Investment Dar, the Kuwaiti firm that owns part of Aston Martin, has reportedly defaulted on payment for a $100 million Islamic bond that was due on April 27. In the process, Bloomberg says it has become the first Persian Gulf company to default on an Islamic bond.
There are a number of parallels with an all-American tale of racing fan turned team owner: Man loves drag racing since boyhood, comes from a region crazy for the sport, started off in racing's little league, and races to win even in the big leagues. Yet the differences are enough to inform us that this is a Yankees tale, not an Oakland A's tale: the team owner in question is Qatari native Sheik Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani, all of 22 years old, with a bank account that would make Croesus blush.
The worst secret in the universe is that there's a lot of money in the Middle East and the Gulf states are looking all over the world for places to put it. Abu Dhabi's Aabar investment spent €1.95 billion on a 9.1% stake in Daimler (around $2.5B USD), and now the state of Qatar is eying what could be a double-digit stake in Porsche. Qatar hasn't floated any potential investment sums, but said one sheikh, "we are looking into this issue."
Saudi Arabia recently instated a new type of license plate that is expected to be fitted to 49 million cars in the kingdom. As opposed to the old Arabic-only plates, the new plates feature Arabic and Latin letters and numbers. Drivers can even request that the three letters on the lower right form certain 3-letter English words, like "nut." But according to the BBC, authorities have published a list words that definitely cannot be placed there, and heading the list of words like "SEX" and "ASS"
Bare carbon fiber, chrome, French racing blue...Bugatti's done just about everything to the Veyron but plate it in gold. Oops, look like we spoke to soon, as our favorite Orwelian supercar has proven once again that all Veyrons are special, but some are more special than others.
Say you have a Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class from two generations ago, but you really want is a Mercedes W221, the current generation car. Well, what else is an individualistic plutocrat to do other than give a willing tuner an unknown (and seemingly substantial) quantity of cash to make a few changes?