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    Breaking shooting in Mombasa,Kenya as US donates bomb detection kits to KAA.

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    Guidance cannot be given by those with commercial interest

    Emerging market bond sales hit record high

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    Scarce younger cohort means less clout as older colleagues retire

    404445 03: War veterans take a break after the annual Australian/New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) march April 25, 2002 in Sydney, Australia. The ANZAC march commemorates Australian and New Zealand soldiers'' service to their countries during times of war. (Photo by Nick Wilson/Getty Images)©Getty

    Tycoon Slim suggests three-day work week

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    Comment and Analysis

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    Photograph shows The National Statistician, John Pullinger
    ©Daniel Jones

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    Shock, fear and sadness after MH17 crash

    People bring flowers and candles to the Dutch embassy to commemorate the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in Kiev, July 17, 2014. The Malaysian airliner flight MH-17 was brought down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard. [Photo/Agencies]

    As part of their Mind Over Masses television show, National Geographic divided a one block-long sidewalk into two sections; one for cell phone users and the ... A fast lane for pedestrians? The social experiment that separates brisk walkers from cellphone-using strollers on a busy city sidewalk

    National Geographic trialed the separate pedestrian lanes on a busy Washington DC sidewalk, for a new science series called Mind Over…

    • Blackstone attracts $62bn capital inflow

      Stephen Schwarzman, billionaire and co-founder of Blackstone Group LP, pauses during a session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014©Bloomberg

      Blackstone‘s goal of having $500bn of assets under management moved closer as the group increased the total sum it manages by 21 per cent to almost $280bn.

      The world’s biggest alternative asset manager has taken advantage of low interest rates and rising stock markets in the past year to cement its performance and attract capital inflows of $62.4bn. During the same period, it has returned $50bn to investors in its funds as it listed companies and refinanced others.


      On this topic

      IN Financials

      At a time when public pension funds have increased allocations to alternative investments, Blackstone has also enjoyed inflows of almost $10bn in the past twelve months from retail investors.

      “There is a lot going on with fundraising, even with heightened realisations,” said Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chief executive. “Fundraising is no longer episodic. Not being in the alternative asset class has been mathematically unsound.” At an investor day in June, Mr Schwarzman forecast ambitious hopes for growth in assets under management to $500bn although he did not specify a timeframe to achieve that goal.

      “Our potential to grow with $270bn under management is as great as it was when we had $70bn,” added Tony James, Blackstone’s president.

      Blackstone has benefited from the Fed’s easy money policies but the group’s executives argue it does not depend solely on those policies to drive performance. Blackstone’s portfolio across all its diverse operations appreciated 37 per cent in the past 12 months, higher than the 22 per cent increase in the US stock market over the same period.

      Blackstone’s shares rose to $34.99 before settling back to be 1.3 per cent higher at $34.41. The group listed at $31 in 2007.

      Companies in Blackstone’s private equity portfolio rose 8.4 per cent during the three months ended June, while the S&P 500 rose 4.7 per cent.

      Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at Blackstone’s portfolio companies registered an 11 per cent increase for the quarter, higher than an average of S&P companies.

      Blackstone has $45bn in available capital for investments. While private equity firms have largely sat out recent big merger and acquisition deals, Blackstone has shifted its model away from traditional leveraged buy outs and public-to-private transactions. Instead, it is emphasising taking equity stakes in faster growing smaller companies and investing in what it calls “new builds” or investing in infrastructure such as wind farms and power plants.

      Economic net income, which takes into account realised and unrealised gains and also excludes expenses associated with stock market listings, came in at $1.3bn, up 89 per cent compared to the year ago period. On a per share basis, the $1.15 was 44 per cent above the Capital IQ consensus of $0.71. Distributable earnings, a cash measure, more than doubled to $771m. On a GAAP basis, income rose 145 per cent to $517m.

      The deals that contributed to Blackstone’s earnings included the sale of Biomet and the initial listing of Michael’s Stores. Hilton shares continued to rise, giving Blackstone and its investors a $12bn paper gain.

    P1HH Flying cars, unmanned jets, flexible fuel tanks and Boeing stunts among the highlights of the Farnborough Air Show

    The 49th Farnborough International Air Show is taking place in Hampshire this week. It typically attracts 200,000 visitors and this year…

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    Israel warns of widening Gaza ground war

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    Scrutiny puts ‘free’ banking in question

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    Company said authors of research report demanded $300,000

    Coupland©Jason Ford
    Shire pharmaceuticals Handout

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    Comment and Analysis

    My friend Louis van Gaal

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