Grosjean wants to return in Abu Dhabi GP

Romain Grosjean wants to compete in Formula One’s final race of the season in Abu Dhabi following his miraculous escape at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Grosjean will spend a third night at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital with the burn injuries he sustained when his car burst into flames on Sunday.

The French driver, who has already been ruled out of this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, provided an update on his condition, posting a photo to Instagram performing squats with his hands still heavily bandaged.

He wrote: “Never thought that a few body weight squats would make me happy. Body recovering well from the impact. Hopefully same about the burns on my hands.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Grosjean’s team boss at Haas, Gunther Steiner, said: “The aim is Romain really would like to do the race in Abu Dhabi (on December 13).

“I told him try to get better and we will speak on Sunday or Monday and see how he feels and if it is doable.

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m not in a hurry to decide what to do, or what is needed because it depends on his health.

“He is just trying to get better to be in the car in Abu Dhabi. That is his aim and that shows that he wants to keep on doing it.”

It had been anticipated that Grosjean would be discharged on Tuesday.

But Steiner added: “Romain is staying in hospital for another night. There’s nothing to be preoccupied with.

“The doctors just said it’s a safer environment, mostly because of his burns. But everything is going well and he is in good spirits.

“They are very happy, and it is going just as they expected, so there’s no setback. It is maybe just better for him to stay a night longer to make the healing quicker.”

Grosjean’s car split in two and burst into flames after he pierced through a steel barrier at 137mph following a collision with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat on the opening lap.

The 34-year-old scrambled to get out of his burning wreckage for almost half a minute before leaping to safety. The force of the crash registered at 53G.

Stepping into Grosjean’s shoes this weekend is Haas’ Brazilian reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi for his F1 debut. The 24-year-old is the grandson of double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

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Abu Dhabi’s IPIC drops lawsuit against Goldman Sachs over 1MDB scandal

October 21, 2020

(Reuters) – Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) dropped a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> to recover losses suffered from the U.S. investment bank’s dealings with Malaysian state fund 1MDB, a court filing showed on Tuesday.

The lawsuit had alleged that Goldman conspired with unidentified people from Malaysia to bribe its two former executives – former IPIC managing director Khadem Abdulla al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy al-Husseiny, former CEO of Aabar, an IPIC unit – to further their business at its expense.

Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala, which controls IPIC, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Malaysia in September dropped criminal charges against three Goldman Sachs units after the bank agreed to pay $3.9 billion to settle the probe.

Goldman Sachs had generated about $600 million in fees for its work with the Malaysian Sovereign wealth fund, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised $6.5 billion.

(Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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Formula 1: Turkish Grand Prix, calendar, new races added, news, F1, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi,

Formula 1’s 2020 season has been extended with the announcement of an additional four races, taking the delayed season to a total of 17 races.

The new events will take place in Turkey, Bahrain (a double-header), and Abu Dhabi, with no further races expected to be added to the campaign.

That means that prospective races in China and Vietnam have been put on ice, with Hanoi’s inaugural Grand Prix forced to wait until the 2021 season.

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Hamilton wins Spanish GP

Hamilton wins Spanish GP


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Malaysia says has not dropped legal proceedings against Abu Dhabi’s IPIC

August 4, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia on Tuesday said it has not stopped legal proceedings against Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund IPIC related to the multi-billion dollar scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), denying a report that the case was shelved.

The Malaysian government also remains open to considering all forms of resolution between the two parties, Attorney General Idrus Harun said in a statement, adding that talks are ongoing between the two.

Malaysia had filed a legal challenge in 2018 to a settlement agreement between 1MDB and IPIC negotiated during the premiership of former leader Najib Razak, who last week was found guilty of corruption in a 1MDB-related case.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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NMC’s UAE entity weighing Abu Dhabi option for restructuring: sources

FILE PHOTO: General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Photo

July 12, 2020

By Saeed Azhar and Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI (Reuters) – Troubled hospital operator NMC Health’s entity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), NMC Healthcare LLC, is considering applying for restructuring and insolvency proceedings locally, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The move comes three months after NMC Health Plc <NMMCF.PK>, the London-listed holding company for the hospital group, went into administration in April after months of turmoil over its finances.

The two sources told Reuters that NMC Healthcare LLC was looking at options to file under the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), which has its own laws relating to insolvency and corporate restructuring.

Such a move would help create a framework for the recognition of debt claims while the administrators of NMC Health Plc finalise the scheme of arrangement with creditors, one of the sources said.

A third source said the ADGM move is an option to obtain protection from the court from any enforcement proceedings from creditors, similar to Chapter 11 in the United States.

A scheme of arrangement is a binding agreement about payment of all, or part of, a firm’s debts over a period of time.

The administrators for NMC Health declined to comment.

The ADGM Registration Authority does not comment on its regulatory operations or disclose its engagements with external entities publicly, it said in an email.

NMC Health is the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE, operating more than 200 facilities including hospitals, clinics and pharmacies.

NMC’s operating entities were unaffected by the appointment of administrators in April and services continued.

That is unlikely to change as UAE authorities are keen to ensure hospital services in the Gulf state are not affected during the coronavirus pandemic, the second source said.

NMC’s implosion this year amid allegations of fraud and the disclosure of more than $4 billion in hidden debts has left some UAE banks and overseas lenders nursing heavy losses and prompted legal battles to try and recover money owed.

The troubles began in December when short-seller Muddy Waters raised concerns over the company’s financial statements and were compounded by doubts over the size of stakes of major shareholders, including founder BR Shetty.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Davide Barbuscia; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Louise Heavens)

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Brookfield, Teachers part of consortium in US$10 billion Abu Dhabi pipeline deal

Two large Canadian institutional investors, Brookfield Asset Management and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, are part of a consortium paying US$10.1 billion for a 49 per cent stake in a pipeline subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the largest infrastructure deal in the world this year.

The newly created subsidiary will have lease rights to 38 pipelines covering a total of 982.3 kilometres for 20 years, in return for a volume-based tariff. ADNOC will hold the remaining 51 per cent of the subsidiary, and will be responsible for management of pipeline operations and for all associated operational and capital expenditures.

“This strategic transaction is attractive to Ontario Teachers’ as it provides us with a stake in a high-quality infrastructure asset with stable long-term cash flows,” said Ziad Hindo, chief investment officer at Teachers.

“This new partnership with ADNOC and a group of world-class institutional and infrastructure investors expands our global presence and provides further geographic diversification to our portfolio,” he added.

Bruce Flatt, chief executive of Brookfield, said the pipeline system was an attractive investment for the Toronto-based asset manager because it provides a “critical link” between the United Arab Emirates’ low-cost natural gas supply and “robust in-country” demand.

He added that ADNOC has established an exemplary operational record. 

“We look forward to partnering with them in support of this critical asset and sector,” Flatt said in a statement.

The investing consortium includes Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, NH Investment & Securities, and Italian energy infrastructure operator Snam SpA.

Additional investors were interested in the assets, according to media reports, but some, such as an Australian fund manager, dropped out earlier in the process, Bloomberg News reported in April.

The Adnoc transaction values the pipelines at US$20.7 billion.

Reuters/Christopher Pike/File Photo

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the Minister of State for the UAE and chief executive of ADNOC Group, said in a statement that Tuesday’s transaction unlocks significant value from the pipeline portfolio.

He called it a “milestone” transaction and said it demonstrates trust and confidence in Abu Dhabi’s national oil company by the global investment community.

“Today’s landmark investment signals continued strong interest in ADNOC’s low-risk, income-generating assets, and sets another benchmark for large-scale energy infrastructure investments in the UAE and the wider region,” he said, adding that it “reinforces the UAE’s track record as the region’s go-to foreign direct investment destination, even during the current unprecedented circumstances.”

Such large deals stand out on a mergers and acquisitions landscape where activity has been lacklustre due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdowns around the world.

A veteran Bay Street lawyer said infrastructure has proven “resilient” because the asset class is compatible with the long-term investment theses of pension and sovereign wealth funds. 

“Very big deals of this nature attract consortiums to pool capital and share risk,” said the Toronto-based dealmaker.

But the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan drew criticism from a group called Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health.

“OTPP is putting the hard-earned retirement savings of thousands of working and retired teachers at risk by investing in a massive piece of fossil fuel infrastructure in the midst of a worsening climate crisis and a volatile disruption to global energy markets,” the group said in a statement.

Shift Action, a climate group, added that the teachers’ pension plan excludes investments in tobacco companies, guns and arms manufacturers, and weapons producers from its portfolio, but “has not yet disclosed exclusions on investments in fossil fuels.”

A spokesperson for Teachers’ said the news release announcing the transaction would be the only statement from pension officials on the matter.

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Abu Dhabi economy to contract by about 7.5% this year – S&P

FILE PHOTO: A general view of Business Bay area, after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Photo

May 30, 2020

DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract by 7.5% this year because of lower oil production and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, S&P Global Ratings said.

The fiscal deficit of the oil-rich emirate will rise to about 12% of GDP this year from 0.3% in 2019, the ratings agency estimated.

It added it expects smaller emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to receive “extraordinary financial support” from the UAE, with the backing of Abu Dhabi, in the event of financial distress.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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