EXCS show reflects passion in luxury models

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Updated 09 November 2012
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EXCS show reflects passion in luxury models

JEDDAH: The three-day 6th edition of EXCS International Luxury Motor Show, described as the biggest event of its kind in Saudi Arabia, ended at the Jeddah Hilton yesterday after a three-day successful run at the Jeddah Hilton. Twenty international luxury car companies and makers exhibited their latest vehicles at the event, which attracted a number of VIPs and the elite of the society.
Mufareh bin Mohammed Al-Zahrani, director of transport and road affairs of Western Region, opened the show on Tuesday.
The visitors had a first-hand experience in flagship sedans like the Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Lexus, Lamborghini, McLaren, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Aston Martin, Porsche, Centennial, Genesis, Vimotion, and Moda Car. These cars are the pinnacle of automotive engineering and each a technological masterpiece of engineering and design. On top of these salient features — attractive safety qualities and indulgent comforts — still each luxury car exhibited some differences, with some flavored with a dash of sport, others pampered with luxurious appointments. Most blended the two and presented a dash of advanced technology.
In its 6th consecutive year, the show reflected the Saudis' passion and interest in luxury cars. Both local and international car dealers considered the occasion as a great opportunity to showcase their latest models aimed at meeting the aspirations of luxury car enthusiasts.
This year's event, with some 70 different luxury cars on display, is expected to accelerate further benefiting from the enormous purchasing potential of Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah Al-Shamasi, the show organizer, projected that luxury car sales in Saudi Arabia during the current year would pick up by 15 percent from the preceding period.
He based his forecast on the fact that the Saudis are on top of the list of most luxury car owners in the Middle East, noting that the Saudi car market is the largest in the region, capturing 50 percent of car sales on account of rising oil prices and economic stability.
Citing recent studies, Al-Shamasi expected car sales in Saudi Arabia "to exceed one million units in 2018 amid rapid domestic economic growth and stability vis-a-vis the economies of neighboring countries."
Underpinning the bright outlook, Al-Shamasi said recent studies showed that number of Saudi women buying cars in recent years is on the rise and "perhaps equal to men. There is a large demand from women to buy luxury cars of well-known brands."
He added: "We expect the show will see remarkable women attendance this year. We already have seen in previous editions of the show many women buying cars probably double to men purchases as women become more demanding and pay great attention to the details of car features and specifications. EXCS gave women more space to determine what they need in the car," he added.
Al-Shamasi said: "Luxury car dealers participating in the show unveiled latest models, concept cars, new innovative technologies and driving systems adopted in 2013 cars. We are thrilled that Luxury Motor Show (EXCS) has been chosen by many major luxury carmakers to be their preferred platform for launching their latest models both regionally and globally, which emphasize its importance as a destination for leading trademarks, and a clear proof of its great success in reaching the potential clients of luxury cars sector."


British court dismisses charges against Barclays over 2008 Qatar deal

Updated 20 min 50 sec ago
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British court dismisses charges against Barclays over 2008 Qatar deal

LONDON: A British court has dismissed charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against Barclays over its 2008 capital raising, the bank said on Monday, suspending for now the threat of regulatory sanctions on its business operations.
The SFO was however not prepared to let the case drop.
“We are likely to seek to reinstate the charges by applying to the High Court,” an SFO spokesman said. It was not clear when that application would be heard.
Barclays denied the SFO’s allegation that a $3 billion loan it made to Qatar in November 2008 was connected with a Qatari investment in the British bank which ultimately helped it avoid a British government rescue during the financial crisis, unlike its rivals Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.
An end to the SFO’s case against Barclays and its operating subsidiary would remove the biggest remaining legal headache facing Barclays over its conduct during the financial crisis.
The collapse of one of its most high-profile corporate prosecutions would also represent a major setback for the SFO, with the prosecutor’s office under fire from politicians in recent years.
Qatar, which is a major investor in Britain, has not been accused of wrongdoing itself, but public companies in Britain are normally prohibited from lending money for the purchase of their own shares, known as “financial assistance.”
The SFO had been pursuing charges that Barclays unlawfully received such financial assistance, and that it had conspired with former senior executives to commit fraud over two so-called ‘advisory services agreements’ between Qatar and the bank which facilitated the fundraising.
NOT OVER YET
Even if the SFO were to fail in its efforts to reinstate the charges, Barclays still faces other legal and regulatory problems related to the 2008 fundraising.
The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the advisory services agreements.
Separately four former Barclays bankers face a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation when they negotiated a capital injection for the bank from Qatar, in a trial due to start next January.
The four are former chief executive John Varley, and senior executives Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath.
Barclays said the dismissal of the charges against itself should not be taken to have any bearing on whether other people may have committed a criminal offense.
Lawyers representing Boath and Jenkins declined to comment, while lawyers for the other two did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
British businesswoman Amanda Staveley has a separate $1 billion civil lawsuit against Barclays over the same fundraising.
Staveley’s private equity group PCP Capital Partners is claiming damages for alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in a row over whether Barclays offered Qatar and Abu Dhabi investors the same deal terms for participating in a fundraising in 2008.
Barclays has called the PCP lawsuit “misconceived.” Staveley declined to comment.
Barclays shares were up 0.7 percent by 1300 GMT, in line with the FTSE 350 British banks index.