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Retail: Dedicated follower of fashion

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Coronavirus pushes Airbus into Q1 loss of 481 million euros

first_imgEuropean aviation giant Airbus Wednesday reported a first quarter net loss of 481 million euros under the impact of the coronavirus crisis.The loss compared to a profit of 40 million euros ($43 million) in the same period last year.Revenues fell 15.2 percent to 10.6 billion euros, reflecting a “market environment strongly impacted” by the pandemic, “particularly in commercial aircraft.” Reuters earlier reported that the European planemaker had given its starkest assessment yet of damage from the coronavirus crisis, telling the company’s 135,000 employees to brace for potentially deeper job cuts and warning its survival is at stake without immediate action.In a letter to staff late last week, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said Airbus was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed” and that a recent drop of a third or more in production rates did not reflect the worst-case scenario and would be kept under review.Topics :last_img read more

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Hard Brexit impact on derivatives could cost schemes ‘hundreds of millions’

first_imgAs London has the largest market for derivatives, pension funds’ transactions with investment banks are usually subject to British legislation.Earlier this year, the Commission proposed that pension funds were made exempt from central clearing regulations, brought in under EMIR, until 2020. These require all derivatives trades to be conducted through a central clearing house.Verheijen said: “If the current exemption from mandatory central clearing for pension funds until August 2018 were not to be extended, central clearing must take place in London, where clearing house LCH has a 95% market share for schemes that have already started central clearing.“In case of a hard Brexit, the European Commission wants these contracts [to be] subject to European legislation, as it doesn’t want to be dependent on British legislation if a British clearing house goes bust.”In this case, contracts with LCH would have to be transferred to central clearing parties based on the European mainland. A hard Brexit could cost Dutch pension funds hundreds of millions of euros to rearrange derivatives transactions currently cleared through London, consultancy Cardano has suggested.Uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit negotiations has triggered questions about the legal status of derivatives contracts after the deadline of March 2019.“At the moment, pension funds are uncertain about where and when they must clear their contracts,” said Max Verheijen, head of financial markets at Cardano. “Pension funds must prepare for every scenario by concluding flexible clearing contracts.”Any transfer of derivatives contracts between trading venues would be expensive, he said. David Davis and Michel Barnier at a Brexit press conference in October 2017Source: EUThijs Aaten, managing director of the treasury centre of the €456bn asset manager APG, also expressed concerns about unexpected consequences of a hard Brexit for strongly regulated and complex derivatives transactions.“Existing contracts must be honoured, but what if an existing transaction leads to a new one, for example through calling an option?” he said. “Would this be a new transaction and would it be subject to existing or new regulation?”In his opinion, another problem would be mandatory ‘compression’ under EMIR legislation, which makes it compulsory to reduce a large number of transactions with the same bank to a smaller number of deals.Aaten also warned of a lack of legal clarity about whether a compression would be a new or an existing trade, and to what legislation it would be subject.Verheijen and Aaten both observed that British investment banks were preparing for both a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ Brexit and were setting up branches elsewhere in the EU.Aaten said he knew banks that had rented office space in Amsterdam with the option of sub-letting if the need to move did not arise. However he declined to provide details.“I keep a finger on the pulse and want to know whether I can continue a relationship with a British investment bank after March 2019,” he said.In Verheijen’s opinion, pension funds should make sure they can conduct central clearing of derivatives both in London and on the European mainland, as concluding a contract usually takes between six and nine months.“As we don’t know how the world looks after August 2018 and March 2019, we are already arranging flexible contracts with clearing members,” he said.Meanwhile, The Bank of England said that around £26trn (€29trn) of outstanding uncleared derivatives contracts could be affected by a withdrawal of permission to conduct cross-border business after Brexit, according to a record of meetings of its financial policy committee that was published today.The largest risks to the continuity of outstanding cross-border financial services contracts related to over-the-counter derivatives contracts and insurance contracts, the Bank noted. The committee had been informed by a representative of the UK’s Treasury department that it was considering all options for mitigating these risks.  Overall, the committee considered Brexit posed material risks to the provision of financial services to customers in both the UK and the EU.“It would difficult, ahead of March 2019, for financial companies on their own to mitigate fully the risks of disruption to financial services,” the meeting record said. “Timely agreement on an implementation period would reduce risks to financial stability.”last_img read more

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Cadbury Mondelēz takes a bite out of liabilities with £520m buy-in

first_img“This is a significant step to de-risk the scheme and our aim is to continue to do so in the future with good partners like Rothesay Life and Aon,” he added.Aon was an adviser to the scheme alongside Pinsent Masons.John Baines, partner at Aon, said the transaction was “a great example of how patience can pay dividends when setting a long-term strategy”. The Cadbury Mondelēz Pension Fund has completed a £520m (€560m) buy-in with Rothesay Life, its second tranche of de-risking in 10 years.The deal means the snack foods company scheme has insured around one-fifth of its £4.6bn of total liabilities. Its first buy-in was in 2009, for £500m.The transaction with Rothesay covers the liabilities associated with around 1,900 pensioner members. The bulk annuity is to be held as an asset of the scheme.Greg Chick, chairman of the trustees of the pension fund, referred to the deal as “the next step in a long-term de-risking strategy”. The pension de-risking market has been growing strongly in the past year on the back of a combination of factors, including a slowdown in life expectancy increases and strong capacity in the global reinsurance market.According to consultancy LCP, a record £34bn worth of transactions were struck in the 12 months to the end of June this year, with a record also being reached for the first half of the year.Aon said over £35bn of UK bulk annuities were expected to be concluded by the end of the year, “easily a record level”.On Tuesday HSBC’s UK pension fund announced it had completed a £7bn longevity swap, the second largest such arrangement for a UK scheme.Moody’s recently said growth in the UK bulk annuity market would increase insurers’ reliance on longevity reinsurance and illiquid assets, “with mixed credit implications”.The credit rating agency also noted that demand for bulk annuities could partially subside in the event of a no-deal Brexit, if it triggered a further drop in bond yields.last_img read more

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Due Diligence: Looking beyond Financial Performance

first_imgBy DNV GLWith oil and gas industry mergers and acquisitions expected to pick up this year, buyers and sellers need to focus on more than financials during due diligence. Other key considerations include environmental and safety impacts of projects or assets.Companies in the oil and gas sector are expecting increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2017 as a strategy to reorganize for the future, according to DNV GL’s seventh annual benchmark study capturing industry leaders’ priorities, concerns and confidence for the year ahead.A third of respondents surveyed expect their organizations to increase M&A activity in 2017, compared with an already significant 23% in 2016. Overall, 78% expect increased industry consolidation in the year ahead.Global professional services firm EY reports that it is starting to see an upwards shift in oil and gas deals as companies realize there may be a cost to inaction over potential or pending transactions.1 Deal drivers in the upstream sector, for example, include new transactions and refinancing to resolve distressed situations; greater availability of quality assets for acquisitions as companies accelerate portfolio optimization; the rise of creative deal structures, such as joint ventures, as parties seek to share project and capital risk; and a greater influence and presence of private equity.“Because there is such a pressure on margins, there will be continual opportunities for companies with strong balance sheets to look for opportunities,” says Thore E Kristiansen, chief operating officer, exploration and production, and executive director for Portuguese integrated energy company Galp Energia, in an interview for DNV GL’s research. “I see this trend continuing in 2017 – possibly with greater urgency because buyer and seller expectations [on price] are getting closer.”Some opportunities will stem from the five big international oil companies’ plans to sell some USD20-23 billion (bn) in assets this year. In January 2017, Shell sold up to USD4.7bn worth of assets in the UK and Thailand, for example.So far though, there has not been a wave of mega-deals brought on by lower oil prices. “I think this is down to increasing questioning of the big oil model, and because of the valuations in the marketplace, with few synergies working out at these levels,” says Edward Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodities research for DNV GL’s study. “There are similar issues for medium-sized companies in terms of the struggle to agree valuations.”As the big oil model comes under scrutiny, cost pressures are driving more industry collaboration. “Major oil and gas companies are becoming more dependent on smaller, more agile partners to develop certain discoveries, with the majors becoming predominately financiers towards some of these ventures, as opposed to implementing them,” says DNV GL’s Graeme Pirie, vice president, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.Diversification out of upstream oil and gasCost pressures aside, geopolitical factors are driving some companies to plan strategic moves towards decarbonization. Global energy supplier ENGIE, for example, is pursuing a transformation plan aimed at redesigning and simplifying its portfolio of activities towards a low carbon footprint and less exposure to commodity prices. As part of this plan, it has said that it could eventually sell its exploration and production (E&P) assets depending on the price.Moræus Hanssen, CEO, ENGIE E&PMaria Moræus Hanssen, CEO, ENGIE E&P, explains that the fundamental shift in ENGIE’s strategy is driven by decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization: “These three words describe the mega-trends that we see, and they are what we are aiming to reposition ourselves towards.”She expects to see more oil and gas companies hiving off E&P businesses and anticipates private equity becoming a main buyer of such assets: “E&P used to be big companies, big corporates. Now I think E&P is going to be more and more about companies owned by private equity firms, who have very different perspectives and very different behaviour: a lot of these buy and turn around things.”Non-financial due diligence for M&AAs increased M&A activity and expectations for new portfolio ownership models come into play, companies across the sector are taking on greater obligation to account for their environmental and safety performance in annual reports and other documents required by regulators and law.This trend is being given added impetus by the global decarbonization agenda. Indeed, only three per cent of senior oil and gas professionals say that their companies will be scaling down sustainability initiatives in 2017.The industry’s appetite for continued sustainable practice will appeal to the investment community, which is seeking reassurance over environmental risks in deals. A cross-industry report published by PwC reveals that up to 40% of private equity investors have seen poor environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance as a reason to demand a material discount on a purchase price, or to walk away from a deal.3“The potential or actual environmental liabilities associated with target deals across asset lifecycles can be substantial,” advises Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “Our due diligence teams provide regulatory compliance and management system suitability, safety, technical, commercial, and environmental due diligence for investing in or divesting oil and gas assets. They see that identifying and quantifying these risks allows purchasers and sellers to negotiate around terms and conditions that can make or break a deal.”As the industry reorganizes, the trend toward smaller players owning and operating assets, and the anticipated greater involvement by private equity, creates greater need for technical expertise to support due diligence.The PwC study suggests that private equity firms may be no less keen than current oil and gas asset owners to avoid unacceptable additional costs, fines or reputational damage. It finds ESG factors high up the agenda for private equity houses; more than two-thirds (70%) have made public commitments to invest responsibly across their portfolios. Of those surveyed, 44% plan to assess the impact on their portfolios of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while 36% see reputation benefits in supporting these goals.Meeting sustainability targets and requirementsDNV GL assists potential buyers and sellers of oil and gas sector assets to cost-effectively and safely meet business, regulatory and reputational objectives in the sustainability area. It can help the industry to align with the UN SDGs and with national regulations and initiatives implementing the COP21 Paris Agreement on limiting global warming.To help minimize any negative aspects of oil and gas developments while maximizing positive impacts such as affordable access to energy supplies, DNV GL has developed a framework for benchmarking financial and reputational consequences of exploiting resources worldwide.The framework measures total impact as the sum of economic, environmental and social impacts. It displays the results using a red-amber-green traffic light system. It is kept updated, and the results can be searched and visualized through the company’s online Resource Map.“Our approaches allow better-informed decisions to be made on how and where to improve social and environmental performance,” Tørstad says. “Greater transparency on safety and environmental risk management processes and sustainability reporting will give the sector much-needed credibility and speed up sustainability improvements for competitive advantage.”This article was first published in PERSPECTIVES (March 2017)The Industry Contribution is a new section in which the oil and gas industry companies share their project endeavors or analyses. This article was produced by Bosch Rexroth and does not necessarily reflect the view of OffshoreEnergyToday.com. No member of the editorial team took part in creation of this article. Please contact us at sm@navingo.com for inquiries.last_img read more

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Bruce backs Moyes to come good

first_imgSteve Bruce is convinced David Moyes will bring the good times back to Manchester United, provided he is given time to do the job. “We all hope to be given the time because it’s difficult to turn things around in weeks,” he said. “You need to get your own team together, to have your beliefs and principles. “With transfers windows now you can’t turn it around overnight, you’ve only got a certain time to bring new players in and let players out. “When any club is in transition it is always difficult and that’s normal.” But Bruce, who once harboured his own ambitions to replace Ferguson, thinks he can succeed if United stick by their six-year contract with the former Everton boss. “It’s particularly tough for David, but make no mistake, they’ll turn it around,” said Bruce. “Even the really top class managers like David need time to stamp their authority on it. “All of us in the game knew that whoever was going to follow Sir Alex was in for a difficult time. “David has found it difficult, but given time, with the experience he’s got, he will turn it around, I’m convinced of that. “I’m sure Manchester United will give him time. In their past and their history they’ve always done that and I’m sure that will never change.” Moyes’ inability to overhaul the squad last summer is seen as a key reason for his current travails, but the acquisition of record signing Juan Mata in January hinted at better things. Bruce, for one, never expected Moyes to revamp Ferguson’s title-winners inside just one season. Former Red Devils skipper Bruce, now in charge of Hull, has watched Moyes struggle all season with the task of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, with Sunday’s 2-2 draw against bottom club Fulham the latest disappointment. With their title defence stalled and a Champions League berth now looking unlikely, Moyes is facing a battle to prove his credentials. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Hughton prepared for more criticism

first_img Despite Wes Hoolahan – a January transfer target for Villa boss Paul Lambert that failed to come to fruition – opening the scoring in the third minute, the home side later rattled in their four goals in a devastating 16-minute spell. The result leaves Norwich four points above the relegation zone, but Hughton knows what to expect and how to handle the situation. “As a team, we have to take it on the chin; as a manager I have to accept any criticism that comes my way after a defeat,” said Hughton. “You have to lick your wounds. It’s a low point at the moment because we came into the game in good form, so this is a real hammer blow. “But you have to assess, and we weren’t good enough. That’s a fact. We were beaten, and well beaten in that 16-minute period. “But this is difficult because this is a result I didn’t see coming.” With so many managers sacked in the top flight this season, there are no guarantees Hughton will not be next. So when asked whether he felt he would still have the next 10 games, he replied: “I put all of my efforts into the job I do, so it (his future) is not something I think about. All season long questions have been raised with regard to Hughton’s future as Norwich fight to beat relegation from the Barclays Premier League. Last week’s 1-0 win over Champions League-chasing Tottenham will have kept the wolves from the door but in the wake of the Canaries’ latest capitulation against Villa, they will be snapping and snarling again. Press Association “The only way I can affect things is by getting the results we need. “We are one of 10 teams in the bottom half of the table that has had difficulties at some stage. “So all of my efforts and thoughts go into preparing the team, trying to do the best job I can, hoping to get good enough results.” Villa, with one of the worst home records in the Premier League, were awful for the opening 20 minutes during which the fans were starting to get on the backs of the players. But a wonder strike from Christian Benteke, volleying home from 15 yards after he had taken a Ron Vlaar pass on his chest to tee himself up, set Villa on their way in the 25th minute. Benteke headed home his 10th goal of the season two minutes later, with Leandro Bacuna rounding off a stunning counter-attack soon after before Norwich skipper Sebastien Bassong turned a Fabien Delph cross into his own net in the 41st minute. “It wasn’t a great start for us by any stretch of the imagination, but there was no panic,” said former Norwich manager Lambert. “For a half-hour period we were then blistering. I thought we looked fantastic. That was as good a period as we have played. “Christian’s first goal set the tone for what was to happen, and his goal was brill. “As soon as he scored that goal, his whole game changed, and there is no doubt when he is at it he is an absolute handful. “For the third goal, the counter-attack was absolutely fantastic.” Benteke was naturally delighted with his contribution, but knows the result was crucial for the team. “We started really bad, but made some changes and got the first goal and it was good for the team,” said Benteke. “After we scored the first goal we really played some good football and showed good character as well.” Villa are now up to 11th in the table, seven points clear of the drop zone, not that Lambert is bothered by his side’s position at present. “I never really look at it (the table),” said Lambert. “People were saying last week West Ham (in 10th) were well and truly out of it, and now all of a sudden we’re level, so it’s how you want to look at it.” The victory clearly relaxed Lambert as unlike many who were asked to leave the Trinity Road stand of Villa Park when a fire alarm sounded, the Scot did not evacuate, admitting: “I knew it was a false alarm.” The alarm bells, however, are ringing for Hughton and Norwich again. Norwich manager Chris Hughton is ready to again take the flak he is likely to face following his side’s 4-1 thrashing at Aston Villa.last_img read more

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Man City Back on Top after Fulham Win

first_imgManchester City cruised back to the top of the Premier League as they condemned strugglers Fulham to their eighth consecutive defeat.Pep Guardiola’s side quickly established their superiority in the west London sunshine, with Bernardo Silva’s 20-yard drive finding the bottom left corner inside five minutes.City, who had 10 shots in the first 15 minutes, added their second when Sergio Aguero sublimely lifted the ball over home goalkeeper Sergio Rico from close range. Some woeful defending from Fulham – who have now conceded 72 goals, the worst record in the top flight – contributed to both goals, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Joe Bryan both guilty of gifting the ball to City near their own goal.Scott Parker’s side also struggled to make an impression at the other end of the pitch and failed to register a shot on target.City, who are chasing an unprecedented quadruple, move one point above Liverpool, who host Tottenham today.The Cottagers stay second bottom, 16 points from safety with six league games remaining.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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USC names three philanthropists as new trustees

first_imgThree new women were named members of the USC Board of Trustees on Wednesday: Miriam Adelson, Suzanne Dworak-Peck and Claude Mann. All three have been involved with bettering the community and improving the lives of others, be it medical, social or philanthropic workA physician conducting research in drug addiction, Adelson founded, sponsors and serves as a chairman for two major drug abuse treatment and research centers in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv, Israel. Through her clinics, Adelson helps adults and teens overcome painkiller and opiate addiction. She and her husband, Sheldon G. Adelson, also support two foundations: the Adelson Family Foundation, backing Israel, and the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, advancing medical research.Suzanne Dworak-Peck has been a leader in the field of social work for 40 years, helping families in unfavorable conditions. She has served as president of the International Federation of Social Workers, the National Association of Social Workers and the organization’s California chapter. Focused on providing resources to the media, Dworak-Peck also founded the NASW Communications Network Inc. Just last month, she gave $60 million as a gift to the USC School of Social Work, now the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work.        Elected a life trustee, Claude Mann serves as the executive vice president of gifting and development for the Alfred Mann Foundation, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to developing advanced medical products and named in honor of her late husband.  Mann served on the USC Board of Trustees from 1998 until his death in 2016 and donated more than $174 million to advance USC’s contributions to human health, establishing the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Mann has also received many awards, including the Women of Achievement Award from the Women of Sheba, the Woman of Valor Award from the Women’s International Zionist Organization and the Larry King Heart Award.last_img read more

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Josh Shaw shores up corner spot

first_imgIn Saturday’s 24-14 victory at Washington, No. 10 USC’s defense shined bright.Though the offense struggled, the defense held strong and forced four Husky turnovers. Things could have gotten ugly, however, when junior cornerback Torin Harris went down with a reported concussion and did not return to the game.More to come · In limited duty this season, Josh Shaw already has two interceptions — one against Hawai’i and the other at Washington. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanThe cornerback spot opposite junior Nickell Robey has been a question mark the entire season, and Harris’ injury didn’t help depth at the position. Moreover, freshman Kevon Seymour, who had been rotating the most with Harris, made the trip to Seattle, but did not suit up for unspecified reasons.But the defense’s biggest — and perhaps only — question mark might have been resolved Saturday, as sophomore Josh Shaw stepped in and played admirably. Shaw, a transfer from Florida, had practiced at cornerback intermittently the week before but had not seen significant playing time on defense before the Washington game.Shaw, who has mostly practiced at safety, drew the praise of coach Lane Kiffin for his performance against Washington.“I thought Josh did good, really,” Kiffin said. “To go in that fast at corner … that wasn’t the plan. He got forced into there by people coming out.”Shaw has had a bumpy road to USC. He began his career at Florida after a standout career at Palmdale High School in Palmdale, Calif. A high school All-American, rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, Shaw went to play for the Florida Gators but was injured early in his freshman season. He came back strong his next season on campus and had 22 tackles and played in 10 games.Shaw decided to transfer to USC, however, to be closer to an ailing family member. And luckily for him, he was granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA, allowing him to play without sitting out a season, per normal transfer rules.Despite his experience in the SEC, he was listed as a third-string safety on the depth chart in advance of USC’s game against Washington, mostly because of USC’s abundance of players at the position.A permanent move to cornerback might allow him to see the field more often.“I knew coming into this week I was going to end up having my opportunity to play,” Shaw said after the Washington game. “So I was just ready in all cases … whether I was going to go in at safety or corner. I came out here and I just wanted to help our team win.”Compared to Harris, who was beaten for a touchdown earlier in the game, Shaw didn’t give up any points and went largely untested.He even recorded an interception toward the end of the contest, catching a tipped pass when Washington quarterback Keith Price had the chance to narrow the Trojans’ 10-point gap.“The guy dropped the ball and I just dove for it and made a play on it,” Shaw said.Despite not playing significant minutes in any game up to this point, and mostly appearing on special teams, Shaw indicated that fatigue and rust did not affect him.“It wasn’t really difficult,” Shaw explained. “I have great players on the side of the ball with me. I have T.J. [McDonald] back there, Jawanza [Starling], so they make it a lot easier for me.”The defense was tested against Washington, as senior quarterback Matt Barkley and the offense failed to score any points in the second half. The Trojans were repeatedly tested in the passing game, but held strong due in large part to strong play from the secondary.Harris’ status is unknown at this point, as USC’s injury policy prevents Kiffin from commenting on injuries.Regardless, it is likely that Shaw will play a part in the Trojans’ defensive game plan the rest of the season because of his strong play Saturday, even though Kiffin, in Sunday’s conference call, would not fully commit to him as the starter in the spot going forward.Perhaps more importantly, Shaw was pleased with his effort overall and praised the defense’s perseverance.“What really happened was we bent but we didn’t break,” Shaw said. “Whenever that happens, I think that’s a win for us.”last_img read more

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