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#917029 - 21st Dec 2014 10:44am International Trade Centre was a huge scam! *****
Excoriator Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 760
Loc: wirral
"Private Eye" this week has a fascinating article on the amazing £175 million "International Trade Centre" that was supposed to be being built with Chinese money in Birkenhead North.

The site was enthusiastically cleared - my bet is with council (our) money - only for it to turn out that the 'Sam Wa' group that was supposedly behind this doesn't actually ...er exist, and the glamorous Stella Shiu (the mythical group's chair) was in fact a bankrupt from Hong Kong!

There is such a procedure known as 'Due Diligence' in any business enterprise which requires the credentials of groups are checked, particularly their financial status and the feasibility of the exercise independently verified.

This seems not to have been done on this occasions however, just as it wasn't done on the amazing 'Birkenhead Column', a ridiculous project which was supposed to create a tornado - extending to the stratosphere - based on Birkenhead docks. It didn't, of course, work, which was just as well. A tornado would have sucked up half of Birkenhead and caused enormous damage. As it was, all that got sucked up was nearly half a million pounds of our money which will never be seen again.

Undeterred by these setbacks, the leader of the council and the regeneration director have, according to the 'Eye' just returned form a week long 'Trade mission' to Reno Nevada, itself devastated by the ending of Nevada's monopoly on gambling. Let us hope, however, that this time they are not so absurdly naive, and really DO manage to do something about the vast wasteland currently occupied only by resting herring gulls!

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#917055 - 21st Dec 2014 2:10pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
fish5133 Online   content
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2576
Loc: Heswallish
will be interesting to see if Wirral Globe or Wirral News publish it--if they don't we know whose pockets there in

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#917062 - 21st Dec 2014 2:51pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: fish5133]
flashdoug Offline
Beginner

Registered: 23rd Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Loc: wallasey
Questions raised over ‘China fever’ development on Mersey
from the FT November 28, 2013 9:13 pm

VERY INTERESTING READING !!!
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f6e8dda8-582f-11e3-82fc-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3MXm3uMnf

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#917085 - 21st Dec 2014 5:26pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
Greenwood Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 20th May 2011
Posts: 587
Loc: Greasby
All sounds well dodgy to me. However... Trade mission to Reno? Really? What's that all about, pray? Was there nowhere closer to home, and slightly more relevant to Wirral, that they could have visited? Some peninsula with maritime links, for example?
Sheesh...

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#917176 - 22nd Dec 2014 10:26am Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
Excoriator Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 760
Loc: wirral
Unfortunately the FT is behind a paywall which rules it out for me as I don't really want to support Murdoch's empire.

Reno sounds a very odd place to visit. As a gambling centre it is now a ghost town and is apparently trying to establish itself as a kind of mini silicon valley. This seems very unlikely to me, and the gallant pair would have been better visiting silicon valley itself had they wanted to emulate it, or better still Cambridge, where there is a concentration of high-tech startups.

I suspect what makes these places successful is a world class university at the centre of it - in the case of silicon valley it was Stanford. Cambridge too, has a world class university.

Wirral can offer only the Metropolitan college. If the council REALLY want to turn Wirral into another silicon valley or perhaps a bio-peninsula with lots of now more fashionable bio startups, then perhaps it should save money on these expense paid jollies and invest it in turning the Wirral Met College into a top flight University. With sufficient cash to build resources and attract top researchers, this could be done, but it won't be cheap!

My bet is that the Wirral globe will be tight lipped about this failure. It is better known for its splendid coverage of double glazing opportunities than as an investigative newspaper.


Edited by Excoriator (22nd Dec 2014 10:29am)

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#917197 - 22nd Dec 2014 1:01pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
spanner1 Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 12th Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Loc: birkenhead
http://www.wikiwirral.co.uk/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/878037/Re:_peel_holdings.html#Post878037

not as though most of us didnt see the writing on the wall,These Crooks have their people placed on every board, quango and group across the region.

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#917198 - 22nd Dec 2014 1:09pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
flashdoug Offline
Beginner

Registered: 23rd Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Loc: wallasey
FROM THE FT.COM


And this articul is from the FT.COM from LAST YEAR NOVEMBER 28TH 2013 !!

The faded red banners welcoming the “Wirral council leaders” were propped against locked glass doors just inside the office of Sam Wa Resources Holdings on Tuesday in Jiangyin, a city on the banks of China’s Yangtze River.
This is the home of the company whose chairman Stella Shiu, is supposed to be the driving force behind a large Chinese investment in Britain.
However, there was no indication of a thriving business in the small dusty office, let alone a large mining and trading conglomerate, ready to invest millions of pounds to regenerate the Mersey riverside in northwest England.
This project is among a series of Chinese investments presented as proof that the British government’s business-oriented approach to diplomacy is paying off as David Cameron, UK prime minister, prepares to fly to Beijing this weekend.The Peel Group, a British developer that is proposing a £10bn project along the Mersey river, signed a joint venture with Ms Shiu last year to attract tenants to the International Trade Centre, a £175m business development planned as part of the waterfront scheme.
However, a close look at Sam Wa suggests that not all of the deals are equal.
At one end of the spectrum are Chinese state-owned investors such as China General Nuclear Power Group, which will take a one-third stake in the French utility EDF’s project to build a £16bn atomic power station in southwest England.
These companies are effectively arms of the Chinese state which enjoy access to cheap credit from state banks and the full backing of the ruling Communist party.
At the other end of the scale are investors such as Ms Shiu, whose partners in other ventures include an Iranian pomegranate juice exporter and an investment adviser in New Jersey who recently settled US Securities and Exchange Commission allegations of fraud and violation of securities regulations.
Corporate filings in Hong Kong show that Ms Shiu changed her Chinese name after a 2008 ruling by a Hong Kong court that declared her bankrupt for failure to pay a loan.
Several companies registered under her former name have been dissolved on the Chinese mainland, including one in Jiangyin, and the address of Sam Wa’s headquarters in Beijing turns out to be a closely guarded military hotel that does not allow outsiders to enter.
FT Investigation

Wooing China

Britain has been accused of softening its stance on human rights in China to attract foreign investment, despite doubts over the credibility of some of the groups who have offered to fund big projects.
“There are a lot of governments and companies in the west that are starved of capital, and so when the promise of Chinese billions comes along they tend to get ‘China fever’. Unfortunately it can sometimes be fatal,” says James McGregor, chairman for greater China at Apco Worldwide and author of the book No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers.
“In China you need to do due diligence on investors.”
Peel executives have made frequent trips to China, often with British local government officials in tow, and Ms Shiu has visited Liverpool many times.
On a visit in October, she helped Lindsey Ashworth, Peel Group development director, to open Peel’s latest office project. He joked that he picked Ms Shiu as a partner because of her ability to drink him under the table.
On May 28 2012, Peel signed a joint venture with Ms Shiu at a ceremony in a Beijing hotel, attended by Lord Green, UK minister of state for trade and investment, and Phil Davies, Wirral council leader.
Peel’s proposed International Trade Centre would be built on desolate former docks on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, one of the most deprived cities in the UK. Once the second biggest port in the world, many of the wharves along the River Mersey are crumbling.
Demolition of existing buildings on the site has not yet begun. Ms Shiu is supposed to help attract up to 1,000 companies from across Asia to move into 2.5mft of self-contained units where they can exhibit, sell and distribute goods into the European market.
There are a lot of governments and companies in the west that are starved of capital, and so when the promise of Chinese billions comes along they tend to get ‘China fever’
- James McGregor, chairman for greater China at Apco Worldwide
During his China visit, Mr Cameron plans to highlight the Merseyside scheme as an example of regeneration projects in the UK that are ready to be marketed to Chinese investors.
Council-owned investment agencies in Liverpool and the Wirral have maintained that Ms Shiu is a “high-ranking member of the Chinese government” who has put £25m into the project, echoing claims made in the local press. Their publicity talks of Chinese government approval and the multibillion-dollar size of Ms Shiu’s group.
Liverpool Vision, the city investment agency, said it made the claims in “good faith” while Invest in Wirral declined to comment.
Richard Kemp, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats on Liverpool city council, said local authorities should “remove their rose-tinted spectacles. There has been lots of talk and little result.”
The Financial Times was unable to find any evidence that Ms Shiu works for the Chinese government.
In Shanghai, Sam Wa’s address is a tiny cramped office belonging to an organisation called “Shanghai Enterprise Top 100 Association”. Employees there were busy this week preparing Chinese-language pamphlets featuring photos of Ms Shiu with Mr Ashworth, in anticipation of Mr Cameron’s visit. A visit to another Sam Wa address, at the prestigious Yintai Office Tower in Beijing, revealed no sign of the company.
The group’s stated interests include electronics manufacturing, import and export, timber trading and a large mining concession in the Philippines, described on the International Trade Center website as a gold mine. On Chinese web portals, Sam Wa has posted offers to sell laterite ore, a type of iron ore with nickel content that is much sought after by Chinese steel mills.
In addition to Sam Wa, Ms Shiu is a partner in the Warner Fund, a Beijing-based private equity fund that offers to bring small Chinese companies public in the US.
One of her partners in that fund, David Huakang Zhou, and his New Jersey-based company Warner Technology and Investment Corp agreed to pay more than $1.4m in October this year to settle fraud allegations pursued by the SEC in connection with helping Chinese companies to list in the US, marketing their shares to unsophisticated Chinese investors living in the US and improperly using the proceeds. Mr Zhou did not admit or deny the allegations. Ms Shiu was not involved in the SEC complaint.
Ms Shiu and Peel Group both declined interview requests and did not respond to a list of emailed questions.
Additional Reporting by Zhao Tianqi in Beijing and Simon Rabinovitch in Shanghai


Edited by flashdoug (22nd Dec 2014 1:10pm)

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#917291 - 22nd Dec 2014 6:35pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
Excoriator Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 760
Loc: wirral
I don't suppose there is any chance of us ever finding out how much of our council tax this Laurel and Hardy duo have pissed up the wall?

No! I thought not!

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#917320 - 22nd Dec 2014 7:23pm Re: International Trade Centre was a huge scam! [Re: Excoriator]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18996
Loc: Bob Land
Originally Posted By: Excoriator
I don't suppose there is any chance of us ever finding out how much of our council tax this Laurel and Hardy duo have pissed up the wall?

Submit an FOI request.
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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