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Peer To Peer Lending Ready For TakeOff

first_imgPeer-to-peer lending hit the headlines in early December when former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit invested in Orchard, a New York City-based startup that aims to create a secondary market for P2P loans. Pandit is part of a group including venture capital firms Canaan Partners and Spark Capital that is investing $2.7 million in Orchard.Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending bypasses banks by connecting borrowers with lenders through online platforms for mostly small loans — like credit card debt — using proprietary technology to assess risk, creditworthiness and interest rates. Enthusiasts say banks have left open a wide and growing market for P2P lending, given that the banks are burdened with stiffer capital adequacy requirements, brick-and-mortar costs, legacy technology and impaired loan portfolios.Indeed, despite a few red flags raised by critics, participants in the industry feel it is ready for broad-based expansion. The two biggest P2P platforms in the U.S. — LendingClub and Prosper, both based in San Francisco — are witnessing triple-digit growth. LendingClub expects to close 2013 with loan origination of $2 billion, while Prosper is looking at $350 million, compared with a combined $871 million last year. Last September, Prosper raised $25 million in a round led by its existing VC partner Sequoia Capital and BlackRock.How P2P Lending WorksBorrowers can list loan requests of between $2,000 and $35,000 on lending platforms. Retail and institutional lenders can select from those requests and invest as little as $25 in a part of each loan, called “fractional loans,” or invest in “whole loans.” P2P lending platforms carry the loans on their books, collect repayments and pursue defaulters. For those services, lending platforms charge investors annual fees of 1% of the loan amounts. These fees are the “skin in the game” for the platforms, which forgo the fees for unrecovered loans. The platforms also charge borrowers loan origination fees of between 1% and 5% of the loan amount, in addition to the interest rate.The minimum FICO credit score requirements are 660 at LendingClub and 640 at Prosper. (FICO credit scores are the most widely used in the U.S., and range between 300 and 850. The higher the score, the lower the consumer’s credit risk.) These lending platforms evaluate each loan application to decide on the interest rate, which ranges between 6% and 35%. On average, only one tenth of the loan applications find willing lenders, either because of poor credit scores or because credit histories cannot be verified. LendingClub’s average loan size is $14,000 with an average interest rate of 15.5%, while the corresponding numbers at Prosper are $11,000 and 16.3%.Because the lending platforms do not have banking licenses, they use WebBank, a bank in Salt Lake City, Utah, to make the loans. The platforms then sell pieces of those loans to investors, who use proprietary risk evaluation criteria to select the loans they want to finance.“This is a niche that probably has some future,” says Wharton finance professor Franklin Allen, adding that the P2P lending industry has overcome the biggest hurdle in capturing the market of credit card debt. “Unless you have some kind of a technology platform or computing system, it is extremely costly to process these loans.” Using advanced techniques for credit scoring and risk evaluation, the major platforms have made P2P lending viable, he adds. P2P lending also has a natural advantage in the current financial system, Allen says. “If you think of the low rates that most depositors get and the high rates on credit cards, it is a big opportunity.”Wharton management professor Keith Weigelt describes P2P lending as an attempt at disintermediation of the banking system, a form of “shadow banking.” He draws a parallel with such practices in China, where many private lenders thrive amid government restrictions on bank credit.Ron Suber, head of global institutional sales at Prosper, calls P2P lending a “full-fledged mega trend and a brand-new legitimate asset class,” noting that Prosper closed November with loan originations of $50 million, 10% higher than in the previous month. (LendingClub closed November with $234 million in loan originations, a 5% growth over the previous month.)P2P lending is seeing growth because it is in “one of the best credit cycles we’ve ever been in,” Suber says. He explains why: “Unemployment is low. People are consolidating debt and improving their personal financial balance sheets. At the same time, lenders are hungry for yields and cash flow every month. Banks are lending less. And P2P platforms have grown and institutionalized the credit process.”Suber also suggests that the younger generation prefers to borrow or lend online at P2P platforms through their smartphones and tablets rather than visit a traditional bank for their needs. “It is easy, and it is quick,” he says, adding that P2P platforms have cut the time taken to process loans from 10 to 11 days or longer to about four days.P2P lending has many factors in its favor, according to Bill Kassul, a partner at Ranger Specialty Income Fund, a $15 million P2P fund that Ranger Capital Group in Dallas, Texas., launched last November. One, the banking industry is not challenging P2P lending platforms even as they disrupt the existing business model. By contrast, technology disrupters have faced stiff opposition from the entrenched leaders elsewhere. Examples include Napster in the music industry, and Travelocity and Expedia in online travel reservations, he notes.Banks cannot enter the P2P space “even if they wanted to because they are brick-and-mortar, have legacy technology and would almost have to start all over with a clean slate to compete with the online platforms,” says Kassul. However, Allen is not so sure: “Banks may be able to set up subsidiaries that mimic these platforms,” he suggests.Second, P2P lending is an attractive alternative for investors who “are starving for yields,” says Kassul. P2P investors can earn net returns between high single digits and low double digits with lower risk than in conventional fixed-income securities, he adds, noting that Ranger wanted to launch a distinctive fixed-income product before it decided that a P2P fund would be a better option. He expects the fund to grow to between $150 million and $200 million by the end of 2014.Peter Renton, publisher of P2P lending website Lend Academy, says in a blog post that as a P2P investor with LendingClub and Prosper, he earned his best-ever returns of 11.62% last quarter. “It is a win-win for all parties,” he writes. “The investor gets a better return on their money than a traditional savings account or CD, and the borrower gets a lower interest rate than they would likely pay for a credit card advance or bank loan.”Cherry Picking Loans“We look for mispriced loans our technology platform identifies,” says Kassul. For example, if a platform assigns a 15% interest rate for a specific loan, Ranger’s technology might determine that the borrower carries lower risk and is eligible for a 10% interest rate.Joshua Rand, one of three partners at Petra Partners LLC in New York City, which also launched a P2P fund in November, is equally bullish. He is aiming for net returns of between 12% and 17% from his approximately $2 million fund. Petra Partners cherry picks the loans, hoping to find borrowers saddled with a relatively higher interest rate than their creditworthiness and risk of default might warrant. Like Ranger, Petra Partners also relies on proprietary tools to assess borrowers’ creditworthiness.Consumer loans form the biggest chunk of P2P loans, and most of those are for credit card debt settlements. Kassul says his fund will have 60%-70% of its investments in U.S. consumer loans, and 15%-20% in U.S. small business loans. International consumer loans and small business loans will make up the remainder of Ranger’s investments. Kassul’s sights are on the European market, especially the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.Kassul says he prefers countries like the U.K. among overseas markets because they have an existing base of P2P lending platforms, supportive government policies and sufficient data and credit histories of borrowers. The major P2P platforms in the U.K. are Zopa, Ratesetter and Funding Circle. Loan originations in November were $32.3 million at Zopa, $24.9 million at Funding Circle and $24.2 million at Ratesetter. P2P lending has begun in India as well, with at least two new platforms — i-lend.in and Faircent.com — launching operations in the last six months.Credit card debt is the biggest market for P2P lenders and makes up about 70% of Prosper’s business. Suber says total U.S. credit card debt is about $850 billion. “We are looking at 10% of that; we have $82 billion to go.” He is seeing a “rapid increase” of 5%-7% each month in demand for the second biggest category: small business loans. Home improvement loans are also becoming popular, as are loans for vacations, tax payments and products like solar panels or motorcycles, he adds.Investors in payday loans may also come into the P2P space and create lending platforms, Kassul suggests. Payday loans are cash advances that borrowers repay on their next payday. They typically carry very high interest rates of nearly 400% (such as a $15 fee for a two-week loan of $100), but also suffer high default rates of up to 20%. The motivation to create platforms is because Wall Street tends to assign them valuations of up to six times earnings, compared with a multiple of two for finance companies like Ranger, he adds. The next big push for P2P valuations will come when LendingClub goes public next year as planned, he says.Suber does not expect P2P lenders to enter big-ticket corporate lending any time soon, but sees possibilities in weddings, student loans and medical expense loans like those for elective surgery. Other asset classes he sees within reach for P2P lending include residential and commercial real estate such as land purchases, car loans, furniture purchases, litigation and finance, among other areas.Prying open another market, LendingClub has begun selling its loans to small community banks that need to diversify their asset portfolios, says a recent report in American Banker. The platform has partnered with seven banks so far, and is working with some of them to make personal loans to their customers, according to the report.Beginning this month, Orchard expects to advise financial institutional investors on developing risk prediction models and regulatory compliance, among other aspects of P2P lending. Later next year, it plans to launch a secondary market for loans from lending platforms like Prosper and LendingClub. With secondary trading platforms for P2P loans, investors can sell the loans they finance instead of holding on to them through their tenures of three years or more.The creation of a secondary market for P2P loan portfolios will catapult the industry to its next growth level, says Kassul. “The Achilles’ heel of the investments in this market is it is not liquid.” He expects the secondary market to expand in the next two years with more entities like Orchard coming up. He also sees the possibility of funds like Ranger creating an exchange where they could trade in loan portfolios.Yet securitization, or trading in bundles of loans, will take time, according to Allen. “These loans are pretty small, and the cost of checking them out will be quite large. That will be difficult to do until these platforms become big.” According to Suber, a few funds have already securitized and sold parcels of P2P loans.Concerns over Loan PerformanceAmid all the enthusiasm, the performance of lending platforms has not exactly been stellar. After being 120 days past due in repayments, a loan moves into default status and is then charged off, states a blog post on Orchard’s website. According to the post, a review of LendingClub loans since January 2012 showed large fluctuations in recoveries. The percentage of accounts paying some amount of recovery ranged from a high of 79.5% of charge-offs in October 2012 to a low 11.6% in June 2013. Total recoveries of charge-offs fell from about 8% in January 2012 to almost zero in June 2013. Prosper, too, went through an uneasy patch with charge-offs and recoveries last year. “Recovery amounts are highly dependent on the collection techniques of the agency along with what agencies are able to offer the borrower as an incentive,” says the Orchard blog post.Weigelt describes the uninspiring performances on charge-offs and recoveries as “growing pains” and does not consider them to be red flags suggesting that the P2P industry might face a crisis, especially with high-risk loans. The industry, he adds, is currently too small to worry about those types of loans. At the same time, however, he labels P2P lending an “unproven model” and expects lending platforms to be aware of that and exercise caution in the early years. “If you take on risky loans and you have a lot of defaults, they will get in the business news, and people reading that will be more hesitant to go to these platforms and lend money,” Weigelt states.The high default rates turn off many prospective investors, acknowledges Kassul, but it would be the wrong way to evaluate investment opportunities, he says. “You have to look at the net yield. You need enough of an interest rate to offset the defaults.” Typically, an investor looking for a 10% net return needs to select loans with an average interest rate of about 18%, with the difference taking care of defaults, fund fees, expenses, etc., he says, adding that funds also need to diversify their investment in loans across the spectrum of high-interest and low-interest loans to hedge their risks.Prosper under its new management has “dramatically improved the pricing risk, and credits and defaults have declined significantly,” says Suber. The performance of its new management team is evident in the 500% growth in originations since [last] February, he adds. Last January, Prosper came under new management led by former Wells Fargo executives Stephan Vermut as CEO and Suber.According to Allen, regulators in the future will have to pay closer attention to “the integrity of lending platforms, check out their credit scoring models and see how reliable they are.” They must also take a careful look at the contracts borrowers sign, he adds.The regulatory environment for P2P lending is evolving, although most of the major players are subject to some form of supervision. For starters, each U.S. state has different rules for borrowers and lenders of P2P loans. Currently, residents of 47 states can apply for Prosper loans, and those in 44 states for LendingClub loans. Only residents of Iowa, Maine and North Dakota cannot apply for P2P loans. Investors in P2P loans have a narrower field: 30 states allow their residents to invest in Prosper loans, while only 26 states are open to LendingClub, ostensibly because of how they perceive the risks.Investors in P2P funds, whether they are individuals or institutions, are not subject to any specific regulation. However, the states that permit their residents to become P2P lenders require them to be “accredited investors.” The SEC defines accredited investors as those with net worth of $1 million, not counting the value of their primary residence. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulates P2P lending platforms like LendingClub and Prosper that deal with accredited investors. They also come under the purview of the Federal Trade Commission because they entertain non-accredited retail investors. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. regulates WebBank, which makes those loans.“The main problem is whether these platforms can overcome fraud issues,” says Allen, adding, however, that P2P platforms should be able to handle such issues once they get big enough to invest in mechanisms that can combat fraudulent activity.Suber says the lending platforms file documents with the SEC every day and work closely with the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau. “The regulators are incredibly supportive because they view us as helping consumers pay less interest and get more credit, and investors get more returns.” According to Rand, the platforms are transparent enough with their financial statements, and “the possibility of fraud is zero.”Recent developments in China dampen the cheer in P2P lending circles. Dozens of P2P lending platforms have gone bankrupt in China since October, with the amount of money involved reaching one billion yuan ($164.5 million), according to a report in early December by Want China Times, a Taiwan-based news site. The site attributed the estimates to Wangdaizhijia, a P2P lending portal in China. It blamed the closures on risky loans that bypassed the traditional banking system, inadequate regulatory oversight, poor managerial capabilities and tardy responses to security breaches and hacking. Related Itemslast_img read more

Antetokounmpo uses just 6 pairs of shoes in a season

first_imgFEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Antetokounmpo said out of the scores of pairs he receives from Nike, he makes it a point to save every one.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bonleon holds off transfer to Arellano, stays with UST for academics National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet MOST READ Antetokounmpo grew up in poverty when he and his family was still in Greece where his parents always feared if they would be deported back to Nigeria, according to Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins.In his rookie year, Antetokounmpo saved a pair of shoes then-teammate Caron Butler threw away saying it was still good enough to play in.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Growing up [throwing good condition shoes] did not exist,” said Antetokounmpo, who is in the country for a charity event organized by King Bally Entertainment Group.“I realized now that I’m four years in the league and you get so many shoes you can throw some but for me, I’m not saying it was a bad thing what Caron did, but it kind of shocked me.” LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by: Tristan Tamayo/Inquirer.netMilwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo may be under contract with sporting giant Nike and is set to earn around $100 million for the next four years, but he still maintains his frugal ways.“Last year I used five or six pairs of sneakers, so if we played around 100 games, around 20 games per pair,” said Antetokounmpo during his media availability for the “Greek Freak Invades Manila” Sunday at Fairmont Makati.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View commentslast_img read more

Ostapenko roars back to upset Halep in French Open final,Ostapenko roars back to upset Halep in French Open final

first_imgFrance June 10, 2017 × SHARE tennis Jelena Ostapenko produced an astonishing fightback to overpower favourite Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the French Open final on Saturday and become the first Latvian grand slam champion.The 20-year-old looked down and out when Halep had points for a 4-0 lead in the second set but hit back with an audacious display of power to steamroller third-seeded Romanian Halep.Ostapenko also recovered from a break behind in the third set and finished the contest with a flashing backhand winner to become the first unseeded player to win the title since Briton Margaret Scriven in 1933.Not only that but it was her first title of any kind, emulating the feat of Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten who won his first Tour crown at Roland Garros in 1997 on the day Ostapenko was born.Incredibly, she walloped 54 winners during the two-hour contest, matching her error count, as she threw caution to the wind on a boiling hot day on Court Philippe Chatrier.Halep’s steady approached looked like taking her to a first grand slam title but she appeared drained at the end by the constant barrage coming from across the net.Not only did the third seed fall short in the Roland Garros final for the second time, but defeat also cost her the world number one ranking that would have come with victory.Ostapenko, who turned 20 on Thursday when she beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, threw her distinctive green headband into the crowd after a warm embrace with Halep who look devastated.“I mean I can’t believe I’m champion at 20,” Ostapenko, the youngest finalist for 10 years, said on court.“I knew that Gustavo Kuerten won his first Roland Garros the day I was born, I have no words.“There were a couple of games when everything went my way and I was ready to fight for every point.”, she said. SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Published on bl10_Jelena Ostapenko bl10_Jelena Ostapenko First unseeded player to win French Open title since 1933 COMMENTSlast_img read more

Wimbledon 2017: More records for Roger Federer but no match point glory

first_imgThere were plenty of records for Roger Federer to savour on Tuesday as he began his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title, but he was denied a chance to celebrate them in style as his first round match ended abruptly midway through the second set.Trailing 3-6, 0-3 (30-30), Alexandr Dolgopolov drew a chorus of dejected sighs on Centre Court as he walked up to the net to shake hands with Federer.It was the second successive anticlimactic ending on tennis’ most famous stage after Novak Djokovic’s opponent, Martin Klizan also called it quits midway through their second set.Federer’s encounter against Ukrainian Dolgopolov lasted a mere 43 minutes.Fans who had poured in to see the Swiss master in action witnessed him fire down a 10,000th career ace and chalk up a record 85th win at Wimbledon, surpassing the benchmark he had shared with Jimmy Connors.Today Roger Federer, during his 1st round #Wimbledon match v Alexandr Dolgopolov served his 10000th ace of his career, in his 1,293rd match!- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 4, 2017The two other players before Roger Federer to register over 10000 aces are Croatians Goran Ivanisevic and Ivo Karlovic#Wimbledon- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 4, 2017By simply playing the first point, Federer also drew level with Fabrice Santoro’s professional era record of playing in a 70th grand slam tournament.While it is always nice to reach such landmarks, Tuesday’s result is likely to mean only one thing for the 18-times grand slam champion — he is now only six wins away from becoming the first man to hoist the Challenge Cup for an eighth time.advertisementlast_img read more

Ronaldo makes La Liga season debut

first_imgReal Madrid v Real Betis Real Madrid team news: Ronaldo makes first appearance of La Liga season Thomas Floyd @thomasfloyd10 Last updated 2 years ago 03:00 21/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Getty Images Real Madrid v Real Betis Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Real Betis Primera División The Portuguese star will start against Real Betis, having served his five-game suspension for shoving the referee during the Supercopa de Espana Cristiano Ronaldo is in the line-up for Real Madrid’s match against Real Betis, marking his first appearance of the La Liga season after serving a five-match suspension.Ronaldo, who received the ban for shoving the referee during last month’s Supercopa de Espana, will start up top alongside Isco and Gareth Bale.Ronaldo hat-trick – 5/2 with dabblebet Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing The Portuguese star has been limited to one appearance during the domestic suspension, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over APOEL in the Champions League last week.Real Madrid XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Isco, Ronaldo, BaleReal Betis XI: Adan; Barragan, Mandi, Feddal, Durmisi; Javi Garcia, Camarasa, Fabian; Francis, Tello, Sanabrialast_img read more

New South Wales To Host 2015 World Cup

first_imgThe deal signed by Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government includes hosting the 2015 Federation of International Touch World Cup, as well as the 2012 Trans Tasman Series against New Zealand, and the peak competition in Australia in the National Touch League and Elite Eight series events.  New South Wales Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, said that the overall package deal has secured the state as the home of Touch Football in Australia for the next five years and will bring huge economic benefits to all parts of the state. “Events NSW estimate that the package will drive up to $20 million into regional NSW. This delivers on our commitment to build a stronger regional events program for NSW.”Mr Stoner said he was pleased that the deal covers national and international events.“It is tremendous news for NSW but also for the sport and the nation which leads the world in this field,” he said.  “If you look at the growth of the sport around the world we definitely expect more teams to come to NSW in 2015. This event will be the biggest and best ever,” he said.Touch Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire, said that the deal will be of great benefit to the sport. “Events NSW presented a holistic package taking into account our total event strategy, which was an outstanding prospect for the sport,” Maguire said. “TFA will announce other elements relating to our Youth Event Strategy in the near future however; the focus will now be on securing facilities that support our infrastructure requirements at all levels.” The deal has been announced on the eve of the Australian Touch Football contingent departing for the 2011 Touch World Cup to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, which will showcase close to 100 teams from around the world.Please find below links to the media coverage that the announcement has already attracted in various areas:http://www.smh.com.au/sport/sportstarved-nsw-finds-its-touch-20110606-1fpef.html http://www.hillsnews.com.au/news/national/national/sport/sportstarved-nsw-finds-its-touch/2186990.aspx http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/national/national/sport/sportstarved-nsw-finds-its-touch/2186990.aspx Please find attached a media release about the announcement. Related Filesnsw_to_host_2015_world_cup-pdflast_img read more

Q1 Ordering Slump Good for Tanker Market, But Will It Last?

first_imgzoom Newbuilding orders of tanker ships have seen a sharp reduction, but the slowing trend needs to be sustained for the longer-term health of the market, global shipping consultancy Drewry said in its Tanker Forecaster.After numerous orders in recent years, newbuilding activity in the tanker market declined sharply in the first quarter of 2016 as only 34 vessels (2.6 million dwt) were ordered during the period, far below the hefty 368 vessels (45 million dwt) ordered in 2015.“Challenging conditions in capital markets and tight credit availability from banks have subdued new ordering. Although this will not arrest the strong fleet growth and corresponding decline in freight rates over the next two years, as many vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2016-17, it bodes well for the future, especially if this is a reflection of cautious ordering by owners,” Drewry said.However, Drewry believes that if the current decline is just a breather after the hefty ordering in 2015, when owners increased orders to avoid stringent Tier III regulations for the vessels ordered from 1 January 2016, any increase in ordering in the coming months would hurt the longer-term outlook for the tanker market.Despite the slowdown in ordering in the first quarter of the year, the total orderbook remains high at 63.7 million dwt, 18.6% of the crude tanker fleet. About 80% of the vessels in the orderbook are scheduled to be delivered in the next two years, and we expect more than 200 crude tankers to be delivered by the end of 2017.“Newbulding prices declined during the quarter on account of the slowdown in tanker ordering, which coincided with weakness in newbuilding activity in other sectors as well, keeping prices under pressure. If ordering remains weak in the coming quarters, newbuilding prices could soften further,” said Rajesh Verma, Drewry’s lead analyst for tanker shipping.“The tanker market is expected to be oversupplied in the next two years due to hefty deliveries and relatively slow growth in the crude oil trade. If the slowdown in ordering continues further it will keep fleet growth in check in the later years, which in turn will support tonnage utilisation in the tanker market,” added Verma.last_img read more

HRM Property Assessment Notices in the Mail

first_img More than 565,000 assessment notices are in the mail today, Jan.12 to Nova Scotia property owners. Provincially, the total valueof property assessments in Nova Scotia is up by five per cent to$52.7 billion. The total assessed value of residential propertiesis up by 6.1 per cent while commercial properties have increasedby 2.4 per cent. In the Halifax Regional Municipality, total residentialassessment values are up by 7.9 per cent to more than $16.8billion. Total commercial assessment increased by 3.1 per cent toalmost $6.6 billion. The 2004 property assessments are based onmarket value at Jan. 1, 2002. “A strong real estate market in HRM is the primary reason for theincrease. Market value is the most equitable and widely acceptedapproach to property assessment in North America. Every provincein Canada and more than 120 other countries around the world usemarket value as a standard for property assessment,” said LloydMacLellan, director of the Central Regional Assessment Office. “The market value is easily understood by most property owners.It is determined by the buyers and sellers of the real estatemarket. That makes it easy for property owners to test fairnessbecause they can compare their assessment to sales of similarproperties. It also means that the same appraisal standards andprinciples can be applied to all residential properties acrossNova Scotia,” said Mr. MacLellan. Each year the assessment services division reassesses allproperties within Nova Scotia to establish an estimate of fairmarket value. Factors used to determine assessments includeanalysis of sales and building permits, local market conditions,depreciation, renovations and new construction. The Values arethen tested for statistical validity using internationallyaccepted assessment standards. In response to feedback from Nova Scotia property owners, asssessment services has added a new service to its website. Residential property owners can now obtain detailed informationabout their property by entering a personal identification number(PIN) and their assessment account number (AAN) atwww.nsassessment.ca . The PIN and AAN are printed on individualassessment notices. “Not everyone has Internet access, so property owners can alsoget that information and answers to their assessment questions bycalling our toll-free number at 1-800-667-5727,” said Mr.MacLellan. Property owners who disagree with their assessment have theopportunity to appeal. “Property owners should ask themselves if their assessment is a reflection of market value,” said Mr.MacLellan. “If they don’t think it is, they may appeal.” All appeals must be filed no later than midnight, Feb. 2. Once anappeal is received, an assessor will review the propertyvaluation and then notify the property owner with the result ofthe review. SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–HRM Property Assessment Noticesin the Maillast_img read more

La ministre rend hommage aux enseignants de la NouvelleÉcosse

first_imgMarilyn More, ministre de l’Éducation, a rendu hommage aux 10 000 enseignants néo-écossais des écoles publiques, des collèges communautaires et de la Commission de l’enseignement spécial des provinces de l’Atlantique, aujourd’hui 5 octobre, dans le cadre de la Journée mondiale des enseignants. Selon Mme More, cette journée annuelle est une occasion pour tous les Néo-Écossais de remercier les enseignants pour leur travail auprès des élèves. « J’applaudis les enseignants de la Nouvelle-Écosse pour leur engagement et leur dévouement envers l’avenir de nos enfants, a dit la ministre. Une éducation de qualité dépend de la qualité de l’enseignement, et la Nouvelle-Écosse est chanceuse de pouvoir compter sur un si grand nombre de professionnels qualifiés dans les écoles. En fait, nous leur sommes reconnaissants chaque jour de l’année, et non seulement le 5 octobre. » La Journée mondiale des enseignants est célébrée chaque année pour souligner le rôle important que jouent les enseignants. Le thème de cette année est « Enseigner au Canada – On l’a l’affaire! ».last_img read more

Nadal reigns in clash of former US Open champs as Zverev exits

first_imgNew York: Rafael Nadal ramped up his quest for a fourth US Open title with an impressive win over 2014 champion Marin Cilic to advance to the quarter-finals while Alexander Zverev slumped to a four-set defeat. Second seed Nadal — the winner at Flushing Meadows in 2010, 2013 and 2017 — produced some electrifying moments of brilliance to end the challenge of Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2 on Monday. After barely breaking a sweat in reaching the last 16, a run that included a second-round walkover, Nadal stared down his stiffest test so far to surge into a quarter-final meeting with Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh The Spaniard exchanged the first two sets with Cilic but grasped control by breaking for 3-1 in the third, a series of dazzling winners drawing an animated fist-pump from golf legend Tiger Woods at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal reeled off nine games in succession across the third and fourth sets and 12 of the final 15 to nail down a 40th Grand Slam quarter-final appearance, nine of which have come at the US Open. “The emotions I have when I play here are impossible to describe. I love the sport and feel very lucky to still be playing tennis here. Eight years ago I didn’t think that would happen as my body was suffering badly,” Nadal said. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later “It’s a huge honor playing in front of all of you and playing in front of Tiger is a very special thing. I always say I don’t have big idols but one idol is him and I always try to follow him.” Nadal’s path to the final sees him take on Schwartzman next after the 5ft 7in (1.70m) Argentine chopped down sixth seed Zverev. “He is playing amazing, nothing new, he’s one of the players with best talent on tour,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion said of his upcoming opponent. “It will be a big challenge. I have to play my best. I’m happy for him. He’s a close friend and I hope to play a great match.” – Berrettini, Monfils win – =========================== Zverev rolled through the opening set against Schwartzman under the roof on Ashe during a rainy afternoon session, but he lost his way to go down 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-3. The German was enjoying his deepest run in New York but committed 17 double faults and 65 unforced errors and received a point penalty for swearing as Schwartzman advanced to a second US Open quarter-final in three years. “Generally my season so far has not been the best,” said Zverev, who has reached just two quarter-finals in 18 Grand Slam appearances. Zverev said he was hindered a “very swollen” back and right hip following a fall in his previous match. “I had a lot of chances which I didn’t use early in the match. He kind of ran away with it.” Zverev lost his serve three times during the second set but appeared to have steadied himself when he moved a break ahead at 3-2 in the third, only for Schwartzman to wrest the momentum back in his favor after a lengthy sixth game. “It was tough because I was feeling I had the chance to win this and I had a few break points I could not take,” Schwartzman said. “He was up a break and then I recovered really quickly and I felt great after that.” Matteo Berrettini became just the second Italian man to progress to the US Open quarter-finals, 42 years after Corrado Barazzutti’s run to the last four in New York. Berrettini, the 24th seed, eased to a 6-1 6-4 7-6 (8/6) win over Russia’s 43rd-ranked Andrey Rublev to reach the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time. “It’s something really crazy. I cannot believe it right now. I need a few hours to understand what happened,” said Berrettini, 23, who goes on to play French 13th seed Gael Monfils. “I’m just happy. Seeing my team and family here and crying, for me it’s unbelievable.” Berrettini went one step further than his run to the last 16 at Wimbledon in July, where he was beaten by Roger Federer. Monfils, a 2016 US Open semi-finalist, crushed the 33-year-old Andujar’s bid to become the oldest player in the Open era to reach his first Grand Slam singles quarter-final with a 6-1 6-2 6-2 rout.last_img read more

Two injured in minor fire in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Two persons suffered injuries in a minor fire that broke out at a residential building in the city’s Tollygunge area on Monday morning, police said. The two residents of the three-storeyed building are undergoing treatment at state-run MR Bangur Hospital, an officer said. Three fire tenders doused the blaze that erupted at the second floor of the building located on Satish Mukherjee Road after 30 minutes of firefight, he said.last_img

Ban raps poetic honouring hiphop star JayZ at gala ceremony

2 October 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took time off from his schedule of meeting world leaders and diplomats last night to try his hand – or rather voice – at rap at the gala 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). “Global classrooms are a cinch/With the help of Merrill Lynch,” he rapped to the distinguished audience that included UNA President Bill Luers, actor Michael Douglas, philanthropist Ted Turner and rapper Jay-Z, citing some of the organizations that have partnered the UN in many humanitarian initiatives. “When you put the org in Google/Partnerships go truly gloooobal.”Mr. Ban stressed how UNA and last night’s honorees had helped the world body in its humanitarian mission, noting Mr. Turner’s $1 billion donation more than 10 years ago. “UN stays on the front burner/Thanks to our champ Ted Turner,” his vocal chords strummed out.And Jay-Z himself, whose multimedia “Water for Life” campaign was developed jointly with the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) and MTV Networks, came in for special mention and a plea for indulgence.“Since one of the honorees is my man Jay-Z, I think I’ll try his language tonight. It is a foreign language to me, but one which I love, so please bear with me,” Mr. Ban said.Then he went on to rap: “With Jay-Z there’s double strife/Life for children and water for life.” read more

David Staples Justin Trudeau bungles great opportunity to advance First Nations pipeline

The photo op we need to see during the 2019 federal election campaign is the photo op we likely won’t see.Who would be in the photo? Federal leaders Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh, Elizabeth May and Justin Trudeau, each of them posing with leaders from the many dozens of First Nations across Western Canada who strongly support and want an ownership stake in the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.Canada’s future prosperity — and in particular the prosperity of Indigenous Canadians — has a new hope around proposed First Nations ownership in pipelines like TMX.Most crucially, if our major pipeline projects are ever going to gain approval in our courts and with the general public, Indigenous participation and part ownership is necessary.Of course, May and Singh will never appear at such a photo op. They favour the environmental agenda of privileged green voters in big cities over jobs and wealth for Indigenous people scattered in communities across western Canada.It could also be that Andrew Scheer of the Conservative would hesitate. He’s yet to be crystal clear that a First Nations ownership stake is key to the project proceeding.As for Justin Trudeau, he continues to make a mess of TMX.Yes, Trudeau said in June when his cabinet re-approved TMX that some amount of Indigenous ownership was in the cards, but Trudeau has failed to move on his promise.The Liberal strategy appears to be keep the TMX issue on the back burner for now, to treat it as a done deal and hope that it doesn’t become a major election issue that will turn off green voters in Vancouver, pushing them into the Green or NDP camps.This strategy was working, with TMX out of the news in August, but last week the Federal Court of Appeal made its latest ruling on the pipeline, deciding to proceed with a full review of complaints from six B.C. coastal First Nations over the federal government’s latest consultation process.The Liberals are now being roasted over this, mainly because the Trudeau government didn’t even show up in court to argue its own case.Many are wondering why the no-show. The most convincing answer comes from Ontario lawyer Bill Gallagher, a leading consultant on First Nations relations with major industrial projects, who has written two books on the 284 courts cases in the last five decades where First Nations have won and advanced their constitutional rights.The federal government has lost so many cases that under former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, a new policy came in, Gallagher says. Essentially, federal justice lawyers decided to keep their powder dry, and not to fight out every single  First Nation issue in court every time.In the TMX case, the thinking might have been to not try to stop the six First Nations from having a major review of their concerns, but to proceed to that review and set out the full federal case at that time, Gallagher says.“They’re basically lightening up,” Gallagher says of the federal lawyers. “They’re not as legally constipated as they could have been. And they probably made the right call. They certainly made a justifiable call. But the political winds are such that they look bad.”The real issue, though, isn’t the court case, Gallagher says. After all, TMX’s re-approval was inevitably going to be fought out in court.Instead, the real issue is the failure to progress significantly on an Indigenous ownership stake in TMX so that this project has a chance to actually get built. As Gallagher explains the hard facts of this matter: “Unless First Nations are up there in the passenger seat with the ability to put their hand over on the wheel, depending on the issue, and weigh in, this pipeline will not be built. Not unless First Nations have a vital role … a real ownership interest.”Trudeau has bungled these negotiations, Gallagher says. “I think that’s the biggest missed opportunity on the Trans Mountain file … I am skeptical of Trudeau. I think he’s squandered six months by not working with First Nations to get this equity interest.”A window of opportunity opened but is now closed. Uncertainty sits over TMX. What happens, for example, if the Liberals are in a minority position after the election and forced into some kind of coalition with the prosperity-averse, pipeline-hating Greens or NDP?“We just excel at doing things the hard way in this country,” Gallagher says.Yes, we do that.Or, when it comes to pipelines to tidewater, not doing anything at all.Listen to our weekly business podcast, Down to Business read more

Attacks on UN staff increased in 2013 world bodys staff union confirms

The highest number of casualties occurred in attacks targeting the UN in South Sudan, Somalia, and in the Darfur region of Sudan, according to the figures released today by the Staff Union’s Standing Committee for the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service.It found that 33 peacekeepers and 25 civilians and associated personnel were killed in 2013 while working for the Organization. The number represents an increase in the death-toll from attacks on UN staff members compared with the previous year, when 37 UN personnel were killed.Among the horrific assaults was the killing of 12 people associated with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) during an ambush on 9 April 2013 in Jonglei State.The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York said about 30 peacekeepers were escorting a civilian convoy when they were ambushed by some 200 armed, unidentified men near the settlement of Gumuruk. The firefight that followed killed five Indian peacekeepers, two national staff and five contractors. Overall, 16 peacekeepers were killed in Darfur, seven in South Sudan, four in Mali and four in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Staff Union reported. In addition, five civilian staff members, four of them working for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), were killed in Syria.The Staff Union’s overview comes just months after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Member States and Host Governments to support all measures of safety and security measures to improve the operational environment for UN personnel and humanitarian workers.“United Nations personnel serve in an increasingly dangerous environment and encounter a variety of threats not previously encountered in the history of the Organization,” Mr. Ban told the 193-member General Assembly.He cited a UN report released last year, ‘Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations’, which showed that significant security incidents affecting UN staff in 2012 increased to 1,793 compared with 1,759 in 2011. Violent acts were cited as the primary cause of death or injuries during 2012, with 20 of the 35 deaths attributed to this, while 15 staffers were killed in safety-related incidents. read more

Bundesliga Round 22 HSV sinks more Kiel invincinble

Sunday brought us very interesting results in the Bundesliga. THW Kiel got the expected win against Burgdorf away, and this time with a huge goal difference, winning it with 43:24, huge 19 goals victory for THW Kiel, confirming why they are “No.1” in German Handball at the moment. Two surprising results happened today, and it seems that the late “bad” play of these clubs was no surprise, as today they failed to achieve wins against generally weaker opponents. Fuchse Berlin failed to capitalize the home advantage, and played only 30:30 against Frisch auf Goppingen, which were weakened as Mrvaljevic left the club. The other surprise is HSV Hamburg making only a draw in Huttenberg, the relegation-endangered club, playing 26:26, showing that the “Foxes” and HSV are definitely in kind of playing crisis. In the last game today, Lubbecke won away at Hildesheim with 31:25, and gave Hildesheim even more headaches regarding the relegation problems. One game was not played from this round, RNL against TBV Lemgo, a game scheduled for 25th of April.Bundesliga Table: (Courtesy of toyota-handball-bundesliga.de) 18Eintracht Hildesheim2:42 16Bergischer HC14:30 17TV 05/07 Hüttenberg9:35 4SG Flensburg-Handewitt33:11 7TBV Lemgo25:17 13HSG Wetzlar16:28 3HSV Hamburg33:9 15VfL Gummersbach14:28 9Frisch Auf Göppingen21:23 10MT Melsungen19:25 12HBW Balingen-Weilstetten17:27 6SC Magdeburg26:18 1THW Kiel44:0 14TSV Hannover-Burgdorf16:28 2Füchse Berlin36:8 BundesligaburgdorfFuchse BerlinGoppingenhildesheimHSV HamburglubbeckeTHW Kiel 8TuS N-Lübbecke21:23 5Rhein-Neckar Löwen29:13 11TV Großwallstadt17:27 ← Previous Story Denmark: AG Kobenhavn beats Bjerringbro-Silkeborg! Next Story → EHF CL (W): Oltchim confirms semifinal, Larvik surprised by Midtjylland! read more

WIN IN BELARUS Kielce on the way to TOP 8

In the first round match of the Last 16, Vive Tauron Kielce took the 32:28 victory against Meshkov Brest and has gained a 4-goal-advantage before the return match in Kielce.Both teams started by going neck and neck; Brest had very little problems with breaking through Kielce defense, while the team from Poland showed well-thought-out attacks. Kielce had one-goal edge but their mistake allowed Belorussians to take the lead. Polish defense was far from perfect and Meshkov players often managed to throw from the 6-meter line practically untroubled; they also often looked for their pivot, ex-Kielce player, Rastko Stojković. Kielce were backed by saves of their goalkeeper which was pretty important for them because in 17. minute Pavel Atman gave his team 3-goal-lead (10:7). Sławomir Szmal made up for his mates’ mistakes and mostly thanks to his saves they were able to catch up. Before 20. minute Mateusz Kus was sent off the court for two minutes for the second time and coach Duyshebaev decided Michał Jurecki would replace his mate in the defence. The defence started playing a little better and Kielce were able to fight for a better result but even though they equalised at 12:12 with 2 minutes to go, the hosts perfectly took advantage of their opponents unsuccessful attempts and Stojković gave his team 2-goal-advantage at the break (14:12).Meshkov: Pesić, Patotski, Charapenka – Atman 7, Babiczew 1, Baranow 1, Kamyszyk, Kristopans 4, Kulak, Nikulenkow 3, Razgor 1, Szumak 1, Szyłowicz 4, Stojković 5, Tiumencew 1, Vukić.Vive: Szmal, Sego – Aguinagalde, Bielecki 8, Buntić, Chrapkowski 1, Cupić 3, Jachlewski, Jurecki 10, Kus, Lijewski 2, Reichmann 1, Strlek 3, Zorman 4.Unfortunately for Meshkov, they didn’t begin the second half as well as they finished the first one. Despite good defence, they didn’t do too well in attack and Kielce, mostly thanks to Jurecki, took the lead at 15:14. Within space of five minutes Brest lost Atman and Shylovich for two minutes but they still were able to give Kielce a hard time by good defending, even being shorthanded. Once again the teams trod a fine line and once again it was Brest who did better and took the lead. In the 43. minute Kielce lost Kus for his third 2-minute suspension but it did not disturb Kielce, on the contrary actually – with ten minutes to go, they took 3-goal lead and kept scoring. The hero of Kielce was Jurecki who was excellent especially in the attack. Meshkov used the last moments to reduce the gap of 5 and in the last second they scored for 28:31 which seemed to be the final result but Tobias Reichmann hit the buzzer beater and Kielce are coming back home with 4 goals of advantage.TEXT: MARTYNA USNARSKA martyna usnarska ← Previous Story EHF CL TOP 16: From Montpellier to Zaporozhye Next Story → VIDEO: Flensburg beat the buzzer in Montpellier read more

Silva proud of Evertons character despite loss

first_imgEverton manager Marco Silva has revealed his delight with his team’s character following their loss to Southampton.The Toffees put the Saints under enormous pressure in the closing minutes of their 2-1 loss but could not find the equalizer.“I said last week [following the win over Bournemouth] how we were strong and showed character and personality,” said Silva, according to the club’s official website.“This afternoon we never gave up again. But, of course, before the goals they scored we should have played differently to achieve a good result.”“We analysed what Southampton did in the past few games [when they] achieved some good results.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“But they were better than us in the first half, we spoke at half-time and changed some things and started the second half like we wanted to, to fight and compete in the match like we wanted and we created chances.”“The one from Gylfi was a fantastic save from the goalie. Of course, after that, from one long ball and one second ball they scored a fantastic goal, from out of the box.”“It allowed them to play like they wanted on the counter-attack. But we didn’t perform at our best level to create enough chances to equalise.”“Our players kept trying and fighting to the end and scored the goal to make it 2-1 [but it was too late].last_img read more

Napoli have adjusted to Ancelottis style Sheva

first_imgAndriy Shevchenko believes Napoli players are adapting well to the style of his old Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti.Ancelotti took over after three years of Maurizio Sarri and is transforming their tactics from 4-3-3 to a versatile 4-4-2.“I like Carlo’s team, as they are competitive and Ancelotti has changed a few things with great wisdom,” Sheva told Football Italia via La Gazzetta dello Sport.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…“Now Napoli are starting to play in his style, so this all confirms what we’ve known for a while: Carlo is an intelligent man and that is his greatest strength. He never gets swept away or distraught, he always maintains his balance.“Having said that, I struggle to see anyone prevent Juventus from taking the Scudetto again. The gap is too big, but they can work towards next season.”Napoli are currently in the hunt for the title but are likely to settle for a top-four finish with Juve running away with the title.last_img read more

California DMV to close all offices for Real ID training on July

first_img Posted: June 25, 2019 California DMV to close all offices for Real ID training on July 24 AP, SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s Department of Motor Vehicles says it will close all offices for a half-day next month to train workers on the federal Real ID program.The Sacramento Bee says all DMV offices will be closed on July 24 until 1 p.m.Americans must have updated Real ID identification cards by October 2020 if they want to board airplanes or enter federal facilities without using a passport.California has struggled to implement the program since its launch last year. The Bee says the DMV provided at least one incorrect ID card to a Californian with temporary immigration status.The DMV also has asked about 3.5 million Californians who applied for Real ID cards to submit a second proof of address because the initial system didn’t meet federal guidelines. Categories: California News, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter June 25, 2019 AP last_img read more

Service dogs in training take field trip to Disneyland

first_img(WSVN) – It wasn’t a ruff day for this group of dogs when they visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California last week.A group of service dogs in training visited “the happiest place on Earth” to improve their socialization skills and they seemed to enjoy themselves in the process.The dogs are being trained by Canine Companions for Independence and one of their dogs’ handlers, Kendra Clark, shared photos of the group enjoying their day at the park on Twitter after a photo of them went viral. Happiest dog and the happiest place on earth! 💛 #TBT pic.twitter.com/ReTr5W3Isu— Laura Allen (@LA03) April 5, 2018 These news articles are just as exciting as Mari’s first time meeting Pluto! @dodo @ccicanine pic.twitter.com/AEzNrehImm— Laura Allen (@LA03) April 3, 2018The photos and videos showed the dogs having fun while wearing Disney themed hats, meeting Winnie the Pooh and Pluto, and even trying out some rides.One of the photos Clark shared to Twitter shows the dogs meeting Tigger with caption saying, “Meeting the characters was their favorite part of the trip!” Meeting the characters was their favorite part of the trip!!! 🤗❤️ pic.twitter.com/XxPlx3Lghg— Kendra 🐶 (@Kendraandziggy) April 3, 2018 The happiest place on earth. #ccipuppy pic.twitter.com/46z0V5UAZE— Laura Allen (@LA03) April 4, 2018Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more