Enterprise in takeover talks

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Foreign offices

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

RICS attacks pollution laws

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Reading faces up to the realities of oversupply

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Downward trend in share prices will not last long: Analysts

first_imgMSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.7 percent, Japan’s Nikkei and Korea’s KOSPI were in the red, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite was 0.1 percent weaker.Fears of the coronavirus outbreak, which has severely hurt the world’s second largest economy, also further undermined Indonesia’s economic growth, which has been stuck at about 5 percent for the past three years.Investors began to sideline the market as fears mounted. The volume of stocks traded in the last week of January was recorded at only 40.82 billion shares, with a total value of Rp 32.23 trillion, far lower than the 75.99 billion shares valued at Rp 80.98 trillion recorded during the same period last year, according to the IDX data. (ydp)Topics : Most securities analysts believe share prices on the local market have bottomed out, with many countries now committed to halting the spread of the virus. As of Saturday, the deadly virus has killed more than 813 people worldwide, mostly in China, and infected more than 37,549 people in over 25 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).“The drop in prices this month was mainly caused by panic selling amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus,” Artha Sekuritas Indonesia vice president Frederik Rasali told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday via text.Read also: BI injects $1.8b to stabilize Indonesian markets as investors flee over coronavirus fears Indonesian stock prices appear to have bottomed out following a nearly 6 percent drop in January as investors feared the spread of the coronavirus, which started in China in late December 2019, would further drag down global economic growth.The JCI, the main index at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), only gained a modest 1.7 percent in 2019 to close the year at 6,299 in the backdrop of sluggish economic growth. The index was under selling pressure through most of January due to fears over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.Declining by 5.7 percent in January to close the month at 5,940, the index showed signs of recovery at the start of February following growing optimism that the outbreak could be kept under control. The JCI gained ground in the last two weeks to close at 5,999 on Friday. The JCI’s fall contrasts with the upward trend typically recorded in January, known as the “January effect” — a phenomenon wherein investors go on a shopping spree during the first month of the year.As documented by Bloomberg, between 2010 and 2020, the index’s performance fell only three times in the month of January. The index fell 7.95 percent in January 2011, 0.05 in January 2017 and 5.7 in January 2020. In other years, the index grew considerably, with the highest growth recorded in January 2019 at 5.46 percent.“[The downward trend] will not last for the long term, of course, because governments of each country have responded swiftly [to the outbreak],” said Frederik, adding that he predicted the index would return to the 6,000 level following the release of full year financial reports for 2019, which typically occurs before the end of February.Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) Sekuritas’s head of research Kim Kwie Sjamsudin wrote in a report that during previous viral outbreaks, the market tended to bottom out several months after the first reported case.“As investors tend to overreact during the onset of a virus outbreak, the subsequent rebounds have been quite swift as well,” Kim wrote, adding that the JCI’s current valuation level offered “an attractive risk to risk to reward proposition”.Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) movement from March 2019 to Feb. 7, 2020. (JP/Bloomberg).Usage: 0 (JP/Bloomberg)The prices of big caps — those with market capitalization above Rp 20 trillion — have depreciated recently. On Friday, blue chip BNI shares dropped 4.85 percent month-to-month (mtm), while other big caps Astra International and Charoen Pokphand Indonesia fell 6.23 percent and 12.07 percent, respectively.However, Trimegah Securities head of research and foreign institutional equity Sebastian Tobing said a number of stocks had not been affected by the coronavirus fears, such as Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD), which booked a 7.17 percent week-on-week increase.Indonesia’s stock market decline conforms to the global stock market movement, with stock markets around the world also seeing downturns.Most share markets in Asia slipped on Friday, as the growing death toll and economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak put a lid on the week’s sharp rally, Bloomberg reported.Read also: Coronavirus to affect stock market until contained: Analysts Between Jan. 27 and Jan. 31, foreign investors recorded net sales of Rp 2.35 trillion (US$171 million), a sharp contrast to the transactions recorded during the same period last year, when foreign investors made net purchases of Rp 3.7 trillion.last_img read more

What’s next for Democratic presidential candidates after New Hampshire

first_imgThe 78-year-old candidate’s hefty war chest is allowing him to air new TV ads in states that vote in March, places where Bloomberg has dominated the airwaves as part of his strategy focused on later-voting states. Warren’s poor showing on Tuesday should help Sanders consolidate the party’s liberal wing.Some Democratic officials are concerned that Sanders’ “democratic socialist” label could damage down-ballot candidates in the fall. Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s combined vote total on Tuesday night far surpassed what Sanders drew, suggesting voters may still prefer a centrist message.In a sign of the resistance he may face, Nevada’s influential Culinary Union Local 226 on Tuesday circulated a flyer to its members warning that Sanders would “end” the labor group’s popular healthcare offerings if elected president.PETE BUTTIGIEGThe 38-year-old former mayor’s campaign is on an upswing after a narrow win in Iowa and close second-place finish in New Hampshire, but far tougher tests lay ahead in states with more diverse populations.Buttigieg has struggled to overcome skepticism among African-American voters, after members of the black community in South Bend complained he ignored them amid the city’s economic revitalization. That apparent weakness has raised concerns about whether he can mobilize enough support nationally from black voters to beat the Republican Trump.The campaign says a strategy of reaching out to rural, independent areas where people voted for both Trump and former President Barack Obama has allowed Buttigieg to build a broad coalition and prove his unity message during a divisive Trump presidency is viable.In South Carolina, where roughly 30% of the population is black, Buttigieg has remained in the single digits in opinion polls. His campaign is hoping to leverage his status as a military veteran to earn support in the state, which has a large number of veteran and active duty service members.Campaign officials say his team will rely on deep volunteer corps in a broad swath of states with upcoming primaries, as opposed to hiring expensive staff, and focus spending on ads that will help boost his name recognition.AMY KLOBUCHARKlobuchar was mostly an afterthought in a crowded field only weeks ago, but she scored the biggest surprise in New Hampshire, coming in third and easily beating Warren and Biden.A commanding debate performance in New Hampshire on Friday night led to increasingly large and enthusiastic crowds at the weekend. The campaign reported raising $4 million between the debate and Tuesday morning, and later in the day announced a new television advertising buy in Nevada.Klobuchar, 59, has run as an unapologetic centrist, highlighting her success in winning in conservative districts in Minnesota and dismissing ambitious liberal policy proposals like free college tuition as unrealistic “bumper sticker slogans.”Biden’s poor showings in the first two states could open the door for her to emerge as the moderate standard-bearer. But she needs to show she can move ahead of Buttigieg, and her support among black voters is even more anemic than his is.ELIZABETH WARRENAfter a disappointing fourth-place showing in her neighboring state, the Massachusetts senator needs a breakout moment to recapture the momentum she had last fall.Hours before the polls closed on Tuesday, Warren campaign manager Roger Lau attempted to forestall a rush to judgment. He argued in a memo to backers that she had built an operation that could methodically collect delegates through March and warning against focusing on “winner-take-all victories.”Warren failed to win a single delegate in New Hampshire, however, and Klobuchar’s rise appears to be cutting deeply into her base of college-educated voters, particularly women, according to exit polling by Edison Research.Warren, 70, likely has the most extensive national operation aside from Bloomberg, with more than 1,000 staffers in 30 states. If her fundraising falters, she could face financial strains.JOE BIDENBiden’s decision to leave New Hampshire for South Carolina before the vote count started rolling in says it all.His campaign never expected to win in Iowa and New Hampshire. But it also did not expect him to finish so poorly, casting a deep shadow on his claim that he is the most “electable” Democrat and best positioned to take on Trump.His biggest problem has been the rise of Buttigieg and Klobuchar as younger, moderate alternatives.Biden, 77, hopes the shift to Nevada and South Carolina will give him the reset he needs.But there are other concerns. His weakness in the first two contests could trigger an erosion of support among his strongest political base: African-American voters. Biden also is unlikely to be able to compete financially with the likes of Sanders, Buttigieg and Bloomberg.MICHAEL BLOOMBERGBloomberg could emerge as one of the night’s biggest winners even though he didn’t campaign in New Hampshire.The former New York City mayor has been counting on an unsettled race among the moderate candidates, including a weak showing from once-time front-runner Biden, to present himself as the most viable alternative to Sanders.Bloomberg, 77, joined the race late and is not competing in the first four nomination contests. Instead, his campaign has poured hundreds of millions into the states that vote on March 3, known as Super Tuesday.National polls have shown Bloomberg steadily growing his share of support in recent weeks, and he has built by far the biggest staff among presidential candidates.But Bloomberg also faces his own challenges, including an increasing level of scrutiny on his record as mayor. On Tuesday, a recording surfaced of him defending policing tactics that have disproportionately ensnared blacks and Hispanics. Topics : If there’s one thing Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary made clear, it’s that Democrats are no closer to agreeing on the right candidate to beat Republican President Donald Trump in November.The two leading candidates from Iowa’s caucus, Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, stayed at the top of the field. But Senator Amy Klobuchar surged to third, throwing the viability of both Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden into question.No candidate exceeded 30% of the vote – a muddled outcome that could end up helping billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a moderate candidate who wasn’t even on the ballot.center_img Here’s how the path ahead looks for each of the top candidates vying to challenge Trump on Nov. 3:BERNIE SANDERSAfter his strong performances in mainly white Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders’ claim that he is building a “multiracial, multigenerational, people-driven movement” will be put to the test in more diverse Nevada and South Carolina.A Quinnipiac national poll released on Monday showed the Vermont senator up 2 percentage points among black voters since January, reaching 19% support and closing the gap on Biden, who fell 22 points to 27% after a fourth-place finish in Iowa. Bloomberg surged to 22% among black voters in the poll.last_img read more

Angered by Perppu on pandemic response, civil groups turn to Constitutional Court

first_img“It gives officials excessive power over the state budget, which might lead to corruption. That very provision is unacceptable,” Boyamin Saiman from the Indonesian Anticorruption Community (MAKI) said.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued the Perppu on March 31, giving Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) members impunity in taking extraordinary measures to cushion the economy from the negative impacts of the outbreak as long as the measure were performed “in good faith” and with respect to existing laws. It also stipulates that the funds spent by the government to save the country from the economic crisis are considered simply economic costs rather than state losses.MAKI said the provisions violated the Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law and judicial independence, as well as the principle of “a state governed by laws”.“We think that no one should be allowed to have impunity whatsoever, even during times of pandemic,” Boyamin said, adding that the phrase “in good faith” was open to multiple interpretations that could be misused by officials to gain personal benefits from the state budget. The newly proposed regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on COVID-19 pandemic response has fueled anger among civil groups who fear it would lead to budget misappropriation and embezzlement if passed.Now, they are taking the Perppu to the Constitutional Court, demanding the revocation of contentious provisions stipulating that officials responsible for fiscal and monetary policies cannot be criminally charged when using the state budget to counter the negative economic impacts of the pandemic.Five organizations filed a petition for judicial review with the Constitutional Court online on April 9 against the Perppu. Read also: Activists warn government not to repeat mistakes of past economic bailoutsThe court registry, which has suspended all trials until April 21, is checking the application and verifying all required documents before scheduling the first hearing, court spokesman Fajar Laksono said.A legal advocacy group called Mahutama is preparing to file a similar petition soon with the Court.“The regulation is very peculiar because it paves the way for the government to abuse power,” said Syaiful Bakhri, a lawyer representing the group.Not only does it violate the Constitution, the suspicious provision, he said, also contradicts some prevailing laws: the 2003 law on state finances and the 2006 law on the Supreme Audit Agency.“It is very problematic. We need to revoke the Perppu before the House of Representatives passes it into law,” Syaiful said.Read also: Indonesia’s COVID-19 stimulus playbook explainedSubmitted to the House of Representatives on April 2, the regulation is awaiting lawmakers’ approval.Lawmakers, however, have no plans to deliberate the regulation during the current session as Jokowi sent an approval notification days after the session had started.“Even if there is no petition, we can only deliberate [the Perppu] in the next legislative session,” House Budget Committee chairman Said Abdullah said.Finance Ministry spokeswoman Rahayu Puspasari said the ministry would respect the legal processes at the court. The Palace was not immediately available for comment.Topics :last_img read more

Oil prices collapse on storage fears, Asia equities mixed

first_imgWTI was hit particularly hard as its main US storage facilities in Cushing, Oklahoma, were filling up.ANZ said “crude oil prices remained under pressure, as projections of weaker demand weigh on sentiment”.”Despite the OPEC+ alliance agreeing to an unprecedented cut in output, the physical market is awash with oil,” it said, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC partners.And AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes added: “It’s a dump at all cost as no one… wants delivery of oil, with Cushing storage facilities filling by the minute. “It hasn’t taken long for the market to recognise that the OPEC+ deal will not, in its present form, be enough to balance oil markets.”Stock traders were in slightly more buoyant mood as governments start to consider how and when to ease lockdowns that have crippled the global economy.Italy, Spain, France and Britain reported drops in daily death tolls and slowing infection rates. ‘No time to get cocky’ “We are scoring points against the epidemic,” said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, while insisting “we are not out of the health crisis yet”.Meanwhile, in the US, Andrew Cuomo, governor of badly hit New York state, said the disease was “on the descent”, though he cautioned it was “no time to get cocky”.Mounting evidence suggests that the lockdowns and social distancing are slowing the spread of the virus. That has intensified planning in many countries to begin loosening curbs on movement and easing the crushing pressure on national economies.Adding to the sense of hope was a report indicating promising research on a drug to treat coronavirus.Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul were each up 0.1 percent, while Wellington added 0.4 percent.However, Tokyo went into the break 0.9 percent lower, while Sydney and Manila dropped one percent apiece. There were also losses in Taipei, Singapore and Jakarta.”The longer investors have to contemplate future economic issues while they wait for more countries to be on the downward slope of the pandemic curve, the more scope there is of risk assets pricing in a difficult future,” Chris Iggo, of AXA Investment Managers UK, said.Investors are keeping an eye on Washington, where Congress and the White House are working towards a $450 billion economic relief plan for small business to add to the trillions already pledged to support the economy.Big-name companies including IBM, Netflix and Coca-Cola are due to deliver their earnings reports. Oil prices collapsed to more than two-decade lows Monday as traders grow concerned that storage facilities are reaching their limits, while equities were mixed, with some support coming from signs that the coronavirus may have peaked in Europe and the United States.US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate briefly plunged almost 20 percent to below $15 — its lowest since 1999 —  as stockpiles continue to build owing to a crash in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Analysts said this month’s agreement between top producers to slash output by 10 million barrels a day was having little impact on the oil crisis because of lockdowns and travel restrictions that are keeping billions of people at home.center_img Topics :last_img read more

A hunt for any storage space turns urgent as oil glut grows

first_imgTopics : A topsy-turvy market that has oil prices for October delivery at $31 a barrel has oil firms anxious to sock away millions of barrels now to sell at a profit later.Tank farms are full In Cushing, Oklahoma, home to dozens of large tank farms with combined space for about 76 million barrels, operators are fully booked, said traders. Storage there jumped by 5.7 million barrels the week before last, according to the latest US Energy Information Administration (EIA).While the government estimated there is available space, traders said Monday’s market drop indicated any unfilled tanks are under lease, and not available to new renters. The telephone lines have been ringing at Adler Tank Rentals in Texas as oil companies found a new use for steel tanks that had been left idle when shale producers stopped drilling – they want to use the tanks to store some of an oil glut that has overwhelmed the market and flipped US crude prices negative for the first time.Hundreds of millions of barrels of crude have gushed into storage worldwide in the past two months as the coronavirus-related lockdowns wiped out around a third of global oil demand.With oil depots that normally store crude oil onshore filling to the brim and supertankers mostly taken, energy companies are desperate for more space. The alternative is to pay buyers to take their US crude after futures plummeted to a negative $37 a barrel on Monday.center_img “The industry is really scrambling to source viable storage options,” said Stuart Porter, a manager at Adler Tank Rentals in Texas, which has shale companies lining up to potentially lease dozens of its 500-barrel steel frac tanks. The tanks can be lined up like dominos and filled at the well site by producers without a home for their oil.Converge Midstream LLC with millions of barrels of storage available in underground salt caverns outside Houston has gone from few takers to requiring one- to two-year contracts.”Quite honestly we were struggling for business. Now that the market has changed, everyone is our friend,” said Dana Grams, chief executive of Converge Midstream.The hunt for storage points to the magnitude of the collapse in demand for US shale and the huge volume of unsold oil to refiners who are cutting purchases.Last month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia threw in the towel on four years of self-imposed output curbs that gave US shale a price umbrella. The result was a drop in US oil prices to about $20 a barrel as Saudi Arabia and Russia pledged to pump full bore.For a time, it looked like prices would stabilize after the pair and other nations this month agreed to deepen cuts. But crude stocks in the United States rose by 19 million barrels overall the week before last, the EIA said, the biggest one-week increase in history, setting the stage for Monday’s historic decline.Floating storage In addition to the onshore glut, there are about 160 million barrels of oil sitting on tankers waiting for buyers. And at least six crude tankers carrying 2 million barrels apiece are en route to the United States from Saudi Arabia, adding to the alarm at the US Gulf Coast.It is not just crude looking for a place to go. State lockdowns have decimated demand for motor fuel. US gasoline demand fell 32% earlier this month compared with the same time a year ago, the EIA said.That glut is creating opportunities for some.At Caliche Development Partners, which stores natural gas liquids in underground caverns near Houston, CEO Dave Marchese may shift his plans and open a newly completed 3-million-barrel underground salt-cavern for crude oil or gasoline.”Gasoline has a pretty large contango right now,” he said, referring to prices five or more months ahead that are higher than current levels. But both fuels would require new pumps in its salt cavern, Marchese said, and he wants buyers to pay up for any upgrades.Shale producer Teal Natural Resources had one of its three crude buyers cancel a purchase agreement last month, sending it shopping for frac tanks. They are not cheap, Teal CEO John Roby learned after scouring the market.Storing a month’s worth of output would cost Teal about $20 a day per tank, or about $300,000 a month. At those rates, Teal would rather shut in wells, he said.Shutting off wells is not for everyone, though, because it can reduce future oil recovery, and may put a producer in breach of their lease contracts.Rentals for frac tanks have jumped from about $15 a day previously, a Texas oil marketer said.Another oil producer, Texland Petroleum aims to sell immediately whatever crude it can this month, said President Jim Wilkes. He is considering adding frac tanks to avoid having to pay to have his oil carried away in May.Joshua Wade, an oil marketer in Oklahoma, is in talks to reserve about 100,000 barrels of storage for May using a combination of frac tanks, on-system pipeline storage and smaller tanks that have been dormant on pipelines.But time is running out and costs are rising quickly.”A lot of people have been calling me now and saying ‘I wanna go out and buy 100,000 barrels in May and put them in a frac tank,'” said Wade. “I tell them the party started about a month ago and it’s now almost over.”last_img read more

Postal slowdown sparks claims of plot to undermine US vote

first_imgPelosi and fellow senior Democrat Chuck Schumer also called for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a recent Trump appointee, to appear before an “urgent hearing” of the House oversight committee.They said that DeJoy — “a Trump mega-donor — has acted as an accomplice in the president’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards.””This is a crisis for American democracy,” progressive senator Bernie Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week.” Democrats expect to use the issue to mobilize voters when the party opens its national convention on Monday — in a virtual format — with former vice president Joe Biden slated to accept the party’s nomination on Thursday. Republicans follow a week later.Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the Democrats could yet obtain more postal funding if they are ready to make a deal on the stimulus package.”If my Democrat friends are all upset about this, come back to Washington,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.””Put the postal funding in there” along with aid to small businesses, he said. “We’ll pass it tomorrow.”Trump has long been a critic of the postal service, but his latest charges come as he trails Biden in most polls.Protesters on Saturday gathered at DeJoy’s Washington home, blaring horns and banging pots.But USPS spokesman David Partenheimer attributed changes at the agency to its poor financial state.”We are not slowing down election mail or any other mail,” he told AFP.”The Postal Service is in a financially unsustainable position, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume and a broken business model.”But Congress remains deadlocked over a new stimulus bill to follow the $2.2 trillion package passed in March.The president said candidly in April that mail-in voting “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He has repeatedly described such ballots as prone to fraud.But a study this year by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found that “it is… more likely for an American to be struck by lightning than to commit mail voting fraud.”American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimondstein told AFP on Sunday that Trump “wants to starve the Post Office to keep people from voting, that’s shameful.”The union has said overtime for postal workers was recently reduced, and 40,000 workers have had to quarantine because of COVID-19, creating delays.As concerns mount over the USPS’s ability to handle a surge in ballots, states are working to ensure their residents’ votes count.Pennsylvania this week asked its supreme court to push back its deadline for accepting mail-in ballots.The Washington Post reported on Friday similar notices were sent to 45 other states and the District of Columbia.”It’s incumbent upon Congress to act and not hide behind anything else. And that’s true of people on both sides in the major political parties,” said Dimondstein.Topics : “They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday, adding, “But if they don’t get those… that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” With some states expanding mail-in options because of the pandemic, an estimated three-quarters of Americans will be able to vote from home this fall.Increased mail-in voting, Republican Trump said Saturday, would be a “catastrophe” — an assertion contested by many election experts.Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she would recall the House of Representatives from its summer recess to vote this week on an act “to save the Postal Service.” The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump.Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery.last_img read more