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Italy leaning toward extending lockdown to early May

first_imgItalian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is leaning toward extending the country’s lockdown to early May, with only minimal concessions to business demands to allow more companies to resume normal operations.Italy, the original epicenter of the virus in Europe, must weigh the increasing economic pain of restrictions that are slowly starting to contain the contagion against the risk of relaxing curbs too early and allowing a second wave of infections. While other countries, such as Austria and Denmark, have mapped out plans to ease some of their restrictions, Italy, together with Germany, is the first major European economy to do so.Current containment measures, which include a ban on all non-essential economic activity and the closure of most shops, are currently scheduled to run until April 13. Conte is inclined to keep those restrictions fundamentally unchanged, according to three trade union and business representatives that met with him on Thursday. The premier is expected to announce the new extension of the lockdown as early as Friday, according to two officials. Any slight easing will be gradual and on a regional basis, according to the officials, who declined to be named in line with policy.Italy recorded a second straight increase in the number of new infections on Thursday, with 4,204 case compared with 3,836 Wednesday. The pickup came amid a surge in testing to discover previously undetected cases, with almost 100,000 tests in the last 2 days.The government’s emergency committee of medical and scientific advisers is working to prepare for relaxing the lockdown, Giovanni Rezza, head of the infectious diseases department at Rome’s national health institute ISS, said in an interview.“We’re focusing on issues including sector-by-sector professions and the risks of contagion involved,” said Rezza, a member of the committee. The advisers are drawing up different categories according to protection measures and to what extent professions involve close social contact.Businesses that could be allowed to open beginning April 14 include bookshops and stationary stores, agricultural machinery makers, forestry companies and perhaps sellers of baby clothes, according to newspaper Corriere della Sera.“Faced with an epidemic of this proportion, I’d tend to trust the viral experts,” Deputy Finance Minister Antonio Misiani said on Thursday. “The sooner we get the health situation under control, the sooner we can get the economic engine started again.”Topics :last_img read more

Currency volatility boosts returns more than equity gains – report

first_imgIt goes on to note the various factors that could impact the value of a currency ­– ranging from a country’s current account deficit, growth forecasts or budget deficit – and how these impact exchange rates over the short to medium term, even if a long-term equilibrium is eventually established.As an example, it cites the fact that, over the 15-year lifetime of the euro, from 1999 to the end of last year, it has only strengthened by 2.5% against the dollar.The statistic, however, masks the fact euro-based investors saw the purchasing power of their dollar assets decline by 48% from 2000 to April 2008, a trend that was nearly reversed in the years following to March 2015. Currency volatility associated with overseas equities has boosted returns for euro-denominated investors in seven of the last 13 years, according to Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management.In a research note looking at the impact of hedging currency exposure for both US and euro-denominated investors, the asset manager found that non-domestic currency boosted headline returns for US investors by 2%, when basing investment strategy around the MSCI World Index.The result was somewhat different for euro-denominated investors, with the MSCI World only 11.9% exposed to the single currency, with more than 57% of its exposure to US dollars and a further 8.6% to Japanese yen.The note says: “From a euro-based investor’s perspective, non-domestic currency exposure has outweighed the underlying equity market return in seven years of the last 13.”last_img read more

​UK’s new ESG pension rules are just the first step: PLSA

first_imgTrustees had to continue working with advisers and managers both to implement ESG and stewardship approaches across their portfolio, and to consider the best way to talk about these issues with scheme members, she said.“This will be important if they are to meet the next set of 2020 regulatory deadlines, as well as those coming down the track in 2021,” said Escott.There had been “an explosion” in the number of ESG products in the market over the last few years, she said, but schemes had to continue to be vigilant.“Trustees should work with their advisers to do the proper due diligence to differentiate between those asset managers who are walking the walk on ESG and stewardship and those who are just greenwashing,” she said.Separately, BMO Global Asset Management said asset managers had to show they were capable of supporting pension funds in meeting the new requirements.Christy Jesudasan, fiduciary management sales director at the firm, said: “The DWP regulations are a step in the right direction, moving the market from box ticking to having a plan of action for trustees to truly embed ESG risks into trustee governance and strategic plans for schemes.“Asset managers now need to prove their abilities and expertise across all three phases – advice, implementation and reporting,” he said.In the run up to the deadline, he said, trustees had been increasingly focusing on the role of ESG in investment portfolios, with the new disclosure requirements forcing them to consider ESG factors across all stages of the investment process.This made it more important than ever for asset managers to have an open dialogue with pension trustees that factored in long-term funding objectives and made sure all parties were aligned on ESG goals and risks, he said.“While tailored solutions will be key, with no consistent framework in place we can expect a wide variation in the format and quality of reporting from asset managers,” Jesudasan said. New disclosure rules relating to UK pension funds’ consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and engagement with investee companies should be seen as a first step in an “ESG journey for trustees”, according to the industry’s main trade group.Under the changes, which come into effect tomorrow, trustees must outline their approach to engagement with and voting of their shares in investee companies, and how they take account of financially material factors, including ESG and climate change considerations, in investment decision making.The changes reflect regulatory updates from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2018. Further changes to the investment regulations for occupational pension schemes were made this year in order to implement the EU’s revised Shareholder Rights Directive II. Caroline Escott, policy lead for investment and stewardship at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said: “The PLSA supported the DWP’s work to better help trustees consider ESG and stewardship approaches, but we must remember that this is the start of the regulatory journey and not its final destination.”last_img read more

NYK to Build World’s Largest LNG-Powered PCTC

first_imgJapanese shipping major Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has placed an order for what it claims to be the world largest LNG-fueled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC).A keel laying ceremony for the 73,500 GT vessel was held at NYK’s compatriot Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding on September 20, 2019.The newbuild is scheduled to be delivered in 2020 and will be the first large LNG-fueled PCTC to be built in Japan, according to NYK. To fly the domestic flag, it will feature a length of 199.95 meters and a width of 38 meters.In order to minimize a reduction in vehicle loading capacity caused by the installation of LNG fuel tanks, in addition to optimizing major items such as ship width, several designs for maximizing the cargo loading space will be implemented, and the new vessel will be able to transport approximately 7,000 units per voyage, the company said.With the support of Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for its model project to reduce CO2 emissions by using alternative fuel, the vessel will be equipped with the technology to further reduce CO2 emissions and the experimental verification in its actual voyage will be scheduled.As explained, the ship will be about 40% more energy efficient, exceeding the International Maritime Organization (IMO) EEDI phase 3 requirements* that will become effective in 2025. The vessel is additionally expected to reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by approximately 99% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by approximately 86% compared to conventional heavy oil–fired engines.Over the past few years, NYK has been steadily moving toward using LNG as a propulsion fuel. Back in 2016, NYK built the world’s first LNG-fueled car carrier which entered in service in 2017.Last year, the group began issuing green bonds to finance LNG-fueled ships and LNG bunkering vessels, among other green financing projects.last_img read more

DAR: 67 NegOcc farmers installed, get land titles

first_imgBACOLOD City – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has distributed land titles and installed 67 farmers from two areas in southern Negros Occidental.DAR Negros Occidental II-South reported that 57 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Barangay Abuanan, Bago City were installed on a 32.39-hectare property formerly owned by Juan Jalandoni on May 12. The land was acquired through the compulsory acquisition scheme under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reforms. For his part, senior agrarian reform program technologist Arren Mondejar said that for the ARBs to develop the land given to them, DAR would hold workshops and training sessions.In Barangay Robles, La Castellana town, on the other hand, 10 farmer-beneficiaries received their certificates of land ownership award on May 5.The land titles cover the 5.5658-hectare property previously owned by Engracia Dominguez and others. Some of the 57 agrarian reform beneficiaries who are installed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on a 32.39-hectare property in Barangay Abuanan, Bago City, Negros Occidental on May 12. DAR urged the farmer-beneficiaries to make their land productive and to always pay their taxes and amortization. DAR NEGROS OCCIDENTAL II-SOUTH Municipal agrarian reform program officer Domingo Gatmaitan urged the farmer-beneficiaries to avail the support services offered by the DAR and other government agencies. Senior agrarian reform program technologist Dindo Gelasque said they observed precautionary measures through a house-to-house distribution of the land titles. He encouraged the ARBs to make their land productive and also reminded them to exercise diligence in the use, cultivation, and maintenance of the land, aside from paying their real property tax and amortization.(With a report from PNA/PN) “Don’t engage in activities prohibited by the agency like selling and leasing of land. Fulfill your obligations and responsibilities such as paying real property tax to the local government and the annual amortization to the Land Bank of the Philippines,” he added. During the ceremony, beneficiaries were divided into five batches to avoid a large gathering as part of the precautionary measures against coronavirus disease 2019.last_img read more

Man U debt rises to £429m

first_imgRelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Manchester United have announced their debt has risen close to £430 million in their latest financial figures.The Premier League club’s third quarter results revealed net debt has increased by £127.4 million to £429.1 million as football across Europe comes to terms with the coronavirus pandemic. The net debt rose due to foreign exchange costs and transfer fees paid for players, including Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes.Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward described the “challenges” created by the coronavirus that meant United have not played a competitive game since March 12.United have also said they expect to pay broadcasters a rebate of around £15 million because of the outbreak “following delay and broadcast schedule changes to the 2019-20 season.”“Our focus remains on the health and well-being of our colleagues, fans and partners around the world and we are extremely proud of how those connected to the club have responded during this crisis,” Woodward said.“Since the start of the pandemic, Manchester United and our Foundation have provided assistance to hospitals, charities and schools in our communities, as well as support for frontline workers and vulnerable fans. “These actions reflect our core values as a club and the resilience through adversity that we have demonstrated many times throughout our long history and will do so again to weather these current challenges.”Elsewhere in the release of the official figures, broadcasting revenue fell by £27.8 million to £26 million – a decrease of 51.7 per cent – and matchday revenue for the quarter was also down, by £2.6 million to £29.1 million.Despite uncertainly off the pitch, Woodward has backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team to pick up where they left off if the season is allowed to restart in June.United are on an 11-game unbeaten run and can still challenge for a place in the top four, as well as battling for silverware in the FA Cup and Europa League.Despite football finances taking a hit, the club have also revealed a cash reserve of around £90 million ahead of the next transfer window with access to another £150 million. “We look forward to the team safely returning to the pitch and building on the exciting momentum that Ole and the players had previously achieved, while taking all necessary steps to protect public health,” Woodward added.Tags: Bruno FernandesCoronavirusHarry MaguireManchester Unitedlast_img read more

Swansea show some fight to rescue a point at home to Bournemouth

first_img Swansea were second-best for long periods and the manner of the performance will not convince the doubters that manager Monk can stop the club’s alarming slide. But at least Monk’s men showed plenty of spirit after Joshua King and Dan Gosling had fired Bournemouth into a commanding lead after 26 minutes to give the Cherries hope of a first win in eight games. Andre Ayew came to Garry Monk’s rescue as Swansea fought back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Bournemouth at the Liberty Stadium. Ayew pulled a goal back within two minutes of Gosling’s strike with a classy back-heel and then won a penalty, albeit in dubious circumstances, which Jonjo Shelvey stroked home before the break. Monk had responded to Swansea’s run of one win in nine games by making four changes – regulars Federico Fernandez, Jefferson Montero, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bafetimbi Gomis all dropping out – but the hosts were out of sorts and a long way removed from the side which finished eighth last season. Bournemouth’s bright start was rewarded after 10 minutes when Kyle Bartley’s attempted clearance struck Ki Sung-yueng and fell into the path of Junior Stanislas. The winger intelligently cut the ball back for an unmarked King to finish for his first goal since February and his first for the Cherries in 13 attempts. Swansea hit back instantly and Adam Federici was forced to deny Wayne Routledge and Eder in quick succession but Bournemouth were creating danger almost at will. Leon Britton’s slip allowed King to bear down on goal and Lukasz Fabianski saved and Stanislas saw his effort rightly ruled out for offside. But there was no escape for Swansea when Charlie Daniels surged through a timid Swansea midfield and Gosling helped it onto Matt Ritchie. Swansea seemed as if they had stopped the danger but Ritchie picked out Gosling who finished with a delightful shot high past Fabianski. Press Association There were jeers in the stands but two minutes later they turned to cheers as Daniels climbed above Eder to meet Neil Taylor’s cross but only directed it towards Shelvey. The England midfielder headed it forward to Ayew who had stayed onside to cleverly back-heel the ball past Federici for his sixth Swansea goal. Ayew was also heavily involved in Swansea’s equaliser as referee Andre Marriner felt Simon Francis had brought him down in the penalty area, despite the Ghanaian appearing to trip himself. Shelvey stepped up to plant the ball firmly past Federici’s outstretched left hand and Swansea were incredibly level after being disjointed for so much of the first period. Bournemouth could count themselves unlucky to be level but they continued to take the game to Swansea in the second half with Harry Arter testing Fabianski from distance and Steve Cook flashing wide a far-post volley. Swansea briefly stirred towards the end when Montero made an impact from the bench, but Bournemouth will leave south Wales feeling they let two points slip through their grasp. TWEET OF THE MATCH 26 mins Swansea 0 – 2 Bournemouth. 38 mins Swansea 2 – 2 Bournemouth. Well that escalated quickly… #SWABOU – Bookmakers Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) on the hectic 12-minute turnaround from Swansea Swansea Lukasz Fabianski: 6 (out of 10) Kyle Naughton: 5 Ashley Williams: 5 Kyle Bartley: 5 Neil Taylor: 5 Leon Britton: 5 Ki Sung-yueng: 5 Jonjo Shelvey: 6 Wayne Routledge: 5 Andre Ayew: 7 Eder: 6 Substitutes Jefferson Montero: 6 Gylfi Sigurdsson: 6 Bafetimbi Gomis: 6 Bournemouth Adam Federici: 6 Simon Francis: 8 Steve Cook: 7 Sylvain Distin: 7 Charlie Daniels: 7 Dan Gosling: 7 Andrew Surman: 7 Harry Arter: 8 Junior Stanislas: 8 Matt Richie: 7 Joshua King: 7 Substitutes Adam Smith: 6 Glenn Murray: 6 Shaun MacDonald: 6 STAR MAN Harry Arter: Strong midfield presence as Bournemouth enjoyed long periods of supremacy and kept Swansea on the backfoot with his perpetual motion. Always probed for an opening and not afraid to shoot from distance, testing Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal with one firm second-half effort. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Difficult to pick out one in a contest of so many attacking moments but Andre Ayew’s backheel summed up the Ghanaian’s class. Shelvey’s header came to him quickly but the finish was instinctive and powerful enough to give Adam Federici no chance in the Cherries goal. Also silenced the Swansea natives who were restless after falling 2-0 behind. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Swansea manager Garry Monk was facing what many felt was a defining day with his job under increasing scrutiny after a desperate run of one win in nine games. Monk must have feared the worst after falling 2-0 down but Ayew got them back in the game and they got a break with the penalty. Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe must wonder how they failed to pick up three points after a dominant display, but will no doubt have been pleased with the performance from the first minute to the last. MOAN OF THE MATCH Sounds picky after such an entertaining contest which had the crowd on their feet throughout, but the standard of defending by both sides left a lot to be desired. Swansea’s centre-backs Ashley Williams and Kyle Bartley looked what they were, an unfamiliar partnership, and if Bournemouth’s defence were better than the hosts they also had their uncomfortable moments. WHO’S UP NEXT? Liverpool v Swansea, November 29 (Premier League) Bournemouth v Everton, November 28 (Premier League) last_img read more

Guyana to host 2022 CARIFTA Games

first_img… Hutson calls 2021 games cancellation ‘a blessing in disguise’By Rawle ToneyWITH this year’s CARIFTA Games being cancelled by North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association, Guyana’s hosting of the 50th edition will now be shifted to 2022. The 49th edition of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games would have been held April 10-13 in Bermuda, but, due to the Caribbean, like the rest of the world battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers had to move the event to 2021; the same year that was designated for Guyana to host one of the most prestigious youth track and field events in the world.In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport, president of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, noted that the move can be seen as a blessing in disguise for his local organising committee, especially taking the country’s current political climate into consideration.Hutson related that on April 9 via an online meeting amongst the executives of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association, the custodians of the CARIFTA Games, unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 virus has placed everyone at a disadvantage.“Ironically, this is going to give Guyana an opportunity to showcase our ability to host these games at a level that is expected from us; it is going to be the 50th year of the CARIFTA Games, so for me it is better for us to agree to that position (hosting it in 2022),” Hutson said.The AAG president further noted, “…also, with the current political situation in Guyana and the global economic crisis that is taking place, it gives our sponsors as well a little more elbow room, for the stabilisation of the world’s economies to understand where Guyana is as a player in the global market and how effective sponsoring CARIFTA 2022 can have on their businesses.”President of the North and Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Association, Mike Sands, in a statement, said his Association also took into account the impact on government and private sector plans and budgets for 2020 and perhaps, beyond, as well as the uncertainty in respect of the re-convening of international travel.Sands highlighted that the closure of schools and sports facilities thereby impacting athletes’ ability to train and adequately prepare for a delayed edition of the CARIFTA Games in 2020 along with delayed examinations for students at the pre-College stage of their careersWorld Athletics has already announced the postponement and/or cancellation of several of its own competitions for 2020, including the World Junior (U-20) Championships, with Sands relating that “the Executive therefore agreed to have me, in my capacity as president, to engage in discussions with our member federation in Bermuda, the government of Bermuda, the National Olympic Committee (the local representative of Pan Am Sports) as well as sponsors of the Games of 2020, to ascertain their thinking in respect of the postponement of the Games to Easter of 2021.”Sands, who along with NACAC General Secretary Keith Joseph had visited Guyana in January, reminded that discussions had begun with all stakeholders in Guyana, craving their understanding and support, given that Bermuda did nothing to lose the annual event and is therefore deserving of being given the opportunity to make good on its commitment, albeit, one year later.“The NACAC executive believes that our decision is in the best collective interest of our CARIFTA family and allows us all an opportunity to support both Bermuda and Guyana in the face of these most trying times.“We have an excellent opportunity to work more deliberately together, to show to the world that our annual CARFITA Games is indeed, the very best junior track and field competition, globally.”Guyana is a founding-member of CARIFTA, and in 1972, the games were initiated to mark the Caribbean Free Trade Association’s transition to CARICOM.The 2017 CARIFTA Games will go down as one of the country’s most memorable outings, given the fact that they were able to bag eight medals – four gold, three bronze and one silver.It was at the 46th edition of the games, hosted in Curacao, where Linden’s Compton Caesar created history, by winning Guyana’s first-ever gold medal in the 100m at the event.last_img read more