The Great Debate UK

from Commentaries:

Chocolate-coated IPO to tempt Dubai investors?

Chocolate CamelsListings in Dubai have been few and far between -- despite the best efforts of the emirate's rulers to encourage foreign companies to float there.

There has only been one IPO completed on the Dubai Financial Market in the past 14 months and that was for construction contractor Drake & Scull in July last year.

Investors bought Drake & Scull's shares at 1 dirham each. Shares in the group -- which specialises in mechanical, engineering and plumbing businesses -- are now trading at 0.91 dirhams. They have traded as low as 0.64 dirhams, not unsurprising given the dire state of the Dubai property market.

Now Lebanese chocolatier Patchi is reported to be planning to float a 49 percent stake of the family-owned firm in Dubai -- with a secondary listing in London.

Government must deliver on Olympic legacy promise

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robertson1- Hugh Robertson is the opposition Conservatives’ Olympics spokesman. The views expressed are his own. -

With three years to go, it is remarkable that London 2012 is going so well.

London’s Olympics were launched with a massive government miscalculation that resulted in the budget having to be increased threefold, were based on a plan that required us to build two Terminal 5s in half the time and have had to contend with the worst economic recession in living memory.

from Commentaries:

Water down the tube in London heatwave

waterLondon's transport bosses are telling travellers on the tube system to beat the heat by carrying a bottle of water with them when they venture underground.

But how many of us are refilling our bottles with tap water rather than pouring money down the tube -- not to mention the cost of recycling the plastic bottles -- by buying a new bottle of water each day?

Some thoughts on a global reserve currency

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- Bob McDowall is a research director working in TowerGroup’s European headquarters in London. His research addresses the principle challenges and opportunities affecting the European banking, securities, and investment management markets. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The UK Treasury Select Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing ramifications of the global banking crisis. High on the agenda was the need for a global reserve currency. A global reserve currency is certainly required to replace the U.S. dollar. No currency can permanently maintain both a domestic and international role in a globally connected industry.

UK property: a pig that won’t fly

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james-saft1- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

The pig that is British property is furiously flapping its wings, but despite signs of a recovery in prices and activity, rest assured there will be no take-off.

The country, which witnessed a property bubble that made the U.S. seem sober and sensible in comparison, has seen prices fall by about 20 percent but still faces a tough recession, rising unemployment and serious short and long term questions about the price of financing.

British Land’s prime play

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REUTERS– Margaret Doyle is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own –

Sir John Ritblat, founder of British Land, was a believer in “buy and hold.” Fortunately for shareholders, Stephen Hester, brought in as chief executive ahead of Ritblat’s retirement in 2006, took a more active view of asset management.

Independent buys a month’s reprieve

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REUTERS– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

Tony O’Reilly has managed to retire from the company he built before the edifice crumbles, but it has been a close run thing.

Commerzbank acts fast to bury Kleinwort

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alex-smith– Alexander Smith is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Dresdner Bank spent 15 years tinkering with the investment banking operations of Kleinwort Benson, the UK merchant bank it bought in 1995.

AIM’s Nomads really wondering now

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alex-smith– Alexander Smith is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) – London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) prides itself on being “the most successful growth market in the world”. But the cost of listing more than 2,500 companies since 1995 may be about to catch up with it.

from The Great Debate:

New rules won’t end London’s golden lure

-- Alexander Smith is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

alex-smithNew regulations may be cooked up to curb the excesses of its bankers but London will always attract those who believe its streets are paved with gold.

Some predict that the financial crisis spells the end for London as a major global financial centre, arguing it has thrived on lax regulation and a quasi-tax haven status and that the regulatory backlash which inevitably follows such a catastrophic economic debacle will suffocate the innovation and the financial incentives which have driven the growth of services in the British capital.

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