Intel plant hit by toxic leak
A nitrogen gas leak at Intel Corp’s chipmaking plant in Chandler, Arizona, on Saturday morning sent 11 people to the hospital with skin and eye irritation symptoms, a local official said. Forty-three people were treated following the discovery of a hazardous material leak, Chandler Fire Department spokesman Tom Dwiggins said. Dwiggins said all of the injuries were minor and not life-threatening, and those sent to the hospital went for precautionary reasons. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said a single manufacturing tool was the source of the leak, and has been shut down. Operations at the facility are continuing and the company will investigate the cause of the leak, he added.
Prices rise in UK capital
Prime central London property prices increased last month and are almost 60 percent higher than the market low in 2009, according to real-estate broker Knight Frank LLP. Residential prices rose by 0.4 percent last month and have appreciated 3.7 percent so far this year, according to data compiled by the London-based firm. The strongest price growth is in the bracket below ￡1 million (US$1.5 million), where prices are up by 6.6 percent this year. While demand for prime real estate remains strong, higher taxes in that segment have been relatively beneficial for lower-priced property, Knight Frank said.
Firms eye budget hotel plan
Emaar Properties PJSC, owner of The Address five-star hotel brand, and Meraas Holding plan to start an “affordable” hotel chain to cater to the growing demand for thriftier lodgings. The chain, to be called “Dubai Inn,” will serve a market driven partly by the growth of low-cost airlines and planned theme parks in the United Arab Emirates’ second-biggest sheikhdom, the companies said in a joint statement on Saturday. The country needs to augment supply of affordable rooms as the local market is dominated by five-star hotels, which account for nearly 62 percent of branded inventory in the city, the companies said. Dubai is bidding to host the World EXPO in 2020.
Kuwaiti fund targets UK
Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, doubled investments in the UK over the past 10 years to more than US$24 billion. Investment in Britain was “across all asset classes, sectors and industries,” KIA managing director Bader al-Saad said in a speech in London on Friday. Kuwait Investment Office, the KIA’s London-based investment arm, now manages more than US$120 billion globally compared with US$27 billion 10 years ago. The KIA, which has about US$342 billion of assets according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute in California, holds stakes in Daimler AG and BP PLC.
Prices spark Guyana plea
Guyana’s mining industry is asking the government of the South American country to take emergency measures amid falling gold prices. Miners Association spokesman Colin Sparman said on Saturday the group is seeking government subsidies and a cut in import taxes on items such as machinery and fuel. He said members are to meet with state mining officials on Thursday. Gold surpassed sugar as Guyana’s top export last year, generating more than US$1 billion in annual revenue. However, the price of gold has been dropping, falling below US$1,200 an ounce for the first time last week in almost two years.