Sensing that he was losing, Gen Guei cancelled counting on Tuesday and declared himself the winner.After a “boulevard revolution” by Mr Gbagbo’s supporters, Gen Guei’s junta, in power only since last December, turned against their leader and supported the people. Mr Gbagbo declared himself the winner, but this prompted violent demonstrations by Mr Ouattara’s supporters.Mr Gbagbo, who took office on Thursday, has publicly praised his own party’s role in helping to draft the constitution that excluded Mr Ouattara from running in the presidential race and has said that there will be no rewriting of the text.Ivory Coast, like Nigeria, has many tribes and a sharp divide, exploited by previous presidents, between the Muslim north and the south. Mr Ouattara, who was once a World Bank official with a Burkina Faso passport, is supported by the leader of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, who is deeply implicated in the region’s diamond wars. Thousands of Burkina Faso migrant workers, fearing xenophobic election violence, fled Ivory Coast in the run-up to last Sunday’s election.Gen Guei is from the same tribe as the Liberian leader, Charles Taylor, who stands accused of backing Sierra Leonean rebels in their war to control lucrative diamond mines.Yesterday, the Liberian government denied reports in Abidjan that it had sent, or planned to send, mercenaries to fight for Gen Guei.. The $7bn (£4.83bn) auction for the spirits assets of Canada’s Seagram was thrown into disarray last night after Allied Domecq apparently secured rights to one of the key brands up for sale. The $7bn (£4.83bn) auction for the spirits assets of Canada’s Seagram was thrown into disarray last night after Allied Domecq apparently secured rights to one of the key brands up for sale.
Seen as a front runner to buy the entire business, Allied’s move shocked rival bidders.The UK group, whose drinks cabinet includes Beefeater gin and Kahlua liqueur, said it had teamed up with Destilería Serralles, the Puerto Rican company which makes Captain Morgan rum on behalf of Seagram.
In a joint statement, the two groups revealed that, as part of its existing agreement to supply rum to Seagram, Destilería Serralles has a right of first refusal over any proposed transfer of the Captain Morgan brand.The announcement continued: “Destilería Serralles has undertaken to exercise this right in the event that a party other than Allied Domecq gains control of the Seagram spirits and wine business. In that event, the agreement between Allied Domecq and Destilería Serralles provides Allied Domecq with the right to acquire the Captain Morgan brand.”If Allied does prevail in the auction, the Puerto Rican company has undertaken not to exercise its right to buy the brand – in effect handing control to Allied Domecq in either case. Allied Domecq will provide financial support for Destilería Serralles if it is required to purchase the Captain Morgan business.Philip Bowman, chief executive of Allied, said: “What we are doing is to try to get the best position we can to succeed in the auction process.”It was unclear what benefit the tie-up would bring to Destilería Serralles, except to provide it with some certainty about its future business partner. But Mr Bowman said: “They came to us.”On hearing the news of the alliance, Alan Gray, an analyst at ING Charterhouse, said: “That’s quite clever. Captain Morgan was the one brand that Diageo was most interested in.”Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits company, has teamed up with Pernod Ricard and was hoping to cream off the rum label along with Crown Royal Canadian whisky, whilst handing the rump of the assets to Pernod in order to stop them falling to its arch rival Allied.Diageo declined to comment yesterday. A spokesman for Pernod said: “It has come as a complete surprise.
That is all I can say.”Industry sources said Diageo and Pernod, along with the other joint bidders in the auction, Bacardi and Brown-Foreman, were likely to challenge Seagram’s handling of the auction process, since they did not appear to be aware of Destilería Serralles’ privileged position with regard to the Captain Morgan brand.One source said the revelation could mean the entire sale would have to be scrapped and the costs born by Seagram and its financial advisers, Morgan Stanley.. The American economy slowed sharply in the latest quarter, reinforcing expectations that interest rates will stay on hold and boosting hopes of a “soft landing”. The American economy slowed sharply in the latest quarter, reinforcing expectations that interest rates will stay on hold and boosting hopes of a “soft landing”.
Gross US domestic product rose 2.7 per cent in the three months to September, less than half the previous quarter’s 5.6 per cent and below forecasts of 3.5 per cent. Economists said the figures showed that the Federal Reserve had succeeded in reining in the economy Some analysts even raised the prospect of a rate cut. David Orr, an economist at First Union Corp, said: “This raises the possibility of the Fed considering a rate cut as soon as March.”Signs of a slowdown in the blistering pace of economic growth boosted the euro as the dollar weakened.The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates six times since the middle of last year as part of its strategy to bring about a soft landing – a slower growth without higher inflation or recession. The main factor was a slowdown in business investment, which grew 6.9 per cent compared with 14 and 21 per cent in the previous two quarters. Government spending and new housing investment also fell – at the fastest rate for five years.Adam Cole, global economist at HSBC in London, said: “If this is this a slowdown – and this could still turn out be just a pause – then it looks like a fairly soft landing.”But the detailed figures flashed up a couple of warning signs.