Archive for March 29th, 2010

Saudi billionaire in contempt of court

| 29/03/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Grand Court found the Saudi billionaire Maan al-Sanea in contempt last week for breaching a worldwide order freezing $9.2bn of his assets. The judgment is being described by experts as another blow to Sanea, the owner of Saad Group, in his bitter dispute with a rival Saudi company. The complaint was filed by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Company (Ahab), alleging that Sanea broke the freezing order by transferring $60m from one of his companies to Saad Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia last July. However, a spokesperson for Saad has said the company will appeal against the elements of the judgment.

Justice Alex Henderson froze the $9.2 billion of assets last July comprising of 42 entities most of which are registered with local law firm Maples and Calder and relate to al-Sanea, including Saad Group Ltd. and Saad Air Ltd. The freeze was instigated as a result of a complaint brought by Mourant on behalf of Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Company (Ahab).

Local receivers Richard Douglas and Peter Anderson from Rawlinson & Hunter Cayman Islands were appointed by the court for 38 of the companies registered in Cayman

The Saad group of companies came under financial pressure earlier this year following the firm’s downgrading by ratings agency Moody’s to Ba1 — considered a junk rating. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency then issued instructions telling local banks to freeze Sanea’s personal assets.

The Cayman suit comes on the heels of one filed in New York claiming Sanea misappropriated about $10 billion from the Algosaibi’s family’s accounts into his own and fraudulently arranged loans to the company, which he diverted for his own use.





 

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Court battle to save Indian tribe from tourism

| 29/03/2010 | 1 Comment

(BBC): The Indian Supreme Court is currently considering whether a controversial tourist resort in the Andaman islands should close. The resort is near a forest reserve, which is home to the endangered Jarawa tribe. The BBC’s Geeta Pandey, who has visited the area, reports from Delhi. A handful of Jarawa tribesmen recently broke into a house in the village of Mathura in the Andaman islands. They left after taking away rice, sugar and coconut. The first people to successfully migrate out of Africa, the Jarawas came to the Andaman islands 60,000 years ago, scientists believe. Essentially hunter-gatherers, the tribespeople have traditionally survived on the raw meat of wild boar.

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Cayman appeal court makes key ruling on fund

| 29/03/2010 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island News, Cayman courts, Cayman Companies Law(CNS): In what is being described as an important ruling, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal has decided in favour of a solvent hedge fund that was faced with a winding up petition from a disgruntled investor, ruling that such petitions should not put companies under pressure to accede to investor demands, The fund on the winning end of this decision, Camulos Partners Offshore Limited, was represented by local law firm Walkers, who said the appeal court had sent a clear message that winding up petitions are an abuse of protest. The judges ordered that the investor should also pay the fund’s costs on an indemnity basis.

“This case is important as the Court of Appeal has clarified the very limited circumstances in which a dissentient investor may properly invoke the class remedy which is a contributory’s winding up petition,” Walkers said in a client advisory.  “The Court of Appeal has made it clear that, although it widened the relief available to petitioners, the new s 95 (3) of the Companies Law introduced in 2009 has not widened the grounds upon which a petitioner may present a winding up petition.”

The legal case began back  in the summer of 2008 when the fund in question received a number of redemption requests, including from the investor in the recent litigation, Kathrein & Co, an Austrian private bank. Camulos decided to control the redemption requests through an exchange offer to all investors. However, Kathrein declined the offer and tried to enforce its redemption request but the fund suspended redemptions, and then in April last year the investor brought legal proceedings against Camulos. It claimed over $27 million in unpaid redemptions and said at least 15% of that had to be paid in cash.

In July Kathrein threatened to present a contributory’s winding up petition, which would have put the fund into involuntary liquidation. Camulos sought an injunction against such a petition and the issue was heard in the Cayman Islands court. The judge decided in favour of Kathrein, finding that the case was indistinguishable from previous case law. During September the investor filed two identical winding up petitions with the Grand Court of Cayman, one before the judge’s final decision and one just after that decision was sealed.

The petitions forced Camulos to seek validation orders to enable it to carry on its normal business. The fund also appealed against the petitions.

On 18 March the Court of Appeal decided ordinary litigation in the Grand Court’s Financial Services Division was a more suitable course of action in this case. It said all the relief sought by the investor would be available if such litigation were pursued. They said winding up petitions were designed to put pressure on the fund to give in to the investor’s demands. As such they were abuse of process. The court awarded indemnity costs to Camulos, enabling the fund to recover most of its legal costs.

“The clear message is that disputes between an investor and a hedge fund should ordinarily be litigated in the usual way i.e. by way of writ of summons or originating process in the Grand Court’s new Financial Services Division,” the Walkers legal team stated. “It is inappropriate and likely to be an abuse of the Court’s process for an investor to seek to use the threat of a winding up petition as a means of placing undue and improper pressure on a company or fund to accede to its demands. Acting in this manner is a high risk strategy which, if unsuccessful, may well be sanctioned by an award of indemnity costs. We understand that the Court of Appeal intends to issue an addendum to its judgment dealing with the circumstances in which indemnity costs may be awarded against an unsuccessful petitioner and will produce an update as necessary.”

The case has confirmed that the Cayman companies law introduced in 2009 did not expand the grounds on which an investor or shareholder can present a winding up petition, although it did expand the reliefavailable to successful petitioners.

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Government minister seeks coordination with NGO

| 29/03/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although the National Council of Voluntary Organisations’ nursery, day-care and foster home facility are not government entities and depend heavily on the support of the private sector, the non-governmental organisation does receive a public contribution and the Minister of Community Affairs and Housing is hoping to work more closely with the NCVO and increase the coordination of all agencies involved in the care, protection and development of young people.

On a recent tour of the NCVO nursery and care home Mike Adam said once he had visited all of the facilities working with young people in the community he planned to bring everyone involved together for special planning and information-sharing sessions

 “One of my ministerial priorities is to address the needs of all our children in a holistic manner,” Adam stated. “I amkeenly aware that if we do not take care of our children socially, economically, spiritually, physically and mentally we cannot expect them to grow into productive, responsible and well-rounded citizens.”

The NCVO is a not-for-profit institution and NCVO Chairman Garry Wilkins said that board members – all of whom are volunteers – agree with the concept of multidisciplinary care plans for each child assisted by the NCVO. During their meetings, board members review detailed progress reports of every child in foster care, and generally from the nursery and preschool.

Wilkins said the NCVO staff is also securing closer working relationships with other advocates, such as social workers and educators. The organisation works hard to support families and assist with home-transition as well as offer support for children in areas such as job placement and higher education.

Wilkins said that public financial support for the NCVO is essential for its operations. Funds come from the annual NCVO telethon, which is the organisation’s only public fundraising initiative; an annual government grant; current benefactors, including Hedge Fund Cares Cayman, the Pink Ladies, and the Garden Club; and retailers. Private donations are a cornerstone, he said 

In addition to funds, supporters have given the NCVO gifts – which recently have included a solar water heater; a minivan; hurricane shutters; airline tickets; bicycles; and computers for the children.

As well as noting the generosity of the community John Alban, the foster home’s care manager explained the need for volunteers. “While the foster home has four consistent volunteers, we welcome the support of anyone who can make a long-term commitment to even a half-hour each week — especially male role models,” he added.

To volunteer time, goods or services to the home, contact Mr. Alban on 945-8698, ncvocaremanager@hotmail.com. For more information on any of the NCVO’s services, contact 949-2124 or ncvo@candw.ky, or visit www.ncvo.org.ky.

 

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Author makes case against race to local audience

| 29/03/2010 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island local news, Guy P. Harrison(CNS): Local author Guy P. Harrison recently presented an enthusiastic and enlightening lecture about his latest book, “Race and Reality,” at Books and Books, Camana Bay. Harrison presented the case that races are inconsistent and illogical cultural creations rather than the natural biological categories that most people around the world still believe them to be. He described his book as a sweeping survey of the scientific arguments against common race belief. Harrison’s lecture was followed by a lively question and answer session. After that he signed copies of his book.

“Anthropologists have been saying for decades now that races are not real and that it makes no sense to tie things such as intelligence and behavior to skin color or hair type,” Harrison told the large turnout at the Grand Cayman bookstore. “We are a very young species and too closely related to justify racial categories. There are no boundaries between us other than the ones we imagined and created. The science is clear about this. Biological races are not real.”

He said,  “I’m very grateful to Books and Books for inviting me to do this. It was very well organized and I had fun. I was happy to see so many people showup. Holly Smith and Bianca Freeland did an excellent job putting the event together.”

“Race and Reality” has already earned high praise from the academic community. “For decades scientists have amassed evidence demonstrating that the human species has no races,” says Jefferson M. Fish, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, St. John’s University. “Harrison’s book makes this knowledge accessible, and knocks the props out from under scientific arguments that have been used to justify racism.”

“Guy Harrison’s well-written and passionate plea for eliminating the idea and ideology of race should be widely read,” adds Audrey Smedley, Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Emerita of Anthropology and African-American Studies. “He has shown that the idea of race not only is contradicted by science but is a social anachronism that should not be tolerated by society in the 21st century.”

“Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity” is Guy’s second book. His first book, “50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God,” was an Amazon bestseller in its category in the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, and Japan. In the United States, it even surpassed Richard Dawkins’ international bestseller “The God Delusion” for a time.
 

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