Chow Tai Fook

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Chow Tai Fook
Private
IndustryConglomerate
Founded
  • 1929; 90 years ago (1929) in Guangzhou
  • 1961 in Hong Kong (as Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co.,Ltd.)
  • 10 August 1966 (1966-08-10) in Hong Kong (as Chow Tai Fook Enterprises)[1]
FounderChow Chi-yuen
Headquarters38/F, New World Tower,
Hong Kong
Area served
mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United States[2]
Key people
Henry Cheng
Products
  • jewellery
  • real estate
BrandsCTF
Services
  • transportation
  • telecommunications
OwnerCheng Yu-tung family
Subsidiaries
  • Chow Tai Fook (Holding)
  • Chow Tai Fook Enterprises
  • CTF Holdings
  • Chow Tai Fook Nominee
  • Chow Tai Fook Jewellery
  • New World Development
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese周大福
Simplified Chinese周大福
Jyutpingzau1 daai6 fuk1
Cantonese Yalejāu daaih fūk
Hanyu PinyinZhōu Dà Fú
Literal meaningZhou – good luck / good fortune[3]
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited
Traditional Chinese周大福企業有限公司
Simplified Chinese周大福企业有限公司
Jyutpingzau1 daai6 fuk1
Cantonese Yalejāu daaih fūk
Hanyu PinyinZhōu Dà Fú
Chow Tai Fook group
Traditional Chinese周大福集團
Jyutpingzau1 daai6 fuk1
Cantonese Yalejāu daaih fūk
Hanyu PinyinZhōu Dà Fú

Chow Tai Fook group is a Hong Kong based privately owned conglomerate that engaged in the jewellery, property development, hotel, department store, transportation, energy, telecommunications, port,[citation needed] casino[citation needed] and other businesses. Despite the holding companies of the group, namely Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited, Chow Tai Fook (Holding) Limited, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited and etc. were privately owned, the group was partly floated in the public, via associate company New World Development (listed since 1972) and subsidiary Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (listed since 2011). As of 31 December 2017, New World Development was ranked as the 47th largest companies of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong by market capitalization, which was HK$115.4988 billion.[4]

However, the size of the unlisted portion of the Chow Tai Fook business empire is unclear. Financial Times, quoted one banker of Cheng Yu-tung family, saying "You can’t look at [Cheng] YT without looking at the private side of the business and his ability to spot early investment opportunities,".[5] Notable unlisted business of the group includes Rosewood Hotel Group, as well as Australia based Alinta Energy and Loy Yang B power station, which were acquired in 2017.

Chow Tai Fook Capital is ultimately owned by the descendants of the late Chow Tai Fook Jewellery founder Chow Chi-yuen and his son-in-law, the late Cheng Yu-tung, which including the current Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group chairman, Chow Tai Fook (Holding) director Henry Cheng.[6]

History[edit]

Chow Tai Fook group was originated from Chow Tai Fook jewellery store, founded by Chow Chi-yuen in 1929 in Guangzhou, China. The store shifted its business to Portuguese Macau in 1940[5] (some said 1931[7]) and then British Hong Kong (both colony of foreign power on China soil) after the broke out of Second Sino-Japanese War[7] in the 1930s and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The group returned to Mainland China after the marketization reform in the 1980s, notably as New World Department Store China and former listed company New World China Land.

Cheng Yu-tung took over the business empire from his father-in-law Chow Chi-yuen in 1956.[5] Other sons of Chow, such as Stephen Chow Shue-tong (周樹堂), emigrated to Canada, after the outbreak of Hong Kong 1967 leftist riots, as an architect.[8] Stephen Chow also involved in the founding of the real estate division of Chow Tai Fook group in the 1960s.[8] Cheng turned the group into a diversified empire, which covered areas such as jewellery store, real estate development and investment, hotel development and investment, transportations, public utilities and other businesses. In 1961, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery built a for-sale residential building on 265–275 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. The building was also named after Tai Fook (大福唐樓).[9] The real estate division became listed company New World Development in 1972, despite the group, via Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, also made private investment in real estate and hotels.

One of the main holding company of the group, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, was incorporated on 10 August 1966 in the British Hong Kong, while the flagship listed company New World Development Company Limited, was incorporated in 1970 in the British Hong Kong.[5] The jewellery store chain was incorporated as Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Company Limited in 1961 in the British Hong Kong, and then new holding company for the jewellery division was incorporated in the Cayman Islands and listed in the Hong Kong S.A.R., now part of China, as Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited in 2011.

As of 2018, the group also consists of two more parent companies in the group structure, namely Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited and its subsidiary Chow Tai Fook (Holding) Limited. They were incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Chow Tai Fook (Holding) is the parent company of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Enterprises and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group.

Subsidiaries and affiliates[edit]

Chow Tai Fook group, via Chow Tai Fook (Holding) Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands) and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (incorporated in Hong Kong),[10] owned two listed companies as the significant shareholder: Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (周大福珠寶集團有限公司, incorporated in the Cayman Islands; 89.3%) and New World Development Company Limited (新世界發展有限公司; 44.39%).[11] However, New World Development also owned a few listed second-tier subsidiaries (tier that respect to the Chow Tai Fook Enterprises), such as New World Department Store China,[11] NWS Holdings[6] and etc.. New World China Land, another second-tier subsidiary, was a listed company until privatization by New World Development in 2016.[12] The privatization of listed second-tier subsidiary New World Department Store China by New World Development was not approved by the minority shareholders in 2017.[13] Another second-tier listed subsidiary, New World Hotels (Holdings), was privatized by New World Development and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in 1990.

New World Development is a constituent of Hong Kong blue-chip index Hang Seng Index. Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, as of 13 October 2016, was the world's second-largest jeweller by [total] market capitalization.[14]

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group[edit]

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery is a jewellery store and gold shop (Chinese: 珠寶金行 or in short 金行; "gold shop") founded by Chow Chi-yuen in 1929 in Guangzhou, China. His son-in-law Cheng Yu-tung took over the business in 1956[15] and their family ultimately owns the business. Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Company Limited (周大福珠寶金行有限公司), was the core company of the store chain.[15] It was incorporated in British Hong Kong in 1961.[1] The brand is popular in the Chinese-speaking world, according to a research by CLSA.[3] The store has retail outlets in several countries, including over 2,000 retail outlets in mainland China.

Cheng invented gold with 99.99% purity as a product of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery,[16] which became a standard among the peers in Hong Kong.[7] In 1964, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery acquired a license for purchasing diamond from De Beers, the monopoly supplier at that time.[16][7][17] It was reported that 30% diamonds imports of Hong Kong in the 1970s were purchased by Chow Tai Fook.[7]

In 1960s, Chow Tai Fook established another brand (Chinese: 萬年珠寶公司; literally: "Ten thousand year jewellery company") in a building of the same name (Manning House [zh], but in Chinese: 萬年大廈) in Central.[18] Manning House became one of the rental property of the jeweller's sister company New World Development in the 1970s.[19]

In 1971, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery introduced ornaments that made of vitreous enamel. It was credited as a new industry of Hong Kong at that time.[20]

In 1989, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery broke the record for the highest price paid for a rough diamond. The company paid US$10 million for a diamond weighed 255.61-carat.[21]

By September 2010, there were 1,000 chain stores in mainland China (including franchisees and its own outlets, and the Chow Tai Fook Jewellery set up its objective of opening 2,000 chain stores in mainland China by the year of 2020. Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, plays a leading role in its market segment for a long time since it foundation, esp. from 1997. For 5 continuous years since 2005, it held the No.1 position of market share in its market segment[22][unreliable source?]

In 2010, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery purchased Cullinan Heritage, a 507-carat diamond for [US]$35.3 million, setting a new record for the highest price paid for a rough diamond.[23][7]

On 15 December 2011, the jeweller division of Chow Tai Fook group, under new holding company Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, became listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong at a price of HK$15 per share[24] under the stock code (ticker symbol) 1929, the year of establishment of the chain.

On 4 April 2017, according to Sotheby's, Chow Tai Fook (the press release claimed it was jeweller Chow Tai Fook but Financial Times quoting Sotheby's tweet, was Chow Tai Fook Enterprises) acquired the Pink Star diamond at an auction in Hong Kong for US$71.2 million (HK$553 million).[25][26]

On 23 May 2018, The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) partnered with Chow Tai Fook on a pilot program that will use blockchain to deliver digital diamond-grading reports.[27]

Incidents[edit]

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery was a victim of crime a number of times. In 1966, diamonds worthed HK$1.23 million at that time, were stolen during transportation from South Africa.[28] In 1974, diamonds worth HK$250,000 was robbed from the staff of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery in Manning House, Central, Hong Kong.[29] In 1980[30] and 1981, Kowloon City branch was suffered twice from armed robberies. The thief also injured a staff of the jewellery store and a student who walked nearby in the second robbery.[31][32] In 1985, in front of the Kowloon City branch, a gunfight was broke out between the Royal Hong Kong Police and the robbers, which a policeman was injured. One the same day a man with gun wound arrived in the hospital, which was believed as one of the suspects.[33] In 1989, armed robbers disguised as customers, stolen luxury watches from Causeway Bay Plaza [zh] branch. It was reported the watches worthed HK$5 million at that time.[34] In 1991, the Kowloon City branch was suffered from another armed robbery,[35] which was followed by the China Building [zh] branch in Central in September[36] and again in October 1991.[37] In 1998 another branch in Paterson Street, Causeway Bay was robbed by Kwai Ping-hung [zh].[38] Kwai Ping-hung also involved in other crime, which he was credited as Hong Kong's most wanted man.[39]

In recent years, however, the company seldom suffered from armed robberies. It also saw famous armed robbers, Yip Kai Foon and Kwai Ping-hung were arrested in 1996 and 2003 respectively.

New World Development[edit]

New World Development is one of the leading property developers based in Hong Kong. It has been listed on Hong Kong stock exchange since 23 November 1972.[40] The initial public offering price was HK$2, issuing about 96.75 million of new shares.[41] The shares were initially traded in 3 out of 4 exchanges of Hong Kong, namely Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Far East Exchange [zh] and Kam Ngan Stock Exchange,[42] the predecessors of the current Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

As of 2018, New World Development is the parent company of listed companies NWS Holdings (listed since 1997), New World Department Store China (listed since 2007) and former listed companies New World Hotels (Holdings) (acquired in 1976, privatized in 1990) and New World China Land (listed in 1999, privatized in 2016). New World Development also owned former listed companies NW China Investment (listed in Ireland, privatized), New World Infrastructure (listed in 1995, privatized as New World TMT) and Renaissance Hotel Group (listed in 1995,[43]:21 sold in 1997).

As of 1986, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) owned 466,927,948 number of shares of New World Development,[44] or about 43% of the issued share capital. As of 2018, CTFE still owned 44.41% shares of NWD, or 4,535,634,444 number of shares.[45]:94

New World Development started its expansion in the 1970s by the acquisition of properties and companies. The flagship property, New World Centre was built on the former site of Holt's Wharf, a former godown terminal that was owned by British companies Swire Group and Blue Funnel Line. In the first financial year after the initial public offering in November 1972, NWD had acquired 23 sites by paying HK$110 million cash and about 101 million number of new shares with a par value of HK$1 each.[46]:6, 11 Despite the issue of new shares and the acquisitions of the holding companies of the properties such as Kowloon Town Development Company Limited (not to be confused with Kowloon Development Company), were completed in 1973–74 financial year.[47] The company also formed joint venture with fellow developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHK) and non-profit organisation Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.[46]:7 Kwok Tak-seng, patriarch of SHK, also served as a director of New World Development in the 1970s[46]:3 until his death in 1990.[48]:16

One of the initial rental portfolio of NWD, Manning House, was in fact developed by Kin Kiu Enterprises (建僑企業) in 1965.[49] It was reported that Cheng Yu-tung, patriarch of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, was one of the director of Kin Kiu Enterprises at that time.[49] Both Kin Kiu Enterprises and Manning House were part of NWD's initial wholly owned subsidiaries and portfolio in 1973.[46]:16, 18 The 11th floor of the building also served as the headquarter of NWD.[46]:3 According to the news report, known directors of the companies were Young Chi-wan[49] (楊志雲; notable for King Fook Jewellery and Hotel Miramar), as well as K. W. Yue[49] (余基溫, notable for Hotel Miramar), who also served as the chairman of Kin Kiu Enterprises.[49] As of 1973, Young and his son Albert Yeung Bing-ching (楊秉正) were the directors of NWD, of which Young was one of the two vice-chairman.[46] As of 1986, Albert Yeung and his brother Howard Yeung Ping-leung (楊秉樑), still served as members of the board of NWD.[44]:2 Albert also owned a small personal stake in NWD in 1986.[44]:7

New World Hotels (Holdings), formerly Kai Tak Land Investment, was incorporated in 1957 and was acquired by New World Development in October 1976.[50]:10, 32[51]:30 Kai Tak Land Investment's Kai Tak Commercial Building, was added to the rental portfolio of NWD.[51]:15 In October 1976 NWD also acquired privately owned Timely Enterprises.[50]:10, 32[51]:30 Timely Enterprises was the company that owned American International Tower (友邦行; name after AIA Group), which the building was renamed to New World Tower [zh] (now New World Tower, tower 1) in 1980.[52]:4 It was the headquarter of New World Development[52]:4 and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. Construction companies, such as Hip Hing Construction, Vibro (Hong Kong) [zh] and others were acquired by NWD circa 1973.[46]:7

In the past, NWD also owned New World Telecommunications, one of the telecommunication company of the city. However, the disinvestment of NWD by selling the company to competitor HKBN in 2016, was described by Financial Times as part of "the process of succession planning [of the largest tycoon families of Hong Kong] as the founders reach retirement age or pass away.".[53] NWD also owned a minority stake in CSL New World Mobility in the past. The stake was sold to PCCW group in 2013. One third of the share capital of Asia Television (ATV) was acquired in 1988,[54] but the stake was sold in the 1990s.

In the nearby city, Portuguese Macau, NWD [sic] once owned 85% stake of Macao Water (also known as Sociedade de Abastecimento de Águas de Macau) via a joint venture with a French company, Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux as of 1987.[55] The stake of an intermediate parent company of Macao Water, was transferred to a listed subsidiary New World Infrastructure in 1997.[56]:41–42 The same French company, had attempted to acquire Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM)[55] from Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau in 1987, by forming a joint venture with a company owned by Cheng Yu-tung [sic].[57] The stake of the aforementioned water and electricity joint venture, Sino-French Holdings (Hong Kong), which was held by Chow Tai Fook Enterpriese (CTFE), was sold to listed second-tier subsidiary of CTFE, New World Infrastructure, in 1997 for HK$1 billion[56]:41, 70 The stake in Sino-French Holdings (Hong Kong), was then transferred to another listed subsidiary NWS Holdings. The indirect stake in CEM, was sold in 2014.

New World Development as of 2018 owned 16 hotels[58] but most of them closely associated with a hotel management unit, Rosewood Hotel Group that was owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises privately.

On top of using its own resources, New World Development also partnered with parent company Chow Tai Fook group in some redevelopment project, such as the acquisition of 90% stake of Kut Cheong Mansion (吉祥大廈) in North Point in the 2010s.[59] Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, via Sunbig Limited, sold 40% stake in the aforementioned Kut Cheong Mansion to New World Development, for HK$1.779 billion in January 2015.[60]:22

NWS Transport Services[edit]

NWS Holdings via NWS Transport Services, owned Citybus and New World First Bus, two of the franchised bus service providers in Hong Kong.[61] The two companies operate as a monopoly in the bus routes of Hong Kong Islands, as well as some of the cross-harbour routes. The other competitors were the mini-bus and other transportation method, such as MTR. Kowloon Motor Bus, another franchised bus service provider, operates mainly in Kowloon and the New Territories.

In the past, Citybus was owned by British company Stagecoach Group. In 2003 Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, via a wholly owned subsidiary Delta Pearl Limited, acquired the bus company for HK$1,646 million, plus the refurbishment of Citybus' debt to the third parties, amounted HK$554 million.[62] But in 2004, the ownership was transferred to NWS Transport Services, a joint venture between listed portion (NWS Holdings) and unlisted portion of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises group. NWS Transport Services also owned New World First Bus and New World First Ferry. In December 2016, NWS Holdings acquired the other 50% shares of NWS Transport Services from the parent company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, floating indirectly the bus businesses in the stock exchange.[63] The price was HK$1.38 billion.[64]

Goshawk Aviation[edit]

Goshawk Aviation was a 50–50 joint venture of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and associate company NWS Holdings.

In June 2018, Goshawk Aviation acquired Irish-based Sky Aviation Leasing International, an aviation leasing company.[65][66][67] Goshawk Aviation also ordered 20 A320neo from Airbus in July 2018.[68] In a separate deal, Goshawk Aviation order 20 Boeing 737 MAXs.[69] The combined price of the two deals was estimated at US$4.5 billion.[70]

Brian Cheng, son of Henry Cheng and grandson of Cheng Yu-tung, is the chairman of Goshawk Aviation.[69]

Hotel divisions[edit]

On top of investments in hotel ownership and doing hotel management business as New World Development, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) also made direct investment in hotels ownership as well as hotel management.

In 1990, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises partnered with associate company New World Development to privatize New World Hotels (Holdings), a sub-holding listed company of New World Development in hotel business. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises owned 36% stake (indirectly, via Beames Holdings) in New World Hotels (Holdings) after the deal, while New World Development owned the remaining 64% indirectly.[71]

In July 1997, some of the hotels of the former New World Hotels (Holdings), was sold from New World Development to CTF Holdings, which was owned by Henry Cheng and his employee and brother-in-law William Doo Wai-hoi at that time.[72][73]:70 As of 2018, CTF Holdings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chow Tai Fook Enterprise.[45]:96

However, the CTFE's 36% stake in Beames Holdings (and its subsidiaries such as New World Hotels (Holdings)) was sold back to New World Development in November 2015. Two hotels of the former New World Hotels (Holdings), Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Renaissance Harbour View, were also changed from owned by Beames Holdings, to New World Development (via Beames Holdings) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 50–50 ratio in April 2015.[74][75][60]:38, 69

In July 2015, New World China Land, another second-tier listed subsidiary of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, sold the hotel management unit Rosewood Hotel Group to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. Rosewood Hotel Group owned three brands: penta, New World and Rosewood.[76][77] In which pentahotels was acquired by Rosewood Hotel Group from aforementioned CTF Holdings in December 2013.[78]

Some of the hotels of New World Development, as of 2018, were still managed by Rosewood Hotel Group.[58]

In 2016, CTFE acquired Baha Mar Resort, a soon to be completed mega-resort in Nassau, Bahamas.[79][80] The 3 hotels of Baha Mar Resort were then managed by Rosewood, Grand Hyatt and SLS Hotels respectively.[81]

Rosewood Hotel Group was headed by Sonia Cheng, daughter of Henry Cheng and granddaughter of the late Cheng Yu-tung, patriarchs of CTFE and NWD.[82]

Other investments[edit]

Chow Tai Fook Capital owned the shares of listed companies Giordano, Hsin Chong, Integrated Waste Solutions Group Holdings, Mongolia Energy Corporation, New Times Energy and Shengjing Bank since 2015. They were personally owned by Cheng Yu-tung, patriarch of Chow Tai Fook group in the past.[83] If counting underlying share, as of 2018, Chow Tai Fook Capital, via Chow Tai Fook Nominee, owned 173.30% of issued share of Mongolia Energy Corporation, as the denominator was not counting underlying share.[84] Chow Tai Fook Nominee, as of 31 December 2017, owned 11.65% H shares of Shengjing Bank, equivalent to 3.10% total share capital.[85]

Chow Tai Fook Nominee also formed a private equity fund with listed company Credit China Holdings and VMS Investment, for "investing in collateral-backed lending transaction" in China in 2013.[86] Chow Tai Fook Nominee subscribed 272 million number of H shares of Ping An Insurance in 2011.[87]

In 1990, it was reported that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises formed a joint venture (namely, Chinese: 新力投資) in Singapore which Chow Tai Fook Enterprises owned 50% stake. The joint venture would invest in South East Asia.[88]

In 2017, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises acquired Australia-based Alinta Energy from private equity fund for AU$4 billion[89][90] as well as Loy Yang B power station from French multi-national company Engie for [AU]$1.2 billion.[91][92] It was reported that the deal was partially financed by loans from 7 financial institutions, including the Bank of China (Hong Kong).[93]

In March 2018, Chow Tai Fook [sic] subscribed the new shares of the Star Entertainment Group.[94]

In 2018, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, via a subsidiary (Chinese: 周大福投资), acquired 30% shares of Yunnan Jinggu Forestry, which the company was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.[95]

Listed company International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) was a second-tier subsidiary of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, via Mediastar International, owned 74.78% shares of IEC as of 31 March 2014.[96] However, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises had disposed the shares afterwards, which was decreased to 4.89% as of April 2018.[97]

Controversies[edit]

In 1999, it was accused that Chow Tai Fook group's Tai Fook Securities, had lowered its commission rate below Stock Exchange of Hong Kong's minimum, by gift scheme from Chow Tai Fook Jewellery and New World Telephone.[98]

In 2010, the Chinese translation of a book, Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong, popularized the term 地產霸權; "real estate hegemony" to describe the real estate tycoon families of Hong Kong. Cheng and their Chow Tai Fook–New World Development group was one of the major tycoons described in the book.[99] The owner of Chow Tai Fook–New World Development group, Cheng Yu-tung family, was sometimes considered as one of the four big tycoon families of Hong Kong.[100][101]

Organization chart[edit]

Namesakes[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Feng Bangyan (1997). 稱雄香江. 香港華資財團 [ethnic Chinese business groups of Hong Kong] (in Chinese). Joint Publishing (Hong Kong).
  • Chow, Jason; Ho, Prudence (12 November 2011). "Huge for Its Bling, Unknown in West". Wall Street Journal. New York City. (Subscription required (help)).

References[edit]

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  4. ^ "50 leading companies in market capitalisation". 2017 HKEX Factbook (PDF). Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. 2018. p. 23. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
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  22. ^ "Apps – Access My Library – Gale". accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved 4 November 2016.[dead link]
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