Buildings stand near Sugarloaf Mountain along Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will choose on Oct. 2 between Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Brazil is the only country is among the world's 10 richest to never host the Olympic games. Photographer: Douglas Engle/Bloomberg
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The city of Rio de Janeiro is in a tight fight with three other cities but are holding on to their main advantage that the Olympics have never been held in South America.

Tale of four cities for 2016 Games



The four cities vying to host the 2016 Olympics are braced for a close call as two years of campaigning draws to a close this week. There is no clear favourite between Tokyo, Madrid, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro, with the winning bid due to be announced in Copenhagen. "We are very thrilled that the four candidates are first class. Each of them could organise a very good Games," said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge.

The IOC will decide the host of the world's biggest multi-sports event during their session on Friday, with Rogge predicting only a narrow win when the 115 members cast their votes. "It is probably going to be a couple of votes," Rogge said. "Two, three, four votes...it is going to be very close. Don't forget that something like four, five votes is a change of mind of just two or three people." While most previous bid races going into the final vote have had a favourite, this time there seems little between the cities.

Chicago was seen as being ahead for much of the campaign but rows between the IOC and US Olympic Committee over revenue sharing and the now-postponed plans for an independent Olympic television station in America hurt the bid. The budget, largely dependent on private funds during the economic crisis, is also looked upon with some scepticism. Chicago's initial hesitation in signing a host city contract that would legally bind it to cover any deficit arising from the Games was noted in an IOC evaluation report this month.

However, the American President Barack Obama, who has spent much of his political life in the city, has given the bid a big boost by saying he will be in Copenhagen lobbying. A US broadcasting rights deal for the 2014 Winter Games and the 2016 Olympics, the IOC's biggest source of revenue, has yet to be signed and picking Chicago would boost the final figure as American TV would expect bigger advertising revenues from a US-based Games.

Rio have taken considerable strides in their efforts to land the first Games for a South American city. With football's world governing body Fifa awarding the World Cup finals to South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014, the IOC are running out of excuses for not handing the Games to a city south of the equator that is not in Australia. A similar time zone to North America is an advantage for Rio because US broadcasters dislike the big time differences in Europe and Asia that dilute the impact and financial punch of advertising.

Tokyo, host of the 1964 Olympics, have won praise from Rogge for their solid financial planning and the high technical standard of the bid. Sending the Games to Asia only eight years after the 2008 Beijing Olympics remains one of the bid's drawbacks, though. Opinion polls conducted by the IOC this year also showed relatively low public support, although Tokyo have said that fresh results indicate much stronger enthusiasm for the Games.

Madrid are pinning their hopes on an improved bid, after failing to win four years ago, but a second European Games after London 2012 is against them. The city can, however, take heart from the on-site support of prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and King Juan Carlos. * Reuters

SPECS

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Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Power: 261hp
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Match info

Deccan Gladiators 87-8

Asif Khan 25, Dwayne Bravo 2-16

Maratha Arabians 89-2

Chadwick Walton 51 not out

Arabians won the final by eight wickets

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Get Out

Director: Jordan Peele

Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford

Four stars

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

The struggle is on for active managers

David Einhorn closed out 2018 with his biggest annual loss ever for the 22-year-old Greenlight Capital.

The firm’s main hedge fund fell 9 per cent in December, extending this year’s decline to 34 percent, according to an investor update viewed by Bloomberg.

Greenlight posted some of the industry’s best returns in its early years, but has stumbled since losing more than 20 per cent in 2015.

Other value-investing managers have also struggled, as a decade of historically low interest rates and the rise of passive investing and quant trading pushed growth stocks past their inexpensive brethren. Three Bays Capital and SPO Partners & Co., which sought to make wagers on undervalued stocks, closed in 2018. Mr Einhorn has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the poor performance this year, while remaining steadfast in his commitment to value investing.

Greenlight, which posted gains only in May and October, underperformed both the broader market and its peers in 2018. The S&P 500 Index dropped 4.4 per cent, including dividends, while the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index, an early indicator of industry performance, fell 7 per cent through December. 28.

At the start of the year, Greenlight managed $6.3 billion in assets, according to a regulatory filing. By May, the firm was down to $5.5bn. 

Key changes

Commission caps

For life insurance products with a savings component, Peter Hodgins of Clyde & Co said different caps apply to the saving and protection elements:

• For the saving component, a cap of 4.5 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 90 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term). 

• On the protection component, there is a cap  of 10 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 160 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term).

• Indemnity commission, the amount of commission that can be advanced to a product salesperson, can be 50 per cent of the annualised premium for the first year or 50 per cent of the total commissions on the policy calculated. 

• The remaining commission after deduction of the indemnity commission is paid equally over the premium payment term.

• For pure protection products, which only offer a life insurance component, the maximum commission will be 10 per cent of the annualised premium multiplied by the length of the policy in years.

Disclosure

Customers must now be provided with a full illustration of the product they are buying to ensure they understand the potential returns on savings products as well as the effects of any charges. There is also a “free-look” period of 30 days, where insurers must provide a full refund if the buyer wishes to cancel the policy.

“The illustration should provide for at least two scenarios to illustrate the performance of the product,” said Mr Hodgins. “All illustrations are required to be signed by the customer.”

Another illustration must outline surrender charges to ensure they understand the costs of exiting a fixed-term product early.

Illustrations must also be kept updatedand insurers must provide information on the top five investment funds available annually, including at least five years' performance data.

“This may be segregated based on the risk appetite of the customer (in which case, the top five funds for each segment must be provided),” said Mr Hodgins.

Product providers must also disclose the ratio of protection benefit to savings benefits. If a protection benefit ratio is less than 10 per cent "the product must carry a warning stating that it has limited or no protection benefit" Mr Hodgins added.

'Dark Waters'

Directed by: Todd Haynes

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, William Jackson Harper 

Rating: ****

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Getting there and where to stay

Fly with Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to New York’s JFK. There's 11 flights a week and economy fares start at around Dh5,000.
Stay at The Mark Hotel on the city’s Upper East Side. Overnight stays start from $1395 per night.
Visit NYC Go, the official destination resource for New York City for all the latest events, activites and openings.


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