Investor groups up pressure on Mitsubishi, other Japanese backers of planned Vietnam coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nikkei Asia:A group of mostly European asset managers have urged trading house Mitsubishi Corp. and seven other Japanese companies to withdraw from a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, which they say is inconsistent with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement on climate change.“We respectfully urge you to declare your decision not to be associated with or involved in Vung Ang 2, as we find the project to suffer from high climate-related, financial and reputational risks,” an open letter from the group said.The group comprises 21 institutional investors which together manage $5.6 trillion in assets. The letter was written by Eric Pedersen, head of responsible investments at Helsinki-based Nordea Asset Management, and is co-signed by asset managers including Amundi of France, Storebrand Asset Management of Norway, Church Commissioners for England, Church of Sweden and Luxemburg-based Soderberg & Partners Asset Management.It represents a new wave of pressure Japan Inc. faces from global investors to exit coal, following the Japanese government’s decision last month to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.The Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant is located in central Vietnam.The letter from Nordea and its partners was sent to 12 companies involved in the coal power project, eight of them Japanese, which include Mitsubishi Corp., Chugoku Electric Power and Japan’s three biggest banks Mizuho Financial Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group. South Korea’s Korea Electric Power and Samsung C&T Corporation, China’s Energy China GPEC, along with American conglomerate General Electric also received the letter.[Hiroko Matsumoto]More: Ditch Vietnam coal-fired plant, investors tell Mitsubishi and banks Investor groups up pressure on Mitsubishi, other Japanese backers of planned Vietnam coal plantlast_img read more

Frigate Independência Returns to Brazil After Concluding its Mission in Lebanon

first_imgBy Brazilian Navy Public Affairs Office December 15, 2020 On December 2, 2020, the Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese) announced that the frigate Independência has began its return trip to Brazil after completing its mission with the Maritime Task Force (FTM, in Portuguese) of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Brazil will continue operating with the FTM through January 2021, with some 16 service members. Three MB service members will also retain other functions in the UNIFIL Command Joint Staff.During nine years of consecutive operations, and with the participation of an MB ship, more than 3,600 service members have cooperated with the Lebanese government to stop the entry of unauthorized arms and equipment into its territory by sea, to train the Lebanese Navy, and to take part in surveillance of maritime and land areas. During this period, the FTM inspected more than 71,200 ships and directed about 14,100 of them to Lebanese authorities for inspection, at sea or on land, operating in the 17,000-square-kilometer Maritime Area of Operations.In addition, Brazil’s political and strategic participation in the FTM-UNIFIL Command enabled the Brazilian Navy to demonstrate leadership capabilities and coordination, while incorporating logistics and operational knowledge.The conclusion of the MB ship participation in UNIFIL rests on an ample study that the MB carried out in 2019. The study evaluated operational gains against logistics efforts required to maintain an MB ship for six months in the region, and pointed to the need to reorient the strategic posture of the force, also considering the following:a) The National Defense Policy, the National Defense Strategy, and the Strategic Plan of the MB, which includes the South Atlantic as a strategic environment for the country, and requires converging efforts to operate in this large region, rich in natural resources, but with threats.b) Illegal fishing, environmental crimes, drug trafficking, and piracy, among others, are part of the reality of this strategic environment. In this context, there is an imperative need for constant updates and reorientation of plans and strategic conduct of the MB, considering its capabilities.c) The maritime area corresponding to the Blue Amazon, in the South Atlantic, with about 5.7 million km2, where more than 95 percent of our foreign trade crosses, and about 95 percent of the national oil is extracted, a collection of live resources, minerals, and environmental sites, including strategic ports, industrial, and energy centers, which increasingly demand more robust presence of the MB and other relevant institutions, as well as the development of monitoring and control systems, contributing to the promotion of a defense mentality within society, compatible with Brazil’s international stature.As such, the MB will continue to contribute to UNIFIL with its knowledge, personnel and, on another front, will focus on strengthening its presence in the South Atlantic and Blue Amazon — crucial assets for national development — to improve its current operational capacity, guarantee the security of Brazilian citizens, and develop its strategic programs.last_img read more

The art of tough conversations

first_imgDifficult discussions are necessary—at least if you want people to correct mistakes, learn, and grow. But they can be less difficult if you just remember one critical rule: You’re trying to help, not win.At some point you will have to have a difficult conversation at work. There’s just no way around it. Whether you’re giving not-so-positive feedback to an employee, broaching a sensitive issue with a co-worker, or even confronting a moody employee, there will come a time when you need to bite the proverbial bullet and just say what needs saying.Holding a tough conversation is not a task for the timid. There’s an art to doing it well (i.e., in a way that doesn’t make the other person cry, explode, or tune out what you’re saying). Even if you haven’t yet mastered that art, Studer Group’s Lynne Cunningham says you’ll likely do OK if you focus on this key phrase: Seek to complete, not compete.“People tend to enter tough conversations from a place of competing—they’re dead-set on proving themselves right and the other person wrong,” says Cunningham, author of Taking Conversations From Difficult to Doable: 3 Models to Master Tough Conversations. “The other person will focus on your tone and demeanor, not your message, and you end up harming the relationship. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Does an increase in first-time homeownership mean trouble for the rental industry?

first_img6.75 2013-2015 *Projection**Note that as 2019 has yet to conclude, we have not included it.In a LendEDU survey, 89% of non-homeowning Millennials between the ages of 23 and 38 wish to become a homeowner at some point. Most of these aspiring, first-time buyers are renters relying on good credit scores for mortgage loan approval. 2020-2022* 2010-2012 First-time homeownership is on the rise. According to a recent TransUnion projection, at least 8.3 million first-time homebuyers will enter the mortgage market between 2020 and 2022. That number could reach 9.2 million if economic growth exceeds expectations — a significant acceleration from the 7.6 million first-time homebuyers added in the last three-year period (2016–2018). Three-Year Date Range Number of first-time homebuyers is expected to rise in the next three years continue reading » 8.31 to 9.20 2007-2009 7.64 6.32 Millions of First-Time Homebuyers (Originations) 2016-2018** 6.67 ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Govt hopes to boost homeownership through new Tapera program, but employers, workers concerned about fees

first_imgPublic policy expert from the University of Indonesia, Agus Pambagio, also weighed in on the issue, urging the government to focus on solving land ownership issues that had caused housing prices to jump.“Most of our residential areas are controlled by a small group of calo [middleman] who treat land as a commodity, driving up prices. We should fix the system first,” he told the Post.Furthermore, he said the government should also evaluate Tapera’s preceding agency, the Housing Savings Advisory Board for Civil Servants (Bapertarum-PNS), before moving forward with Tapera as the former agency had been plagued with issues.BP Tapera is set to replace Bapertarum-PNS, with the latter expected to hand over its assets totaling Rp 12.3 trillion (US$861 million) to the former. The government has injected Rp 2.5 trillion into BP Tapera so far.Bapertarum-PNS has a total of 6.7 million participants, both active civil servants and retirees.“We frequently saw budget shortages when the participants wanted to use their benefits, so they usually also applied for an additional loan from a bank. The government should examine the failures of Bapertarum,” Agus said.Read also: Budget for public works and transportation slashed by Rp 54.8 trillion The government has laid out a goal to increase the homeownership rate to 70 percent, from the current 56.7 percent, in the 2020-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN).Read also: Analysis: Tapera Law: Government’€™s effort to curb housing problem President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed Government Regulation (PP) No. 25/2020 on Tapera on May 20, which provides instructions for fund management body BP Tapera and makes membership compulsory for all workers.The regulation requires participants to make a monthly deposit equal to 3 percent of the employee’s monthly salary, which is split between the employer and employee for private sector workers, with the employee paying 2.5 percent and the employer paying 0.5 percent.Both workers and employers have opposed the newly signed regulation, which they describe as redundant and burdening.Read also: Jokowi signs regulation on Tapera public housing savings program Eko said the ministry had provided mortgage loan (KPR) subsidies for 950,000 housing units from 2015 to 2019, and hoped to boost homeownership funding through Tapera.“We can’t always rely on our limited state-budget [APBN], and Tapera could provide funding to increase [homeownership],” he said. Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani said the government should instead utilize the existing social security program, the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan), which already has a legal basis for helping to fund homeownership.“We already have old-age benefits [JHT] that are included in BPJS Ketenagakerjaan that could be used to purchase homes. Why do we need another program that requires us to pay even more, when we already have a similar program?” Hariyadi told The Jakarta Post in an interview.BPJS Ketenagakerjaan participants can withdraw 30 percent of their JHT balance to purchase a house or 10 percent of their balance for other necessities, according to PP No. 46/2015 on the national social security system.Timboel Siregar, the secretary-general of the Indonesian All Workers Organization’s (OPSI), complained that the benefits of Tapera could only be used by low-income participants (MBR) while other participants were prohibited from withdrawing their balance until they reached the pension age of 58 years old.“If we take a look at the program, all workers are obliged to pay premiums, but the benefits are only for MBR. Even though our money is being kept and invested, the Tapera regulation does not guarantee a good return on their investment,” Timboel told the Post in a separate interview.Read also: No way to ‘stay home’ without decent home food and cash The government aims to boost homeownership in Indonesia through its public housing savings program (Tapera), which requires employers and workers to contribute to a mortgage loan scheme similar to universal healthcare insurance. However, some employers and workers have said the program will be an added burden.Public Works and Housing Ministry Infrastructure Financing Director General Eko Djoeli Heripoerwanto said recently that Tapera would help provide funds for first-time homebuyers and increase the homeownership rate.”Our target is to help 11 million new homeowners to purchase homes. To achieve this, the government must provide funds [via Tapera] to 5 million households,” he told a virtual press briefing on June 5. Responding to the growing criticism, BP Tapera commissioner Adi Setianto told journalists during a press conference on June 5 that participation from higher-income households was needed to provide long-term funds for MBR. Participants could still enjoy their benefits in the form of invested funds, he added.“We need to have a spirit of gotong royong [mutual assistance] from higher-earning participants in order to provide long-term funding for the program that will benefit low-income workers,” said Adi.In addition, Adi said Tapera was benchmarking its mortgage rates with the Housing Financing Liquidity Facility (FLPP), which provides a fixed interest rate of 5 percent for 20 years, way below the normal rate used in the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan scheme.“The difference between BPJS Ketenagakerjaan’s mortgage benefits and Tapera is that we use the FLPP rate, which is lower than the commercial rate the BPJS uses,” he said.Eko said the FLPP program would also be gradually integrated with Tapera when the agency was fully operational.Private companies are given a seven-year deadline to register their workers in Tapera. BP Tapera will focus on the program transfer of FLPP and managing the transfer of participants from Bapertaperum-PNS until 2021, before expanding membership to state-owned enterprises, regional-owned enterprises, the Indonesian Military and the National Police in 2022. “By 2024, we hope BP Tapera will be a world-class and credible institution,” Adi said.BP Tapera has appointed state-owned Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) as the custodian bank for the funds. The agency also appointed five investment managers, comprising both private and state-owned financial institutions.Topics :last_img read more

Indians seek out fortune tellers to fight COVID-19 blues

first_imgIn his golden-hued office, decked out with peacock feathers and crystal balls, Indian mystic healer and astrologer Sanjay Sharma is busy offering his clients a peek into their future as the COVID-19 pandemic has muddied their present.”Right now people are really frightened about their future,” said Sharma, with flowing hair and a big vermilion dot on his forehead, as smoldering incense sticks spread their fragrance over an Apple laptop on his desk.”How will they survive? Will they have their jobs or not? Will their business survive or not,” he added. Ajay Bhambi, a well-known astrologer and spiritual consultant to politicians, Bollywood stars and professional cricketers, said his business had risen 40 percent since the COVID-19 outbreak.”You keep the hopes alive and see what is exactly stored for them in future,” said Bhambi, a regular on Indian TV networks. “If I see a little ray, then I can create a better picture for them.”He predicted India’s COVID-19 crisis would significantly improve from March onward.To be sure, not every mystic is flooded with customers. For example, Kripajyoti Nisha Singla, a cosmic healer who also practices hypnotherapy, said she has cancelled sessions because of a lack of demand.”The energies which I got was that people were saving money,” Singla said. “Everyone’s very concerned about their finances, very uncertain about how they are going to survive” if the coronavirus crisis extends. Topics : Indians are flocking to astrologers, tarot card readers and faith healers as they seek to know what lies ahead and find solutions to current health, financial and mental problems in a country where coronavirus cases have rocketed to 3.3 million – the third-highest in the world – with more than 60,000 deaths.”Whenever our mind is really disturbed and we feel anxious, we come here,” said Anju Devi, 52, who asked Sharma about her son’s dwindling business and the prospects of her daughter’s marriage. “Those who are in depression and taking medicines, they feel uplifted after coming here and it helps them come out of those situations.”Indian astrologers, palm readers, numerologists and tarot card readers are estimated to generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue. Charges vary from 100 rupees ($1.50) for a quick session with a palmist to several thousand rupees for a long session with a popular spiritual guide.Read also: Written in the stars: In chaos, Thai politicians turn to clairvoyantslast_img read more

Kardashian-Jenner palace for sale for a surprisingly low price

first_imgThe home was ready to move into according to the listing agent. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Palazzo Dei Sogni is for sale for $12.23m ($US8.995m). Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Palazzo Dei Sogni has seven bedrooms. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Even the kitchen has chandeliers. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Robert E. Howell of Keller Williams Beverly Hills is the listing agent. Photo credit: Steven J. MagnerThe decadent Southern California mansion in the prestigious Fryman Estates in Studio City “has been seen by more TV viewers than just about any other home in recent years”, according to US-based TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.“The front facade and grounds were used from season four of the program as the Kardashian-Jenner family home.”More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours ago No expense was spared when the home was renovated in 2005. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner There are eight bathrooms in the mansion. Photo credit: Steven J. MagnerHe said it was inspired by Medici Castle in Florence, and extensively remodelled in 2005.“So stunning this villa, the front and grounds were used countless times as the home in “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” as well as in the filming of HBO’s “True Blood” and “Rome” series. With sweeping cathedral high ceilings, stone columns, hand-tooled woodwork, Venetian hand plastered walls, 17th century chandeliers and artist Giorgio Tuscani’s spectacular murals, upon entering the breathtaking foyer you are undeniably transported to Italy.” The palatial residence was the television home of the Kardashian-Jenner family for 10 seasons. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Palazzo Dei Sogni was the television home facade of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Photo credit: Steven J. MagnerTHE palatial television home of the Kardashian-Jenner family has hit the market – and it costs less than Brisbane’s most expensive house. Palazzo Dei Sogni – which is Italian for Palace of Dreams – was the “home” of the reality TV series for 10 seasons and hit the market for a surprisingly low $12.23 million ($US8.995m), much less than Brisbane’s most expensive home at Kangaroo Point ($18m). The property has been used in countless television shoots. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Just about everything in the home is ornate. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner Many of the most outstanding features of the home were imported. Photo credit: Steven J. MagnerListing agent Robert E. Howell of Keller Williams Beverly Hills said “on a scale from 1 to 10 … this is an 11!”.He said the grand 724sq m Italian home was on almost an acre (3,560sq m) of parklike grounds in a celebrity enclave. Neighbours includes the likes of George Clooney, Miley Cyrus and Bruno Mars.“This villa is a masterpiece, boasting fresco ceilings, gourmet indoor and outdoor chefs’ kitchens, theatre, saltwater pool with waterfalls, wine cellar with tasting room, all of which are done with the finest imported finishes.” The outdoor kitchen sits below the pool area. Photo credit: Steven J. Magner The luxury villa has a cinema room with dropdown 12-foot screen. Photo credit: Steven J. MagnerThe seven bedroom, eight bathroom, 10-car garage home also has Paris Opera House sconces, a 100-year-old fountain, a cinema room with a 12-foot screen, a 2,000-bottle wine cellar and a billiards room with what must be the most over-the-top pool table in the world.According to Mr Howell, the palatial “Kardashian-Jenner” villa was “move in ready”. The home is in a celebrity enclave. Photo credit: Steven J. Magnerlast_img read more

Triple-storey luxury home and award-winning property ready for weekend auctions

first_img7 Stewart St, Clayfield.A two-storey architectural masterpiece in a quiet cul-de-sac at 7 Stewart St, Clayfield, will go to auction this weekend.Featuring black limestone and imported marble throughout, Ray White New Farm selling agent Christine Rudolph said the owners of the five-bedroom, four-bathroom home had absolutely loved living there.FREE: Get the latest real estate news direct to your inbox here.7 Stewart St, Clayfield.“Particularly, they have enjoyed the privacy it offered them with their teenage children who had their own separate wing of the home for living,” Ms Rudolph said.7 Stewart St, Clayfield.Ms Rudolph said the family originally came from acreage and wanted inner city living which was secluded and private yet provided a feeling of spaciousness while remaining low maintenance.“As empty nesters, their children have now left home and they have plans to enjoy travelling the world and working on several other exciting residential projects they have in the pipeline,” she said.“They have always appreciated beautiful property and were also drawn to the high quality of standard with the award-winning architectural design.”The property features plenty of space and clever flexibility with separate zones for parents, children or multiple generations, including a generous guest suite on the lower level.The auction is scheduled for 1pm on Saturday.Despite only 98 auctions being held in Brisbane this week, Corelogic auction spokesman Kevin Brogan described the market as steady.He said the cooler weather may have an impact on the lower number of auctions being held in Brisbane this week.45 Carville St, Annerley.Renovators will be keen to take a look at 45 Carville St, Annerley which goes to auction at 10am on Saturday.Take a look inside the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home and embrace the original period features.The kitchen area at 45 Carville St, Annerley.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoThe bedroom at 45 Carville St, Annerley.The property, being marketed by Ben Cannon from Ray White — Stones Corner, is a blank canvas ready for a new creation.45 Carville St, Annerley.Mr Cannon said the home was blessed with plenty of soul, great bones and an elevated northeastern views over the Annerley district.38 Old Logan Road, Gailes.At 9am, a 1950s two-bedroom, one-bathroom home at 38 Old Logan Rd, Gailes, will go to auction.McGrath — Springfield selling agent Steve Hodgson said the property was ideal for a first homebuyer or investor.Mr Hodgson said the property was going to auction as a mortgagee exercising power of sale.“It’s a unique property that dates back to the 1950s,” he said.101 Lambert Rd, Indooroopilly.This new luxury 5-star home with five bedrooms and three bathrooms will go to auction at 10am on Saturday.The three-level property at 101 Lambert Rd, Indooroopilly has never been lived in, according to selling agent Jason Adcock, from Adcock Prestige — Brisbane.101 Lambert Rd, Indooroopilly.Mr Adcock said the home was on a low maintenance block and walking distance to St Peters, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre and the train station.Thick artificial grass in the backyard and around the in-ground pool provides year-round greenery with no watering or lawnmower required.405 Brisbane Corso, Yeronga.Take a look at this stunning four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 405 Brisbane Corso, Yeronga.The property goes to auction at 10am on Saturday and features an oversized deep water pontoon.Place — New Farm selling agent Judy Goodger said: “This wonderful family home is on 1401sq m of direct riverfront land with over 30m of frontage”.“The home has drawn excellent interest during the marketing campaign,” Ms Goodger said.405 Brisbane Corso, Yeronga.The property features a media room, games room, gym, and library.Beyond the interiors, other features include a jacuzzi, sauna, built-in barbecue area with marble benches, expansive riverside outdoor terrace with built-in surround sound, electronic gated entrance with video intercom and double garage with a separate workshop or third garage complete this family home.last_img read more

Mysterton stunner hits the market

first_img1 Hammond St, MystertonThe leafy suburb on the city fringe has long been a drawcard for people seeking spacious homes that are still close to the city and schools.Owner Carla Valmorbida has lived in the house with her family for five years and said they fell in love with the property the first time they saw it.“We loved the top deck and being a corner house you feel like you’re in your own little world when you’re sitting there,” she said.“We also loved the idea of two completely separate and independent living areas with two separate kitchens and we really enjoy having family visit from Melbourne come up and stay there. 1 Hammond St, MystertonONE of Mysterton’s finest homes has hit the market with 1 Hammond St listed for sale for $950,000. The six-bedroom, three-bathroom house has four-car accommodation and is on a 900sq m block in one of Mysterton’s most popular streets. 1 Hammond St, MystertonMore from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“When we looked at it we fell in love with the tropical gardens and the resort-style pool because you could just see yourself lying there beside it.”Ms Valmorbida said that while the house still had Queenslander features, the interior was more modern.“It combines the best of Queensland life but it was fresh and light, the kitchen was functional and modern and the bathrooms were really nice,” she said. “It’s also in a really quiet area but is still close to schools, the city and The Mater Hospital.“We loved living there and we always felt very safe.”The house features vertical joint walls, polished timber floors and high ceilings.The modern kitchen overlooks the outdoor dining area while there is also a tropical pool.The master bedroom has ample wardrobe space and a bathroom with an oversized bath tub and double shower.center_img 1 Hammond St, MystertonOutside there is 68sq m of garage space with high clearance while there is side access that could be used to store a boat, trailer or caravan.Andrew Forster from Knight Frank is marketing the property and said the property had the rare feature of having completely self-contained, separate living quarters downstairs.“This home has gone through a thorough renovation but they have paid homage to the original features while providing lots of modern convenience,” he said.“It’s very unusual in that it has four bedrooms upstairs and two bedrooms downstairs with another kitchen and bathroom. “These owners had an au pair who lived downstairs but it could also be good if you had older kids.”The property was not flood affected. 1 Hammond St will be open for inspection on Sunday from 11.30am-12.30pm. For more information call Andrew Forster on 0477 220 766.last_img read more

Vessels and crew wanted for geotechnical surveys offshore Germany

first_imgIn April 2017, EnBW secured rights to develop the 900 MW project by placing a zero-subsidy bid in the first competitive tender in Germany. The wind farm is scheduled to be commissioned by 2025. The deadline for submitting applications for the tender is 19 October by 13:00 local time. According to EnBW, the aim of the new investigation is to meet with the governmental regulations for offshore wind farm installations according to BSH Standard 7004. He Dreiht is located within the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the North Sea, about 85km north of the island Borkum and 95km west of the island Helgoland. The contract will begin on 1 March 2021 and end on 15 June the same year. The sought work comprises five tasks, including a UXO survey, CPTu survey, sampling, offshore laboratory works, as well as reporting. EnBW has opened a tender to hire sea-going vessels with crew for the main geotechnical investigation at the He Dreiht offshore wind project in Germany.last_img read more