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Nation on hold

Paul Singer is proving to be a battle-hardened creditor. The billionaire US hedge fund manager, who runs Elliott Management, has scuttled Argentina’s $2 billion bond sale through a fresh injunction from a US court. Argentina had defaulted on an earlier set of bonds in 2001 and offered investors a steep haircut. Singer and a handful of bondholders opposed the plan with the US court then ruling that Argentina shell out $1.6 billion to the holdouts. Argentina’s refusal has resulted in a decade-long wrangle that has now scuttled it from raising money from the global market to help pay down over $6 billion of debt maturing this year.  With general elections due in October, the stage is set for a long-drawn battle.

HQ with a view

Trust Google to do things differently. The technology giant is setting up its new headquarters in Mountain View, California. Nicknamed Googleplex, the proposed office will be spread over 500 acre with 2.5 million square feet accommodating 12,000 employees. Instead of concrete, the HQ will be built with lightweight block-like structures that can be easily moved around to address future needs. While wetlands and oak trees will dot the complex, what’s interesting is that Google has gone for 100% renewable power — the entire campus will run on 43 MW of wind power.

Slick affair

Is China working on a big bang merger in the energy space? Following on the merger of two state-owned railcar makers to compete with Germany’s Siemens and Canada’s Bombardier, the buzz is that the government wants to create an oil behemoth by merging four major domestic oil producers. What should worry the US is the clout of the merged entity. Comprising China National Petroleum Corp, China Petrochemical Corp, China National Offshore Oil Corp and Sinochem Group, the oil firm will be twice as big as ExxonMobil in terms of revenue.

Priceless scoop

Bling has just gone cold. A Dubai ice cream parlour, Scoopi Café, is offering a new premium flavour that boasts of edible 23-carat gold flakes, Madagascar vanilla ice cream, Iranian saffron, black truffle. What’s more, the delicacy is served in a Versace bowl and spoon, which customers can keep. Called as the “Black Diamond”, a single scoop will set back a customer by AED 2,999 ($817), making it the world’s most expensive ice cream. Seconds, anyone?

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