London steps up Islamic finance ambitions
The team received help on a lumpy Surrey parcours from a pair of motivated sprinters teams, each looking to set up a bunch kick on the uphill cobbled drag to the line. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick-Step) claimed his second stage victory of the race, mirroring his success of 12 months earlier, having sprinted from a long way out. Stage one winner Elia Viviani (Cannondale) drew level with the Manxman in the final 100 metres but with his bike skipping on the cobbles the Italian was unable to maintain his momentum. Another stage winner in the race, Gerald Ciolek (MTN Qhubeka), rounded out the podium with third. Wiggins finished high up in a stretched peloton with chief rival Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) placing eighth in the sprint, a split in the bunch seeing Wiggins timed at six seconds back, trimming his lead slightly to 26 seconds. Team Sky also maintained the rest of their presence in the top 10, with David Lopez (+1:08) sitting fourth and Ian Stannard (+1:34) in seventh. Sharing the work After the stage Sport Director Servais Knaven admitted it was nice to see the team able to take a break from the pace-setting as excitement builds ahead of London. It was good that other teams took it up today, said the Dutchman. That was what we expected as we knew this was a stage for the sprinters. That worked perfectly as the guys deserved an easier day. Thats not to say it was easy, but the last few days have certainly been tough. The start was tricky but the break went early. After that it wasnt too hard to control. It was always left, right, up and down all day.
“All the developments in sustainable urban drainage, which are being looked at and developed and used in America, more work should be done on that.” Raw sewage pours into the Thames from London’s Victorian sewer system once a week on average. Thames Water argues that a tunnel is the best way to deal with this problem, which they are obliged to tackle under the EU urban wastewater treatment directive. Their proposal, the Thames Tideway Tunnel, would be almost as wide as three double decker buses, and almost half the cost of the London Olympics. Earlier this month the Planning Inspectorate opened a six-month investigation into whether the project should go ahead, but the final say lies with the government. Although ministers are not expected to take a decision until summer or autumn 2014, the government made clear in 2011 that the tunnel was its “preferred solution”. Byatt argues it should think again because the costs “seem disproportionate to the benefits available”. He also accused Thames of failing to maintain the existing network, with the intercepting sewers designed by the pioneering Victorian engineer Joseph Bazalgette running “dangerously close” to overflow. The amount of water leaking into the London sewer system was twice the industry average, he said. “Sewers are always leaky you expect a certain amount of infiltration [water leaking into the sewer] but the Thames rates are about double the rate you get in other companies. And that suggests although it needs further investigation that Thames haven’t been doing what they should have done to look after their network.” Earlier this month Ofwat accused Thames of “underspend” on sewer flooding, failing to invest in new sewage treatment and not maintaining its waste water network. Phil Stride, head of the Thames Tideway Tunnel at Thames Water, rejected the charge that the water company had failed to invest in the network.
London Calling: Garrison Bespoke designer Michael Nguyen shares his diary of the fashion collections
Aiming to build on London’s status as a leading exporter of financial services, Britain hopes to step up the challenge to Islamic finance centres such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. “We want to be the leading (Islamic) finance sector outside of the Muslim world,” deputy mayor of London Edward Lister said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Islamic finance follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling, and is playing an increasingly prominent role internationally as often oil and gas-rich investors from Islamic countries put more of their money to work overseas. Britain’s Islamic finance task force, established in March, is led by several ministers and industry figures as well as top executives from Gatehouse Bank and Oakstone Merchant Bank Ltd. It was launched ahead of London hosting the World Islamic Economic Forum in October and its mandate is to facilitate Islamic financial business, including investment in British infrastructure by Islamic sovereign wealth funds. The forum, which saw 28 billion ringgit ($8.6 billion) worth of deals inked last year, is being held outside an Islamic city for the first time. Islamic finance has already played a role in several major deals in London, with Qatari investors taking part in funding the city’s Shard tower, Harrod’s department store and the athletes’ village used for last year’s summer Olympics. A Malaysian consortium is also spearheading the redevelopment of London’s Battersea power station, after acquiring the site for 400 million pounds last year. Malaysia is the second largest investor in London’s real estate market behind the United States. “The task force has just started and its aim is to make it easier for banks in London to have Islamic products, which is still quite a new concept to any of them,” Lister said. “Only now people are beginning to understand what the products actually mean and how they comply … What you will see is a lot of companies introducing those products.” Maybank Islamic, an arm of Malaysia’s largest bank Malayan Banking Bhd, has launched a sterling-denominated and sharia-compliant mortgage product for high net-worth Malaysians looking to invest in London’s real estate market.
Its the biggest show at London mens fashion week with people flying across the world to attend but when they arrive, they dont talk to one another. Unless you edit Vogue or people want your autograph, youre standing around solo. I missed my evening flight to Florence so I headed to Spencer Hart, the coolest number on Savile Row. I ask the designer how he maintains the brands style in all his stores worldwide, and I love his answer: everyone wants a piece of rebellion. I buy a Panama hat because its the classic thing to wear in Italy. Wednesday, June 19 In the morning I visit Beretta, a historic European firearms manufacturer that also produces incredible hunting kit, for a meeting about 2014 trends. I look at the guns, but Im here for the gear. I see lots of patch pockets in various alignments on jackets, which I love; they give texturized fabric a casual feel. Turnbull & Asser has a 127-year old history of making bespoke garments with the highest level of precision in the world (the Royal Family has had their shirts made here for decades, and the space is steeped in tradition). The patterns of famous clients who have long since passed still live inside the shop its more like a museum than a store, and thats why Im here. With tailoring becoming so technical, I love to see that everything is still recorded by hand on a ledger! Another Savile Row house, Richard James, is showing a $12,000 Swarovski crystal jacket.