London will offer China more than Singapore can, says Boris Johnson
The elite eight-player field at London’s indoor O2 Arena runs Nov. 4-11. SHANGHAI: Djokovic, Nadal into semifinals No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 David Ferrer already have qualified (No. 3 Andy Murray, the Wimbledon champion, is out following back surgery). Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych, comfortably in position Nos. 5-6, will almost certainly make the cut. FEDERER: Critics need to back off That leaves three positions hanging in the balance and just 380 points separating seventh-place Wawrinka (3,150) from 11th-place Raonic (2,770) following Friday’s results at the Shanghai Masters. A player could add as many as 1,750 points in the next three weeks with a number of 250, 500 and the 1,000-point Paris Masters still to come. Those alive at this week’s Shanghai Masters could earn more. Federer didn’t help his chances in China when he lost in three sets to Gael Monfils in the third round. The 32-year-old Swiss, a six-time winner of the tour finale, has qualified every year since 2002 but is coming off his worst season in more than a decade. A no-show by 17-time Grand Slam champion would be the biggest surprise.
London Savoy Hotel Sees Risk of Loan Violations
Despite those and other conspicuous wins, few consider Britain to be the first choice partner for China, which is spreading its tentacles across growing swathes of Africa, as well as increasingly into other European countries whose economic difficulties have made them increasingly attractive places for investment. Although the UK is the second biggest external renminbi trading centre after Singapore, many City analysts believe Britain should also capitalise on its role as a middleman between China and its global investments. Business leaders are incredibly keen for us to do this kind of thing, to lead these sorts of trips, says Johnson. That level of political door opening and engagement it is very important for the City at a political level to show its engagement and its commitment to our Chinese partners. And I think youll find business leaders themselves will confirm that. The mayor says London will be able to capitalise on major Chinese-funded projects such as the 1bn rebuilding of the Royal Albert Docks and the 500m plan to restore the Crystal Palace. There is a lot to do, says Johnson. But were determined to show that London has a huge amount to offer, both in financial terms and in the cultural benefits, from the number of Michelin-starred restaurants to the nightlife. Londons delegation will be making the case for that overtaking Singapore, which I believe is perfectly possible. Nonetheless, in a country that still takes a rigid approach to protocol, both the mayors and the Chancellors staff have been keen to ensure that no details of the impending announcements leak out. What is certain is that we will hear more on the funding of Britains next nuclear power station and if technology giants, such as Huawei, will continue to increase investment in the UK, despite growing hostility to the brand in America. The backdrop is David Camerons meeting in London last year with the Dalai Lama, which badly damaged political relations. All ministerial contact was suspended by China after Cameron and Nick Clegg met the Tibetan leader in defiance of a specific request from Beijing not to do so. Johnson claims it did not have a negative impact on the City. This weeks two trips seem to show no permanent harm has been done. Of more pressing concern for many of the delegates will be Chinas record on intellectual property some British manufacturers report that more than 90pc of sales are taken by Chinese fakes, while companies have been locked in repeated legal battles over breaches of copyright.
This risk represents a material uncertainty which could cast significant doubt as to the groups ability to continue as a going concern, according to an Oct. 7 filing to Companies House by Breezeroad Ltd., the hotels owner. Breezeroads directors prepared projections that assume an improvement in business and indicate the Savoy will continue to meet its debts, according to the filing. If the financial projections arent met, loans to the company, controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and a Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) unit, could become repayable on demand. The Breezeroad directors said they dont think a covenant breach would have a detrimental impact on the groups ability to operate, according to the filing. Costs could be cut to avoid breaching loan terms or talks with lenders and shareholders could be held to resolve any loan violations, the directors said. The hotel had a pretax loss of 53.5 million pounds ($85 million) in 2012, an 8 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the filing to Companies House describing last years results. Revenue rose about 3.5 percent to 58.5 million pounds last year. Prince Alwaleed Kingdom Holding, an investment company Alwaleed controls, and the Lloyds unit, each own half of the Savoy, according to a statement in April, when the hotels debt was refinanced. At that time, the London hotel was valued at more than 600 million pounds. Kingdom is supporting this asset and has a plan with Lloyds for the hotel, Charles Henry, a spokesman for the Riyadh-based company, said by telephone. Lloyds spokesman Emile Abu-Shakra said the bank remains fully supportive of the management and this iconic hotel. We are confident that the business will continue to trade profitably and that it will be able to meet all creditor payments as they fall due, he said by e-mail. Credit Agricole SA (ACA) and DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale have loaned 200 million pounds to a Breezeroad affiliate at a rate of 380 basis points, or 3.8 percent, to 400 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, according to the filing. Kingdom Loans Lloyds and Kingdom Holding each loaned the group 50.5 million pounds at a 15 percent internal rate of return as part of the refinancing, the filing said.