Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Surat Diamond Cluster

India leads the globe in diamond manufacturing with 60% share in value, 85% in volume and 92% share in the number of pieces produced. In India, rough diamonds have been mined since historic times. But it was only after the year 1962 that processing, cutting and polishing of diamonds developed as an industry. Nearly 80% of the country's natural diamond processing is done in Gujarat, of which Surat and Navsari, account for most of it.

In recent years, diamond-cutting centers have also come up outside the state of Gujarat especially in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Trichur (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), but mainly in the artificial diamond industry.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Explore the new Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Walk, camp, be captivated by the beauty, mystery and history along the 54km Great Walk through the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.One of Queensland’s growing number of Great Walks, it passes through Lamington and Springbrook national parks and the ancient volcanic landscape of the Mount Warning caldera, following the footsteps of the traditional Aboriginal people whose ancestors walked this land for thousands of years.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bond funds

Bond funds generally have higher risks than money market funds, largely because they typically pursue strategies aimed at producing higher yields. Unlike money market funds, the SEC's rules do not restrict bond funds to high-quality or short-term investments. Because there are many different types of bonds, bond funds can vary dramatically in their risks and rewards. Some of the risks associated with bond funds include:

Credit Risk — the possibility that companies or other issuers whose bonds are owned by the fund may fail to pay their debts (including the debt owed to holders of their bonds). Credit risk is less of a factor for bond funds that invest in insured bonds or U.S. Treasury bonds. By contrast, those that invest in the bonds of companies with poor credit ratings generally will be subject to higher risk.

Interest Rate Risk — the risk that the market value of the bonds will go down when interest rates go up. Because of this, you can lose money in any bond fund, including those that invest only in insured bonds or Treasury bonds. Funds that invest in longer-term bonds tend to have higher interest rate risk.

Prepayment Risk — the chance that a bond will be paid off early. For example, if interest rates fall, a bond issuer may decide to pay off (or "retire") its debt and issue new bonds that pay a lower rate. When this happens, the fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds in an investment with as high a return or yield.

Monday, December 08, 2008

UK Trade & Investment

UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that supports companies in the UK doing business internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to set up or expand in the UK.

Our global network of offices work in close partnership with the English regional development agencies and devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We can provide businesses with:
1 introductions to sector networks – industry leaders, universities, other centres of excellence and collaborative partnerships;
2 bespoke information on key commercial considerations – company formation, financial incentives, labour, real estate, transport, utilities and regulatory issues;
3 thorough regional analysis and informed advice to help choose the right location; and
4 a pipeline into central government to help safeguard business interests.

Friday, December 05, 2008

French and Italian Painting of the 18th century

The taste for rococo—intimate and charming subjects painted in pastel colors—gave way by mid-century to the simpler, more restrained forms of neoclassical art. In Italy, travelers on the Grand Tour patronized painters of ancient and modern landmarks for souvenirs, while in France a sober and restrained look, like that of Roman reliefs, would serve the Revolution.In the eighteenth century, a brisk trade in painted views of Venice and Rome grew up in response to tourists' demands for souvenirs. Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi, and Pannini were at the forefront of production. Italian painters were also commissioned by foreign princes to decorate their palaces. It is a mark of the times that Tiepolo, perhaps the most celebrated Italian painter of the eighteenth century, died in Spain after completing an ambitious mural program for the royal palace in Madrid.

After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the center of French society moved from the court at Versailles to Paris. Elegant interiors were decorated with motifs with sinuous curves and arabesques. The S curve of this rococo style was incorporated in paintings such as the fĂȘtes galantes of Antoine Watteau, which showed pleasure-seeking ladies and gentlemen socializing in a pastoral setting. François Boucher, who started his career as an engraver copying Watteau's paintings, indicated the taste of the mid-eighteenth century in his idealized depictions of courtly beauty.

In the closing decades of the century, a surge of interest in archaeology and a rediscovery of the straight lines and regularized proportions of Greek and Roman art supplanted the curvilinear and sensual shapes of the rococo. The French Revolution (1789–1799) profoundly changed the entire political system and subsequently the governmental structure that had supported the arts since the early reign of Louis XIV. Jacques- Louis David created new motifs suited to the political needs of the revolution and also of the Emperor Napoleon, reinterpreting the principles of classicism.