WORLD CUP: Saudi women in Russia to support team, reinforce new image

first_img“Eventually, we will achieve equality between men and women. I am very optimistic. Randomly pick up any person and ask him what he or she thinks of Saudi Arabia and the answer will be very positive,” said the 27-year-old, who sported green face paint of date palms, a Bedouin-style green line on the chin and a green Saudi flag on her shoulders.In white denim pants, Altuwaijry is in Russia accompanied by a colleague whom she referred to as a brother but explained it would have been no issue for her to come alone, something not many Saudi women would have done just a year ago.Shopping for World Cup memorabilia before heading to her stadium seat, she rubbed shoulders with women, men and children from across the world in a festive atmosphere on a sunny Moscow summer day outside Luzhniki Stadium.Other Saudi women were similarly draped in Saudi flags or enthusiastically waved them. Some carried posters of the crown prince, who attended Thursday’s match, which Russia won 5-0, and was sitting next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Russian President Vladimir Putin.In some ways, allowing Saudi women for the first time to watch a soccer game back in January and their presence here Thursday is a triumph of sorts for the sport as something that brings people together. The Saudi women, many watching a soccer game on foreign soil for the first time, mingled with people in a genuinely cosmopolitan and care-free atmosphere outside the stadium. Long stereotyped as shy or aloof, they posed for photos outside the stadium with people they didn’t even know.ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations MOST READ DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Saudi Arabia fans wait for the start of the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)MOSCOW — In jeans, headscarves and veils, dozens of Saudi women draped in their country’s green flag and sporting matching face paint streamed into Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday to support their national team against Russia in the World Cup’s opening match.More importantly, perhaps, they were projecting the image of a new Saudi Arabia in which they are slowly emerging from decades of harsh inequality as part of ambitious reforms undertaken by the country’s young crown prince.ADVERTISEMENT For Haslem, being undrafted was just a beginning Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ The conservative kingdom where much of life is governed by Islamic laws shook off some of its most oppressive practices against women this year. Women were allowed into sports stadiums in January for the first time to watch soccer matches, although they were segregated in the stands, sticking to the “family section” away from all-male crowds elsewhere.Saudi authorities have also lifted the world’s only ban on women driving, a decision that will go into effect June 24 and end women’s long standing complaints about having to hire costly male drivers, use taxis or rely on male relatives.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownEven with the openings, the kingdom remains far from an open society. As the heir apparent, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pushes forth reforms that improve the country’s image abroad, he has also cracked down on women’s rights defenders who have campaigned for years for greater freedoms.“If we are to talk big picture, then I say that women coming to Russia to support the national team is another step toward equality,” said Nada Altuwaijry, a British-educated media expert from the Saudi capital Riyadh, who says she has been passionate about soccer since she was age 12. LATEST STORIES Reem Al-Muteiry came to Moscow with her mother and siblings, courtesy of an all-paid trip offered by the kingdom’s highest sports body. Wearing a flowing robe and a hijab, the 25-year-old civil servant said she cared little about soccer.“But I came all the way here for the sake of our national team,” she said. “The presence of Saudi women here should be a source of pride for both the kingdom and the team.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Wall Street banks are taking their unicorn playbooks to China

first_img by Ultimate Software ShareVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:57Loaded: 0.00%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:57 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWall Street banks are taking their unicorn playbooks to China.After arranging billions of dollars in loans for highly valued — and money-losing — U.S. startups like Uber Technologies Inc., banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are angling to do the same for some of China’s biggest unicorns. They helped Bytedance Ltd., owner of the wildly popular TikTok video app, borrow $1.3 billion in April and are said to be raising as much as $1.4 billion for two other Chinese tech startups — borrowers that until recently had rarely tapped the syndicated loan market.Banks are betting the loans will lead to more lucrative mandates like initial public offerings, just as they did in the U.S. with mega-listings by Uber and several of its peers. But that’s no guarantee as China’s trade war with America spreads to the technology industry, heightening investor concerns over frothy valuations.While banks earned an average margin of 145 basis points over benchmark rates on five-year syndicated loans for Chinese borrowers this year, the juiciest fees come from follow-on services like equity issuance. Underwriters have charged 5% to 6% of the float value for U.S. debut share offerings in recent years and between 2% and 3% in Hong Kong, though fees are sometimes lower for larger offerings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“The returns on these loans are usually acceptable, given that leverage tends to be low and given the expected future cross-sell opportunities, including future capital markets and trade financing,” said Benjamin Ng, head of Asia Pacific debt syndicate and acquisition finance at Citigroup Inc. in Hong Kong.Morgan Stanley, the lead sponsor of Uber’s IPO in May, earned $41 million from that deal, about a year after the bank helped arrange a $1.1 billion loan for the ride-hailing company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dropbox Inc. tapped banks including Goldman for a $600 million credit facility in 2017, people familiar with the matter said at the time, about a year before the cloud storage company went public. Goldman was one of the IPO’s lead underwriters.“Banks have gotten a lot more comfortable lending to these asset-light companies,” said Vey-Sern Ling, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Hong Kong. “If your competitor is lending to these billion-dollar startups, you can’t not be there.”Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment. They were bookrunners on Bytedance’s loan and are now leading a facility of as much as $1 billion for Beike Zhaofang, which runs an online property brokerage.Loans appeal to Chinese unicorns because they can be arranged quickly with few public disclosures, a plus for young companies that want to avoid giving away too much information to competitors, according to Andrew Ashman, the Singapore-based head of loan syndicate for Asia Pacific at Barclays Plc.Historically low borrowing costs add to the allure. Bytedance, which was valued at $75 billion in a funding round late last year, offered an interest margin of 280 basis points over Libor for its loan in April. Beike asked banks for an interest margin of 210 basis points, people familiar with the matter said in May.Bytedance and Beike declined to comment. So did Guazi.com, an online marketplace for used cars that’s in talks with banks to borrow as much as $400 million, according to people familiar with the matter.While Barclays predicts similar deals will emerge in the second half, there are plenty of headwinds. Chief among them is the escalating China-U.S. conflict, which has expanded beyond tariffs in recent months to encompass parts of the tech industry and threatens to weigh on global economic growth.That’s adding to investor jitters about overstretched valuations for companies with unproven business models. Uber and rival Lyft Inc. are both trading below their IPO prices, while Luckin Coffee Inc. — a Chinese rival to Starbucks Corp. that reported a loss of about $241 million last year — has dropped 15% from its post-IPO high earlier this month. The MSCI China Technology Index has slumped more than 20% over the past year.If the U.S.-China spat drags on, banks could be waiting a long time for their unicorn paydays.More must-read stories from Fortune:—Does the SEC’s ICO lawsuit against Kik go too far?—How cord-cutting is driving big changes across the media landscape—Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor demystifies the VC funding process—To break up Facebook, here’s where the government might start—Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 DailyFollow Fortune on Flipboard to stay up-to-date on the latest news and analysis.You May Like Sponsored Content A Work Culture Built for All Generations HealthFormer GE CEO Jeff Immelt: To Combat Costs, CEOs Should Run Health Care Like a BusinessHealthFor Edie Falco, an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ After Surviving Breast CancerLeadershipGhosn Back, Tesla Drop, Boeing Report: CEO Daily for April 4, 2019AutosElon Musk’s Plan to Boost Tesla Sales Is Dealt a SetbackMPWJoe Biden, Netflix Pregnancy Lawsuit, Lesley McSpadden: Broadsheet April 4last_img read more