“I prefer living in the UK more than anywhere else. I like the history, I like the culture, I like the under-dog attitude,” he explains. “The UK is a good place to get things done.”
Mr Yassaie’s eyes light up as he waxes lyrical about Britain’s successes in technology and his commitment to building up Imagination’s research and development facilities in the UK – notably at its new headquarters in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.
But there is one big problem standing in his way: those pesky overseas students who do just as Mr Yassaie planned to, by coming to Britain, getting their degrees and then taking their highly educated brains back home.
“It is very important that we are able to hire the workforce we need from within the UK and that really is a challenge. Partly because the universities don’t necessarily teach the right things, and partly because you don’t get enough home students,” he says.
“At British universities, 85pc or 90pc of the [postgraduate] students are from overseas. Only 10pc are British. That is a problem and it has to be fixed.
“We need those engineers in the UK to help create the future. If we don’t [start educating more UK citizens] we will be forced to set up offices elsewhere.”
Imagination, which is best known for Pure digital radios and its graphics technology, used in Apple’s iPhone, is on a mission to recruit 200 UK staff this year. Of those, about 100 will be new graduate positions.
However, the dearth of good candidates means the company has had to expand its research and development centres in India and Poland to help it keep up with demand, and is hitting the acquisitions trail as a way of simply buying up engineers.
Imagination has also launched a university and school outreach programme, headed by Mr Yassaie’s computer science graduate daughter, aimed at inspiring students early on.
“Britain is impacting the technology industry, big time, but it’s all under the hood,” he says, referring to companies like his own, or Cambridge’s ARM Holdings, which design the chips that power the mobiles, tablets and games consoles produced by the likes of Apple or Samsung.
“We are not consumer brands so a lot of people don’t understand that the gear they buy has a lot of British technology inside. Part of the challenge is about making it cool, making sure people understand what we do. What we need is a rock star for the industry,” he says.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy seems destined to be the next electoral casualty of the euro-zone sovereign-debt crisis. Sarkozy is deeply unpopular at home, but his expected defeat in this year’s presidential elections could be a setback for France.
The likely victor, François Hollande, is a socialist whose policies would create uncertainty in the short term and foment further economic stagnation in the longer run. Like much of the euro zone, France is plagued by diminishing competitiveness, high unemployment, and excessive government spending. Hollande has proposed raising the state’s tab, which could worsen the other problems and punish business.
Sarkozy and Hollande will lead in the first round of voting on April 22, but neither is likely to garner enough votes to declare an outright victory. All polls point to a win for Hollande in the May 6 runoff, but the French have pulled surprises in the past.
Sarkozy, 57, was elected president in 2007, and is paying the price for failing to deliver on his campaign promises amid the worst financial downturn in Europe since World War II. He has earned plaudits for persuading Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to take a softer approach to the euro-zone crisis, but domestic issues matter more to French voters. France is flirting with economic recession, and in January was stripped of its prized triple-A credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.
Hollande, also 57, is a graduate of France’s prestigious École Nationale d’Administration, which boasts presidents and prime ministers among its alumni. But his political experience is limited, encompassing a decade as secretary of the Socialist Party and a stint as mayor of a provincial town. Ségolène Royal, his former partner and mother of his four children, lost to Sarkozy in ’07. Hollande secured the party’s nomination last year, after scandal enveloped the favorite, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
A pro-European, Hollande is a protégé of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, one of the architects of the euro. To maintain stability and continuity in Europe, he will need to emulate Sarkozy’s cozy relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But the relationship could be complicated, as they occupy different sides of the political spectrum. At some point, Merkel may need to check Hollande’s soft Keynesian tendencies: Germany doesn’t have the resources to bail out France.
Hollande’s economic policies would do little to boost France’s competitiveness, and his goal of eliminating the budget deficit by 2017 is apt to remain elusive. He aims to kick-start the economy by adding jobs and creating growth, but that means even greater government outlays. Government expenditures currently equal 57% of gross domestic product, one of the highest levels in Europe and nine percentage points more than in Germany.
The Securities Authority Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd.
22 Kanfei Nesharim Street 54 Ahad Ha’am Street
Jerusalem Tel Aviv
Dear Sir / Madam:
RE: Sale of Assets in Switzerland
The company respectfully announces that on March 5, 2012, a foreign subsidiary (hereinafter – the Subsidiary) under the full ownership of the company signed agreements with a third party that is unrelated to the company or to the controlling shareholders therein (hereinafter – the Purchaser). The agreements refer to the sale of the entire share capital of two companies held together with a partner, which own 19 properties in Switzerland, including therein 568 apartments and a commercial center with an area of 8,120 square meters (hereinafter – the Asset Companies).
In return for the shares and loans from shareholder of the Asset Companies, the Purchaser undertakes to pay the Subsidiary the amount of 36.7 million Swiss francs (NIS 153.1 million) (hereinafter – the Proceeds).
A deposit on account of the Proceeds in the amount of 10 million Swiss francs (NIS 41.7 million) shall be paid within two business days of the date of signature of the agreement and shall not be refundable to the Purchaser. The balance of the Proceeds in the amount of 26.7 million Swiss francs (NIS 111.4 million) shall be paid to the Subsidiary within 90 days of the date of signature of the transaction.
The company estimates that the transactions for the sale of the Asset Companies shall be completed during the second quarter, and the completion thereof shall not be subject to any essential conditions whatsoever.
The available flow to the company that is derived from the sale is anticipated to amount to 33 million Swiss francs (NIS 137.7 million).
As a result of the sale, the company is anticipated to record a loss in the amount of NIS 33.6 million in the financial statements thereof for December 31, 2011, prior to the costs of the transaction and tax expenses. Following the completion of the transaction, real estate assets for investment are anticipated to be diminished in the consolidated balance sheet of the company in the amount of NIS 558.5 million and undertakings to banking corporations in the amount of NIS 371.6 million.
OTTAWA – An Ottawa-based advocacy group specializing in international development and foreign policy is urging Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the federal government to put forward a nominee for World Bank president, with the deadline looming at the end of Friday.
“Now is your opportunity and Canada’s chance to take a lead role in setting a new tone in selecting the leadership of key global institutions,” said the McLeod Group in a recent letter to Flaherty.
The race to lead the World Bank was set in motion after president Robert Zoellick announced on Feb. 15 he was stepping down at the end of his term on June 30.
The bank hasn’t seen a non-American president since its founding in 1944. Traditionally, a consensus between Europe and the U.S. assured a European leader at the International Monetary Fund and an American leader at the World Bank. But outrage from developing and emerging nations among the organization’s 187 member countries has opened up selection process, creating the possibility that streak will soon end.
Now, the World Bank Development Committee says it endorses an “open, merit-based and transparent process.”
“This is the first time that there’s actually been quite a serious and lively international discussion about the possibility, the usefulness, the appropriateness of this,” said Hunter McGill, a Canadian international development policy consultant and member of the McLeod group.
He is also a senior fellow at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.
The McLeod Group calls itself an organization of &ldquorofessionals with many years of experience in government, civil society and academia, working across the fields of international development, diplomacy and foreign policy” that argues for Canada to take a more prominent role in global affairs.
Considering the deadline is Friday, McGill says he would be very surprised if Canada put somebody up for candidacy. The White House has not yet announced a nominee.
Colombian finance minister and central bank chief, Jose Antonio Ocampo, announced his candidacy Wednesday.
Ocampo, currently a Columbia University professor, also said that Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was a candidate.
But a spokesman for Okonjo-Iweala said that the former top-level World Bank official “is not seeking it.”