Daily Archives: December 8, 2015

غيتانو هولندنغز تستحوذ على مصفاة النفط كومي بـ 5 مليار دولار

لندن، 4 ديسمبر، 2015 — استحوذت غيتانو هولندنغز على مصفاة النفط الروسية كومي في صفقة بلغت قيمتها 5 مليار دولار، هذا الاستحواذ يجعل من شركة غيتانو هولندنغز أحد أهم كبار اللاعبين الاستثماريين في العالم.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b7657393-fa9f-49fa-87f0-0af408c757d2

وعبر الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة غيتانو هولندنغز ليمتد وفرعها غيتانو أل أل سي (شيكاغو) سعادة الشيخ يونس فتحي  عن سعادته في الإعلان عن هذا الاستحواذ النهائي لشركة كومي النفطية المتحدة في جمهورية كومي الروسية التي تملك مصفاة النفط الروسية الرئيسية مقابل 5 مليار دولار.

وتمثل حقول كومي المتحدة (في جنوب زفيرنيتسكي و زفيرنيتسكي2) 4.4 مليار برميل من النفط.

يجعل هذا الاستحواذ من شركة غيتانو هولندنغز وسعادة الشيخ يونس فتحي أحد أهم كبار اللاعبين الاستثماريين في العالم. وتلعب الشركة كمساهم ومدير مشارك في إنشاء وتطوير وإدارة البنية الإدارية الجديدة للمشاريع التي تستثمر فيها.

تملك شركة غيتانو هولدنغز عدة فروع في أهم المدن كسويسرا واسبانيا وسنغافورة هونغ كونغ والهند والإمارات العربية المتحدة ومؤخرا في الولايات المتحدة.

يبلغ رأسمال الشركة مليار دولار ومع ذلك فإن أرقام غيتانو لا تتوقف هنا، حيث تبلغ المحفظة الاستثمارية الحالية للمشاريع قيد الإنجاز حوالي 5 مليار دولار.

شكرا لشركائنا في الشرق الأوسط، فهناك ترليون دولار متوفرة الآن للاستثمار في مشاريع جديدة.

من الجدير بالذكر أن الشركة قد افتتحت مؤخرا صندوقا استثماري في شيكاغو ويتوقع أن تستحوذ على مجموعة فنادق (75 فندق) في منهاتن. ولقد وسّعت الشركة الاستثمارية الكبرى مجالاتها لتشمل أيضا مشروع عقاري في المكسيك. وهذا الانتشار يساعد الشركة في تأسيس علاقات هامة مع الصناديق المالية المحلية والدولية، وصناديق التقاعد وصناديق التحوط Hedge Funds  وشركاء السوق وصناديق الثروة السيادية والشركات العائلية وغيرها من النشاطات التجارية.

تعرف الشركة باستخدامها النهج الريادي في مساعدة الشركات التي تستحوذ عليها من خلال تقديم المساعدة الإدارية، لا يهم حجم الشركة أو الصناعة، فما دام هناك طلب ودليل على النمو في فضاء محدد، فإذن هناك وسيلة لإرساء نمو طويل الأجل داخليا وخارجيا.

تملك غيتانو مشاريع في مجالات الطاقة والنفط وصناعة السيارات وصناعة الفنادق والبنوك والتمويل وصناعة الصحة.

لمزيد من المعلومات يرجى الاتصال على:

contact@fundinvest.ma
www.gaetanoholdings.co.uk

Gaetano Holdings Confirms Komi Oil 4.4 Bn Barrels Reserve

LONDON, Dec. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CEO of Gaetano Holdings Ltd (London), Excellency Youness Fathi, is pleased to announce that Geological Experts report showing Komi Oil (Komi Republic, Russia) has a 4.4 Billion Barrels Resource. Oil fields (South-Zverinetsky & Zverinetsky-2) are the closest to the fast growing Asian-Pacific region markets.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b7657393-fa9f-49fa-87f0-0af408c757d2

For further information, contact: 
Jacqueline Jestin 
Chief Executive to His Excellency's Office 
contact@gaetanoholdings.co.uk
Tel.: 00 44 74 0488 4516
www.gaetanoholdings.co.uk

Copyright © 2015 GlobeNewswire, Inc.

Minister of Commerce and Industry inaugurates Riyadh Economic Forum

Riyadh, Safar 26, 1437, December 08, 2015, SPA — Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, inaugurated here this evening the activities of the seventh edition of Riyadh Economic Forum.

During the opening speech of the 3-day forum, the Minister of Commerce and Industry highlighted the balanced Saudi government economic policies to cope with the current global economic developments and challenges.

He stressed that the Kingdom is continuing to carry out the economic reforms aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the national economy through the diversification of sources of income.

He added that the economic reforms also aim at raising the Saudi economy’s ability to meet the challenges.

–SPA
22:50 LOCAL TIME 19:50 GMT

Greek economy slips deeper into red with 0.9-per-cent contraction

Athens, Safar 26, 1437, December 08, 2015, SPA — The performance of the Greek economy in the third quarter was worse than initially predicted as it contracted 0.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter, the EU statistics agency said Tuesday, according to dpa.

A contraction of 0.5 per cent had been given by Eurostat in a preliminary report in November.

The statistics represented a retreat for heavily indebted Greece, which this year received its third bailout in five years. It had seen growth of 0.3 per cent in the second quarter while the economy was stagnant in the first quarter, Eurostat said.

One of the reasons for the contraction was the political tug-of-war between Greece’s government and its European partners and creditors over economic reforms and the bailout.

The third quarter is traditionally an important economic indicator for Greece because it includes receipts from the height of the tourist season. In the third quarter of 2014, for example, the economy grew 0.8 per cent, Eurostat said.

Tourist industry analysts said many tourists stayed away this year because of a threat of Greece’s insolvency and talk about a Grexit, or Greece’s exit from the eurozone.

–SPA
22:29 LOCAL TIME 19:29 GMT

Social News – suadi press agency

Social News – suadi press agencyWall St Week Ahead-Emerging market worries prompt selloff, but bulls remainSaudi Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Celebrates Kingdom's Delegation Participating in General Assembly of AFCWall Street ClosingBelarus says ready to supply Ukraine with oil productsU.S. Payrolls roughly in line with expectations7th Global Competitiveness Forum Starts Sessions in Riyadh 34 India lawmakers arrested for deadly violenceU.S. Poverty, Uninsured Rates Flat in 2012French workers march against pension reformNorthern European countries stand atop world happiness reportPolice: 2 men arrested over break-in at UK palaceIndian Parliament approves food security billBrazil building collapses, traps 15Man taken by crocodile in Australia's far northNepal centenarian takes to the sky for the first time

latest news Social News – from saudi press agency http://www.spa.gov.sa En 0 1390025 NEW YORK, Dhu-AlQa'dah 6, 1436, Aug 21, 2015, SPA — The steep selloff that pushed down the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index five percent over three days may say more about the outlook for emerging markets than U.S. companies in the fourth quarter, fund managers and analysts… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1390025 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1390025 Sat, 22 Aug 2015 01:17:48 +0300

China’s economic slowdown, recessions in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Chile, and a breakdown in commodity prices – combined with a thinly-traded market as many investors become more focused on tide charts than trading terminals – are prompting traders to overlook improving U.S. economic data, said Alan Gayle, portfolio manager at RidgeWorth Investments.
— SPA
01:18 LOCAL TIME 22:18 GMT
]]>
0 1314659 Melbourne, Rabi'I 18, 1436, January 09, 2015, SPA — Saudi Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Nabil bin Mohammed Al Saleh held here yesterday a dinner ceremony in honor of the Saudi delegation participating in the Annual Meeting of Asian Football Confederation (AFC), with the participation… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1314659 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1314659 Fri, 09 Jan 2015 13:32:53 +0300
The ceremony was attended by Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Football Federation Ahmed bin Eid Al-Harbi and a number of officials.
— SPA
13:33 LOCAL TIME 10:33 GMT
]]>
0 1285080 Washington, Dhu-AlHijjah 23, 1435, Oct 17, 2014, SPA — U.S. stocks ended mixed Thursday, as a government report showed that unemployment benefits fell to a 14-year low last week. In world markets, Asian markets ended lower, with the Nikkei in Japan falling 2.22 percent. European markets… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1285080 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1285080 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:47:18 +0300
In world markets, Asian markets ended lower, with the Nikkei in Japan falling 2.22 percent. European markets also ended lower, with the FTSE 100 in England falling 0.83 percent.
In economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell 23,000 to 264,000, its lowest level since 2000.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo reported that its index fell to a reading of 54 after climbing to 59 in September.
Meanwhile, output at U.S. factories, utilities, and mines surged 1 percent last month after declining 0.2 percent in August, the Federal Reserve said.
The dollar fell versus the Yen and the Euro, but rose versus the Pound. Light sweet crude oil for November delivery rose to $82.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures fell to $1,240.40 an ounce.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24.5, or 0.2 percent, to 16,117.24. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.27, or 0.01 percent, to 1,862.76. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 2.07, or 0.1 percent, to 4,217.39.
–SPA
12:46 LOCAL TIME 09:46 GMT
]]>
0 1259661 MINSK, Shawwal 08, 1435, August 04, 2014, SPA — Belarus is ready to supply Ukraine with oil products, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko told his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Monday, according to Reuters. Belarus has two major refineries but gets the bulk of its… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1259661 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1259661 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:16:04 +0300

Belarus has two major refineries but gets the bulk of its oil from Russia, which annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in March and is now under Western sanctions.

“Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus understands the acuteness of this problem during the harvesting campaign and therefore, despite domestic needs, will assist Ukraine in ensuring its economy has oil products,” the Belarussian president’s administration said in a statement after the two leaders spoke on the telephone.
–SPA
14:15 LOCAL TIME 11:15 GMT
]]>
0 1217240 NEW YORK, Jumada II 4, 1435, Apr 4, 2014, SPA — The Nasdaq tumbled more than 2 percent on Friday as momentum stocks like Netflix and TripAdvisor sold off for a second straight session, Reuters reported. The big drop in momentum stocks overshadowed the day's relatively strong March… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1217240 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1217240 Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:44:33 +0300

The big drop in momentum stocks overshadowed the day’s relatively strong March jobs data, which helped the Dow and S&P 500 hit intraday record highs early in the session.

Momentum names – typically high-growth companies mostly in the tech and biotech sectors that led 2013’s rally – have sold off in recent weeks but appeared to stabilize earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, a drop in Gilead Sciences’ stock, after U.S. lawmakers asked it to explain the $84,000 price tag of its new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, set off a wave of losses in other biotech and momentum names.

— SPA
21:43 LOCAL TIME 18:43 GMT
]]>
0 1189941 The SAGIA Governor noted that the forum seeks to support investments to strengthen the national economy in a way that diversifies the economy, expands non-oil products, and transfers technology. Eng. Al-Othman stressed that SAGIA will support initiatives in the fields of engineering, the development… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1189941 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1189941 Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:44:44 +0300
Eng. Al-Othman stressed that SAGIA will support initiatives in the fields of engineering, the development of specifications and standards to promote some of the programs of massive infrastructure in the Kingdom, and the development of business opportunities of investment for each sector, such as oil, gas, mining, manufacturing, electricity, water, transport, health, tourism, and telecommunications and information technology in order to be the Kingdom’s centers of attraction.
–More
13:44 LOCAL TIME 10:44 GMT
]]>
0 1148911 LUCKNOW, India, Dhu-AlQa'dah 15, 1434, Sep 21, 2013, SPA — Four state opposition lawmakers have been arrested for allegedly inciting clashes between Hindus and Muslims that killed 48 people early this month in northern India, AP quoted police as saying. Senior police officer R.K. Vishwakarma… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1148911 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1148911 Sat, 21 Sep 2013 12:38:16 +0300
Senior police officer R.K. Vishwakarma says the four, who are members of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and the regional Bahujan Samaj Party, have been charged with delivering hate-filled speeches against Muslims in Uttar Pradesh state. The arrests came Friday and Saturday.
Police officer Arun Kumar says both sides have blamed the other for starting the violence in which guns, swords, stones or knives were used in the killings.
The clashes were sparked in and around the town of Muzaffarnagar by the killing of three villagers who had objected when a young woman was being harassed.
–SPA
12:37 LOCAL TIME 09:37 GMT
]]>
0 1147242 Washington, Dhu-AlQa'dah 11, 1434, September 17, 2013, SPA — The number of Americans living in poverty remained steady last year at 15 percent after rising for several years due the 2007-2009 Great Recession, according to U.S. government data released Tuesday. The Census Bureau in its… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1147242 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1147242 Tue, 17 Sep 2013 22:49:57 +0300
The Census Bureau in its annual report said about 46.5 million people, or more than 1 in 7, were living in poverty last year, little changed from 46.2 million in 2011.
It was the sixth consecutive year that the poverty rate had failed to improve, hurt by persistently high levels of unemployment, which averaged 8.1 percent in 2012.
The Census data also showed the 2012 median U.S. household income was about $51,000, also not statistically different from the previous year.
The share of Americans without health insurance coverage-another key indicator of economic well-being-was 15.4 percent last year, compared to 15.7 percent in 2011, a change the Census Bureau described as not statistically significant.
— SPA
22:50 LOCAL TIME 19:50 GMT
]]>
0 1144781 Paris, Dhu-AlQa'dah 4, 1434, Sep 10, 2013, SPA — Thousands of people demonstrated across France on Tuesday to protest planned reforms to the cash-strapped pension system, dpa reported. From Marseille to Lyon, Nantes and Toulouse, workers marched to protest… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1144781 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1144781 Tue, 10 Sep 2013 17:05:05 +0300
Tuesday to protest planned reforms to the cash-strapped pension
system, dpa reported.

From Marseille to Lyon, Nantes and Toulouse, workers marched to
protest the government’s proposal to progressively increase the
number of years of contributions required for a full pension from
41.5 currently to 43.

The four trade unions behind the day of protests and strikes also
planned a big rally later in Paris. Only minor transport disruptions
were reported.

The deficit in France’s generous pension system has ballooned in
recent years. Left untouched, the shortfall is predicted to reach 20
billion euros (28 billion dollars) by 2020, prompting demands for
corrective action from the European Commission.

But reforming the system has been a minefield for successive
governments.

More than 1 million people took to the streets in 2010 when former
president Nicolas Sarkozy increased the minimum pension age from 60
to 62. He prevailed in the end, but the weeks of strikes and protests
damaged the economy.

President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government has taken a
more consensual approach, consulting at length with trade unions on
reforms that are widely seen as timid. The government is to present a
bill on September 18.

The modest scale of Tuesday’s protests reflected the modest scale
of the reforms. Moderate trade unions refused to endorse the
demonstrations.
–SPA
17:05 LOCAL TIME 14:05 GMT
]]>
0 1144472 New York, Dhu-AlQa'dah 3, 1434, Sep 9, 2013, SPA — Denmark and Norway were on top of a United Nations report measuring well-being and happiness, released Monday and cited by AP. The report, two weeks before the UN General Assembly, was compiled for the second… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1144472 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1144472 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 22:01:12 +0300
Nations report measuring well-being and happiness, released Monday and cited by AP.

The report, two weeks before the UN General Assembly, was compiled
for the second time to urge global leaders to include well-being as a
measure of development in the upcoming post-2015 Sustainable
Development Goals.

The ranking compiled by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions
Network used data on GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy, and
factors such as having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make
life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption to quantify
happiness levels.

“There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more
closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves
characterize their well-being,” said Jeffery Sachs, director of the
project. “The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that
the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a
lot about ways to improve the world’s well-being and sustainable
development.”

Other nations topping the list included Switzerland, the
Netherlands and Sweden. The United States ranked 17, behind countries
such as Mexico and Panama.

The least happy counties included Togo, which was on the bottom of
the list, Benin, the Central African Republic and Burundi.

Happiness as a measure of development has gained momentum at the
UN recently, as the organization observed the first International Day
of Happiness in March.

The initiative came as part of a resolution passed in 2012
sponsored by the Kingdom of Bhutan recognizing happiness as a
universal goal and as a guiding principle for public policies. It
said instead of focusing solely on financial issues when public
policy is drafted, happiness also should be taken into account.
–SPA
22:01 LOCAL TIME 19:01 GMT
]]>
0 1143730 LONDON, Dhu-AlQa'dah 1, 1434, Sep 7, 2013, SPA — Police said they've arrested two men over a suspected break-in at Buckingham Palace, a rare breach of royal security, AP reported. London's Metropolitan Police says the incident occurred on Monday night after one of the men… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1143730 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1143730 Sat, 07 Sep 2013 14:05:57 +0300
London’s Metropolitan Police says the incident occurred on Monday night after one of the men scaled a fence outside the stately residence.
The man wasn’t named, and police did not say where exactly amid the palace’s 775 rooms he was found. The force did indicate it was in an area of the palace usually open to visitors during the day.
Police said that the man was arrested on suspicion of burglary, trespass, and criminal damage. The second man was arrested outside the palace on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary.
Police said Saturday that no members of the royal family were at the palace at the time.
–SPA
14:05 LOCAL TIME 11:05 GMT
]]>
0 1142403 New Delhi, Shawwal 26, 1434, Sep 2, 2013, SPA — India's upper house of parliament Monday passed a 20-billion-dollar food security bill clearing the way for the implementation of a programme that subsidizes food-grain for two-thirds of the country's 1.2 billion… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1142403 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1142403 Mon, 02 Sep 2013 23:44:02 +0300
a 20-billion-dollar food security bill clearing the way for the
implementation of a programme that subsidizes food-grain for
two-thirds of the country’s 1.2 billion population, dpa reported.

The landmark bill and suggested amendments were passed by a voice
vote in the upper house Rajya Sabha following an 11-hour debate.

The legislation, that was expected to be approved by the Rajya
Sabha, had already passed its main test when it won the approval of
the powerful lower house or Lok Sabha last week.

It now needs to be endorsed by the president before it comes into
force. “All the constructive and positive suggestions will be
carefully followed when we start implementing this important
legislation,” Food Minister KV Thomas said.

The bill envisages a food security scheme for 820 million people,
with the distribution of 5 kilogrammes of food grain per month for
each person in eligible households, at the highly subsidized price of
3 rupees (0.05 dollars), 2 rupees and 1 rupee per kilogramme of rice,
wheat and coarse grains respectively.

The bill in its current form would apply to up to 75 per cent of
the rural population and up to 50 per cent of the urban population.

The measure is described as a “historic step to eradicate hunger”
by the ruling Indian National Congress.
–SPA
23:43 LOCAL TIME 20:43 GMT
]]>
0 1140559 SAO PAULO, Shawwal 20, 1434, Aug 27, 2013, SPA — A commercial building in Brazil's biggest city has collapsed and officials said at least 15 people are trapped in the rubble, AP reported. Firefighters say they've pulled three survivors from the collapse in Sao Paulo. It's… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1140559 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1140559 Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:34:53 +0300
Firefighters say they’ve pulled three survivors from the collapse in Sao Paulo. It’s not yet clear what caused the building to fall.
About 60 firefighters were carefully searching the rubble, using dogs to help locate victims. Nearby vehicles were covered with chunks of concrete let loose as the building fell.
The building was either being built or was under repair. It was two stories high.
Firefighter Marcos Palumbo tells the Globo TV network that “right now the work is slow, very cautious, because to pull people from the rubble we need a lot of technique and patience.”
–SPA
18:31 LOCAL TIME 15:31 GMT
]]>
0 1139604 Sydney, Shawwal 17, 1434, Aug 24, 2013, SPA — Police in far-north Australia were looking for the body of a 24-year-old local man taken Saturday by a crocodile while swimming at a beauty spot 110 kilometres east of Darwin, dpa reported. The man was in the water at… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1139604 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1139604 Sat, 24 Aug 2013 15:03:40 +0300
body of a 24-year-old local man taken Saturday by a crocodile while
swimming at a beauty spot 110 kilometres east of Darwin, dpa reported.

The man was in the water at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat when
a crocodile attacked, the Northern Territory Police said.

Erin Bayard, a staff member at the holiday park, told national
broadcaster ABC that visitors were warned against swimming. “We do
actually tell all our guests not to swim and to stay at least 5
metres back from the edge of the bank,” she said.

Police Sergeant Peter Lindfield said a search was on for the
crocodile and the remains of the man.

“Officers from the Water Police Section and Territory Response
Group are currently at the scene of the attack and are searching for
the man and the crocodile,” he said.
–SPA
15:00 LOCAL TIME 12:00 GMT
]]>
0 1138597 Kathmandu, Shawwal 13, 1434, Aug 20, 2013, SPA — A bedridden 106-year-old man in south-eastern Nepal fulfilled a lifelong wish Tuesday when he took his first flight, dpa cited organizers as saying. Bote Rai, who was undergoing treatment for seasonal flu, told… http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1138597 http://www.spa.gov.sa/details.php?id=1138597 Tue, 20 Aug 2013 17:37:08 +0300

A cooperation Agreement Between Saudi and UAE Air Sports Federations

Dubai, Safar 26, 1437,December 08, 2015,SPA — Prince Turki bin Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, President of Saudi Air Sports Federation signed here yesterday a bilateral cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Sports Federation represented by the Vice President of the Federation Yusuf Hammadi.
The agreement provides for the exchange of experiences, the establishment of training camps between the two sides, the support of the UAE Federation to its Saudi counterpart in the sport of jumping through benefiting from Emirati potentialities in this regard represented by Sky Kaif Dubai.
–SPA
13:40 LOCAL TIME 10:40 GMT

The National Heritage Board Gazettes the Former Fullerton Building (The Fullerton Hotel) as Singapore’s 71st National Monument

SINGAPORE, Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the National Heritage Board (NHB) gazettes the former Fullerton Building (today known as The Fullerton Hotel) as Singapore’s 71st National Monument, concluding a series of gazettes in celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. This grand Neoclassical building situated at the mouth of the Singapore River was once Singapore’s General Post Office, and housed several government departments, where some of Singapore’s pioneer leaders began their careers. It has also been witness to several historic events during the Japanese Occupation and the post-war period.

Video – http://youtu.be/MO4Kcgb719w
Photo –  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151207/293550
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151207/293551LOGO

Ms Jean Wee, Director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM) division, NHB, says, “The former Fullerton Building is one of the most iconic colonial buildings in Singapore, standing at the mouth of the Singapore River and defining the Singapore skyline since the 1920s. Beyond its grand facade and beautiful architecture, it is filled with many priceless memories of our nation’s growth throughout the years — from the former General Post Office to government offices, it has served multiple functions that mark the tumultuous times we have lived through, and the steps taken to build our country. As we celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, we reflect on the trail history has left on our landscape, and, in turn, accord those that are nationally significant the highest form of preservation and recognition. 2015’s gazettes of the former Fullerton Building, together with Jurong Town Hall and Istana Kampong Gelam as National Monuments, collectively add more architectural diversity, and, more importantly, many more layers of stories to our cultural legacy for future generations.”

Origins of the Former Fullerton Building

After its founding in 1819, Singapore had its first “post office” located in a room shared with the Master Attendant’s Marine Office and the clerk to the Registrar of Import and Export. As Singapore’s trade industry grew, the volume of mail increased. The post office, which had moved to its own building near the Town Hall (today Victoria Theatre) in 1854, became a separate department from the Marine Office in 1858. In the 1870s, it moved again, across the Singapore River, and settled on the site of the former Fort Fullerton (demolished in 1865).

Discussions for a new post office building took place before the First World War (1914-1918), and plans were set in motion after the war. In May 1920, Major Percy Keys, a government architect from the Public Works Department, was appointed as the architect for this project together with his assistant, Frank Dowdeswell. Construction of the new post office building took place between 1924 and 1928, and was declared open by Sir Hugh Clifford (Governor of the Straits Settlements, 1927-1929) on 27 June 1928. On that day, the governor named it “Fullerton Building”, in remembrance of Sir Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the Straits Settlements (1826-1830), and whom the former Fort Fullerton was named after.

Architectural Merits

The former Fullerton Building’s Neoclassical facade and prominent location reflected Singapore’s role as the prime postal unit in British Malaya at that time. Made of reinforced concrete, the building possesses five frontages with a colossal two-storey Doric colonnade, creating a visually impressive facade. The facade encompasses ornate classical decorations created by Swiss sculptor Rudolf Wening and Italian sculptor Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli, who was also responsible for the sculptural works at the former Supreme Court and College of Medicine Building.

The former Fullerton Building was designed to be multi-purpose, housing the General Post Office, Singapore Club, Chamber of Commerce, Marine Office and other government departments. At the time of its completion, the building also boasted modern facilities — 14 lifts in the building and automated mail-sorting equipment for the post office. The post office occupied the basement and the first two floors which served as sorting rooms, postal halls and offices. The upper floors were reserved for the Singapore Club’s facilities which included a vaulted coffered ceiling, reputed to be the only one of its kind in Singapore. This unique feature can still be seen today.

Second World War and Independence

Throughout the history of Singapore, several noteworthy historical events took place in the former Fullerton Building. During the Second World War, the former Fullerton Building served as a hospital, providing makeshift operation rooms for wounded British soldiers in the days leading up to Singapore’s fall. The British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, after Lieutenant Arthur Percival (Lieutenant-General and General-Officer-Commanding Malaya) had informed Sir Shenton Thomas (Governor of the Straits Settlements) of the British military’s decision to surrender, in the Singapore Club. Shortly after Singapore’s fall, the Chinese community presented a $50-million cheque to Lieutenant-General Yamashita in the Singapore Club. This $50 million was an “atonement fee” which the Japanese demanded from the Chinese in Singapore and Malaya.

The former Fullerton Building was occupied by the Japanese military administration department during the war years, and reverted to the British government and the Singapore Club after the war. In the early years of Singapore’s independence, some of Singapore’s leaders began their careers in the government departments housed in this building, including the Inland Revenue Department (today Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore), Marine Department, Imports and Exports Department and the Ministry of Finance. Among the leaders were former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee who started out as the Minister of Finance in 1959; former President Mr S.R. Nathan who worked as a Seaman’s Welfare Officer in the Ministry of Labour and later in the Labour Research Unit in the 1950s and 1960s; and former Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong who worked in the Economic Planning Unit in the 1960s.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, the former Fullerton Building witnessed several political rallies that were held at the adjoining Fullerton Square. Huge crowds attended the rallies, including many which were delivered by our Founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Preservation and Present Use

The Government announced in 1996 plans to turn the former Fullerton Building into a hotel. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) gazetted it as a conserved building on 20 September 1996, and Sino Land — the Hong Kong arm of Far East Organisation — which had successfully bid for the site, helmed the building’s transformation into a hotel between 1997 and 2000. Then-Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong declared the building open as The Fullerton Hotel on 1 January 2001 at midnight.

Mr Giovanni Viterale, General Manager, The Fullerton Heritage, says, “This is a historic moment, and we are privileged and honoured that the Fullerton Building has been gazetted as Singapore’s 71st national monument. Beyond its grand facade and beautiful architecture, the Fullerton Building is filled with countless and poignant memories of Singapore’s growth through the colonial and pre-independence era till present day. It is a privilege to be operating in a building and precinct immersed so relevantly in Singapore’s history and culture. Today, we mark a new chapter in the building’s future. As we reflect on the legacy of the Fullerton Building, we also look forward to the future of providing new memories and experiences for our local and international visitors.”

The gazette of the former Fullerton Building joins the Jurong Town Hall (2 June 2015) and the Istana Kampong Gelam (6 August 2015) as NHB’s list of gazetted National Monuments in 2015. Together, these three gazettes commemorate some of Singapore’s key milestones as the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee. The Istana Kampong Gelam, formerly the seat of the Johor Sultanate, is a reminder of Singapore’s historical links with the Malay world and Singapore’s re-emergence as a flourishing port in the 19th century. Jurong Town Hall is an iconic testimony to Singapore’s industrialisation drive in its early years of independence and Jurong’s transformation from a swamp land into Singapore’s first industrial town. The former Fullerton Building, a landmark which represents Singapore’s status as the prime postal unit in British Malaya, has also witnessed many historic events as a landmark that has had prominence throughout the colonial, war, and post-war periods.

When a building is gazetted under the Preservation of Monuments Act, it is preserved with the highest form of recognition for its national significance. The evaluation of potential gazettes is based on a building or site’s historical, architectural and social importance in Singapore’s built heritage landscape.

As the most protected historic structures in Singapore, each National Monument has its own tailored set of Preservation Guidelines to guide monument owners on the preservation requirements. NHB’s PSM division also conducts regular site inspections and works closely with the monument owners on restoring and maintaining the architectural features and intrinsic historical value of the National Monuments.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Daphne Hi
MSLGROUP in Singapore (Public Relations Agency Partner of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore)
Contact: +65 6327 0263 / 9817 3561
Email: daphne.hi@mslgroup.com

For more information on the National Heritage Board, the Preservation of Sites & Monuments Division, a complete list of Singapore’s 71 National Monuments, The Fullerton Hotel and images, please visit https://app.box.com/s/f58guwqhingzfi09559lnbfnhp4ik0ri

Much ado about Muslim refugees (Al Jazeera)

Doha, Qatar – As tens of thousands of people try to flee war and strife in large expanses of Asia and Africa every month, one question unblinkingly stares policy-makers and the global commentariat in the face: should the US, Europe and wealthy Gulf Arab states open the door to increased immigration from Syria and other war-scarred…