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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation, keynote presentations and workshops for corporate organisations on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. He operated at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book. Journalist and Broadcaster. After-dinner speaker and presenter.

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dubai Financial Mess May Scupper Peterborough 'Shed' Threat

So that's a deal, You annex the UK and I'll take the Camels,
.... unless you have Silk Cut?



You really have to hand it to Walmart (ASDA's US parent company),they seemingly managed to offload the UK 'warehouse shed' developer Gazeley (currently blighting Peterborough, Cambridgeshire,UK with a threatened new industrial rail freight terminal development) to an offshoot of the crumbling financial sandcastle Dubai World (ironically largely in hoc to the British taxpayer due to the massive exposure in terms of loans by taxpayer bailed out RBS - Royal Bank of Scotland)  but not before Gazeley have been hiring expensive London spin doctors, passing themselves off or posing as Gazeley directors and employees, wining and dining Peterbrough City Council [PCC] and other publicly funded planning and regional development officials and a sprinkle of local worthies; to get their plans for a massive rail and warehouse shed terminal, MAGNAPARK enshrined on the long term county development plan.

No doubt a freedom of information request will eventually unearth the receivers of such largesse, but the Mayors Town Hall booze budget currently remains under wraps (I've tried!).  

Three years of massive industrial development hell and a lifetime of light and noise pollution for the densly residential new build areas of Stanground, Park Farm, Heritage Park and environs. 

The PCC literally riding roughshod over the wishes of local residents and Dubai World owned Gazeley apologists blatently lying through their corporate teeth in the media and on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire over the number of jobs the development is likely to create (you can hear the BBC copyright audio clip pirated on the Gazeley website)  when they had already sent a letter to PCC Planning discreetly dropping the previously announced job numbers by a cool 1,000. 

In reality of course, wiser heads will understand that few true LOCAL jobs will be created as by the nature of a rail freight distribution automated warehouse terminal, essentially as a feeder for Felixstowe docks (also owned at the moment by Dubai World)  goods come in prepacked bulk loads and are taken out by massive robots, loaded into containers or rail freight with few humans involved. For good measure the EC has also increased the size and length of the road containers forming 'Road Trains' and that is due to be enacted in January 2010. 

By the time the PCC wakes up, the development will have taken root and Stanground residents will have a new vista, the side of warehouse sheds in effect a fifty foot high metal wall to look at (six times higher than the Berlin Wall!)  where once was a VITAL flood plain called DRYSIDES and crop rotated agricultural land.

The lessons of tragic Cockermouth still have to be understood in Peterborough! Not to mention the wildlife, Herons, Swans, Hares, you name it, all lost for ever and no one at Town Hall seems to care. 



The so called Middle Level waterway on the 'Green Wheel' will attempt to take the substantial additional water run off and no doubt raise the water table which for good measure the Environment Agency has already pre-development designated a flood risk on their own website. The site is called DRY SIDES - a massive clue as to its true purpose!

Nearby Whittlesey and mushrooming residental estates now being built could possibly be under several feet of sewerage and foul water in a few years... Have a look at the Hampton development near the new Police Station, a whole area remains undeveloped due to flood risk and other contiminate problems ...they simply just do not get it...

The area beyond the proposed Magnapark site is also good for brickmaking....ahhh so we are looking at a clay soil not ideal for absorbing water? Hmm, PCC seem to have overlooked that as well. 

The Magnapark development also relies on a major bypass being built for 2,000 traffic movements a day - built and funded not by them, oh no, but they claim Gazeley will subsequently retrofit and twin the soon to be completed single bypass, designed to serve another densly packed new build residental development, effectively adding to the local disruption for a further term of several years.

Some kiddies on the disrupted nose to tail, cone littered school run, will be able to watch it all, faces  pressed to car windows, throughout the whole period of their primary school education... a exciting prospect that not even Bob the Builder can replicate..  

So what is the background to it all?  The following clips may help to fill in the gaps. TV and Radio have yet to catch up with this particular twist as its buried within the sprawling corporate structure so we will rely on you to give your councillor a nudge before its too late....I'd add in MP, but the one for Peterborough is busy sorting out his expenses when not cleaning out his private swimming pool - on expenses, "in the rules" old boy!   

http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?storycode=3115513



A subsidiary of Dubai World has bought shed developer Gazeley for more than £300m, as tipped by Property Week (06.06.08)




The investment arm of the Dubai government has bought the developer from Wal-Mart as it provides a ‘strategic fit’ with its expanding global business.






Gazeley chief executive Pat McGillycuddy will report directly to Economic Zones World, which is the branch of Dubai World buying Gazeley.

EZW was set up in January 2007 to expand Dubai World’s global reach and is an operator and developer of economic zones across the world, including the Jebel Ali Free Zone of logistics facilities next to Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.






Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said it was a milestone for the company.

 
Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb, chief executive officer of Economic Zones World, said: ‘Our capability as a developer and operator of economic zones fits naturally with Gazeley’s experience in developing distribution facilities and together we believe we can offer our customers a higher quality of service globally.’


The transaction is subject to the receipt of European regulatory approval and is expected to complete during July. EZW was advised by a team led by Deutsche Bank and including CB Richard Ellis, Linklaters, KPMG, Pinsent Masons and WSP. UBS was financial adviser to Wal-Mart.


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aoFe12bwzZ2M&pos=1






Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai World, with $59 billion of liabilities, is seeking to delay debt payments, sending contracts to protect the emirate against default surging by the most since they began trading in January.

 

The state-controlled company will ask creditors for a “standstill” agreement as it negotiates to extend maturities, including $3.52 billion of Islamic bonds due Dec. 14 from its property unit Nakheel PJSC, Dubai’s Department of Finance said in an e-mailed statement. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s cut the ratings on several state companies, saying they may consider the plan a default.



“Extending the maturity of Nakheel debt is feeding the market’s uncertainty on which debt Dubai will honor in full,” said Rachel Ziemba, a senior analyst covering sovereign wealth funds at New York-based Roubini Global Economics. “They look desperate and the market is concerned that in the long term Dubai’s indebtedness is rising not falling.”



Dubai accumulated $80 billion of debt by expanding in banking, real estate and transportation before credit markets seized up last year. Contracts protecting against default rose 116 basis points to 434 basis points yesterday, the most since they began trading in January, ranking it the sixth highest-risk government borrower, according to credit-default swap prices from CMA Datavision in London. The contracts, which increase as perceptions of credit quality deteriorate, are higher than Iceland’s after climbing 131 basis points in November, the biggest monthly increase since January.



Cut to Junk



Emaar Properties PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest developer, Jebel Ali Free Zone, an operator of business parks  viz GAZELEY in the UK, DIFC Investments and Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC. were all cut to below investment-grade ratings by Moody’s. DP World Ltd., the Middle East’s biggest port operator, and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority were lowered to Baa2, two levels above junk.



S&P, which doesn’t rate Dubai Electricity & Water, lowered the ratings on the other five companies to BBB+ or BBB-, three levels and one level above junk, respectively. S&P and Moody’s said they may cut the ratings further.



The debt “restructuring may be considered a default under our default criteria,” S&P said in a statement.


‘No Clarity’



Investor concern is growing because the emirate hasn’t disclosed how it will pay more than $9 billion of debt coming due in the next four months. Dubai said yesterday it borrowed $5 billion from Abu Dhabi government-controlled banks, half the $10 billion Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said he planned to raise by yearend.


“There is no clarity about what exactly is happening,” said Emad Mostaque, a London-based Middle East equity-fund manager for Pictet Asset Management Ltd., which oversees more than $100 billion globally. “They have to clarify if there is going to be a voluntary rollover or if there is going to be a forced rollover. If there is a forced rollover it will mean technical default. If they don’t clear this up then the whole market will want to sell.”



Dubai, the second biggest of seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, and home to the world’s tallest tower and the biggest man-made islands, suffered the world’s steepest property slump in the global credit crisis as home prices fell 50 percent from their 2008 peak, according to Deutsche Bank. UBS AG predicted a further 30 percent drop in a report last week.





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