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Kenya:
Last year, the money transferred between mobile devices for payments equaled 11 per cent of the country’s GDP.

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The tallest tower plan in Jeddah is on track.

 Saudi Arabia-based Kingdom Holding Company is moving forward with its plan to build a 1.6-kilometre-high tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

Dubbed the mile-high tower, it will be double the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which is currently the world’s tallest man-made structure.

Architecture and development agreements are in place.

We’re speechless.

 

Monarchs
The world’s oldest and longest serving monarch has died.

Not England’s Queen Elizabeth, not Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, but rather Ras al-Khaimah’s Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi.

The Sheikh ruled this UAE member for 62 years and died recently, age 90.

 

India
India has 20 million credit cards for 1.2 billion people.  Whereas the US has 1.4 billion credit cards for 300 million people.

 

Poland
Health Minister Ewa Kopacz presented her draft law introducing private health policies and granting tax allowances to their buyers.

The ministry expects the introduction of a private system will result in 4.5 billion zlotys extra revenue to the public system.
The real news: tax allowances to the buyers of private health insurance.

Obviously, insurers welcome the proposal as it breaks NFZ monopoly on contracts with hospitals.  Device manufacturers, durable medical equipment makers, hospitals, etc. should also welcome the proposal.

 

Poland
Warsaw-listed liquors group CEDC will introduce to the Polish market a new vodka in Q4 2010 – unflavored version of the Bison-grass flavored vodka brand Zubrowka.

Drink it with apple juice.

 

Corruption
Transparency International has released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index. 

OECD countries are not doing well.  USA falls out of top 20.

Information, searchable database, and downloads available at:
http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010

 

Russia
Russian remake of the vintage 1980 US Chrysler Sebring, originally heralded as Russia;s “best new” sedan and the great successor of the venerable Volga, will fade out of production after November 1.

GAZ raised international eyebrows when it paid over $150m to Chrysler to buy its 1980’s vintage Sebring plant lock, stock and barrel and ship it to Russia.

GAZ eventually poured more than $300m into the Sebring, but it couldn’t make of a go of it.

 

Net Private Capital Inflows 2009

Africa/Middle East                $ 46.5 b

Emerging Europe                 $ 60.7 b

Latin America                      $137.2 b

Emerging Asia                      $337.0 b

 

Kosovo
This month, EU prosecutors charged seven people for trafficking persons for the purpose of organ harvesting.  This stems from 2008 case.

Similarities abound to allegations of war crime activities and organ trading during the Kosovo War of 1999 by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, reported to have kidnapped Serb civilians and killed them for their organs, which were then sold.  Subsequent investigations did not substantiate those claims.

 

Somalia
Paul and Rachel Chandler, the British couple kidnapped off their private yacht by Somali pirates more than a year ago were set free Sunday, November 14.

This means one of the three stories of “where one should not have been”, has been resolved.

Readers of the Monitor may recall from the May 2010 issue, there are 3 situations where

“…They all should have known better than to “wonder” into those environments.  The fact that they find themselves in these situations, after repeated warnings, raises all sorts of questions.”

The three situations:
Sailing off the coast of Somalia
Hiking along the border of Iran
Hospital investing in Thailand.

 Note, Sarah Shourd was released from Iranian prison in September, partially settling this “wrong place” scenario.

And for those investors still stuck in Thai hospital deals?  Hint: multi-national Carrefour pulled out of Thailand this month.

 

 Quotable:
“Virtue is insufficient temptation.”
~George Bernard Shaw

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On November 26, 2010
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