` Cameron comes under attack for `Sell-Out ' of Royal Mail to `Institutional Investor's ' who Sold-Out the Taxpayer '

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN – April 02 – Press TV – British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure over the sell-off of Royal Mail, with critics accusing him of selling the firm’s stakes at a knock-down price.

On Wednesday, Cameron was questioned in the House of Commons over the handling of the sale of a 60-percent stake of the mail operator.

Ed Miliband, the opposition Labour party leader, criticized Cameron of selling the shares at an undervalued price.

“He sold at 330 pence and this morning the price was 563 pence. It is basic maths,” said Miliband, labelling Cameron the “Dunce of Downing Street.”

According to the Labour leader, the undervaluation of the 500-year-old state postal operator has cost British taxpayers £1.4 billion.

Miliband continued by saying, “A third of the shares were sold to just 16 city investors and there was a gentleman’s agreement that those city investors wouldn’t sell the shares.”

“What happened? Within weeks, half of those shares had been sold and they had made a killing worth hundreds of millions of pounds. In other words ‘mates rates’ for his (Cameron) friends in the City,” said Miliband.

Cameron responded by dismissing Miliband’s accusations with false claims that the Labour party had called for privatization of the mail operator.

This comes as Britain’s National Audit Office (NAO) released a report on April 1, criticizing the sale. The NAO said the government pressed ahead with plans to privatize Royal Mail at a price of 330 pence a share even though there had been warnings that it was undervalued.

Prior to the sell-off, banks had estimated that the government could receive up to 867 pence per share.

Press TV – CAH/AB – (Additional reporting by Belinda Goldsmith and Chris Vellacott; Editing by Jane Merriman and Pravin Char)

Ace News Services – SELL-OUT – April 02 – That Standard Life Investments said on Tuesday it had cut its stake in Royal Mail from close to 12 million shares held after it was privatised to around 118.480 shares in March.

The NAO also said the government should not have followed the advice of its financial advisers to sell the full 60 percent of shares available for sale.

It could have retained 110 million more shares worth 363 million pounds ($604 million) at the offer price, while still achieving its objective of reducing its ownership to below 50 percent, allowing it to sell another tranche for more later on.

The watchdog questioned the incentive given to the government’s independent corporate finance adviser Lazard , which was to secure a sale and was not dependent on the value achieved.

In a response, Business Secretary Cable said a sale at any cost had never been the aim.

Reports – Stated that Standard Life sold off their shares and made millions in March, meanwhile under the rules of sale the Royal Mail Postal Workers cannot sell for 3 years.

#AFN2014

#britain, #british-prime-minister-david-cameron, #ed-miliband, #royal-mail-house-of-commons, #standard-life, #standard-life-investments

` Rosneft wants to purchase a Majority Stake in State-Controlled company that owns all of Kyrgyzstan’s Airport’s’

#AceFinanceNews – KYRGYZSTAN – April 02 – Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft wants to purchase a majority stake in the state-controlled company that owns all of Kyrgyzstan’s civilian airports.

The negotiations are stoking concern in some circles in Bishkek about the potential risk to Kyrgyzstan’s sovereignty.

But with its entrenched corruption, poor governance and remote location, the Central Asian country has few other options.

Rosneft’s takeover target is a company called Manas International Airport, named for the largest of the airfields under its control.

In addition to Manas, which is situated outside Bishkek, the company operates 10 smaller (mostly non-functional) airports around the country.

The Manas facility has hosted an American military base for almost 13 years, but the troops are packing up and are due to leave by July.

Without the American spending, Kyrgyz officials argue, the company, which is 79 percent state-owned, will go into the red.

“Originally published by EurasiaNet.org”. http://www.eurasianet.org.

#AFN2014

#american, #bishkek, #kyrgyzstan, #manas-international-airport, #rosneft, #russias

` West Bank Gas Stations Buying Fuel Directly from Israeli Dealers ‘

#AceFinanceNews – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – April 02 – Some gas station owners have begun buying fuel directly from Israeli dealers instead of buying it through Palestinian Authority’s General Petroleum Corporation, a union spokesman said Tuesday.

Suheil Jabir, spokesman for the union of West Bank gas station owners, told Ma’an that fuel bought directly from Israeli dealers is cheaper than fuel bought through official PA channels.

As a result, some gas stations owners have been buying fuel from Israeli dealers who smuggle fuel into the West Bank, Jabir said.

Smuggling fuel from Israel has a negative impact on the PA’s revenue, he said, explaining that about 65 percent of the money from fuel sales goes to the PA treasury.

Jabir said smuggled fuel arrives either through border crossings or from Israeli gas stations in illegal settlements.

#AFN2014

#bethlehem, #israeli, #palestinian-authority, #palestinian-authoritys-general-petroleum-corporation-pagpc, #west-bank