Mecca Royal Clock Tower, one of the world's tallest buildings. After decades of thriving on lucrative government contracts, the company faced unprecedented scrutiny after one of its cranes working on a major expansion of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest site, toppled in September. At least 109 people including foreign pilgrims died, leading King Salman to suspend the firm from new public contracts. This has been a factor in the firm's economic difficulties, a well-informed source has told AFP. ============================= Tue May 10, 2016 | 8:36 AM EDT Saudi Aramco finalizes IPO options and plans global expansion Oil tanks seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam city in this file photo dated November 11, 2007. REUTERS/ Ali Jarekji/File Photo Oil tanks seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam city in this file photo dated November 11, 2007. Reuters/ Ali Jarekji/File Photo Saudi Aramco finalizes IPO options and plans globa...X By Rania El Gamal DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant is finalizing options for its partial privatisation and will present them to its Supreme Council soon, its chief executive said about the centerpiece of the kingdom's efforts to overhaul its economy. The company has a huge team working on the proposals for the initial public offering (IPO) of less than 5 percent of the company's value, which include a single domestic listing and a dual listing with a foreign market, CEO Amin Nasser said on Tuesday. They will be presented "soon" to Aramco's Supreme Council, headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is leading an economic reform drive to address falling oil revenue and sharp fiscal deficits by boosting the private sector, ending government waste and diversifying the economy. Nasser also said Aramco was seeking to expand globally via joint ventures in Asia and North America. "We are looking at the current market status that, even though challenging, is an excellent opportunity for growth," Nasser said, adding that he was looking at opportunities in the United States, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. The CEO was speaking to reporters during a rare media visit to the company's extensive, well-guarded Dhahran headquarters, located near where American oilmen first struck the Arabian Peninsula's enormous crude reserves at Well Number 7 in 1938. Besides proposing to sell a stake in the company, which would require it to release sensitive reserves data, Riyadh has asked Aramco to play a big role in developing industrial projects aimed at stimulating non-oil economic sectors. Last month, Prince Mohammed said he expected the IPO would value Aramco at at least $2 trillion, but that he thought the figure might end up being higher. Any valuation would account for both oil price expectations and the size of Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves. Company officials said Saudi Arabia had discovered a total of 805.6 billion barrels of oil, of which 141.5 billion had already been produced and 260 billion barrels were considered "proven", the industry term for reserves that can definitely be extracted. Aramco also had 403 billion barrels of reserves it could probably extract, they said, adding that it hoped to add another 100 billion barrels to total reserves by 2025 by increasing the recovery rate by 50-70 percent using new technology. GROWING DEMAND ADVERTISEMENT Aramco expects global crude oil demand to grow by 1.2 million barrels per day this year, he said, and has seen increasing demand in the United States and India. "We will meet the call on Saudi Aramco," Nasser said, adding that the company will increase capacity in future if needed, but that for the time being its maximum sustainable capacity would stay at 12 million bpd, with total capacity of 12.5 million bpd. Saudi Arabia produced an average of 10.2 million bpd of crude in 2015, he said, adding there had been a big drop in oil output among non-conventional and even other conventional producers. The expansion of the Khurais oilfield will come on stream in 2018, he said, adding that the latest stage of its expansion project at the southeastern Shaybah oil field would be finished "in a couple of weeks". The increased capacity of 250,000 bpd, taking Shaybah's total production capacity to 1 million bpd, is aimed at rebalancing Saudi Arabia's crude oil quality and at compensating for falling output at other fields as they mature. The immense Saudi Aramco complex in Dhahran resembles a small city, with its large residential complex, its own hospital, sports stadium and parks. Inside a sleek control room, technicians monitored huge screens that showed via digital graphics the core elements of the business, from the progress of oil tankers across the oceans to the available crude grades and refining facilities. At Aramco's research center nearby, officials showed reporters "the cave", a colorful virtual representation on wraparound screens of drilling operations under the Shaybah oil field. INDUSTRIALIZATION Aramco's continued investment in downstream industry is seen as a crucial element of economic diversification plans. One example of this is its plans to sign an agreement soon with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), the state-run petrochemical and metals conglomerate, to jointly develop an oil-to-chemicals project, an official said in a briefing to reporters. Related Coverage Saudi Aramco says to sign chemicals project MOU with SABIC Saudi Aramco says its oil output trending slightly upwards Saudi Aramco says in final stages of preparing IPO options The project, likely to cost up to $30 billion, would chime with efforts to better integrate the kingdom's energy and industrial sectors. On Saturday a new Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry was created in place of the old oil ministry. Another example is its huge ship repair and shipbuilding complex that it is developing at Ras al-Khair on the kingdom's east coast to be fully operational by 2021, Nasser said. The first part of the shipbuilding complex will be ready by 2018, and it will eventually make oil rigs and tankers, Nasser said. A presentation by the company said the complex would create 80,000 jobs and allow Saudi Arabia to reduce its imports by $12 billion, while increasing the country's gross domestic product by $17 billion. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Writing by Andrew Torchia and Angus McDowall; Editing by David Stamp and Pravin Char)