Dhaka, May 24 (UNB)- International denim brand Rookies on Friday opened its first flagship store in the city, adding an exciting flare to the country’s fashion scene.
With a view to having public exposure via a gala event after Eid-ul-Fitr, the brand announced its soft launching through a media conference at the store premises.
Cricketers Mehrab Hossain Opi, Taskin Ahmed, Imrul Kayes, Abdur Razzak and Nasir Hossain, along with senior officials of Rookies BD Limited were present at the soft launch, said a media release.
This top-notch, contemporary and voguish brand set its first outlet in Jamuna Future Park and plans to have chain outlets around prominent shopping destinations and landmarks in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chattogram, said a media release.
Ramnish Kumar Verma, the Creative Director of Rookies, said the brand always resembled the rebellious, radical and risk-taking attitude that greatly matches with today’s powerful youth who bring changes around all.
“We’re quite hopeful that the brand will have a strong stand in Bangladesh with its superior quality, versatility and wide range of colors, textures and styling and promise of a new era of modern fashion – everyday.”
Las Vegas, May 24 (AP/UNB) — The former head of a Tokyo and Las Vegas investment firm was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in prison for bilking thousands of Japanese victims in what prosecutors called a $1.5 billion international Ponzi scheme that ranks among the largest-ever fraud cases in the U.S.
Defendant Edwin Fujinaga, 72, also was ordered to pay nearly $1.3 billion in restitution to victims, including many vulnerable retirees in Japan who were told they were safely investing in a medical collections business that could earn a 6% to 10% annual return.
Evidence at the trial showed that some lost their life savings while Fujinaga spent lavishly on himself, buying a Las Vegas golf course mansion, private jet, luxury cars and real estate in California wine country, Beverly Hills and Hawaii.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro called efforts by Fujinaga to apologize "offensive." She also ordered him to surrender $813 million in assets.
Fujinaga blamed changes in the dollar-to-yen exchange rate for problems while he headed MRI International Inc. for more than a decade. He said he was trying to clean up a corrupt medical accounts payable industry and is now so despondent that he has to take medication.
The judge rejected his explanation and acknowledged that the severity of his crimes approached those of convicted U.S. Ponzi schemers Bernard Madoff in New York, Allen Stanford in Houston and Scott Rothstein in Miami.
In court documents, prosecutors ranked Fujinaga several notches below Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison for bilking thousands of investors out of at least $20 billion, and Stanford, who is serving 110 years for a scheme involving more than $7 billion.
They put him on par with Rothstein, who is serving 50 years in a $1.2 billion case.
Navarro acknowledged the government could only document $813 million in cash investments in the case because MRI company books were incomplete before 2009.
But she agreed with prosecutor William Johnson, who said MRI had $1.56 billion in outstanding investments when the scheme collapsed in 2013. Johnson said it relied on "new investor money going out to old investors."
"Yes, I made mistakes. I tried to keep it going. I became reckless and people got hurt," Fujinaga said Thursday, standing slightly stooped in blue jail scrubs with thinning, graying hair. He kept his hands on the defense table.
"I humbly apologize to all the people of Japan for all the chaos I caused," he said. "I'm speechless that I can't fix it."
Navarro rejected a bid for leniency from Fujinaga's appointed defense attorneys, who disputed the amount and calculations of investor losses. They also pointed to Fujinaga's age and unspecified medical issues, saying he would have to live to 122 before he could be freed.
The judge reminded Fujinaga that she heard the evidence presented at trial that led jurors in November to find him guilty of 20 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
"It's ridiculous for you to try to say it was all a mistake," Navarro said. "I find it pretty offensive, and I'm sure it's offensive to victims as well."
Two former MRI executives who worked with Fujinaga — Junzo Suzuki, 70, and his son, Paul Suzuki, 40 — were arrested in Japan following Fujinaga's trial and are being held in U.S. custody in Nevada.
They have pleaded not guilty in federal court to criminal fraud charges and face trial in October.
Dhaka, May 23 (UNB) - Bangladesh National Cricket Team captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has been appointed as the brand ambassador of local electronic and hi-tech brand Walton.
The cricket all-rounder will be involved in various promotional activities of Walton for next two years.
An agreement was signed between the Bangladesh skipper and Walton Hi-Tech Industries Ltd at Mirpur on Tuesday in this connection where Executive Director of Walton and its Refrigerator Department CEO Golam Murshed was present.
Walton Group Executive Directors Uday Hakim and Amin Khan, Deputy Executive Director Firoj Alam, Additional Director Milton Ahmed and Managing Director of Power Play Communication Niamur Rahman Palash were also present on the occasion.
After signing the deal, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said “Walton is a leading electronics brand in Bangladesh. I'm glad to be a part of it as a brand ambassador, I will try my level best to represent Walton in home and abroad.”
The international standard Walton products including refrigerators and freezers, televisions, air conditioners, compressors, laptops, computers, mobile phones, home and kitchen and electrical appliances, generators and elevators, industrial solutions, die and mold are manufactured using world's most advanced technology and machineries at Chandra of Gazipur.
Walton products are also exported to different countries including Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa regions.
New York, May 23 (AP/UNB) — Saudi Arabia's state owned oil company will begin buying liquid natural gas from a U.S. company under a 20 year agreement, reflecting the shifting dynamics in the world's energy markets.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, said Wednesday it would buy 5 million tons of liquid natural gas per year from Sempra Energy, based in San Diego. Aramco also will make a 25% equity investment in an LNG export facility under development in Port Arthur, Texas, as part of the deal.
The agreement is a major step forward in Aramco's long-term strategy to become a global LNG player, said Amin Nasser, the company's CEO. "With global demand for LNG expected to grow by around 4% per year ... we see significant opportunities in this market and we will continue to pursue strategic partnerships which enable us to meet rising global demand for LNG," Nasser said in a news release.
The U.S. fracking boom over the last decade led to an abundance of natural gas, and the U.S. quickly became one of the world's top exporters of liquid natural gas after it began exporting the fuel in 2016. Its exports of LNG ranked fourth largest in the world in 2018 behind Qatar, Australia and Malaysia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The Port Arthur facility is one of Sempra's five LNG development opportunities in North America, and it received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate the facility and related pipelines last month.
"At Sempra Energy, we are developing one of the largest LNG export infrastructure portfolios in North America, with an eye towards connecting millions of consumers to cleaner, more reliable energy sources," said Jeff Martin, CEO of Sempra, in a statement. Partnering with Aramco will help develop the facility and enable the export of American natural gas to global markets, Martin said.
The U.S. has been a net exporter of natural gas every month for the past year, fueled by an increase in exports of liquid natural gas. The largest markets for U.S. exports of liquid natural gas in 2018 were South Korea, Mexico and Japan, according to the E.I.A.
The liquid natural gas purchased by Saudi Aramco will most likely be sold on the spot market in Europe and Latin America, said Ira Joseph, head of gas and power analytics at S&P Global Platts.
"This is by far and away the Saudis' largest investment ever in LNG," Joseph said. "The size of the deal, the volume of the LNG, is very out of step with size of LNG contracts that have been signed recently."
Companies such as Sempra have been looking for investors for LNG projects, but finding buyers to sign long-term deals has been difficult. Liquid natural gas is mostly used for power generation, and renewable energy sources have made the market for fuels for power generation more competitive, Joseph said.
Saudi Arabia burns a lot of crude oil in its electric power sector, and the move could help the country diversify its power mix and potentially export crude oil that it might have burned, said Jonathan Aronson, research analyst at Cornerstone Macro.
"If they want to play in the global energy markets, this is a way to get a foothold on the natural gas side, and U.S. natural gas is some of the lowest-cost natural gas in the world," Aronson said.
Dhaka, May 22 (UNB) – German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz on Wednesday said they will work closely to promote Bangladesh’s RMG industry to his government, buyers and other stakeholders.
The German envoy said this when he met president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Dr Rubana Huq at her residence.
Welcoming the new BGMEA Board of Directors, he highly appreciated its initiative to work out an understanding with ACCORD, said a BGMEA media release.
The diplomat said it is a fresh breath of air and they see the possibilities of transparent and accountable dialogue.
He affirmed to assist the industry on positive branding and suggested ways to reach out to international stakeholders.
Counsellor for Development Cooperation Andreas Hartmann was also present.