Archive for category UAE

the sheikhs of abu dhabi

We learn of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed’s family from aangirfan. Among the points made:

  • The bank known as BCCI was founded in 1972 with the support of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, former ruler of Abu Dhabi and head of the United Arab Emirates.  BCCI was involved with money launderers and drug and arms traffickers. The CIA used BCCI to funnel money to Osama bin Laden’s men. BCCI helped Saddam Hussein funnel money to Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) which worked with Henry Kissinger. (From Bush to Osama bin Laden in one - Conspiracy Times)
  • A 2008 UN report said the UAE (which includes Abu Dhabi) has become a ‘major exporting and trans-shipping area’ for heroin. (Also see: Drug dealers see UAE as a transit hub, 2/21/09)
  • Sheikh Ahmed al-Nahyan was ranked 27th on the Forbes list of the most powerful people in the world.
  • Sheikh Ahmed al-Nahyan was the brother of the leader of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa al-Nahyan.
  • In January 2010, another brother, Sheikh Issa al-Nahyan, was cleared of torturing an Afghan merchant in 2004, despite video footage of the incident.
  • Sheikh Ahmed headed Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest of its kind in the world.
  • Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed al-Nahyan is a half brother of Sheikh Khalifa. Sheikh Mohammed and his brothers are expected to try to gain control of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund.

Another half brother, Sheikh Mansour, controls the *second* largest UAE sovereign wealth fund, IPIC.

Is the family divided into factions? Was a faction trying to get Ahmed out of the way? It’s possible. It’s a big family. There are bound to be disagreements and power struggles.

Sheikh Ahmed with his father (source)

See fascinating hi-res pics of family members here.

See the list of brothers and their relation to each other here (scroll down).

There are discrepancies about the crash that killed Sheikh Ahmed, whether it was an accident or something else.

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Who controls the vast wealth of the UAE?

April 2007, the ADIA and ADIC boards are set as follows, for a term of three years:

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, yesterday issued two decrees revamping the board of directors of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) and Abu Dhabi Investment Council (Adic).

Membership of the new Adia’s board of directors shall include
Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Ahmad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,

Membership of the new Adic’s board of directors shall include
Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,

In November 2007, ADIA purchased shares of Citibank. That turned out to be a disastrous investment and is now a lawsuit.

In April 2009, ADIA hired a Rothschild consultant to work with a new team, InvestAD. Was this consultant hired *away* from Rothschild, or was he still working *for* Rothschild?

Expecting the global economic crisis to prompt a spate of mergers and acquisitions, the Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC) has hired a senior investment banker from Rothschild to build a team to give advice on cross-border investment. The company, originally created in 1977 to invest on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, is now expanding its range of financial services, including offering investors funds focused on the Middle East and Africa and acting as an advisor for international money managers.

To extend its reach, ADIC has hired Alex Carré de Malberg as head of investment banking to lead its advisory business for M&A and capital-raising. With financial turmoil lifting the cost of capital and stalling investment projects across the world, he believes investors in the Middle East will come into play as assets are reshuffled.

March 17, 2010, a report says Sheikh Ahmed’s brother, the leader of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa al-Nahyan, restructured ADIA’s board. However, everything looks exactly the same as April 2007.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued Decree No 2 of 2010 restructuring the board of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) under his presidency.

Issued in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the decree named the following as members of the board :

Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President’s Representative,

Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,

Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works, who also acts as the Managing Director,

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs,

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Finance Department

March 27th the glider goes down, Ahmed is killed, and the Spanish pilot is rescued in “good condition.” Or did he suffer from internal bleeding and require several operations?

On April 8th, Khalifa Mohammed al-Kindi, previously chairman of InvestAD, is named as head of ADIA. The board has also been reshuffled to include Sheikh Hamed.

On April 14th, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al Nahyan is appointed managing director of ADIA.

April 14 (Bloomberg) — The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, appointed Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al Nahyan as its managing director, succeeding the late Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Hamed currently heads the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and is chairman of the Higher Corporation of Specialized Economy Zones. He is the half brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, and a younger brother of Sheikh Ahmed.

April 15th, Khalifa reshuffles the ADIA board again.

The board will be chaired by the UAE President. The members are

Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President’s Representative;

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces;

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs;

Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Crown Prince’s Court as Managing Director;

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Finance

The only change, essentially, is Sheikh Hamed replaces Sheikh Ahmed. Sheikh Hamed is brought *into* the board and goes immediately to the Managing Director slot vacated by the deceased Sheikh Ahmed.

Also reported on April 15th, the Sovereign Wealth Fund decided to cancel the advisory group headed up by the Rothschild consultant hired last year. I guess that wasn’t such a good idea after all.

April 15 (Bloomberg) — Invest AD, an Abu Dhabi government- owned money manager, shut its investment banking advisory team and canceled plans to offer a property fund, citing market conditions. Invest AD’s investment banking unit was headed by Alex Carre de Malberg, who joined the company last year from Rothschild & Sons Ltd.

Just a case of bad timing then?

Invest AD is closing its investment banking advisory function, counting among the casualties Alexandre Carre de Malberg – the high profile hire it lured from Rothschild to head up the operation.The Abu-Dhabi investment company entered the investment banking fray about a year and a half ago – precisely when things took a turn for the worse. In 2009, total investment banking fees generated in the Middle East were $649m, or a 43% slide on 2008, according to Thomson Reuters figures. More recently, however, things have been looking up for Middle East investment banking deals. Data from mergermarket shows that the volume of M&A deals in the first quarter of 2010 is up 83% on the same time last year.

That’s funny because, you know, Goldman Sachs made a crap-load of money “precisely when things took a turn for the worse.”

“Well they are the most powerful firm on Wall Street but actually they are an outlet of the Rothschild’s who have spread their power under different names into this century and the prior one.” (source)

And now it looks like a criminal case against GS will be “difficult” because the case is “highly complex” and GS would be able to make “multiple arguments in its defense.”

The best lawyers money can buy, no doubt.

^^^^^^^

Would the Zayed family willingly cooperate with the Rothschilds?

Sheikh Ahmed’s father, Sheikh Zayed

Here is some history of the family, in particular the father, Sheikh Zayed.

Ahmed was born in 1971, the son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the widely loved “father of the nation”, and, for four decades, ruler of Abu Dhabi and founding President of the UAE. Ahmed was born the year of the federation of the seven emirates, a long-held dream of his father to unite the Trucial States. Ahmed’s mother, Mouza bint Suhail bin Awada al-Khaili, was one of Sheikh Zayed’s nine wives.
Ahmed was one of the youngest of Sheikh Zayed’s 27 children — one of five sons and two daughters of his marriage to Sheika Mouza. Educated in Abu Dhabi, young Ahmed grew up as his father became one of the wealthiest men in the world. The UAE sits on what is estimated to be a tenth of the world’s oil reserves, and of this Abu Dhabi has 95 per cent. Yet Sheikh Zayed was admired for his modest lifestyle (his early years were heavily influenced by the Beduin tradition), as well as his piety, his tolerance and relatively liberal rule. On Sheikh Zayed’s death in November 2004, his eldest son, Khalifa, became Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE.

Sheikh Zayed and his sons (source)

In 1976 the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority was established and has remained under the control of the ruling family. At Sheikh Ahmed’s death, six al-Nahyan brothers sat on ADIA’s board of directors along with three trusted family advisers. Sheikh Ahmed was appointed to head the authority in 1997 and was regarded as “hands on”. For six years before his appointment he worked as a European equities analyst alongside ADIA colleagues on an open floor and continued to eschew the customary honorific “Your Highness”. Despite a reported investment of $7.5 billion in the ailing Citibank by ADIA, the Financial Times recently estimated the authority’s total assets at between £260 billion and £294 billion. It also noted that, in its 34-year history, ADIA’s senior management had granted only four interviews.

Though I am certainly no expert, it does seem from a cursory review of the available information, that Sheikh Zayed was a fine man and deserved the many very nice things written about him. That doesn’t happen too often.

This conclusion is supported by the story of the Zayed Center. Everything you need to know about the Zayed Center can be summarized by the ADL’s breathless charges of anti-semitism against it. (http://www.adl.org/anti_semitism/zayed_center.asp)

The UAE decided to close the Zayed Center in 2003, after it caused severe Jewish hyperventilating.

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So what happens next?

At the beginning of April, it looked like brother Mansour would come out ahead for ADIA. He is one of the flashier brothers.

The loss of such a low-key, progressive government exec could not come at a more sensitive time for Abu Dhabi.  The city-state and its mysterious ruling family has been under an intense spotlight the past few months during its awkward, stilted showdown with debt-laden fellow emirate, Dubai. Though Abu Dhabi did fork over $10 billion and Dubai seems to have worked out a stop-gap deal with creditors, no outside party- that is to say, no one who is not an Al Maktoum or an Al Nahayan- knows what exactly went down. Are relations tense? Fine? Warm and fuzzy? The answer matters to many- Dubai’s creditors (including major banks), small-time investors, other GCC residents- pretty much anyone who would stand to lose if Dubai were to implode. So far, creditors have warmly welcomed Dubai’s proposed repayment plan based largely on their sense that it has Abu Dhabi’s (aka Uncle Money Bags) tacit approval. But no one knows for sure.

Sheikh Mansour became a household name in the UK since buying the Manchester City soccer team. It seems he’s made one lucky deal after another. It seems that by purchasing this soccer team, he has even bumped Roman Abramovitch down a peg or two. Hmm.

A year ago, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan was virtually unknown outside the very small, very rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and home to 95% of the country’s oil wells. Today he is a household name in the U.K., as the potential savior of beleaguered soccer club Manchester City and a powerful, if controversial, investor in Barclays.

Remember that Rome is the “promised land for foreign mafias” and organized crime rings launder money through legitimate business interests such as sports teams.

Am I saying that is what happened here? No. I’m just saying it happens.

Mansour also heads the *second* largest sovereign wealth fund of the UAE, IPIC.

Sheikh Mansour is married to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s daughter (one of his two wives). Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai.

What makes Mansour somewhat unique among the numerous bright sons of the late Shaikh Zayed is that he maintains excellent links with both his full-brother Muhammad bin Zayed and his father-in-law Muhammad bin Rashed. At the same time, however, he follows the instructions of his full-brother, while he merely chooses what suits him from among the suggestions of his father-in-law. With Dubai badly in need of financial support from Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Muhammad bin Rashed is gradually learning to accept the fact that Shaikh Mansour usually ignores any advice from the Dubai ruler which is not acceptable to the Abu Dhabi crown prince.  (source)

But the two men share a close adviser: Amada Staveley. She has helped them both to purchase UK sports teams, among other investments.

She is hot stuff. She turned down a marriage proposal from Prince Andrew.

It is also worth noting here Dubai’s problems and the role of various Rothschild advisers along the way.

^^^^^^^

But as it turned out, Sheikh Hamed got the nod for ADIA.

Sheikh Hamad, back in JANUARY 2004, made the following remark:

“We can no longer rely on the traditional principles of the past, as they are not applicable any more. Globalisation has become an inevitable reality with which we must interact. No country, region or society can remain on the sidelines and pretend they will not be affected by this rapidly changing world order”.

He then privatized the National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC).

ADNOC’s 70% share in the NPCC was transferred to the General Holding Corp. (GHC) chaired by Shaikh Hamed, who has reconstituted its board of directors to include representatives of the GHC and of the 30% shareholder, the Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).

CCC is a huge contracting company founded by Palestinians over fifty years ago, now based out of Athens.

A December 2004 story about the company reveals the following:

  • The giant U.S. company Bechtel joined forces with CCC in Yemen and other Arab Gulf states to carry out a number of massive projects in the 1950s.
  • CCC also acquired a company in the United Kingdom and the firm earned a strong reputation in only a few years.
  • In 1988, CCC acquired the American firm Morganti Group with annual revenues of $300 million in the U.S. alone.
  • Recently, CCC signed huge contracts with Qatar and Khazakistan, which sit on large quantities of oil and gas.
  • Khoury, who regularly visits Beirut, is very fond of Lebanon and dreams of returning the company to its roots. Many Arab states are inviting CCC to move its headquarters to their capitals.
  • Khoury said that CCC is now pinning high hopes on Africa. “This continent holds the key to the future of CCC and other firms. There are projects more than we can handle,” he said with confidence.

I can just imagine the people who would like to control CCC, and deprive the Palestinians and the Lebanese of this asset.

It seems that a lot now rests with Sheikh Hamad.

Sheikh Hamad bin Zayed

what do you mean you lost His Highness?

Remember this post from the other day: teevee pimps? Regarding the Georgian station Imedi?

To quickly recap, Imedi ran that stunt recently simulating a Russian attack on Georgia. The post was about who owned the station, which is a matter of some confusion.

Joseph Kay claimed to be the long lost nephew and executor of the original Georgian oligarch owner, Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Patarkatsishvili was the owner of the Imedi TV station which was stormed by special forces on 7 November 2007. On his death Kay announced that Patarkatsishvili, whom he claimed was a relative (the claim is disputed), had given him control of Imedi.

Kay last year then said - in a statement subsequently underlined by Mikheil Saakashvili’s own office - that he had sold 90% of Imedi to the sovereign wealth fund of the Gulf emirate Rah Al-Khaimah.

The 90% ownership interest, Ras Al-Khaimah Invesment Authority (RAKIA), is (one of?) the (many) sovereign wealth fund(s) of the absolute monarchy of the United Arab Emirates.

Now that things have gone sort of pear-shaped after that teevee stunt, RAKIA claims to have nothing to do with Imedi.

But allegedly, through a series of unfortunate mishaps and poor spelling choices and barely plausible explanations, as though these guys can’t afford lawyers or something, RAKIA now claims they do not never have never did have anything to do with any of this no way. Nope. Never heard of it. It was RAAK, not RAK, and not RAKIA. Innocent mistake. Sorry we missed it, we’re just really busy counting our money. ‘ Kay?

And now, I couldn’t make this up if I tried, we learn that the head of ADIA (and RAKIA?) has gone missing when his glider crashed in a lake in Morocco.

The United Arab Emirates state news agency says the head of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund — the world’s largest — is missing after his glider crashed in Morocco.

The official Emirates News Agency said that Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s glider went down in a lake in Morocco on Friday. The pilot of the aircraft was rescued in good condition, but authorities continued the search for Al Nahyan.

Al Nahyan is the managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. He is also the younger brother of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al Nahyan, managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
Tina Hager/Arabian Eye (BusinessWeek)

o_O

Wow that’s really really strange huh? He just disappeared in the lake?

One of these lakes?

And he had just restructured the board last week.

And his brother reportedly died in a helicopter crash in 2008.

^^^^^^^

I’ll be honest and say I do not understand how all these funds are structured. Very very confusing. For an idea of how much money the UAE has to invest, start at #25 on this list. RAKIA seems to be a separate and much smaller fund than ADIA, but both are UAE funds.

25.Abu Dhabi Investment Council/ADIC - Abu Dhabi/UAE - 100% Government of Abu Dhabi - oil rich Emirate - Abu Dhabi the world’s richest city - ADIC bought a 90% stake worth some $800 Million in the Chrysler Building, one of New York’s most iconic skyscrapers

…25a)Abu Dhabi Investment Authority/ADIA - Abu Dhabi - with estimated $900 Billion ADIA is actually the world’s largest SWF, providing Citigroup with $7,5 Billion /4,9% joining the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation’s /GIC injection of $6,9 Billion - total provided $14,4 Billion, holds 8% stake in EFG Hermes/investment bank and 10% pre IPO stake in Apollo Management/ private US equity firm - ADIA filed an arbitration claim against Citigroup saying it was misled when it invested the $7,5 Billion in the bank two years ago, seeking rescission of the investment or damages in excess of $4 Billion - U.S.- bank considers claim entirely without merit, but apparently failed in its relation with this important investor

25b)Mubadala Development Co. - Abu Dhabi -$14,7 Billion - increasingly powerful state investment company -invested $1,4 Billion/7,5% into US private equity firm Carlyle Group/ triangular industry-government-defence (top defence tecnologies, energy supply and strategic information tecnology)

And way down the list… after 26(f):

27. RAK Investment Authority/Rakia - Ras al-Khaimah/ UAE - $1,2 Billion

It’s almost like a little leftover pile of fun money.

^^^^^^^

In 2008, the ADIA made a big deal with Citigroup (links removed).

It was a whirlwind of negotiations for Citigroup and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). For a week, dealmakers from both sides, some dressed in traditional white Arab robes and others in Western suits, worked furiously across the globe. Then, on the Monday after Thanksgiving they signed a deal, with the biggest bank in the U.S. agreeing to sell a 4.9% stake to the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund in ADIA’s new headquarters, the tallest skyscraper in Abu Dhabi. Citigroup (C) chairman Robert E. Rubin, on hand as Citigroup’s top official, shook hands on the deal with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ADIA’s managing director and the 12th son of Abu Dhabi’s late patriarch Sheikh Zayed, before dashing off to meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan. Forty eight hours later, the investment arm of the richest Gulf emirate, wired $7.5 billion to a Citigroup account.

Our pain is their gain.

The dollar looks sick, and U.S. stocks are getting pummeled. But those jitters are merely wetting the appetite of ADIA and other sovereign wealth funds for U.S. investments. These mega investors can afford to take a long term view. “The short term for us is three to five years forward,” says Sheikh Ahmed in his dark mahogany paneled office, after a servant poured small cups of Bedouin style cardamom-flavored coffee. “We find (the American market) very attractive.

…Abu Dhabi wants to be among the world’s most attractive destinations, and ADIA’s Sheikh Ahmed is pushing the giant fund to be best in class as well. So ADIA is tapping the best financial brainpower. And with huge fees and potential capital stakes at stake, top Wall Street players are more than willing to oblige. In recent months, veteran investor Wilbur Ross, BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink, and Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein all have visited executives at the fund.

When this article was written in 2008, money people considered ADIA extremely thorough and saavy investors. ADIA had already made many prominent investments, outmaneuvering Wall Street firms. ADIA created smaller investment vehicles for certain high risk projects.

I think that’s where RAKIA fits in.

I can see how it makes sense to set up separate funds for risky investment that may or may not turn out to be good ideas. Like theoretically buying a teevee station and using it for blatant psyops against Russia.

Still it’s hard to believe that this has anything to do with Sheikh al Nahyan disappearing, but still, what a coincidence.

UPDATE: A few more details about ADIA and how sovereign wealth funds work…

Back to October 2008, the Santiago Principles govern the way sovereign wealth funds are supposed to behave themselves as they gobble up assets of the industrialized world.

Given the massive size of some of these entities, many industrialized countries are justifiably concerned about how these can be used to achieve geopolitical objectives which may have little to do with investing in the sense SWFs were originally intended for–preserving and enhancing sovereign wealth.

Independence - us Westerners don’t like you foreigners using SWFs to further your national objectives by buying our firms in the defense, transportation, energy, and natural resource sectors. Your financial interests in them may diminish our “national security,” although we don’t feel the need to define these considerations too specifically;
Transparency - insofar as us Westerners cannot really regulate the activities of your SWFs, we would at least appreciate it if you could tell us what they’re investing in so we can take action if necessary (nevermind that we don’t demand similar levels of transparency from our hedge funds);
Accountability - us Westerners know that you authoritarian regimes can pretty much use your SWFs to invest in whatever you please. Maybe you should be more “democratic” so that the populace can have greater discretion about where their sovereign wealth is invested in.

In April 2009, ADIA hired a senior investment banker from Rothschild, Alex Carré de Malberg as head of investment banking to lead its advisory business for Middle East and Africa.

“Opportunities are emerging when families and corporates reposition their portfolios. In times of crisis, you only keep parts of your business that fit your long term objectives, and you sell anything that is not synergistic.”…Carré de Malberg, who worked for over a decade at independent family-owned investment bank Rothschild, said investors often need “a second, non-conflicted” opinion on cross-border situations in developed markets, alongside U.S. or European investment banks or lending banks…Carré de Malberg developed an intimate knowledge of the Middle East as he set up Rothschild’s operations in the United Arab Emirates. …M&A activity went relatively quiet in the last half of 2008 as the global economic crisis unfolded and credit dried up, but signs are emerging that companies, family offices and private equity firms are on the hunt for acquisitions as asset valuations have fallen…He has advised family offices, companies and private equity firms on M&A and leveraged buy-outs, helped governments with privatization programmes, worked on initial public offerings and arranged pre-IPO financing.

In November 2009, playing the role of “trusted adviser” to Gordon Brown and others, the Rothschild family.

Baron Rothschild shares most people’s view that there is a new world order. In his opinion, banks will deleverage and there will be a new form of global governance. “But you have to be careful of caricatures: we don’t want to go from ultra liberalism to protectionism.”

So how did the Rothschilds manage to emerge relatively unscathed from the financial meltdown? “You could say that we may have more insights than others, or you may look at the structure of our business,” he says. “As a family business, we want to limit risk. There is a natural pride in being a trusted adviser.”

It is that role as trusted adviser to both governments and companies that Rothschilds is hoping to build on in the region. “In today’s world we have a strong offering of debt and equity,” he says. “They are two arms of the same body looking for money.”

End of November 2009, Rothschild adviser comes on board to restructure Dubai’s assets.

Paul Reynolds, head of Rothschild’s advisory operations in the Middle East, was this week asked to work for the Dubai government’s chief restructuring officer alongside Aidan Birkett of Deloitte, who was appointed on Wednesday. The team is tasked with assessing the group’s assets, which is likely to result in a large scale sell-off of assets…The neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi is seen as one of the main buyers of Dubai’s assets.

About a week later, Dubai starts to fall apart.

“Dubai will struggle to tap the debt capital market in the near business cycle,” Stephen de Stadler, managing director at Fitch Ratings in the Middle East told Zawya Dow Jones. “Now that the bond is rated junk, certain investors will be forced to sell.” …Deloitte’s Aidan Birkett has been appointed to restructure Dubai World. Rothschild and Moelis & Co. are also advising on the restructuring.

Two weeks ago, ADIA says as much as 45% invested in the developed world.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the worlds’ largest sovereign wealth funds, has invested as much as 45 percent of its assets in developed markets, the fund said in its first annual review….Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and home to about 8 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, is trying to diversify away from oil. ADIA and its Norwegian and Chinese peers are the three largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, managing over $1 trillion between them, Preqin Ltd said March 11. The emirate lent neighboring Dubai $20 billion last year to help it meet its debt obligations.

Thanks to James for the links.

teevee pimps

Oh brother. I was going to tell you about this new show offered by the same teevee station, Imedi, that ran the fake news of Russia invading Georgia… remember that? Vineyard of the Saker covered that fiasco here.

Georgia

In case you’re interested, you can read about the new show here, here, here. Evidently the people at Imedi want to sex up those uptight Georgians, so they hired a playboy bunny hostess to show them the ropes. Even MSN Lifestyle covered the news, so you *know* that Georgia must be a bunch of people desperately in need of loosening-their-morals cultural help from “The West.” So anyway, interesting as that may be, I couldn’t help but wonder, who own this station?

Well, I am not the only person to wonder.

First off, here’s an excellent analysis trying to make sense of who would decide to run the war simulation and why…

The most down-to-earth question remains: why exactly did Imedi embark upon this adventure controversial and potentially risk the survival of the media group? A citizens’ movement has already announced that it would drag the matter to court. In the fake report, the use and falsification of outrageous lyrics and existing persons of importance (Barack Obama, Eric Fournier, the French Ambassador, the leaders of Baltic states and Poland, who all called for aid to save Georgia ) would be sufficient to bring down the group in the lawsuit.

Currently, Imedi is run by a close associate of President Saakashvili, Giorgi Arveladze. However, it differs from the public channels and those that are clearly and openly allied to the power such as Rustavi 2. For a time the opposition’s main media source, owned by Badri Patarkatsishvili–personal opponent to Saakashvili–had been closed following the events of November 7, 2007. After the astonishing death of Patarkatsishvili during the presidential campaign in which he participated, the question of its ownership, with the purchase of a major part of shares by a certain Joseph Kay, whom the opposition accuses of being a government agent, has been a murky issue. In any case, Imedi has since become another voice of the party in power.

About Giorgi Arveladze: “A longtime ally and deputy of president Mikhail Saakashvili, Arveladze was a central actor in the Rose Revolution of November 2003. He was put in charge of President Saakashvili’s PR campaign of 5 January Georgian presidential election.” (wikipedia)

Supposedly Arveladze did not expect the simulation to cause such a panic. Mm hmm.

^^^^^^^

As for the mysterious Joseph Kay…

Kay *claimed* to be the cousin of the last owner of the station, who died of a “heart attack” while exiled in the UK.

The last owner of the station, Badri Patarkatsisvili, was a Jewish Georgian oligarch. He was into it all — all the typical oligarch business interests, dirty cut-throat dealings, the whole thing.

Arkady Shalovich Patarkatsishvili, was born in 1955, to a family of the Jewish Georgian intelligentsia in Tbilisi, then capital of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. …[big snip covering his life as an oligarch - ed.]

Although Patarkatsishvili had initially supported the administration of President Saakashvili, he became disillusioned, notably after the mysterious death of the Prime Minister, Zurab Zhvania (obituary, February 4, 2005) . He became involved in opposition politics, and it was after a rally in November last year that the Georgian government declared a state of emergency, shut down Imedi and accused Patarkatsishvili of plotting a coup. The station was later allowed to reopen.

Patarkatsishvili went into exile in Britain and Israel. In December it was claimed in The Sunday Times that a Georgian government official had been plotting to kill Patarkatsishvili. Despite this, he launched a chaotic campaign in the snap presidential elections called by Saakashvili. Unable to return to Georgia, and pulling out and then re-entering the race days before the vote, he scored only 7 per cent.

Despite this failure, Patarkatsishvili was a household name in Georgia. People knew him for his eccentric appearance, with his moustache a flamboyant blaze of white on his upper lip - and for his excesses. While he was in Moscow rumours spread that, for example, he bought his wife the whole floor of an apartment block in the heart of the city. He also owned a large estate in Georgia, as well as the Dinamo Tblisi football team, and a multimillion-pound mansion in Leatherhead, Surrey, where he died

I’m guessing a split opened up between these guys, probably because Saakashvili reportedly has very serious personality defects, like tie-sucking under stress, which tends to reduce confidence in his abilities. But, probably Saakashvili seemed easier to control for TPTB. In any case, Patarkatsishvili opposed Saakashvili.

^^^^^^^

Anyway, back to Kay, who suddenly claimed to be this dead oligarch’s cousin, and the executor of his will as a matter of fact.

In what has been described as a “desperate step”, controversial US-based buisnessman Joseph Kay, who has claimed to the be the executor of the will of Badri Patarkatsishvili (pictured) has now accused the late billionaire’s widow of having him murdered in a new law suit filed in New York.

Patarkatsishvili died two years ago today, in exile in Surrey, England. He had fled Georgia after being accused of plotting a coup against Mikheil Saakashvili.

Patarkatsishvili was the owner of the Imedi TV station which was stormed by special forces on 7 November 2007. On his death Kay announced that Patarkatsishvili, whom he claimed was a relative (the claim is disputed), had given him control of Imedi.

Kay last year then said - in a statement subsequently underlined by Mikheil Saakashvili’s own office - that he had sold 90% of Imedi to the sovereign wealth fund of the Gulf emirate Rah Al-Khaimah.

Well most of this has since fallen apart.

But Patarkatsishvili’s family never accepted Kay’s claims and two weeks ago announced a major victory over him which has quickly led to the unravelling of much of Kay’s claims and seen the stain of corruption spread into the President’s office. In particular the authorities in Ras Al-Khaimah have chosen to claim that they did not buy Imedi - effectively exposing the president to the claim of having lied about a major business deal for reasons of political convenience.

…We are still searching for information about the mysterious “Mark Monem” who Kay said represented the RAK Invesment Authority when he announced the sale of Imedi. Please look here for more details.

The statement from the oligarch’s family begins…

Recently, several European courts have dealt with the dispute between the Estate of Badri Patarkatsishvili and his step cousin Joseph Kay. The High Court in England recently ruled that Joseph Kay is an unfit character to manage or have any control over assets as an Executor and is banned from doing so in England. Courts in Gibraltar and Liechtenstein also recently ruled against Joseph Kay’s claims that numerous assets under his management were his and not Badri’s.

^^^^^^^

This all devolves into chaos pretty quickly. The 90% ownership interest, Ras Al-Khaimah Invesment Authority (RAKIA), is the sovereign wealth fund of the absolute monarchy of the United Arab Emirates.

But allegedly, through a series of unfortunate mishaps and poor spelling choices and barely plausible explanations, as though these guys can’t afford laywers or something, RAKIA now claims they do not never have never did have anything to do with any of this no way. Nope. Never heard of it. It was RAAK, not RAK, and not RAKIA. Innocent mistake. Sorry we missed it, we’re just really busy counting our money. ‘ Kay?

In fact they ask us to believe they let a year go past where a bunch of imposters, with the active connivance of the president of Georgia, the Georgian telecommunications regulator, the national TV media and Giorgi Arveladze, passed themselves off as representatives of RAKIA when they were nothing of the sort. Indeed we all now know that the company that bought the station was RAAK, and not RAK, Georgia Holding.

mystery man, Mark Monem

And the only person who would seem to know is the person introduced by Joseph Kay as the local representative of the holding company which allegedly purchased 90% of Imedi, Mark Monem.

Rakeen used a specially established vehicle, RAK Georgia Holding, to buy the company, introducing Mark Monem (see video), a local representative of Rakeen at the press conference where the sale was announced.

…Who Mark Monem was or is, is not explained.

Are we supposed to believe this bizarre tale?

Noted expert on Georgia Cory Welt says we should. He might be right, but we confess to being not entirely convinced.

RAKIA’s denial of ownership just as they are staring down the barrel of a legal gun seems just too convenient. What sort of serious company lets people steal its brand for a year and says nothing about it?

One person who surely knows the answer is the mysterious Mark Monem (pictured).

Which is exactly why we are asking for all the help we can get to find out who he is.

And who is “noted expert on Georgia” Cory Welt, who encourages us to believe that it was all an honest mixup? No idea. He runs a blog to “monitor and promote democratic reform in Georgia.” His blogroll includes a few NGOs and government links. He has posted 13 times. He lists himself in Washington DC. He’s been on booger since October 2009. He has 110 profile views.

I’m not gonna say it. Draw your own conclusions based on your experience of the internet.

^^^^^^

Kay’s lawyer hails from New York. This is from March 2008. According to this source, Kay’s lawyer, Seltzer, was known to be a document forger two years ago:

Oddly, no one had known that Josef Kay is the Badri’s heir, except an American lawyer Mr. Seltzer. As reported by Josef Kay himself, “Mr. Seltzer came to me on the second or third day and told me that Badri Patarkatsishvili had left a will. He left it with Mr. Seltzer in New York.”

In the mean time, Mr. Seltzer is known to have been involved in a few scandalous cases, the last of them being the action by Sergei Veselkov, the owner and founder of Nord Service, Inc (NSI). The action was brought to the Texas Court against former Company’s managers Palter and Keiser, and the lawyer of those two is Mr. Emmanuel Seltzer.

In his suit, the owner accused his hired managers of stealing his company.  During the court proceedings, the lawyer Seltzer presented a number of documents and witnesses to prove the alleged fact of selling the company by Mr. Veselkov.

Besides, poor Mr. Veselkov – whose oil drilling companies are working successfully in Siberia and who started the company in question in America for enlarging his business and patenting the technologies - was accused by Mr. Seltzer of procuring, organizing the channel of illegal immigration to the USA, and money laundering.

The experts from NSI managed to prove that all the submitted documents were forged.

3 March the judge Leonard Davis recognized the fact of falsification and declared Sergei Veselkov to be the only legal owner of NSI. It becomes clear from the court’s decision that Palter and Keiser could not be people who have forged the signatures at the presented deeds, as their signatures and those by the false witnesses were just copied from other documents. It’s difficult to figure out by whom it could have been done, if not by the lawyer Seltzer.

Emmanuel Seltzer, a USA citizen of Russian origin, was considered in the USA to be an expert in struggle with money laundering and organized crime. He cooperated with the US investigative bodies about the case of money laundering through the Bank of New York.
12 March [2008] Emmanuel Seltzer was arrested at the Minsk airport. It is known that the lawyers of Patarkatsishvili’s family had applied to Georgian and Byelorussian authorities, accusing Mr. Seltzer of fraud and forgery of the hereditary deeds. At the time being, Mr. Seltzer is arraigned under the Article 380 Part 2 of the Byelorussian Criminal Code – that’s about use of the forged documents by a group of accomplices.

Josef Kay (his real name is Soso Kakiashvili) said the arrest of his lawyer to be the result of intrigues by Berezovsky.

So why is anyone listening to Kay? He has ZERO credibility.

^^^^^^^

I started by noting the corrosive effect played by Imedi teevee, given the decision to do a sex talk show in a largely Orthodox Catholic society, hot on the heels of disturbing the Georgian people with a clumsy and outrageous “war of the worlds” stunt.

It’s all still a little murky, but by their fruits shall ye know them.

Meanwhile, in other Georgian news…

Mikheil Saakashvili to visit Brussels on March 25

US Congress delegation to visit Georgia March 27-28

69 suspected Georgian mafia members arrested in huge crackdown in Europe, most detained in SPAIN