Inner City

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Government to offer $62.3b in bonds in H2 to finance coronavirus fight

first_imgIndonesia is preparing to offer Rp 900.4 trillion (US$62.35 billion) worth of sovereign debt papers (SBN) in the second half of the year as debt financing swells significantly to fund the country’s coronavirus response.The government had raised Rp 630.5 trillion worth of SBN as of June this year, including $4.3 billion from a three-tranche United States dollar denominated bond in April and $2.5 billion from a three-tranche global sukuk (sharia-compliant bond) last month, according to the Finance Ministry’s financing strategy and portfolio director, Riko Amir.“The market will not be able to absorb all of the Rp 900.4 trillion worth of bonds and therefore there will be a burden sharing scheme between the government and Bank Indonesia,” Riko said in a discussion on Thursday. The government, he went on to say, was still in negotiations with the central bank on the details of the scheme. The central bank and the government are set to sign an agreement on a bond sale program worth Rp 574 trillion at zero interest or below the market rate of 7 percent, which will be the largest debt monetization program among developing economies.Read also: Indonesia raises $930m in samurai bonds to fund pandemic responseUnder the agreement, Bank Indonesia (BI) will buy Rp 397.6 trillion worth of bonds with zero yields for healthcare and social safety net programs, among other things.The central bank will also purchase Rp 123.4 trillion worth of bonds with a 3.25 percent yield to fund relief programs for small and medium businesses as well as Rp 53.57 trillion worth of bonds to rescue big businesses with a 4.25 percent interest rate, the current benchmark rate. “BI is ready to share the burden not only in the financing efforts but also those related to the debts,” BI Governor Perry Warjiyo told lawmakers on Monday, adding that the scheme would ease the government’s burden for paying higher interest rates as a result of the widening deficit.The central bank has already been buying government bonds in auctions, although in small portions, to help finance the government’s spending. BI has so far bought Rp 30.33 trillion in government bonds directly at auctions and bought another Rp 166.2 trillion of bonds in the secondary market to help stabilize the country’s currency.Under an emergency law issued by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak’s economic impacts, BI is allowed to buy government bonds directly at auctions. Previously, the central bank could only buy the debt papers on the secondary market.The government is facing the daunting task of borrowing Rp 1.53 quadrillion this year to fund the budget deficit, which is expected to reach 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), as well to finance investments and repay its debts.Read also: Administrative issues hamper COVID-19 budget disbursement: Sri MulyaniThis is an increase from a previous borrowing needs projection of Rp 1.4 quadrillion announced by the government in April, as it has now allocated Rp 695.2 trillion budget to strengthen the healthcare system and bolster the economy amid the pandemic.According to the ministry’s presentation materials, the borrowing needs will increase the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio to around 37.64 to 38.5 percent by the end of year from around 30 percent in 2019.“We will maintain the debt ratio within the safe limit of below 60 percent of GDP and we will be prudent in managing the debts while also supporting the countercyclical policies,” said Riko.The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the country’s economy as the government now expects a full year growth of only 1 percent under a baseline scenario or a 0.4 percent contraction under a worst-case scenario.Topics :last_img read more

Governor Wolf Statement on Emergence of a Case of MCR-1 in Pennsylvania

first_img Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today issued a statement about the emergence of a case of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance (mcr-1) in Pennsylvania:“We have learned about a human case of mcr-1 in a Pennsylvania resident, and my administration, through the Department of Health, immediately began working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the United States Department of Defense (DOD), to coordinate an appropriate and collaborative response between federal, state, and local entities. We are taking the emergence of this resistance gene very seriously and we will take necessary actions to prevent mcr-1 from becoming a widespread problem with potentially serious consequences. The safety of Pennsylvanians is our utmost priority.”Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: May 26, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf Statement on Emergence of a Case of MCR-1 in Pennsylvanialast_img read more

Pensionskassen insolvency reform to impact on occupational pensions

first_imgThe reform of the Betriebsrentengesetz, the law that protects German Pensionskassen in case of an employer’s bankruptcy, can have an impact on the appeal of occupational pensions, according to consultants.Under the new rule, employers are required to contribute to the equalisation fund set up by the mutual insurance association for German occupational pension schemes, the Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG (PSV).Contribution are calculated in 9‰ (promille), which takes into account the rate for 2021, set at 3‰ (promille), and an additional contribution of 1.5‰ (promille) for the years 2022-2025.“The employer has to pay the contribution to the PSV, but the PSV will step in only if the Pensionskassen cannot pay pensions in full and the employer is insolvent,” Kai Lehmberg, consultant for policy matters at the Hannoversche Kassen, told IPE. Employers will reconsider how and if to continue to provide occupational pensions, he said.“In this case we will have to see what kind of consequences the reform will have on occupational pensions.”BaFin, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, has 36 Pensionskassen under intensive scrutiny, according to a reply from the German government to a parliamentary inquiry, and has already approved applications to cut pension benefits filed by seven funds.With the reform, the legislator decided to widen the scope of the PSV for regulated Pensionskassen precisely given the difficult situation that retirement funds navigate, said Michael Ries, managing partner at Ries Corporate Solutions.But, he added, the reduction of benefits by Pensionskassen will lead to problems for sponsor companies, which will have later on to compensate for reductions and pay contributions to the PSV.“This is catastrophic for the Pensionskassen, and will be fatal for the acceptance and the appeal of occupational pensions,” Ries said.“This is catastrophic for the Pensionskassen, and will be fatal for the acceptance and the appeal of occupational pensions” Michael Ries, managing partner at Ries Corporate SolutionsEmployers that run occupational pensions through regulated Pensionskassen will have to pay contributions to PSV on top of the normal contributions for old-age provisions.“The legislator wants to have the highest level of security, and it is the only way that makes sense because the alternative is the liability of state, and that is not a viable realistic alternative,” Lehmberg said.He added that, however, further contributions may lead employers, in particular small firms, to consider whether to provide occupational pensions through Pensionskassen.Unfair treatmentHannoversche Kassen has adjusted the interest rate for future benefits because it cannot always guarantee to generate 3% return, and make promises that won’t be able to keep, Lehmberg said.“We have the possibility to react flexibly and to generate for the future what we have promised,” he said, but employers pay the same amount of contributions for Pensionskassen that have taken, or have not taken risks.“It is unfair that all regulated Pensionskassen are treated the same way even though some are financially well in shape and others not so financially well equipped. The reform does not close this gap and all regulated Pensionskasse are disadvantaged,” he said.The reform extends the protection provided by PSV to company pensions organised through Pensionskassen, excluding public sector schemes and company pensions organised through funds that already fall under the Protektor Lebensversicherungs, the guarantee scheme for German life insurers.Hannoversche Kassen believes the Protektor Lebensversicherungs is not as well equipped as the PSV.“If the employer manages the occupational pension through a Direktversicherung (direct insurer) and the insurer struggles financially, then the protektor steps in. The Protektor does not have to pay full pensions in special cases, and the difference has to be paid by the employer. The protector system is not always beneficial,” Lehmberg said.Through the reform, the legislator has changed the insurers’ contract formula, or versicherungsvertragliche Lösung, which gave employers the possibility to limit the number of claims from an employee that decided to step out early from an occupational pension organized through a direct insurer.“We welcome this part of the reform because it gives planning security, and there will not be litigation between the parties,” Lehmberg said.For Ries, instead, the employer remains liable to compensate  the Pensionskasse’s reductions of benefits.“The legislator wants to reinforce the cover of the beneficiaries but impacts the reputation, the appeal of the occupational pension and will reach the opposite result of that of the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz. It will be a catastrophe,” he said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Venezuela arrests two Americans in failed ‘invasion’ try

first_imgPresident Nicolas Maduro, shown in a handout picture released by the Venezuelan Presidency speaking to members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, announced that two Americans were arrested for taking part in the failed “invasion.” AFP Maduro appeared on state television to show the passports of Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, and told the Venezuelan military high command that the pair were members of the US security forces. (AFP) The arrests came a day after the government said it foiled an “invasion” from the sea, killing eight assailants and capturing two others.center_img CARACAS – Two Americans were detained in Venezuela on Monday on suspicion of plotting to topple President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which has accused US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido of bankrolling the scheme.last_img read more

Tips to help save at the energy meter

first_imgGreensburg, IN—Trying to stay cool during this heatwave in Indiana? That probably means you’re using more energy at home – which can lead to a higher energy bill. Air conditioners use a lot of electricity, but there are a few things you can do to help avoid surprises on your monthly bill according to duke energy.Three tips for understanding your billThe first step to keeping your bill in check is understanding what’s on it. Here’s what to look for:Billing cycle lengthCheck the number of days in your billing cycle. Most bills cover 30 days, but sometimes it varies. Bills that cover more days can be higher.Average kWhLook at average kilowatt-hour (kWh) use per day. At first glance, your bill may look higher, but if your average use is similar to the same time last year, or similar to another month with extreme temps, it’s a normal bill.Online usage toolsIf you have a smart meter, check for a daily usage analysis tool online. Smart meters collect the info by the hour, so you can check for spikes in energy use to see what appliances and behaviors are increasing your bill.10 ways to avoid billing surprisesNow for the good stuff. Here are some things you can do to keep tabs on your energy use and lower your bill.Get usage alerts thru text messages.The best way to avoid billing surprises is to track your use. Duke Energy customers with a smart meter can sign up for Usage Alerts. Similar to data alerts you get from your cellphone company, you can set a budget amount for your monthly energy bill and receive notices when you are approaching your limit.Upgrade your bulbs.Replace standard bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are more efficient than regular bulbs and emit less heat, while giving off the same amount of light.Check your HVAC.Have your heating and cooling system checked to maintain performance. Duke Energy offers qualified customers rebates to help offset the cost of replacing older units with energy-efficient ones. Use to find a certified contractor.Change your filters.Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes an HVAC system work harder and use more energy.Adjust your thermostat.Set your thermostat as high as comfortable. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your energy bill will be.Shut the blinds.Close blinds and curtains on sunny days.Put the whole-house fan to work.If you have a whole-house fan, use it to pull cool air into your home at night or in the early morning through open windows. Turn the fan off and shut the windows during the day.Use exhaust fans.Bathroom and kitchen fans remove heat and humidity from showering and cooking. (And take short showers instead of baths to save even more year-round.)Cool off with ceiling fans.A ceiling fan can cool you off enough that you’ll feel comfortable raising the thermostat a few degrees.Save washing for the evening.Run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at night when it’s cooler. Also, run full loads and consider air-drying dishes and clothes to save even more.last_img read more

Lady Jags brush aside Cayman Islands to reach CONCACAF U-20 quarter-finals

first_imgGuyana to battle Haiti todaySHANICE Alfred and Audrey Narine scored on both sides of the half to give Guyana an impressive 2-0 win over the Cayman Islands – a win that would now see the Lady Jags play Haiti today, from 19:00hrs, in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship.Playing at the Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez in Santo Domingo, Alfred sent the Lady Jags in the lead 24 minutes into the day’s contest, scoring from point-blank range, while Narine scored her third goal of the tournament in the 55th minute.Guyana will face the Haitians today at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristóbal in a match that will truly test their will and ability to face one of the confederation’s strongest countries at the Youth level.Haiti have been dominant throughout the competition, and made their way to the tournament’s quarter-finals stage with a 12-0 win over Barbados in the round-of-16.last_img read more

Goals decisive as Kiladangan crowned U21A champions

first_imgThe North Tipp side powered through the first half, outscoring the Mid champions by 8 points – it was Kiladangan: 1-11(14) Holycross Ballycahill: 0-6(6) at half time.A strong breeze favoured Holycross/Ballycahill in the second half but heading into it that far adrift left them with too much ground to make up.Kiladangan finished 6 points clear – 2-17 to 17 points. Kiladangan have been crowned County U21A hurling champions for the first time in the club’s history.Two goals – one from Tom O’ Meara, and one from Bryan McLoughney in either half – proved decisive as they defeated Holycross/Ballycahill 2-17 to 17 points.Kiladangan’s first goal came in the first play of the game – leaving Holycross with an early mountain to climb. Photo © Tipp FMlast_img read more

Kershaw back with shutout ball, Dodgers top Nats

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Clayton Kershaw admitted he was nervous about making his first start in six weeks.Apparently it’s nothing new. He just hides it well.Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings in his first outing since opening day, and Hanley Ramirez and Drew Butera homered to help the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Washington Nationals 8-3 Tuesday night.”I’m always nervous, every time I start,” Kershaw said. “You want to do well. Same type of nerves tonight, but after the first inning I was able to settle in OK.”Kershaw (2-0) was stubborn in his return after missing 32 games, allowing nine hits, but striking out nine without a walk, and pitching out of several jams while the game was still close.The two-time NL Cy Young winner had been on the disabled list for the first time in his career, sidelined by a strained back muscle after winning March 22 in the major league opener in Australia.”He shows you right away what you’ve been missing,” said manager Don Mattingly, whose Dodgers began the day third place in the N.L. West. “Just a guy that brings that to the table every five days. It’s a little reminder of who he is and what he means to you.”The Dodgers collected 14 hits despite keeping outfielder Yasiel Puig out for the second straight game since he crashed into an outfield wall in the ninth inning Sunday at Miami.Coming off a pair of minor league rehabilitation starts, Kershaw threw 89 pitches.”I missed pitching in the big leagues,” he said. “It’s a special thing we get to do and I try not to take it for granted, so six weeks felt like a long time.”Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth singled to start the fourth against Kershaw, but Adam LaRoche popped out and Kershaw struck out Scott Hairston and Ian Desmond.In the sixth, Rendon led off with a single, but Kershaw picked him off. Werth and LaRoche followed with singles before Kershaw again fanned Hairston and Desmond.”He was nasty,” Washington’s Jose Lobaton said. “He was right in the zone. He was throwing strikes, aggressive, big curveball.”Werth had four hits and Blake Treinen (0-1), making his first major league start, allowed three unearned runs in five-plus innings.The 25-year-old Treinen was called up from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start and matched Kershaw for five innings. He allowed seven hits and no walks, while striking out two.He was part of his own undoing, however, when the Dodgers loaded the bases in the sixth inning on three balls that didn’t leave the infield.Kershaw’s hustle started the rally. Treinen misplayed his leadoff grounder and Kershaw hustled down the line and just beat the throw.”With Kersh you get a guy that’s going to just be kind of all in every day, in every aspect, from running to hitting to fielding, the whole package,” Mattingly saidDee Gordon’s grounder to first base was bobbled by LaRoche, though the play was ruled a hit.Carl Crawford followed with a dribbler up the first base line for a single and, with the bases loaded, Ramirez singled to right, scoring Kershaw and ending Treinen’s night.After reliever Craig Stammen fanned Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Gordon, then Juan Uribe’s broken-bat single made it 3-0.The Dodgers added a run in the seventh, and four in the eighth when Ramirez homered leading off and Butera capped the inning with a three-run shot for an 8-0 lead.Chris Perez relieved for the Dodgers to begin the eighth and gave up three runs.NOTES: Puig said before the game he was ready to return. Mattingly said Puig might be used as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement. … Los Angeles 1B Adrian Gonzalez (0 for his last 15) was given the night off. … Nationals OF Nate McLouth had a bandaged right hand following his diving catch in foul territory during Monday night’s game. The cut didn’t require stitches and McLouth said he was available to play. … Washington C Wilson Ramos (hand) took regular batting practice Tuesday and pronounced himself “ready to go.” He could rejoin the team as early as Wednesday. … Nationals manager Matt Williams said the latest X-rays on 3B Ryan Zimmerman (right thumb) “were great, and he’s on path to begin his rehab as soon as possible.” … Former Nationals pitcher Dan Haren (4-0, 2.39) opposes Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 3.60) in Wednesday’s series finale.Caption 1:Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Caption 2:Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Caption 3:Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) wraps his arm in a towel during the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Caption 4:CORRECTS TO STARTER, NOT RELIEF – Washington Nationals starter pitcher Blake Treinen throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. He was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to start the game. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Lakers’ Byron Scott favors NBA making ‘tweaks’ to draft lottery system

first_imgHow the ping pong balls bounce could largely determine the answer to a question the Lakers have pondered all season.How long will their rebuilding take? Will it involve a quick turnaround as the once-storied franchise shown it has done in the past? Or will this become more prolonged than two consecutive missed playoff appearances? The Lakers’ 106-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday at Staples Center provided only some clarity. The Lakers (21-58) will likely finish no worse than having the NBA’s fourth-worst record, which would give them an 11.9 percent chance in landing the top pick and 37.8 percent odds to move into the top three in the draft lottery on May 19. Still, the Lakers have a 17.2 percent chance to fall either sixth or seventh, forcing them to trade the pick to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash deal. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Some people might say that’s tanking, but you’re really trying to evaluate the talent you have so you can put the best team out for next year,” Scott said. “You want to get a look at some of our young guys and put them in situations to see how they react.”The reasoning seems logical. “When you have veteran players, you have a pretty good idea of what they can do,” Scott said. “You want to get a look at all the young guys you have and see if they can be a part of the future.”The Lakers offered some promise with five players scoring in double figures, including Ryan Kelly (21 points), Brown (19), Clarkson (18), Black (18) and Wesley Johnson (10). But that came against Minnesota, whose starting lineup also featured three rookies, including Andrew Wiggins (29 points), former UCLA standout Zach LaVine (16) and Adreian Payne (13). The Timberwolves roster also missed a combined 292 games because of various injuries. Yet, the Lakers maintain they still have a purpose. They need to win at least one more of their three remaining games to avoid cementing the worst winning percentage in franchise history, something the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers currently hold with a 19-53 mark in a 72-game season. That team won 26.3 percent of its games, while the current Lakers have won 26.58 percent of theirs.“There still is something to play for,” Scott said. “It’s not the playoffs or anything like that. But there’s just pride, being a professional and coming out and being a competitor.” center_img Even if the Lakers’ persistent losing could indirectly accelerate their rebuilding, coach Byron Scott expressed support for the NBA changing the lottery system. “I don’t know if you go like football where the team with the worst record gets the first pick,” Scott said. “Then you’ll have a whole lot of teams trying to tank during the season when they feel they have no hope of making the playoffs. I don’t know what the system is or if it needs to be completely overhauled. But it needs to be tweaked.”The Lakers have maintained they have not lost games intentionally. The Lakers assembled an unproven roster, but general manager Mitch Kupchak has said that mostly stemmed from wanting to maintain financial flexibility for the free agency sweepstakes in July. The Lakers also entered Friday’s contest fielding players missing combined 312 games due to injuries, the most costly absences including Kobe Bryant, Nash and Julius Randle. Meanwhile, Scott sat veteran forwards Carlos Boozer for the eighth time in the past 11 games as well as Jordan Hill for six of the last 11 contests. The Lakers also featured three rookies in their starting lineup, including Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Tarik Black. But Scott maintained those moves stemmed from a different line of thinking.last_img read more