Pravind risks losing financial support from New Delhi

While saying his government is on the right track and that he will be judged by the performance of his regime in power, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth is risking the pullout of financial support from New Delhi, a major donor and creditor to the Mauritian economy.

This was revealed to WFTV by our correspondent in New Delhi who cited sources close to powers that be in the Indian capital city.

The source told WFTV the Indian government is growing increasingly weary of the scandals and the slide of support for the MSM-ML regime in power.

“New Delhi is not willing to lose its capital investment in the country which is now in serious jeopardy with the numerous scandals and the potential collapse of the MSM-ML regime,” said our correspondent, citing the source.

The source told WFTv the PM made promises to India before his trip to New Delhi earlier this year where he was in return promised with the financial help from the Indian government.

The Indian government carried out its part of the deal but Pravind has so far defaulted on his promises, missing out on the snap polls which were to be held between September and December this year.

But the source said there is still plenty of time to December and things will wrap up for the MSM-ML regime which is facing backlash on everything it touches.

“He is not giving in to the pressures from New Delhi, the pressures are mounting but Pravind is not budging. This is sending the wrong signal to New Delhi,” said the source.

The source said the recent scandals that has tarnished the MSM-ML regime has dampened New Delhi’s enthusiasm and the regime is risking the pullout of further and future financial support from New Delhi.

In June we reported that a friendly nation to Mauritius, India, has apparently advised Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to dissolve the Parliament and to go for snap polls.

This was revealed to by a source close to the matter, who said the Indian authorities have carried out a survey on the prospects of a snap poll in Mauritius.

The survey was conducted by the Indian agency which studied the May 1 rallies of the ruling coalition, and that of the opposition parties.

The survey was on the sentiments with regards the political parties in the country, and their chances in a snap poll.

We stand by our reporting on the Mauritius situation and we also stand by our stories on the role India plays in Mauritius politics. It is only a matter of time for the forecasts to materialise, despite the fact that in Port Louis and among government circles there is a complete denial of our reports.

This while the some opposition parties like the MMM, there is also a denial of facts such as the possible outcome of snap polls for the party if they were to run with a certain personalities as deputy PM.

Rosneft and Trafigura-UCP Consortium acquire Essar Oil (Mauritius) for US$12.9b

The Essar house in Port-Louis city, Mauritius

Russia’s Rosnef, (through its subsidiary, Petrol Complex Pte. Ltd) has acquired 49.13% stake Essar Oil Limited (EOL).

The deal represents Russia’s largest ever foreign investment into any country so far.

Rosneft CEO, Igor Sechin stated that “this day marks the beginning of a new chapter for EOL. Together with our partners we intend to support the company to significantly improve its financial performance and, in the medium term, adopt an asset development strategy.

Rosneft is the leader of Russia’s petroleum industry and the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company by reserves and liquid hydrocarbon production. The closing of the deal is a remarkable achievement the Company: it has entered the high-potential and fast-growing Asia-Pacific market.

The acquisition of the stake in the Vadinar refinery creates unique opportunities of synergies with existing Rosneft-owned assets and will help improve efficiency of supply to other countries within the region.

 Trafigura-UCP consortium (through Kesani Enterprises Company Limited) has acquired an equal stake in Essar, which is incorporated and managed under the laws of Mauritius.

The company recently announced the successful conclusion of the sale of 98.26% of EOL.

The remaining 1.74% stake continues to be held by retail shareholders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the deal. EOL is largely Indian owned.

The transaction marks the single largest outbound investment by a Russian company into any country”, said Kamal Taposeea, Chairman of Essar Energy Holdings Limited.

He said it will open a new chapter for Indo-Russian economic cooperation. It is also the single largest foreign investment in India and re-establishes India’s image as an attractive destination for foreign investments.

Essar Global Fund Limited (EGFL) is a global investor, owning a portfolio of companies that control and operate a number of world-class assets, focused on India and diversified across the core sectors of Oil & Gas, Steel, Power, Ports, Projects, Shipping, Mining, BPO and other services.

The Fund’s portfolio companies have aggregate revenues of about US$15 billion.  The Fund is managed by its investment manager, Essar Capital Limited. Essar Energy Holdings Limited, Mauritius, an indirect subsidiary of EGFL, is a global investor, owning world-class oil & gas assets which includes Stanlow refinery in the UK and oil and gas blocks in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Madagascar and Vietnam.

Commenting the transaction, Mr Jeremy Weir, CEO of Trafigura, said that: “our stake in Essar Oil also complements Trafigura’s growing presence in India at a time when the country’s economic outlook is positive.”

Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. The Company has achieved substantial growth over the last ten years, growing turnover from USD12 billion in 2003 to USD98.1 billion in 2016.

Mr Yuri Soloviev, First Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank, has also expressed VTB Group’s interest in India.

India has become a core strategic market for the VTB Group and we look forward to working further with Essar and our broader Indian clients to further expand our franchise in the future”, said Mr Yuri Soloviev. VTB Capital acts as financial adviser to Essar Energy on the sale of world-class assets.
We have been working on this transaction for over a year and its successful completion is a historic occasion”, said Mr Mr. Uday Gujadhur, Director of Essar Energy Holdings.

While his partner, Mr Rewant Ruia, also a Director of Essar Energy Holdings Limited, explained that this transaction is in line with Essar Energy’s strategy of investing in world-class assets and exiting them at attractive valuations. He added that they will now be shifting focus on growing their other oil and gas assets including their refinery in the UK.

Ilya Sherbovich, Managing Partner of UCP Investment Group, said that he is “confident that together with all the new shareholders – recognised leaders in their industries, we will oversee the growth potential of Essar Oil to increase the long-term value of the company.” UCP Investment Group (UCP) is an independent, private investment group established in 2006 to manage the assets of its partners and co-investors.  
The deal includes EOL’s 20 MTPA Vadinar Refinery (one of the world’s largest, with a complexity index of 11.8), its pan-India network of over 3,500 retail outlets which represent India’s largest private sector retail network, as well as the associated refinery infrastructure. The transaction perimeter also includes the Vadinar Port (capacity of 58 million tonnes with world-class dispatch and storage facilities) and the Vadinar power plant for a total cost of US$ 12.9 billion.


End of world senario: Religion is back in American political discourse

Roy S. Moore, who won a special Republican primary runoff for an Alabama Senate seat on Tuesday, is a staunch evangelical Christian.

The return of religious discourse in politics is part of the end-of-the-world scenario.

Roy Moore who recently suggested the attacks of 9/11 may have been a punishment for the country’s decision to turn its back on God, won a Republican fight for a seat to the Senate.

But this is only a tiny vibe in the entire change the world is going through.

Mr Moore has embraced controversy throughout much of his career, he lost his position as the most senior judge in the state on two occasions.

Once for his insistence of installing a vast granite statue bearing the Ten Commandments into the grounds of his courthouse, and a second time after telling Alabama judges they could ignore a Supreme Court ruling that legalised same-sex marriage, wrote The Independent UK.

The religious discourse is also growing in Europe where anti-Islamic political parties have recently won seats in the Parliament in the Netherlands and only this week in Germany.

Religion is also an important part of the political discourse in the Middle East and in Asia, where it is gaining traction in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and even Myanmar.

According to WFTV, the rise in the religious importance in global politics and at the national level in most countries in the world will create a new polarity in the world, and it will then be the start of a new world order..

India is another country where the political debate has been overwhelmed by the religious diatribe, resulting in the killing of Muslims for trading in ‘Beef’. The religiosity of the cow has taken precedence over the democratic exercise.

In Myanmar, a group of Muslims are running away from death in the Rakhine province. This conflict has divided the Asean grouping which has so far remained united on one thing: No intervention in member countries problems. But this is changing with Malaysia lambasting Myanmar for its violent handling of Muslims citizens in the country.

By Le Ballon D'Or Posted in WORLD

Opposition says Mauritius gov’t on witch hunt against opponents

The witch-hunt orders come directly from the government house?

After the cracking against the L’Express daily newspaper with the harassment of 3 of its journalists and editors, the authorities are now in a witch-hunt enterprise against defected members who have joined the opposition.

The husband of the daughter of Danielle Selvon, who left the MSM party of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to join the MMM opposition party, is now facing deportation.

“They are resorting to a witch hunt for some time now, against officials who are leaking information and against all those who are opposing them. Remember the episode where a Minister (Shaukatally Soodhun) threatened to shoot the opposition leader Xavier-Luc Duval,” said a source.

Today, the husband of Danielle Selvon, a veteran journalist alerted his followers on his Facebook page that his son-in-law Stéphane Driant was facing deportation and was called to the immigration office of Mauritius with the express consignment not to bring along his Mauritian wife.

“Stéphana Driant’s lawyer is Mr. Sidhartha Hawoldar. The expulsion attempt is currently being made and concerns directly the office of Pravind Jugnauth (Prime Minister of Mauritius) – It appears some people want to curb on French investments in Mauritius, among which Stéphane et Mélody (Sydney Selvon’s daughter) is located in the north of the Island,” wrote Mr. Selvon.

Selvon said his son-in-law invested in Mauritius and is in engaged principally in the tourism business.

Selvon directly linked the attempt to deport his son-in-law as part of a move by the MSM leadership (including the Prime Minister) to his wife’s joining the MMM in the opposition, a move that has impacted on the MSM’s voter bank or of what remained of it among the General Population of Mauritius.

Speaking to WFTV, a source said all the dissidents and opponents will face such threats from the current regime in Port Louis.

“They are in panic mode and they will do anything to maintain their grip on power, even to go to the extent of threatening the families of opponents,” said the source.

North Korea: Newbie Trump wanting to play with big cats!

It is President Donald Trump who is blowing the horns and trumpeting about the famous red button of the powerful nuclear arsenal resting restlessly in his hands.

But the small time foreign policy player may suddenly face another trumpet blowing his way: That is a one of a kind North Korean response!

While the entire world (Minus Russia and China, Iran) seems to be mesmerised by Trump’s blowing off the nuclear power that he has in store for the North Koreans, there is actually little that we know on how the US intends to really prevent a catastrophe.

For the United Nations to accept such a speech without criticism of President Trump is a sign the world is going into a dangerous path, where a leader as rhetorical as Hitler is allowed to threaten another nation with nuclear annihilation on the altar of the global movement.

It is simply unacceptable by all moral standards, a scene equating to Adolf Hitler coming to the UN altar and delivering a speech on the Third Reich and its anti-semitic propaganda.

From the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley’s hysterical claims the North Koreans want war to Trump’s miscalculated rhetoric on how the US can destroy another nation on earth, we have seen how the world has gone down the drain.

Supporters of Trump’s missteps at the UN would dismiss criticism, not knowing and ignoring the magnitude of this disgraceful act from Trump, putting them on the same thin line of hypocrisy and hysteria.

Yes Iran is a danger if it has nuclear weapons, and yes North Korea is already a nuclear power, but that is not the way to deal with these problems.

His calling the Venezuelan President names is equal to Hitler calling Stalin a saint.

His dismissal of President Barack Obama’s hard work in getting Iran to kowtow on a nuclear deal is tantamount to a Pharaoh attempting to erase his predecessors memory in history. That is how crazy Trump can sound at times but the fact remains that we are living in disruptive times and Trump is one of a hell of a disruption.

The disruption created by Trump has no equal in global history to that of the likes of Hitler, when the latter decided to conquer Europe and other parts of the world just because it was there for the taking.

Trump is not doing anything different except that he is targeting a tiny minion in a bid to create a war situation that would benefit the US.

But the wind always blow in different ways, that is after it blows in your direction, it might also blow against you and that is what Trump will soon learn in foreign policy.

Lets face the facts in the USA-North Korea battle: Firstly, Trump will be incapable to use nuclear weapons to annihilate the North Korean nation. Such a move might have dreadful consequences for Japan, South Korea and parts of China.

Secondly, any missteps might get a swift response from what would remain of the Kim Jung-un regime. A potential nuclear response on Japan or South Korea may follow up, however crazy it sounds.

A tactical attack on the North Korean leadership may or may not kill the responsible parties, because the intel will have to be specific. This is not the USA entering Pakistan upon the accord of the Pakistani intelligentsia to seek and destroy a lone disheveled man, Osama Bin Laden.

This is about taking out a leader who holds key to his country’s nuclear bombs.

Any actions by Trump will have to get China’s approval, otherwise it would be singularly treated as an attack on Chinese soil, like it or not.

Hence, Trump is acting like a small kid who is willing to take on the tigers on the bloc, not knowing what the consequences might be just simply because he thinks he is right and that nothing will happen.

Well, we can say that one of the scenarios in this escalated war drum beating is New York or Washington getting nuked as a sign of reprisal from Pyongyang.

Has Trump thought of that? Certainly not, but if it were to happen, picture Trump standing on the steps of the White House looking at the ball of fire raging over the US saying “I was right, I was right,”.

Labour-PMSD: Power sharing between prime ministers?

Leader Xavier Duval in a Twitter picture

There is a lot transpiring about a Labour Party and PMSD alliance in preparation for the next general elections (which many now believe is not that far away).

However, both parties are currently in a dilemma over which formula they should adopt if they were to ally to face the other political formations in the future.

The Labour Party made it clear (we published the story here: Labour-PMSD alliance 80% done) that it would only grant a certain number of seats to the PMSD on the conditions that it accepts the post of deputy PM.

While the details are not ironed out, our source told us the Labour Party want a 70-30 seats sharing formula, with the deputy PM’s post going to PMSD leader Xavier-Luc Duval while the Labour Party would promote its own Shakeel Mohamed as the new VP in the alliance.

The PMSD is said to have offered a different solution: 25 seats for the party and the rest for the Labour if Duval gets the role of PM for two years, in a deal similar to the MMM-MSM deal that catapulted the MMM leader Paul Raymond Berenger to power in 2003. 

It was part of a deal forged by ex-Deputy PM Harish Boodhoo (read out story on Harish Boodhoo here) in which the MSM leader Sir Aneerood Jugnauth would assume the role of PM for 3 years and Berenger for 2 years. Berenger had the current PM Pravind Jugnauth to assume the role of deputy PM (replacing Berenger), which was part of the deal.

The MSM and the MMM shared the same number of seats, 30 each of the 60 mainland seats. The MSM/MMM alliance won 54 of the 60 seats.

The PMSD is said to be adamant on the Prime Ministers power sharing deal, but if the deal falls through due to intense pressure from the Labourites, WFTV was told the PMSD would accept a formula where it will share the same number of seats with the Labour but Duval will remain as the Deputy PM.

We are told the Labour would want to stick to this deal rather than the one in which Duval will be come the PM after 3 years of Labour rule. But the talks are still ongoing and more updates to come soon.

MAURITIUS: Millions of petrodollars to shut down criminal cases and buy MPs?

Photo Credit: Who Moved My Cheese! – The people of Mauritius is asking that question – they have the answer!

We all know that Mauritius is a tiny, vulnerable and dependent country. But recent events on the Island suggests a dark future for its population involving petrodollars, corrupt legislators and indeed the media that are at daggers drawn.

It reminds us of the book entitled ‘Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life,” published on September 8, 1998.

It is a motivational business fable. The text describes the change in one’s work and life, and four typical reactions to those changes by two mice and two “little people,” during their hunt for the subject of desire: cheese.

In our story about the recent events in Mauritius, we have 14 travel bags that landed at the airport and belonging to one of the two “people” who is a powerful personality, and a turncoat – who broke a record in revealing and in recanting a criminal case. They are complimented by two mice “Sniff” an “Scurry”. There is no cheese story without mice, right.

They live in a maze, a representation of one’s environment, and look for cheese, representative of happiness and success. Initially without cheese, each group, the mice and humans, paired off and traveled the lengthy corridors searching for cheese.

One day both groups happen upon a cheese-filled corridor at “Cheese Station C.” Content with their find, the humans establish routines around their daily intake of cheese, slowly becoming arrogant in the process.

The humans represents the MPs and of course, the ordinary people. The MPs now controls the corridors of power while the ‘small people’ are at times turncoat or passive viewers.

The power structure is now established with the MPs in firm control and the people the non-active actors on the scene. They got to wait for a probable date in which they can chose who become MPs to show their power.

And how do we know all these stories? Through the news media indeed.

But who are the rats? They are business people who does not bother about the politics, or the suffering of the people. They just want the money and they do get the money, always.

Here is how the story ends:

While on the hunt for cheese, both the humans and the rats found a chamber full of cheese. They were happy. They started to pick on the cheese stock on a daily basis. But one day, when the rats came for the cheese, they could not find any. That did not dampen their urge for cheese and they went on to scurry for more cheese in other chambers along the line. They eventually find more cheese because behind them, the two humans were arguing over the loss of their cheese.

Instead of following the rats to get find more cheese, they were bickering with mistrust settling among them. But the powerful politician left the people behind to go on a solo search for his cheese. On the way he finds bits and pieces until he reaches the room full of new cheese that were found by the rats before him.

The rats were now in control of the situation, they were the most powerful among the four while the people were once again, left behind since they were not sure whether they should go on a search for more cheese.

The moral of the story is that in Mauritius, the people has been left behind while the capitalists-big-businessmen have found the pot of gold and they are sharing with the MPs who are willing to screw their voters for bits and pieces.

It is the complacency among the people that has turned the situation against them in a democracy where the people should have remained the most powerful one, and the MPs should have always been at the service of the people.

In such a democratic system, the millions from the petrodollars or laundered money should not have found its way to the MPs who took them.

The truth is money is fast exchanging hands between a certain group of individuals in Mauritius, where billions of Rupees were laundered through an online betting site.

That money is now being used to buy over who the rats want to buy in order to appease the corrupt MPs.

This is now known as ‘Saudi Money’, said our New Delhi correspondent. But the local media is also to blame.

The fifth estate in the democratic system is also showing signs of corruption. Some media is relaying the stories of corrupt practices, hitting hard against a regime that has been blemished with all sorts of scandal, while others are wrecking havoc as if they are bent on killing some of the flagrant cases.

With the downfall of the media, the mechanism that is supposed to be fair, independent and incorruptible, the people is going to lose even more grounds and will be left further behind while the rats will leave even more bits and pieces behind for the MPs to dole upon.

The guts to impose Halimah as an iconic Muslim President

Picture Credit: Youtube video grab of Halimah Yacob

It sure took a lot of courage and guts to swim against the currents to appoint a Muslim woman as the presidency in Singapore, and that is exactly what the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had when he pressed on with his party’s agenda.

Yet, the entire game plan could have damaged the PAP’s support at grassroots level, with the ire of the larger community made clear through the chatter in coffee shops and certainly on social media platforms.

But then again, the PAP is like a Phoenix, rising always from its bruises only to impress and to march on with its political agenda in this tiny, but very powerful Island Republic.

For Mr. Lee, the imposition of Mrs. Halimah Yacob at the iconic post of President of the Republic was not as dramatic as the recent fratricidal war that tore his family apart and rummaged through the legacy of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister and the founder of modern Singapore.

A quick review of the social media platforms in Singapore shows an almost total backlash from the majority community against the PAP, while the war of the siblings attracted the antipathy of a larger segment of the Singaporean populace.

More Muslims, Indians and a large number of the Chinese community were bashing the Lee’s for their washing of the dirty family linen in public, but the entire episode collapsed after PM Lee addressed the nation through the Parliament.

That changed the entire landscape and PM Lee earned the respect of across the globe for his bravado.

But attacking the PAP on a so-called-democratic principle was perhaps the wrong move by its opponents, considering the fact that the party had won one of the biggest electoral victory in its history in 2015.

True though that the opposition, unable to win the necessary seats and votes in the last general elections, wanted to use the Presidential election as a platform to press the PAP into an ugly corner.

But its rejection of the ‘race’ factor and the need to have a rotational system to elect or choose a particular community to become the powerless President was probably not the right move.

History will tell that the election – or rather non-election – of Mrs. Halimah as the first woman president of Singapore was not well received by a large number of the community in Singapore.

Will the agitators accept responsibility for the racial divide that became prominent through the social media platforms?

The live coverage of the installation of Halimah to the post of President was met with the ‘angry face’ icon from mostly non-Malays, sparking outrage from the Singaporean Malay community in particular.

It also showed the deep communal and racial divide in the Singaporean nation over the political decisions made from the top.

While it is evident that the PM’s party, the People’s Action Party, has so far enjoyed unilateral rule without major glitches since the country’s independence, it is more difficult today for the leadership to force its policies on the nation.

But will the ‘nomination’ of the first woman president become the pore that could cause a loss of support for the PAP in the future?

A muted protest by anti-Halimah-anti-PE17-walkover antagonists failed to impress, with only a few joining the opponents.

This showed the divide between the real and the surreal in Singapore. Does it mean what happens on the internet and the social media does not necessarily translate into reality for Singapore?

Perhaps there might be a slight depression in the support for the PAP in a future election but that would not mean the party risks losing its grip on power.

Would it have been easier for the PAP to engage all the stakeholders, that is the opposition and the communal leaders in pushing for its agenda to have a Malay-Muslim as President?

Nevertheless, the installation of the first Malay-woman President in the country received the accolades of almost the entire Asean region, hailing it as a progressive move while the foreign nations did not bother about the way it happened.

If they were to gauge the PAP’s strength, it is the party’s and its leadership success in imposing its choice and in barring its opponents from competing in the ‘election’ that shines.

But it is PM Lee’s personal handling of the situation, pushing forward his agenda to have a Muslim, a Woman and a controversial one for that matter (with many questioning whether she is Malay or Indian), as Singapore’s iconic President.

India’s Maruti to take over troubled Maubank?

Picture Credit: Linkedin

Sources in New Delhi confirmed that Maubank, the bank formed after the forced takeover of the Bramer Bank or the Bramer Banking Corporation, is in talks with the Indian based Maruti Suzuki bank for a take-over bid.

The source said an evaluation of the Maubank is being carried out by independent auditors to decide on the selling price of the troubled Mauritian bank.

The Bank of Mauritius has also given its green light for the talks between the two banks, the source said.

Maubank was created at the crust of the government of Mauritius clamp down on the British American Investment Group (BAI), which saw the forced take-over of the Bramer Bank.

Bramer Bank was part of the BAI, formerly one of the largest conglomerate in Mauritius which invested in banking, insurance, asset and wealth management, trade & commerce.

It had services in Bahamas, East Africa, Mauritius, Malta, South Africa and UK.

On April 2, 2015 Bramer’s banking license was revoked by the BOM following massive withdrawals of deposits from the bank following allegation the bank was involved in a Ponzi scheme.

The then Prime Minister Sir Aneerood Jugnauth had said prior to the closure of the bank that there was evidence of links to a $690 million Ponzi scheme.

The BOM decided to pull the bank’s license to avoid systemic risks to the domestic financial system, as the withdrawals amid the allegations had also affected the bank’s ability to raise funds on the interbank market.