Monday, 22 October 2012

Cutting my hair for Rush was risky: Neha Dhupia


ACTRESS Neha Dhupia, who let go of her long locks for her role of a career woman in Rush, says it is the biggest risk she has ever taken in her career.

“We thought a lot... whether to do it or not, and took a big risk. As it’s written here (on movie’s poster) Jo aadmi risk nahi leta, uska sab risky ho jaata hai (A person who doesn’t take risks, has a risky life). (So) I think the biggest risk I took was cutting my hair,” the 32-year-old said on Friday in an interview.

But she has no regrets.

“I am missing my hair but glad that people are liking the look. As an actor, it’s very important that you just be able to experiment and to be able to do different things all the time. When I got this character, it had to be effortless and at the same time sexy, and had to be a career woman, so short hair was the way to go,” she added.

Meanwhile, Neha says Emraan Hashmi, who plays a mediaperson in the film, is just the opposite of his on screen image in real life.

“Working with Emraan is fabulous. Whatever I say about him is not enough. He is just the opposite of the kind of image he has on screen. He is a little boy at heart, he is full of fun, he is very mischievous on the sets,” Neha said.

Directed by Priyanka Desai, Rush, releasing on October 24, also features Sagarika Ghatge and Aditya Pancholi.

If I’m satisfied, I’d be creatively dead: Amitabh Bachchan



FORTY-THREE years in showbiz, over 180 films, national and international honours in his kitty and not to forget a huge fan following - Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has achieved a lot, but as an actor he never wants to be satisfied.

“I think every actor would wish there is some challenge that is left. I would consider to be creatively dead if I were to say that I am satisfied now,” Big B said in an interview in his trademark baritone.

“I think no actor should be ever satisfied because there is always something new to do, something fresh to get challenged by... I do hope there are filmmakers who will challenge me, who will create stories and characters that would excite me enough and provoke me to perhaps take up a job; so, as I said, I hope I never get satisfied,” added the megastar who is called a “living legend” thanks to many milestones in his career.

From flops to stardom, from failure to scaling dizzying heights of success again, he has seen both good and bad times.

But he said he doesn’t feel like looking back at his past, and added: “I don’t spend much time looking back at what happened. I do remember it, but I don’t see any purpose of wanting to look back. I should only look back at moments that were disparaging, look down upon, negative for me - moments where I could learn something. And if I have been able to use that learning in future, then I am happy about it.” A human being is on the right track if he or she learns from the bad phases of life, he said.

“I do believe that every human being will have ups and downs and I do believe that if we can learn from the periods when we were down, then we are on the right track.

“I would not want to change anything if I had to live another life. I would want the negatives to be there, I would want the downs to be there, because if everything is going to be good for you, then why are you here? You might as well be in heaven. There is some reason why we are here and this is what we all believe in,” he said philosophically.

He wants to face “those obstacles because they taught me what I should be doing or how I should be conducting myself”.

“If I haven’t had all those obstacles, I would have never learnt all that. I feel blessed that I had downs in my life because they were actually lessons for me.” From Zanjeer to Deewar, Sholay to Shakti, he has playd larger-than-life characters on screen in his career, but says no role is big enough or too small.

“They are all tough roles. Every day is a test for me. It’s an examination.

No role is small enough, no role is big enough - they are all equal examinations...this is how I look at it.

“Whether it is a guest role, whether it’s a passing role or a leading role - I always feel that there is a huge amount of concentration, work and the thinking process going into it. I treat each role with the same amount of equality,” said Amitabh.

Recently he turned 70 and is wowing his fan as the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati 6. He doesn’t seem to have any plans to hang up his boots in the near future.

Holloway wins approval of Cheryl’s mom


AFTER a rough start, dancer Tre Holloway has managed to make an impression on girlfriend Cheryl Cole’s mother.

Holloway, 29, gave Joan, 53 a cross and a chain engraved - “To Mam Love Tre” - and it changed the latter’s perception that the dancer might hurt his daughter, reports

Earlier, Joan had expressed concern about her daughter getting heartbroken again after Cheryl’s ex-husband Ashley Cole cheated on her with several women.

However, after the present and getting pampered at a top London spa, Joan has given her blessings to Holloway. She even attended the party after her daughter ended A Million Lights tour in hometown of Newcastle.

This gave people an idea of the strengthening relation between Cheryl and Holloway as sources said: “It was a big public statement.”

Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel marry in Italy


HOLLYWOOD couple Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have married in southern Italy, People magazine said on Friday.

“It’s great to be married, the ceremony was beautiful and it was so special to be surrounded by our family and friends,” the couple told the US celebrity magazine in an exclusive statement.

People said it would carry full details of the wedding, including exclusive photos, in next week’s edition.

Sexy Back singer and actor Timberlake, 31, and Total Recall actress Biel, 30, have been dating on and off since 2007. They announced their engagement at the beginning of 2012, and carefully shielded the details of their nuptials from the public.

The pair have been in southern Italy for much of the week, partying with friends and wedding guests on a beach before exchanging vows. It was not immediately clear on which day the ceremony took place.

Timberlake has previously had high-profile relationships with pop singer Britney Spears and actress Cameron Diaz.

Tennessee native Timberlake, who rose to fame in the boy band N’Sync, forged a successful solo music career before moving into films. He played Napster founder, Sean Parker, in the Oscar-nominated Facebook film, The Social Network and more recently starred alongside Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood in Trouble With The Curve.

Biel, who was born in Minnesota, started her career on US television in the long-running family drama 7th Heaven. She broke into movies with a starring role in the 2003 remake of horror flick Texas Chainsaw Massacre and has since been seen in The A-Team and New Year’s Eve.

B-Town feels shattered over Chopra’s demise


SHOCKED”, “numb” and “heartbroken” is what the Bollywood fraternity felt after learning about the demise of veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra on Sunday evening following multiple organ failure.

He was 80.

From Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan to Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, a griefstricken Bollywood took to Twitter to express their sentiments and said he will be missed a lot.

Dilip Kumar: Shattering, hard to accept. Yash was more than a friend, a brother. I am numb and have no words to express my grief.

Sridevi: Deeply saddened by the shocking news of Yashji passing away, he was full of warmth & affection whenever we met, he will be missed forever.

Lara Dutta: All I ever really knew of Hindi films began with Yash uncles brand of cinema. RIP Yash Chopra ji. Will miss you terribly.

Akshay Kumar: I’m in shock and numb, can’t believe the news, the man who immortalised love, Mr Yash Chopra is no more. May his soul rest.

Shilpa Shetty: Just heard the tragic news of Yash uncle passing away. The epitome of Romance a great man...will miss him dearly. RIP Yash Uncle.

Manoj Bajpayee: Yashji is no more with us in this world.

numbed to hear this just when I arrive in Mumbai. What a loss! May you rest in peace Yashji.

Madhur Bhandarkar: I’m shocked and saddened by the loss of Hindi Cinema’s legend - Yash ji. romance in cinema will always be incomplete without you. RIP.

Madhuri Dixit: Just got the news that Yashji passed away. He was one of the giants of cinema. My deepest condolences to his family. We will all miss him.

Preity Zinta wrote: Yash Uncle we will miss you.

May god give peace to your soul. RIP Amitabh Bachchan: Yash Chopra passes away... Just now a hour ago.

Shekhar Ravijani: Heartbroken. I just met him a few days back during the trial of SOTY. God bless his soul. RIP Yashji.

Rahul Bose: Terrible, terrible news. RIP Yashji.

King of Romance Yash Chopra passes away


A LEGENDARY filmmaker, Yash Chopra changed the face of romance in Hindi cinema to become a brand in Bollywood with numerous hits under his belt in his five-decade long illustrious career.

Chopra(80), who was one of the pillars in Bollywood, directed some of Indian cinema’s most successful and iconic films, including the action thriller Deewar which established megastar Amitabh Bachchan as the “angry young man”.

The hit duo of Chopra and Bachchan worked together again in romantic drama Kabhi Kabhie and Trishul. If Shah Rukh Khan is called the King, Chopra was definitely the kingmaker and gave support and fillip to many an artiste’s career, making them into superstars. Although he began his career making different kinds of films, Chopra is today known mostly for the romantic films like Silsila, Chandni and Dilwale Duhania Le Jayenge. The term ‘Yash Chopra romance’ is used to typify the kind of romantic films the filmmaker gave birth to in Bollywood. Considered among one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of Hindi cinema, Chopra’s career has spanned over five decades and over 50 films. Beginning his career as an assistant director, Chopra made his directorial debut with Dhool Ka Phool in 1959, a melodrama about illegitimacy. Chopra has won several film awards, including six National Film Awards and eleven Filmfare awards including four Filmfare Award for Best Director.

Born in Lahore (now in Pakistan) to a Punjabi family on September 27, 1932, Chopra moved to India after the Partition. Chopra’s original plan was to pursue a career in engineering. However, his passion for filmmaking led him to Mumbai where he initially worked as an assistant director to I S Johar, and then for his director-producer brother B R Chopra. Encouraged by the success of his films, the Chopra brothers made several more movies together during the late 50s and 60s. Chopra rose to fame in 1965 after the commercially and critically successful drama, Waqt, which pioneered the concept of multi-starrers in Bollywood.

In 1973, Chopra founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films, and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love with the hit onscreen pair of Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna.

However, in the ‘80s several films he directed and produced failed to leave a mark at the box office, notably Mashaal and Vijay.

But Chopra rose like phoenix with the commercially and critically successful film Chandni thus beginning his journey of making romantic Hindi films. He then directed and produced the cult classic Lamhe in 1991. His association with Shah Rukh Khan began with the 1993 romantic psychological thriller film Darr, which turned out to be a superhit with SRK playing the role of an obsessed lover.

Since then, Chopra has directed three more romantic films, all starring Khan - Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Veer-Zaara (2004) and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) before he announced his retirement from directing this year.

“I have always had great experience working with him. He is one actor who has never asked me what the story is about, how much money he will charge... whatever amount I send him through cheque he takes that and rather asks me why did I give such a huge amount,” Chopra said last month during an interview with Shah Rukh on his 80th birthday.

Shah Rukh has also been a part of films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Mohabbatein (2000) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), which were produced under Chopra’s Yash Raj banner.

His last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan is set to hit theatres on November 13.

Chopra’s elder son Aditya Chopra is a successful director, carrying forward his legacy and taking care of the Yash Raj banner.

His younger son Uday is now handling the international branch of their production house, besides breif stints in films.

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar said she and Chopra shared family relations. “He made me sing in all his films,” she said “He was a jovial person and interacted with everyone with love... Even when he was angry, he simply kept quiet,” said Mangeshkar.

He gave importance to music, and all his films had good songs, she noted.

Spirit of Qatar reaches US for Key West World Championship


THE SPIRIT of Qatar Team has reached the United States of America to finalise preparations for the 32nd Annual Key West World Championships, which will take place, in Florida on November 4-11.

The Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor al Thani-led team left Qatar on Sunday and arrived in Florida on Monday. The team’s British throttleman Steve Curtis will be with the crew from Monday and Sheikh Hassan will join the team after the Eid holidays.

Sheikh Hassan, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), and Curtis will challenge for honours in the world famous American boating festival at the helm of their spare Spirit of Qatar 96.

“The engines have been upgraded to 1000hp and have arrived in Florida,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “We have a short time left to get the boat ready before the races. We know we have less power that the rest of the fleet, but we hope that we can sneak some form of advantage in rougher weather conditions and we can push on with the bigger power boats.” Shipping partner Peters & May has handled the logistics of transporting the hull and equipment from Doha to Key West.The Key West festival consists of a week of maritime racing activities and three actual racing days.

Registration takes place on November 4 and testing will take place on November 6 after further administration and technical checks.

The actual races will take place on November 7, 9 and 11 with the intermediate days being used for testing, marketing and boat displays.

Unseeded Angelinos wins Qatar Futures title


UNSEEDED Theodoros Angelinos ended his threeyear wait as he overcame fifth seed Roman Jebavy in a tough final of the Qatar F4 Futures Tennis Tournament at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Greek knocked out the last standing seed in the topsy-turvy tournament, winning by 7-5 7-5.

This was the third career Futures crown for Angelinos, who had lost the quarter-final clashes in two events in a row in Doha.

This year, he had made it to the final of the Romania F5 Futures also but lost the match to Spanish Jordi Samper-Montana despite winning the opening set.

The Qatar F2 and F3 events were both won by top seed Clement Reix but the Qatar F4 turned out to be disaster for the seeded players.

In the second round only, No 1 Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia and No 2 Benjamin Balleret were eliminated. Rest of them, barring No 5 Jebavy, bowed out as the tournament reached its climax.

The doubles final was won by fourth seeds Marko Danis and Marek Semjan (both of Slovakia) against third-seeded pair of Benjamin Balleret of Monaco and Mohammad Ghareeb of Kuwait in straight sets.

Doubles champions in the previous two events were the Czech Republic’s Roman Jebavy and Oktar Lucak and then Poland’s Adam Chadaj and Andriej Kapas.

The past three weeks of tournaments have seen Qatari players Jabor Ali Mutawa, Mohammad Khingi, Mousa Shannan Zayed, Ahmed al Ali, Jabar al Marri, Sultan Khalfan and Abdulla al Mahmoud play against an international field of players and raise their competitive games.

Tournament Director Saad al Mohannadi said, “The Qatar Tennis Federation has been honoured to host three weeks of International Tennis Federation futures events at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. We have had players from all over the world compete in very intense matches and have seen our national team players compete against some of the game’s best.

“All of our champions have worked hard to lift the winning trophies. Hosting these types of events shows how seriously we take Qatar’s presence on the global tennis stage and we look forward to having more events of this caliber in the future.”

‘Rain King’ West comes second, gains best GP result for QMMF


RAIN KING Anthony West lived up to his reputation on the wet Sepang circuit and stormed to the second place at the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix, handing his QMMF Racing Team with its best ever Grand Prix result.

The 31-year-old Australian started from 19th position on the grid and hunted down no less than ten other riders on the opening lap to break into the top ten. He continued with the same incredible pace and moved up to sixth after lap two and fourth after lap three. An exciting battle with Italian Alex de Angelis, Briton Gino Rea and local hero Hafizh Syahrin unfolded that made the crowd cheer whenever the front group of four passed the grandstands. Two laps from the end, West left Rea and Syahrin behind to take the second spot on the podium behind winner de Angelis.

Elena Rosell, who ran to the podium to celebrate West’s success with the entire team, had every reason to be proud as well. Starting from 31st place on the grid, the lady racer from Valencia not only reached her goal of fighting with a group of other riders, but got stronger and stronger as the race went on. In 26th position after 12 laps, she gained six more places in the last three laps to finish in 20th position, her personal best in GP racing, when the race was red-flagged because of heavy rain.

“Finally we found what we were looking for during the whole season”, said QMMF Racing team manager Rashid al Sulaiti. “Today, he showed his special skills and his unbelievable feeling in the rain. But we are also making big improvements with the set-up of our new Speed Up bike in dry conditions.

“We struggled a lot in the first part of the season, but now, in the second part, we hope that we can continue on our way up and that we’ll be ready for next year. I want to thank QMMF, the team and our riders. Anthony was simply fantastic today!,” added Sulaiti.

“It’s a long time since I had a result like this and I’m very happy about my comeback on a Grand Prix podium. The last two years have been really difficult for me and at times, my confidence wasn’t great,”commented West after the race.

“But in the last two races, I started to feel really good with the improved bike. This race now is the next push for me to finish the season strong. I really want to thank QMMF for giving me the opportunity to race again. Initially, I thought I was not going to be racing this year at all and now I am back on the podium – things turn around quickly sometimes,”said a delighted West.

“Without QMMF, I wouldn’t be here, but I also want to thank the team as they are a great bunch of people. We all have a laugh, but at the same time, they all have a lot of experience. I am glad that I finally gave them a result that shows how good the team really is.” Recalling the race moments, he said, “The race was crazy.

On the first laps, I seemed to pass lots of people quite easily.

Finally, I caught up with Gino and Alex. They were setting a good pace and I was quite happy just to stay behind them. It was difficult, because sometimes they did really good laps and other times, they were sliding around, so I decided to sit there and watch.

“The conditions were changing constantly, sometimes you could brake hard and other times the track was too slick to do anything. Towards the end, the rain was out of control and I didn’t think I was going to complete.

Gharafa beats Jaish 2-0 in QSL


AL GHARAFA beat El Jaish 2-0, thanks to Alex Meschini and Mark Bresciano on Sunday, earning the struggling side its first victory in four rounds of the Qatar Stars League season.

Gharafa striker Alex Meschini made up for his early misses by scoring from a pass by Diego Tardelli in the 43rd minute. The striker’s low shot from outside the box beat the full-stretched Ivanildo Rodrigus. Bresciano dashed the fighting spirit of Jaish when he struck home a cross from Fahid al Shammari in the 58th minute. Tardelli had a part to play in the second goal as well. The Brazilian was too crafty for Jaish’s Anderson Martins in inside the box and then he set up the ball for Fahid who whipped it into the box only for Bresciano to tap with his knee to make it 2-0 for Gharafa.

The result takes Gharafa to mid-table with five points while Jaish stays on fourth place with six points.

Gharafa looked a better side in the early exchanges and should have gone ahead in the 37th minute when Tardelli’s cannoned his header against the cross bar. He opened scoring chances for Bresciano and Alex but the duo’s effort especially in the first half lacked power.

After going one goal down, Jaish sought to reduce the tally in the second half and the closest it came when Adriano’s tap into the goal from close was ruled off side in the 77th minute.

Substitute Abdulqadir Ilyas added bite to the Jaish attack line, combining with Adriano and Karim Ziani. He had two goal scoring opportunities to make amends for his team but on both occasions, he lacked composure to finish off the through balls.

Abdulqadir had a free chance to score when a ball was crossed to him but he somehow headed wide with goalkeeper Qasim Burhan nowhere near him. With five minutes left in the match, the striker just needed the slightest of touch to score from sixyards but he cracked the ball above the bar instead.

On Saturday, defending champion Lekhwiya rallied to 2-2 draw against Al Wakrah in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) fourth week.

Striker Sebastian Soria scored the first goal of the match in the 20th minute.

However, Wakrah hit back with two goals from Yusuf Adam in the 32nd minute and Younis Mahmood in the 53rd minute. Despite being under pressure, Lekhwiya managed to salvage a point with Ali Hassan Afif scoring in the 69th minute.

It was a welcome draw for Lekhwiya - who was on a twomatch losing streak.

Lekhwiya was playing under its new coach Eric Gerets for the first time in the QSL.

Gerets replaced Djamale Belmadi a fortnight ago.

Wakrah, with three wins from four matches, is still unbeaten in the league.

As part of its strategy to attract fans, the QSL has recently launched various initiatives and put up attractive prizes for spectators.

How it works: The prize draw will place at each of the coming six matches and there will be 2 ticket winners per match! Each QSL round will produce 12 prize winners.

n Fans may buy tickets from Virgin Megastores in either Landmark or Villaggio, Souq Waqif or at the venue 1 hour before kick-off.

n The fan then goes to the stadium to watch their favourite team.

n When the fan arrives at the stadium – they drop their ticket stub into the prize draw box.

n During the match, 2 tickets are chosen at random.

n The two ticket winners are announced in the stadium and identified.

n The ticket winners are then invited to a weekly prize draw where the 12 prizes will be announced.

n Each week 2 of the lucky winners will win a car from AAB Toyota.

n Other prizes to be won include, ipads, playstations, banshees, mobile phones etc… n Follow the prize winners and match info on twitter and facebook. You may check the weekly winning numbers and fixtures on

UDC net profit up 14% to QR537mn in 9 months



UNITED Development Company (UDC), one of the largest public shareholding companies in Qatar, and the master developer of The Pearl-Qatar, on Monday reported an increase of 14 percent net profit to QR537 million for the first nine month of 2012.

According to a company statement, revenue of the company reached QR2.076 billion compared to QR 1.095 billion in the same period last year.

Earnings per share reached QR1.24 compared to QR 8.10 in the same period of 2011 due to the revaluation gain on investment properties, while total assets climbed to QR 19.494 billion Established in 1999, UDC was listed on the Qatar Exchange in June 2003. Companies under its umbrella include United Fashion Company, Hospitality Development Company and Ronautica Middle East.

Companies established most recently under the umbrella of United Development Company include Madinainova, United Facilities Management Company and The Pearl Owners Corporation.

Extending over an approximate area of 4 million square meters, The Pearl-Qatar is a first-class real estate development in the Arabian Gulf as well as one of the Middle East’s most fashionable and sophisticated locations for investors, retailers and visitors.

Earlier in April this year UDC appointed Omar Hussein Alfardan as Managing Director.

UDC has developed into the first-choice private sector and joint venture partner for international investors in Qatar, and has successfully established several new companies and investment vehicles across the region.

UDC reported extraordinary results for the 2011 financial year, recording a 511 percent increase in profits, QR3.772 billion, more than six times the profit achieved in 2010.

UDC’s founders and current board members are among Qatar’s most successful investors and developers. Thousands of Qatari shareholders hold 75 percent of the total shares and the remaining 25 percent are held by other GCC and international investors.

QInvest arranges $200mn loan for Turkish refinery



TUPRAS, Turkey’s sole oil refiner, has signed a $200 million one-year loan with a group of nine Gulf-based banks.

Qinvest, Qatar’s leading investment bank, acted as sole bookrunner and structuring Advisor to Tupras, with Qatar Islamic Bank, Barwa Bank, Commercial Bank of Qatar and First Gulf Bank participating as mandated lead Arrangers (MLA). The MLAs were joined in the facility at lead arranger level by Ahli United Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Doha Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank.

Founded in 1983, Tupras is engaged in refining and distribution of petroleum products in Turkey and internationally.

Tupras is listed on Istanbul Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of $ 5.7 billion as on October 5, 2012.

The company is 49 percent owned by the public, and 51 percent by EnerjiYatirimlari, a joint venture between Koc Holding and Shell.

Tupras is the leading refiner in Turkey, accounting for almost 60 percent of Turkish petroleum product consumption.

The company is the seventh largest refinery company in Europe, and has the world’s 29th largest refining capacity.

QInvest was licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority in April 2007 and is authorised by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. The firm has authorised capital of $1 billion and paid up capital of $750 million.

The QInvest shareholder structure includes Qatar Islamic Bank and other institutional investors, as well as prominent high net worth individuals from across the region.

The platform offers a broad range of expertise which enables QInvest to deliver a high value service to clients, seamlessly covering advisory, financing and investment needs.

The firm’s talented team of investment bankers brings a valuable mix of both international experience and regional knowledge, enabling the firm to pursue opportunities across its chosen markets of the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, South Asia and South-East Asia.

Saudi Telecom’s Q3 net profit up 25%



SAUDI Telecom Co (STC), the kingdom’s biggest telecom operator, posted a 25 percent increase in third quarter profit as revenues grew on the back of broadband and its international operations, but still missed most analysts expectations.

Its three-month net profit amounted to 1.95 billion Saudi riyals ($521 million), up from SAR1.56 billion a year earlier, STC said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.

EFG Hermes had expected its quarterly profit at SAR2.49 billion, while NCB Capital had pencilled in a SAR2.45 billion effort.

STC said the rise in quarterly profit was due to the increase in operating revenue “which came as a result of the growth in Broadband (fixed & mobile), Business sector services and wholesales services revenues domestically and the overall growth in revenues from international operations”.

The company’s wireless broadband customer base grew 17 percent in the third quarter, compared with the previous three-month period, resulting in a 68 percent year-on-year jump in wireless broadband revenues.

This growth can be partially attributed to the increase in 3G and 4G coverage, which has led to the launch of new products and services that meet the needs of customers, STC noted.

“We maintain an acute focus on reinforcing our presence in our home market while at the same time capitalising on opportunities for expansion both regionally and internationally,” said Khaled A Alghoneim, the STC group chief executive, said in the statement.

STC’s nine-month net profit was SAR6.88 billion, an increase of 28 percent from SAR5.39 billion in the corresponding period last year.

In a separate statement, STC said its board of directors adopted interim dividends for the third quarter amounting to SAR1 billion at the rate of SAR0.50 per share.

Europe, China do not need a trade war: Gucht



THE European Union will not back down from protecting its industries against Chinese competition it sees as unfair, but mutual selfinterest will prevent a damaging trade war, the EU’s trade chief Karel De Gucht said.

Disputes with Beijing have taken on a bigger scale in recent months and Brussels brought its biggest ever trade case against Beijing in September after European companies accused China of dumping solar panels in Europe.

The EU is also gathering evidence to see whether Chinese telecoms companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE are dumping or receiving illegal subsidies.

“We are not going to shy away from what we have to do,” De Gucht told Reuters in an interview.

“But we are not interested in escalating tensions. I believe that the Chinese also realise that this has to be kept within limits,” he said from his office in the European Commission.

The growing trade spats come at a dangerous time.

Europe’s economy is hardly growing and the continent is suffering from record unemployment, while China’s much-faster growth is cooling.

Both downturns raise the specter of social instability.

De Gucht, who first got to know China during his term as Belgium’s foreign minister between 2004 and 2007, sees the tensions persisting precisely because China is seeking to produce sophisticated products that will compete with Europe.

“China is facing a tremendous challenge: how to get a larger share of the valueadded pie, as it otherwise can’t possibly take the next step in economic development, which Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong have already taken,” De Gucht wrote in a book published this month called “Freedom: Liberalism In A Time of Cholera”.

There he cites a Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Trade between China and the European Union has doubled since 2003, rising to 428 billion euros ($558 billion) in 2011, making the EU China’s biggest trading partner.

China is the second biggest destination for European goods after the United States.

But ongoing disputes range from metal tubes to China’s restrictions of exports of rare earth metals.

In the solar panel case, European makers want duties placed on Chinese imports amid a sharp drop in prices, something the United States has already implemented.

EU diplomats say De Gucht could be using the solar panel dispute in Europe as leverage over Beijing to push the Communist government to cut what they see as illegal subsidies to Huawei and ZTE and avoid another formal trade case with Brussels.

De Gucht declined to go into details about either case, but said he hoped solutions could be found.

“You can imagine that: a mushrooming of problems between China and Europe,” said De Gucht, one of Europe’s most powerful commissioners and who leads trade policy on behalf of the EU’s 27 countries.

“Both parties realise that this would be a very bad thing for the whole of the world economy.” The US ambitions of Huawei and ZTE were stopped in their tracks earlier this month as a congressional report urged American companies to stop doing business with the firms, raising fears of retaliation from China.

The US House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee warned industry that Beijing could use equipment made by the two companies to spy on certain communications and threaten vital systems through computerised links.

BP, Rosneft set for $25 billion deal



ROSNEFT and BP are preparing to announce a deal worth over $25 billion that could give the British oil company a stake of between 16 and 20 percent in the statecontrolled Russian energy firm, sources familiar with the situation said.

The agreement, which has yet to be finalised but which could be made public on Monday or Tuesday, folds BP’s half of TNK-BP, Russia’s third-largest oil company, into Rosneft, in exchange for cash and Rosneft stock.

It allows BP to end a stormy relationship with its partners in the venture, AAR, and to pursue closer ties to a Russian government that exerts a much tighter hold on the oil industry than in it did in the 1990s when BP first invested there.

TNK-BP is highly profitable and provides a quarter of BP’s total production, but its fields are mature, and the Soviet-born business tycoons who own the other half through AAR were in the way of BP’s search for growth in oil-rich Russia through closer ties with Rosneft and its powerful boss.

Should the deal be finalised and survive a months-long Russian government approval process, BP’s overall exposure to Russian barrels would be lower, but the holding could secure it seats on the Rosneft board and closer ties than any of its rivals to Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Rosneft, who has a significant say in energy policy.

Rosneft is already the top producing company in Russia. If, as looks likely, it buys out AAR’s half of TNKBP as well, it will control more than half the country’s output and be pumping more oil and gas than Exxon Mobil, the world’s top international oil company.

The deal gives Rosneft extra output and cash flow to finance exploration of Russia’s vast reserves to replace ageing and depleting fields. It keeps BP’s expertise in Russia and provides the “quality” private shareholder President Vladimir Putin has been looking for to show his critics he is pursuing a privatisation program.

The deal can be described as having two steps for a single transaction worth in excess of $25 billion, according to one source familiar with a proposal that was put to BP by Rosneft last week.

Under step one, BP will receive a 13.4 percent holding of Rosneft’s shares that belongs at present to Rosneft in the form of so-called “treasury stock”, and which is nominally worth about $10 billion based on a tiny free-float of Rosneft shares that put the value of the company at around $73.5 billion.

It will also receive an amount of cash.

Under step two, BP will use some of that cash to buy more Rosneft stock, as it promised to do at a recent meeting between Sechin and BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley.

That would most likely to be sourced from the 75.2 percent holding of Rosneftegaz OAO, a state energy holding company which is also headed by Sechin.

The price and amount of shares was still being hammered out at the weekend, but based on a total deal value of $25 billion, a Rosneft stake of 16-20 percent would be worth about $12-$15 billion, leaving $10-$13 billion in cash, some of which shareholders hope will be returned to them.

“There’s still stuff going on so it’s best not to get too specific,” said the source.

Those shareholders have seen little capital growth in recent years while rivals have benefited from strong oil prices. This has been mainly due to the 2010 U.S. Gulf oil spill, but the increasingly bitter wrangles with AAR have played their part too.

Putin has been regaining state control of assets that passed cheaply to a small group of businessmen when privatized in a hurry in the 1990s.

Rosneft’s absorption of another oil firm, Yukos, and the imprisonment of its former owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in the mid- 2000s was the biggest step in this process until now.

That was also masterminded by Sechin, who was deputy chief of staff at the Kremlin - Putin’s gatekeeper - at the time.

Expo to focus on efforts to sustain climate


DOHA LEADING businessmen, experts and figures associated with environmental issues will take part in Qatar Sustainability Expo (QSE) which is to be held alongside the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2012 (COP18/CMP8) at the Doha Exhibition Centre from November 26 to December 7. The expo will be open between 11am and 9pm.

The QSE will showcase programmes, initiatives, plans and products related to sustainability of environment. The event is part of Qatar’s initiative to demonstrate its commitment to leading international discussion on one of the most critical issues of our time — the climate change.

This was announced by Abdulaziz bin Ahmed al Malki, director in the office of Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority and General Coordinator for COP18/CMP8 on Sunday.

“This exhibition will provide an excellent opportunity for Qatar’s many leading companies to showcase their progress in sustainability and environmental programmes. With Qatar’s prominent companies talking of past, present and future projects alongside exhibitors displaying their products and services, the Qatar Sustainability Expo will be the largest-ever showcasing of sustainability efforts in Qatar,” Malki said.

George Ayache, the general manager of IFP Qatar, the firm appointed by the COP18/ CMP8 Organising Committee to organise QSE, said: “The global platform for discussion of the environmental strategy coming to Qatar will provide a perfect opportunity to bring together government bodies, the industry and consumers, as well as global policy-makers and experts to do their bit for the climate.”

The QSE is a multi-sector sustainability exhibition highlighting Qatar’s progress in environmental initiatives and programmes.

Shopping mall staff held over extortion


DOHA THE Criminal Investigation Department has arrested a number of security staff of a wellknown shopping mall in Doha for extortion.

The staff would reportedly detain some of the shoplifters and extort money from them. The investigations revealed that the accused led the shoplifters into a room for interrogation and then seized their belongings and demanded money in exchange for not reporting the theft to the police.

With permission from public prosecution, the staff were arrested through a sting operation. Files, papers and photos were found during a search of the interrogation room. Details of the shoplifters and how they bribed the security staff for being let off were also retrieved.

Officers prepared first report on the incident and referred them to the authorities.

UK ministers plan Doha trip to boost ties


DOHA A NUMBER of British ministers including ministers of culture, trade and investment, defence and sports are expected to visit Doha in a series of visits to take place in a couple of weeks, according to British Ambassador to Qatar HE Michael O’Neill CMG.

The series of high-profile visits is in line with the UK’s vision of boosting its relations with Qatar and strengthening the presence of some British institutions in the country.

Talking to the media on Sunday, the British envoy mentioned trade and investments as being under the main focus of the programme of the ministerial visits. Qatar is UK’s third largest export market in the Gulf and fifth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The value of bilateral trade in goods (exports and imports) of UK with Qatar between January and July 2012 is £2.77 billion. The forthcoming visit of UK’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green to Doha is expected to further boost Qatar-UK collaboration.

The meetings of UK’s Culture Minister Ed Vaizey with the country’s main figures in the cultural field are expected to deepen the European country’s cultural links with Qatar. He said, “UK has so far established good relations with Qatar’s cultural hubs, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and Katara.”

The envoy also mentioned the scheduled visit of UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt in Doha and the likely visit of UK’s sports minister soon.

“This is an exciting place where there are so much groundbreaking developments taking place. We think we can learn from Qatar in some of these and we also have some expertise and experience we can share with Qatar in the field of healthcare, education and culture,” said the British envoy.

He also underlined the deepening relations of UK and Qatar, particularly in the field of education. Recently, the University College of London opened a campus in Education City making it the first British university to have a branch in Qatar. The envoy said two British business schools are beginning to establish their presence here by teaching some of their programmes. About 1100 Qatari students are currently studying in different universities in UK.

According to the envoy, a group of British university officials will be visiting Doha to explore other opportunities of strengthening the presence of more British educational institutions in Qatar. “We want to support any British universities which would want to come to Qatar. We want to see stronger UK presence here at the university level,” he said.

Healthcare is another sector in which the UK is keen to partner Qatar, the envoy said. He referred to a number of Qataris coming to the UK for medical treatment each year. It is one of the factors leading to the rise in the number of applications for visa to UK along with a growing number of tourists coming from Qatar. This year, the British embassy marked a 29 percent increase in visa applications over the same corresponding period last year. The visa applications processed between January 1 and October 8 reached 27,242.

The envoy also underlined the strong political ties between the UK and Qatar, particularly the close coordination between the two countries on some of the regional issues such as the crisis in Libya last year and the ongoing crisis in Syria.

566 securitymen killed on duty in one year, says Delhi Police chief


NEW DELHI AT least 566 personnel of railway, paramilitary and state police were killed on duty in the past one year in the country, an official said in New Deljhi on Sunday.

Delhi Police lost 19 people while Uttar Pradesh lost 133.

“Nineteen (personnel) of Delhi Police were killed while serving their duty,” said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar during the commemoration day parade organised at Kingsway Camp in New Delhi.

Neeraj Kumar was reading out the list of personnel killed during various operations or attacks on them in the country between September 1, 2011, and August 31, 2012.

Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 133 deaths of security personnel. Jharkhand was second in the list of casualties with 43, while Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tripura witnessed one death each of their constabulary.

Punjab Police lost 29 securitymen, West Bengal 28, Chhattisgarh 24 and Odhisha 18. In Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, 10 securitymen each were killed during the period.

Manipur mourned the loss of nine personnel while Meghalaya that of eight police personnel.

Karnataka and Uttarakhand suffered five deaths each of their policemen, Maharashtra and Nagaland four each while Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu three each.

Besides, the Border Security Force lost 85 personnel during various operations, while 21 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel were killed and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) lost 57 people during the period.

The causality figures for Railway Protection Force (RPF) were 19, the Special Protection Group (SPG) two and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) was five.

The Commemoration Day is observed every year Oct 21 in the memory of 10 personnel of the CRPF, who were ambushed and killed by Chinese force in Ladakh region on October 21, 1959.

Delhi Police constable Naresh Kumar Verma lost his life while chasing a notorious gang in Delhi’s Bharat Nagar area on May 18 this year. The criminals crushed Verma under the wheels of their tempo.

Delhi Police also paid tributes to head constable Yashpal, shot dead by criminals when he tried to prevent them from stealing cows, and head constable Sanjeev Kumar, who died on May 15 of injuries in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district.

Pakistan aiding terrorists in entering India, says Shinde


NEW DELHI INDIA’S Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday targeted Pakistan for its help to terrorists infiltrating from across the border into the country.

“We have information that Pakistan is helping terrorists to enter our territory. We have intelligence inputs. But we are on an alert,” Shinde said on the sidelines of an event to mark the police commemoration day.

He said his ministry had issued directions to all security forces to be extra vigilant during the festival season and ensure peace. “I also appeal to people to be extra careful,” he said soon after laying a wreath at a memorial for central and state police forces.

Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, Shinde said security forces cannot be withdrawn from the state till peace returns entirely.

“When I was in Jammu and Kashmir, locals asked me to remove the army from the Kashmir valley. But I told them that we can’t do so till the situation is peaceful. I will remove the army when the situation is peaceful,” he said.

Shinde was in the border state about a week ago on a security review tour when he met central security forces personnel posted there, apart from the civilian administration, to get apprised of the prevailing situation there.

The home minister also said he had visited the India- Bangladesh border Saturday and assessed the situation there.

Earlier, attending the police commemoration day ceremony, Shinde paid tributes to 575 security personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty in the last one year.

While 383 personnel from state police forces were killed between Sep 1, 2011 and Aug 31 this year, 192 men from the central armed police forces died during the same period.

This is the first time ever that all central police forces came together to observe the police commemoration day to remember their fallen comrades.

But, the government is yet to accord the status of ‘martyrs’ to the central police and paramilitary personnel who die in the line of duty, on a par with the defence forces personnel, though both fight insurgencies within the country.

On May 8 this year, Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh had told parliament in a written reply to questions from Lok Sabha members that “no consensus” could emerge on according ‘martyr’ status to central police and paramilitary personnel who die in line of duty, when it was discussed by a committee of secretaries last year.

“The matter (for giving status of martyr to paramilitary personnel) was considered by the committee of secretaries on September 14, 2011 but there was no consensus on the issue,” Singh had then said.

Bacon’s ‘screaming pope’ at Katara


DOHA One of Francis Bacon’s ‘screaming pope’ paintings, estimated between $18 and $25 million, is among the 16 masterworks from Sotheby’s forthcoming New York Auction of Contemporary Art.

These works were on display at Katara as part of a preview on Sunday.

The iconic pope painting dated circa 1954, highlights the importance of the collection to be auctioned in New York in November 13. The event is deemed as the biggest sale of contemporary art in five years.

Sotheby’s Head of Cotemporary Department in New York Alexander Potter led the Doha preview of the highlights of the collection, which also included the works of other leading American and European Contemporary artists of post-war era Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The art works will be on display in Katara Building 5 on Monday too. The forthcoming auction is also headlined by the work of Gerhard Richter, a highlyrecognised artist of the 20th and 21st centuries. The German visual artist is known for his abstract and photorealistic painted works.

His work ‘Abstraktes Bid (712)’ is hailed for extensive and time-consuming technique devoted by Richter to the art piece and estimated to exceed $16million. It follows the $34.2 million sale of his ‘Abstraktes Bid (809-4)’at Sotheby’s London which established a world record for a work by Richter.

A number of paintings by American artist Andy Warhol are also on display. He is one of the leading figures in the so-called pop art.

It includes ‘The Kiss’ from 1963 created shortly after Warhol pioneered the silkscreening technique. It is estimated at $4.5 to $6.5 million. His work called ‘Green Disaster’, which comes from a cover of newspaper about a tragedy in 1964, is estimated at $12 million. While another Warhol creation ‘Martinson Coffee’ from 1962 is estimated at $3 to $4 million, while the 1964 painting ‘Flowers’ is estimated at $1.5 million to $ 2 million.

Also part of the preview are 20th century masterworks from the collection of American couple Sidney and Dorothy Kohl. It includes Joan Mitchell’s ‘Untitled’ of 1957 estimated at $6 to $8 million, Adolph Gottlieb’s ‘Transfiguration’ estimated at $3 to $5 million and Hans Hofmann’s Nirvana estimated at $5 to $7 million.

QR8mn jewellery theft lands four Europeans in CID net


DOHA THE Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested four members of gang of Europeans who struck a jewellery shop in Al Sadd area and made off with items worth more than QR8 million.

An initial investigation indicated that there were four Europeans who entered the country by getting a visa on arrival, and that they were residing in a hotel near the gold market.

After obtaining permission from prosecutors, the CID arrested the culprits, recovering large sums of money from them.

Jewellery, watches, passports and fake credit cards were also recovered during from them. Besides, some tools used in the theft were also found. The car they were using was seized and tracked to Rent a Car company.

Interrogation of the arrested culprits revealed the complete plan and execution details of their crime.

The CID has urged businesses to take precautions to protect their properties from theft by installing surveillance cameras and early warning systems.