Thursday, December 19, 2013

A simple post, with a simple question: How long can one channel large amounts of operational money into the black hole of HLG until one gets caught out?

Don’t look for the answer to this question in my blog and do not hold your breath for getting it freely from anyone in charge of HLG or its parent companies.
Regardless of total ‘lack of evidence’ out in the ‘open’, I believe that there is money coming in to cover operational costs of this company from ‘elsewhere’ and this ‘fact’ is almost as obvious as that, the greenery would not survive in the UAE without constant water-supply feeding it at ground level.

Why do I care? After all, I’m all but at arm’s length from this company now.
(Thankfully, one might add).
Call it professional duty. Or conscience, if you prefer a softer, though somewhat idealistic term.
Sadly, you may label this continuous interest of mine in the above named topic as a personal ‘obsession’ and that will not be far from the truth either, I’ll admit.

In fact, with Christmas coming, my main wish (apart from the obvious – of reuniting my immediate family in one place) would be for three parties to answer the question from the title, those being:
José Antonio López-Monís (CEO and Managing Director HLG), Hamish Gordon Tyrwhitt (Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Leighton Holding) AND the current AUDITOR(s) for these two companies;

Can I make a speculative guess, that in the unlikely event of this question getting addressed by the first two gentlemen named  in any public forum any time soon, the response will start with the ‘to my knowledge…’ preamble?
What a perfect combination of three simple words to let one off-the hook of being party to the unsavoury practice of blunt misleading! (of shareholders, for example);
I did not know it, probably never happened.

The auditors on the other hand, may opt for a different tactic and classify these ‘cash injections’ as ‘Miscellaneous Petty cash’ – never a more appropriate use for this term, in my book. Petty, that is.
Anyway, who am I to set out what amount of money (measured in probably millions) can be classified as a bit excessive for ‘petty cash’ spent on  propping up a sinking company as opposed to just a bit of cash-flow-assistance?
You know, to ‘tie us over’ money?

Mr Habtoor, as one of the shareholders of this troubled entity is proving to be a bit savvier than I’ve given him credit to be, in the past;
One lesson he definitely has learned as a successful businessman is that ‘Throwing good money after bad’ is not a good practice – so he is staying very much clear of doing it.
Weak promises he does make, to the partners and the world, just to keep the ‘water supply’ trickling in, with the hope that all the troubled projects HLG are associated with will be completed before ‘the pipes’ run dry or someone cuts them off.

In my humble opinion, that hope of his is a bit too optimistic, but let’s wait for the final curtain to descend onto this little performance, before we make any judgments!

Picture from here:

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