London’s Heathrow airport had submitted a plan to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) seeking to raise tariffs for airlines by 4.6 percent above inflation, as measured by the retail prices index (RPI), for the five years from April 2014. Instead the regulator proposed not allowing prices to rise by more than inflation. “Tackling the upward drift in Heathrow’s prices is essential to safeguard its globally competitive position,” CAA Chairman Deirdre Hutton said in a statement as the agency published its final proposals for consultation. Heathrow, whose owners include Spain’s Ferrovial and the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, China and Singapore, slammed the CAA’s proposals, arguing that a price cap would limit its returns and make investment unattractive. “The CAA’s proposals risk not only Heathrow’s competitive position but the attractiveness of the UK as a centre for international investment,” the group said in a statement. Carriers using Heathrow, including British Airways parent IAG have in the past criticised the airport for its high fees. Heathrow warned, however, that the cap on its charges would create a less attractive environment for investment in Britain’s aviation facilities and mean less funding would be available for a new runway. London is facing an airport capacity crunch and needs to build a new runway to add flights to fast-growing economies and ensure it does not miss out on billions of pounds of trade. Under the CAA’s new proposals, Heathrow’s rate of return on capital investment would decline to 5.6 percent in the post-2014 period, from a level of 6.2 percent between 2008 and 2014, the company said. The CAA said it was satisfied with a plan by London’s second airport Gatwick, which has proposed to raise average prices by 0.5 percent above RPI for seven years. Gatwick Airport Ltd said in a statement that it cautiously welcomed the CAA’s proposals. The CAA said in September it would defer making a judgement on how to regulate London’s third airport, Stansted.
Goodbye London, hello Gaborone: De Beers sales head to Africa
But people in London don’t want the Jacksonville Jaguars . They don’t want Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne or whatever scatter-armed passer the Jags profess to be their franchise quarterback. They don’t want a team that has won seven games since 2011 and seems unlikely to win another one anytime soon. In fact, they might not want an NFL team at all. The irony of this is there are a lot of people in London who love the NFL. The league puts this number at two million basing the figure on telephone surveys it has commissioned, ticket sales and interviews it conducts with fans after the games it plays here. But most of those two million have a team to which they have sworn their life’s affections and nothing will wrest that club’s jersey off their backs. Certainly it won’t be the Jaguars if they decide to move here full time. It is a sentiment best expressed by Gur Samuel , the author of the London football blog pullinglinemen.com , as he stood outside Wembley Stadium last Sunday in a white Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey and said: “I would want to buy Jaguars season tickets to support it because I don’t want it to fail, but I don’t think I can give up watching Bucs games to come out here.” View gallery . The Jags made their presence felt in London, even before their Oct. 27 game scheduled at Wembley Stadium. (Y Sports) The NFL has been serious for some time about moving a team to London.
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It will shift more than $6 billion of annual rough diamond sales from an international financial center to a comparative backwater with a population of 230,000, in one of the most dramatic examples of a producing country battling successfully to keep value and profits from the raw materials at home. The change will test Botswana’s ability to develop skills and services, lower an unemployment rate stuck at roughly 18 percent and diversify an economy still dependent on diamonds for more than 80 percent of exports. By separating sales from corporate headquarters, the move is also arguably the biggest challenge De Beers has faced to the way it does business since the current sales model was set up nearly a century ago to secure its then-dominant position. END OF AN ERA The shift south, long expected in one form or another, raises practical questions – visa difficulties, a lack of direct flights and suitable hotels – but has also sparked a debate around the future of De Beers and its role in the gem market. Still the world’s largest producer by value, De Beers was taken over by Anglo American in a deal completed last year which bought out the Oppenheimer family, cutting direct links to the dynasty that ran the firm for almost a century. “It is what you would call the end of an era, but it should not be seen as a negative, it should be seen as the natural progression of the industry,” Kieron Hodgson, an equity analyst at Charles Stanley in London. Others are less sanguine. “I don’t think any of them really want to be (in Gaborone), but they don’t have a choice as the diamonds are in the ground there,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Des Kilalea. “It is akin to saying we won’t have an London Metal Exchange, you’ll have to go to Chile to get your copper. It is blatantly inefficient – though in terms of politics and development, if I were president I’d do the same.” De Beers has already moved its diamond sorting and aggregation businesses – the operations that sift through the production from each mine and bring the gems together before they are allocated to buyers – to Gaborone. It has also been supporting cutting and polishing operations by making more diamonds available locally – encouraging international firms like Tannenbaum’s to grow there.