Trump junior to entertain luxury flat buyers in India

Dozens of property investors and their families will be treated to dinner with Donald Trump junior in Delhi this week. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Trump junior to entertain luxury flat buyers in India

NEW DELHI: Dozens of property investors and their families will be treated to dinner with Donald Trump junior in Delhi this week after snapping up flats in a Trump Towers luxury development on the outskirts of the Indian capital.
Trump’s local partners have promised dinner with the US president’s son to anyone who buys into the development of high-rise apartments boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, state of the art amenities and a “lifestyle concierge.”
At 2.5 million rupees (around $39,000) just for the downpayment on the smallest and cheapest flat, that is well beyond most Indians.
Nonetheless around 75 people have already stumped up and Indian developer Tribeca expects that number to increase to 100 before the promotion deadline expires on Thursday, a staff member told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“The meeting is a token of gratitude to the clients for showing tremendous faith in the upcoming project,” said the Tribeca employee.
The 47-story towers will comprise 250 homes and are expected to be completed by 2023, with price ranging from 55-110 million rupees ($850,000-$1.7 million).
Adverts in Indian newspapers on Monday promised prospective buyers their neighbors would include a “renowned industrialist,” “art maestro” and “famous Indian cricketer” — although it was not clear whether this was based on the identity of the existing buyers.
“Trump is here. Are you invited? read the full-page advert in Monday’s Times of India.
The development is in the modern satellite city of Gurgaon, where many major companies now have their headquarters.
India is already the Trump Organization’s biggest international market, with developments in four major cities — Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon and Kolkata.
All are being built with local partners, with the Trump Organization giving permission to use its brand and taking a share of the profits.
According to media reports, the estimated cost of developing these projects is $1.5 billion.
The Trump family earned $3 million in royalties in 2016 from ventures in India, according to a New York Times report.
Trump junior and his brother now head the company after their father stood down when he became president amid concerns over a conflict of interest.
Although the US embassy says he is in Delhi on an unofficial visit, Trump junior is due to speak on Indo-Pacific relations at a business conference on Friday at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the keynote speaker.
The luxury property in Gurgaon is being developed by Indian firms Tribeca and M3M, with construction expected to start toward the end of the year.
India’s residential property market has struggled in recent years, hit by a glut in urban centers combined with the impact of a 2016 move to tackle tax evasion with a ban on high-value banknotes.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.