Daily Archives: March 6, 2020

Longines Global Champions Tour gets under way

Doha, With attendance of HE QOC President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, the Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha got under way here at the Al Shaqab on Thursday.

Fifty riders from 15 different nations have entered in these top-level competitions, bringing their leading horses to compete under the lights in the Qatari capital.

The riders will be pulling out all the stops and selecting their best horses to get those early ranking points and aim to secure their golden tickets to the LGCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Prague Playoffs in November.

The opening day of the three-day event (March 5-7) sees a warm-up class for the combinations to get a feel for the stunning Longines Arena, allowing the horses to acclimatise to their surroundings before the competition kicks off on Thursday with the first round of the GCL team competition.

Nine out of the top ten riders from the 2019 LGCT overall ranking at the New York Finals are competing this weekend, and in the incredible facilities of Al Shaqab, it’s set to be a spectacle of world-class show jumping across all three days.

Many of the riders have brought their top horses to Qatar for this opening leg, hoping to start the season with a bang.

Belgian brothers Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) have brought some top talent, with Nicola riding H&M Chilli Willi and Katanga v.

H Dingeshof, who jumped consistently well in last week’s CHI competition at Al Shaqab, placing 5th in the Grand Prix. Olivier, meanwhile, rides his super stallion H&M Extra.

Olympian Scott Brash (GBR) brings Hello Senator and Hello Shelby to compete in this year’s opening leg.

Hello Senator competed at LGCT Doha in 2019, so he is well equipped to deal with the expansive arena and electric atmosphere and will be one to watch this weekend.

Meanwhile, last year’s two-time LGCT Grand Prix winner Maikel van der Vleuten (NEL) brings two talented horses to Doha, Arera C and Beauville Z, the latter of who is a previous LGCT Grand Prix winner.

Shane Breen (IRE) brings Z7 Ipswich this year. Ipswich gave Shane his first LGCT Grand Prix win at LGCT Monaco in 2018, and has been on flying form during the winter, making this an exciting partnership to watch this season.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

Commercial Bank Qatar Masters 2020 begins

Doha-Danish teenager Nicolai Hojgaard produced nine birdies, including six in a row, for a seven-under-par 64 in the opening round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Education City Golf Club course on Thursday.

The 18-year-old, whose identical twin Rasmus is also competing in Doha, had two birdies and a bogies in the front nine before picking up pace in scintillating fashion.

“I did not expect a such a low score,” said Hojgaard after his brilliant show.

Anything below par is a good score in these windy conditions and I am happy with this. I don’t remember making a seven-under-par score in the opening round before.”

Dutchman Joost Luiten was second on 65 while Italian Lorenzo Gagli, Belgian Thomas Pieters,

Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Carlos Pigem and Englishmen Andy Sullivan and Dane Jeff Winther were a shot further behind.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing start for Qatar’s Saleh Al Kaabi and Ali Al Shehrani.

Al Kaabi was 139th on the board with and 8 over 79 while Al Shahrani was in 140th position with an 80.

It was an even more disappointing day for Eddie Pepperell, the 2018 Qatar Masters champion, who was disqualified after he was deemed to have signed for an incorrect scorecard.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

Europe stocks down with selling fever, end at near seven-month lows

Berlin: The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 3.7% down to its weakest point since mid-August 2019, ending red for the third straight week after global coronavirus cases surpassed 100,000, with the economic damage deepening as more countries imposed restrictions to curb its spread.

While the STOXX 600 had briefly gained this week following an emergency rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve, concerns over the virus’ impact swiftly shunted markets lower, Reuters reported.

“The issue that people have in situations like this is that it’s very difficult to know when the bottom’s going to arrive,” said Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst at Oanda in London.

“The worst is not yet behind us because it still feels like we’re in the early spread phase in many countries. If we’re seeing policymakers providing stimulus, it suggests that even they believe there could be some significant damage.”

According to Reuters, oil and gas stocks .SXEP ended more than 5% lower for the day, seeing their worst day in more than three years as oil prices plunged to their lowest since 2017 after Russia rejected a steep OPEC output cut. Crude prices were already pressured by concerns over waning global demand. [O/R]

London-listed Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.L) was the worst performer on the subindex, losing about 15%.

The banks index .SX7P underperformed its peers for the week, shedding about 8.8%. The index touched its lowest point since 2009 amid a flurry of virus-related disruptions and sinking bond yields.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) fell 3.8% and Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) slid 7.2% as the flight to safety pushed Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield to record lows. [GVD/EUR]

Planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) dived 7.6% as it failed to win any new aircraft orders in February – further evidence of disruption across aviation industries due to the spread of coronavirus.

Several regional subindexes were trading in bear market territory.

Investors have almost fully priced in a 10 basis points cut by the European Central Bank next week. However, a recent Reuters poll of economists showed the ECB will not cut rates, underscoring the central bank’s limited policy options, given its deposit rate is already at a negative 0.50%.

Infineon Technologies AG (IFXGn.DE) fell 5.5% after reports that U.S. officials recommended blocking the German chipmaker’ s proposed $10 billion deal to buy Cypress Semiconductor Corp (CY.O) on security risks.

Among the few gainers, carmaker Continental AG (CONG.DE) and airline Air France (AIRF.PA) both marked modest gains for the day as they recovered from multi-year lows.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Ministry of Health: 12 additional individuals discharged after completing 14-day quarantine period

Manama: The Ministry of Health today announced that 12 individuals have been discharged after completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, bringing the total number of individuals discharged from quarantine to 38.

The Ministry outlined that the individuals, all Chinese nationals, one female and eleven males, tested negative for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) before being discharged.

The Ministry noted that all quarantined individuals are being monitored and cared for by a specialised medical team, in line with guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), to guarantee the health and safety of the community.

The Ministry of Health reiterates the importance of all individuals returning from Iran and other COVID-19 affected countries, to schedule their mandatory medical examinations by visiting www.moh.gov.bh/444 or calling 444.

Source: Bahrain News Agency