WH Ireland says Kuwaiti investor transfers stake in firm

A view of the financial district in the City of London. WH Ireland Group said that its second biggest investor, Kuwaiti European Holding Group (KEH), had transferred ownership. (Shutterstock)
Updated 20 July 2018
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WH Ireland says Kuwaiti investor transfers stake in firm

LONDON: WH Ireland Group said on Friday that its second biggest investor, Kuwaiti European Holding Group (KEH), had transferred ownership of its 23.1 percent stake in the financial services company. The British stockbroker said the transfer meant KEH no longer had the right to appoint a director to the board of the company. KEH Chief Executive Humphrey Percy has stepped down from his director role with immediate effect.
WH Ireland, which offers private wealth management, wealth planning and corporate broking services, said KEH’s stake was now held by three individuals: Abdulaziz Al-Bader, who holds a 9.21 percent stake; Thamer Al-Wazzan, with 8.56 percent; and Waleed Al-Thaqeb, with 4.09 percent.
WH Ireland attracted investment from the Middle East in 2016 when KEH spent 8.45 million pounds ($11.02 million) to buy its stake to help serve financial services clients across the Middle East and Britain.
KEH, an investment company focused on property, health and leisure businesses, said then that WH Ireland’s business model and strategy was “highly complementary” to that of KEH’s financial services businesses — Armila Capital and Al-Fouz Investment Company.
Two of WH Ireland’s three biggest stakeholders — Polygon Global Partners and Oceanwood Capital Management — are hedge funds.
Spokesmen for Polygon and Oceanwood were not immediately available for comment. A spokesman for WH Ireland declined to comment further when contacted by Reuters.
WH Ireland’s stock was 1.3 percent lower at 1150 GMT.
The firm’s CEO Richard Killingbeck stepped down on Thursday following two years of losses, hurt by reduced transactions from corporate and institutional broking division and continuation of higher costs in private wealth management division.
($1 = 0.7665 pounds)


Tesla rolls out Model 3 in China ahead of schedule in sales push

Updated 37 min 27 sec ago
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Tesla rolls out Model 3 in China ahead of schedule in sales push

  • The initial deliveries will go to customers who placed their orders before the end of 2018
  • Tesla currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but is in the process of building a factory in Shanghai

BEIJING/SHANGHAI: Tesla has started delivering Model 3 cars in China slightly ahead of schedule, as it looks to revive its sales that have been hit hard by Sino-US trade tensions.
The California-based firm has already adjusted prices and added a cheaper Model 3 variant to its line-up to make its US-made cars more affordable in China amid high import tariffs.
The US luxury electric vehicle said in a statement that it held a delivery event in Beijing on Friday which “marked a significant milestone for the market.”
It had initially projected a March start for Model 3 deliveries in China — the world’s biggest auto market where overall car sales contracted in 2018 for the first time in more than two decades.
The initial deliveries will go to customers who placed their orders before the end of 2018, Tesla said. Buyers that ordered this year will start receiving their cars from end-March.
“I see its earlier-than-expected delivery as an effort to try and seize the market as quickly as possible” amid mounting competition, said Alan Kang, an analyst at LMC Automotive.
“Many of its potential customers will not only be considering Tesla’s Model 3 but also other electric car models like Jaguar’s I-PACE or that from Audi and Mercedes-Benz,” the Shanghai-based analyst added.
While auto sales in China have waned as the economy slowed, Tesla’s business was hit hard after Beijing raised tariffs on US auto imports to 40 percent in July amid the trade tensions. China has since temporarily suspended the additional 25 percent tariff, reducing it to the 15 percent level.
Tesla currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but is in the process of building a factory in Shanghai that will manufacture Model 3 cars in the initial phase and help it minimize the impact of the trade war.
The United States and China are in the midst of talks aimed at resolving their trade dispute. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement by March 1, US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to spike to 25 percent from 10 percent.
Tit-for-tat tariffs between the world’s two top economies have upended international trade flows.
Tesla’s earlier-than-scheduled delivery, however, comes as the automaker was dealt a setback on Thursday after Consumer Reports, an influential US magazine, withdrew its endorsement for Model 3, citing reliability problems.
The magazine’s decision to withdraw its endorsement, less than nine months after recommending the electric sedan, raised questions about quality that Tesla has faced since the Model 3’s difficult launch.