Ag Hall of Fame

first_imgThe Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame will welcome two new inductees at a ceremony Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. in the UGA Hotel and Conference Center. Claud Adams, known as Georgia’s father of 4-H, and Louis Boyd, a leading animal scientist, were selected by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association awards committee. The Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame was established in 1972 to recognize individuals making unusual and extraordinary contributions to agriculture and agribusiness industries in Georgia. “In this day of rapid progress and change, it is more important than ever to preserve Georgia’s rich agricultural history,” said Juli Fields, director of alumni relations for the college. “The 2013 inductees have contributed in extraordinary ways to agriculture in Georgia. They serve as excellent examples of how one individual can make a significant and profound impact on the lives of Georgia’s citizens.” Inductees are nominated by members of the public and selected by the awards committee. Those nominated are required to have impeccable character and outstanding leadership, have made noteworthy contributions to Georgia’s agricultural landscape, and have been recognized for achievements in agriculture as well as other areas. Former inductees include agricultural history makers Tommy Irvin, former agriculture commissioner; D.W. Brooks, Goldkist founder; J.W. Fanning, former UGA vice-president for public service; and J. Phil Campbell, founding director of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Claud Adams. Adams organized the Boy’s Corn Clubs in Newton County in 1904. These corn clubs are widely known as the predecessors of Georgia 4-H, making Adams the father of 4-H in Georgia. In 1913, the Girl’s Tomato Canning Club, an offshoot of the boy’s agricultural clubs, was created. “His effort to teach 151 boys how to grow a better crop of corn was the beginning of the 4-H program in Georgia,” said Arch Smith, Georgia’s state 4-H leader. “These young students carried back to their parents the message of better agricultural practices, which improved farm production methods in the early 1900s.” Adams extended his impact on the agricultural community when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1926. He served on agriculture and education committees; and, in 1932, he was elected commissioner of agriculture. He was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002. “Adams’ legacy as an educator and public servant lives through the 4-H program,” Smith said, “which today reaches over 184,000 of the youngest students of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.” Louis Boyd. Boyd was a champion of the animal sciences at UGA in the 1960s and 1970s. He merged the CAES departments of animal science and dairy science and brought in new sources of external funding to strengthen the department and operations at UGA Experiment Stations across the state. “This willingness to think outside the proverbial box led to CAES becoming one of the premier UGA units for generating private support,” said Rep. Chuck Williams, who graduated from the college in 1977. When Boyd retired from UGA in 1992, he was asked to develop and lead the statewide Advisory Board for Agricultural Experiment Stations in Georgia. This board later merged with the Extension Advisory Council, forming the CAES Advisory Council. “In summary, Dr. Louie Boyd epitomizes those traits that qualify one for the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame,” Williams said. “The Hall of Fame is Georgia’s singular most significant recognition of exceptional service to agriculture in our great state.” For more information about the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame or for details and registration information about the awards ceremony, see caes.uga.edu/alumni.last_img read more

Once Upon a Time in Bath County

first_imgMake Your Dreams Come True in the County of BathNestled in Virginia’s Western Highlands, the County of Bath is a nature lover’s paradise.  Young backpack couple with hiking poles beautiful panoramic view countrysideYoung backpack couple with hiking poles beautiful panoramic view countrysideThe area offers stunning vistas, over 160 miles of hiking trails, dark starlit skies, clear cold streams, all which allow for a wide range of recreational opportunities. The Omni Homestead Resort AerialExpect to see white tail deer, wild turkey, black bear and other game animals within our vast woodlands.  While we are known for our fly fishing, you can also enjoy hiking, camping, biking as well as a vast array of boating and water sports.  GNPubYou can also enjoy a great round of golf or a quick game of tennis.  In winter there is snowing, tubing and ice skating.  And finally, you can skeet shoot, take a falconry lesson; enjoy bird watching, hunting, and horseback riding.  Or, just sit on the porch and enjoy a good book.last_img read more

Brazilian Army Modernizes Its Fleet of Armored Vehicles

first_img“The new versions have much better performance. The motor strength, the maneuverability, the armor, and the amphibious capacity stand out in relation to the old versions,” said the head of Project Guarani, Colonel José Henrique de Cássio Ruffo. Currently, the vehicles are undergoing the integration phase with the command and control system (the system for transmitting voice, image, and data between a vehicle and a command post) and with the weapons system. Diálogo will present each of the projects, their objectives, challenges, and new developments in a series of weekly reports, beginning with Guarani. Of the 158 Guarani vehicles delivered to the Brazilian Army, 50 are already in operation. The vehicles are currently being used in Complexo da Maré, a group of favelas or shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro where security forces are deployed to undertake the pacification process. By the end of 2015, all of the VBTP-MRs will be equipped with weapons and command and control components. Also planned for this year is the manufacture of the 8×8 VBR-MRs, built by the same company on an assembly line in Minas Gerais. Their delivery will begin in 2019, but it has not yet been determined how many will be manufactured, as the Army is still analyzing the costs of this investment. The Guarani has the capacity for 11 passengers – nine Soldiers, a Gunner and a driver. The modular design allows for the incorporation of different towers, weapons, sensors, and communications systems within the same vehicle. This enables it to be more versatile; it can be used in offensive, defensive, patrol and peacekeeping Military operations. “The new versions have much better performance. The motor strength, the maneuverability, the armor, and the amphibious capacity stand out in relation to the old versions,” said the head of Project Guarani, Colonel José Henrique de Cássio Ruffo. On March 17, more of these vehicles were deployed to Mato Grosso do Sul, where they were incorporated into the 4th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade. There, the armored vehicles are used to combat organized crime along the border, under the framework of the Integrated Border Monitoring System (Sisfron, for its Portugese acronym). On March 17, more of these vehicles were deployed to Mato Grosso do Sul, where they were incorporated into the 4th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade. There, the armored vehicles are used to combat organized crime along the border, under the framework of the Integrated Border Monitoring System (Sisfron, for its Portugese acronym). Project Guarani develops vehicles and the ammunition By the end of 2015, all of the VBTP-MRs will be equipped with weapons and command and control components. Also planned for this year is the manufacture of the 8×8 VBR-MRs, built by the same company on an assembly line in Minas Gerais. Their delivery will begin in 2019, but it has not yet been determined how many will be manufactured, as the Army is still analyzing the costs of this investment. Guarani vehicles to assist in favela pacification and border defense The Brazilian Army now has better-equipped armored vehicles. Project Guarani, one of the Army’s seven strategic projects, is modernizing the fleet of vehicles the Cavalry and Infantry divisions use by replacing Cavalry vehicles which have been in operation since the 1970s, and by transforming the Mechanized Infantry fleet through discontinuations of motorized vehicles. This year the Army will also select a company to manufacture a 4×4 VBMT-LR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). It will be used along with the VBR-MRs for smaller operations. The first step has been to replace old vehicles known as Urutus with a new model, the VBTP-MR (Armored Personnel Transport Vehicle – Guarani Midsize Vehicle Class); 158 of those have been built since 2009. The army will also replace another outdated vehicle, the Cascavel, with another new model, the VBR-MR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). Both the Urutu and Cascavel vehicle families have been in use for more than 30 years, and are equipped with outdated technology. Guarani vehicles to assist in favela pacification and border defense In January, the Army received proposals from four companies – domestic and international – interested in competing for the right to develop the 4×4. The winner will be selected in 2015 and the first vehicles are expected to be ready six months after the contract has been signed. After these three versions, more will come. Diálogo will present each of the projects, their objectives, challenges, and new developments in a series of weekly reports, beginning with Guarani. “The Army currently needs to obtain 60 new vehicles per year, until 2035,” Col. Ruffo said. In January, the Army received proposals from four companies – domestic and international – interested in competing for the right to develop the 4×4. The winner will be selected in 2015 and the first vehicles are expected to be ready six months after the contract has been signed. After these three versions, more will come. The Guarani has the capacity for 11 passengers – nine Soldiers, a Gunner and a driver. The modular design allows for the incorporation of different towers, weapons, sensors, and communications systems within the same vehicle. This enables it to be more versatile; it can be used in offensive, defensive, patrol and peacekeeping Military operations. This newspaper is great! Little is known about what the Brazilian Armed Forces do. I asked my grandchildren if anything was mentioned about the military at school, no information, not even from parents. When reading the news, I felt that they still exist, but where are the military leaders? The recognizable ones have already died. I am talking about LEADERS, ethical, correct, fair and human, and this is formed with serious education, with respect and love for the country, family and others. I remember as a youth, when the flag was raised in high school on September 7, the Army was remembered the most and present in our lives. Today, little is remembered and spoken of this glorious Army, which I had the pleasure of serving. Please, educate our children, and it won’t be necessary to punish men. Great publicity work. Brazilians need to know their Armed Forces. I wanted to know if there’s a military news magazine like there was in the past. Also, what is effectively being done to protect the Brazilian Amazon? That immense region envied by other people is a concern. The Armed Forces should demand an increase in funds from our representatives in Congress for a modern plan to protect such a very important national area. Southeast Brazil already has what seems to be enough. We urgently demand a modern defense plan before some country adventures into taking this rich and forgotten region. I like it. Great to know that we are no longer outdated. It gives us more sovereignty. Our country is more than correct in investing in our security because we are a nation. As we need to prepare ourselves, we need to invest! Congratulations on the publication, because we are in need of good news reports after so many that are taking our country down politically. On April 22, I asked if there was a magazine that publishes the work of our Armed Forces. I would like a response. Thank you. Carlos Rodrigues. Unfortunately, our world is in increasing disarray due to damn money. As an ex-member of the Brazilian Armed Forces (FAB), I admire all of this talent. Brazil’s Army Project Office (EPEx), created in 2012, evaluates, proposes, coordinates, and integrates efforts to realization the Army’s large-scale, technologically and financially complex strategic projects. So far those projects have included Guarani, Cyber Defense, Air Defense, Proteger, Recop, Astros 2020, and Sisfron. On March 20, Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC) delivered the 30x173mm ammunition that will be used in the 6×6 VBTP-MRs – the result of a 100 percent domestic research and design process. It has a two-kilometer range and will be used in the 30mm Bushmaster II/MK 44 guns that are mounted on the armored vehicles. The vehicles are also equipped with an automatic turret that can accommodate .50 and 7.62mm machine guns, and a 40mm grenade launcher. By Dialogo April 01, 2015 Modern vehicles, modern weaponry Currently, the vehicles are undergoing the integration phase with the command and control system (the system for transmitting voice, image, and data between a vehicle and a command post) and with the weapons system. Brazil’s Army Project Office (EPEx), created in 2012, evaluates, proposes, coordinates, and integrates efforts to realization the Army’s large-scale, technologically and financially complex strategic projects. So far those projects have included Guarani, Cyber Defense, Air Defense, Proteger, Recop, Astros 2020, and Sisfron. The Brazilian Army now has better-equipped armored vehicles. Project Guarani, one of the Army’s seven strategic projects, is modernizing the fleet of vehicles the Cavalry and Infantry divisions use by replacing Cavalry vehicles which have been in operation since the 1970s, and by transforming the Mechanized Infantry fleet through discontinuations of motorized vehicles. Modern vehicles, modern weaponry The first step has been to replace old vehicles known as Urutus with a new model, the VBTP-MR (Armored Personnel Transport Vehicle – Guarani Midsize Vehicle Class); 158 of those have been built since 2009. The army will also replace another outdated vehicle, the Cascavel, with another new model, the VBR-MR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). Both the Urutu and Cascavel vehicle families have been in use for more than 30 years, and are equipped with outdated technology. “The Army currently needs to obtain 60 new vehicles per year, until 2035,” Col. Ruffo said. On March 20, Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC) delivered the 30x173mm ammunition that will be used in the 6×6 VBTP-MRs – the result of a 100 percent domestic research and design process. It has a two-kilometer range and will be used in the 30mm Bushmaster II/MK 44 guns that are mounted on the armored vehicles. The vehicles are also equipped with an automatic turret that can accommodate .50 and 7.62mm machine guns, and a 40mm grenade launcher. Of the 158 Guarani vehicles delivered to the Brazilian Army, 50 are already in operation. The vehicles are currently being used in Complexo da Maré, a group of favelas or shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro where security forces are deployed to undertake the pacification process. Project Guarani develops vehicles and the ammunition This year the Army will also select a company to manufacture a 4×4 VBMT-LR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). It will be used along with the VBR-MRs for smaller operations. last_img read more

Serving credit union members best – Auto loans

first_imgPresenting your services with a product description and cost isn’t appealing to anyone. It’s about asking the right questions, then offering what makes sense in the right way for that member.I’m not going into selling here (we’ve talked about that many times in the past). Ok, maybe I am. Again, because it’s so important! Let me repeat: Selling is helping. And you are helping, right?Your car buying service helps save members time and money. Explaining its benefits and how to best take advantage isn’t selling.GAP helps a member avoid thousands in unexpected costs after an insurance settlement. Sharing the exact “GAP curve” that member experiences isn’t selling.VSCs are expensive up-front, but how might a surprise $2000 repair affect your member, their job, family, and financial stability? VSC helps your members keep their car on the road (and reduces repossessions, which are often caused by unaffordable vehicle repairs). HIghlighting this isn’t selling.Your Member Walked Into A Dealership…That looks appetizing…The dealer your member visits will present all of these services. You know they’ll be more expensive, and who knows if they are even the best fit?But if it’s the first time your member hears about them, that’s a huge opportunity missed for your credit union.And it’s a disservice to your member.On the other end, it’s important the credit union recognize the partner status of the dealers. They have the “cool” part of auto loans. Just because you need them doesn’t mean they have to hold all the cards. Welcome to Part 3 of what became the Unseen Credit Union Competition series. The first part highlighted what members receive in the mail from not-to-your-standards protection services. Did they know you could help them more effectively, at a lower cost?Then we saw “A Credit Union Member Walks Into a Car Dealership…” This revealed the necessity of positive, mutually-beneficial relationships with car dealers. It also raised the question of what your CU offers alongside that loan. You may know. Do your members?This post continues right from where we left off, finishing the buying process. We’ll look at how your credit union compares on the “easy scale” for loan closing, protection offerings, funding, and more. Remember, it’s always about getting the member what they really need…easily!Be Confident! Credit Unions Can Compete.What do you mean that’s not you and your dealer partners?What’s your loan team’s relationship with auto dealers? In the previous post, we saw the range from best buddies to mortal enemies, with everything in-between.Unless you are able to meet all your lending goals through tent sales, you’re going to need to work with dealers. That doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover!Explain to your dealer partners how members sent there may receive information about your ancillary services and financing. If the member wants to learn about dealer offerings, that’s their choice.Some members will just do everything at the dealer. Perfect for your indirect program, if you have one.Others will want to do it all on their phone before ever visiting the dealer. And stopping at a branch? Fat chance! Thus, how can you help accommodate this scenario? Does your technology allow it?Credit Unions Can Sell. Really!It shouldn’t matter how members choose to conduct their car search, financing research, and buying process. You simply need to provide the tools to make it easy.An unlikely, though fun, communication medium.Which leads us right into talking about your products! Ok, maybe not talking, but some form of member interaction, whether chat, clean website/app, or something else. It’s for them as much as for you!This is where you guide members through what you can offer. Explain why each matters to them (Big Data comes in handy here) and how you are helping reduce their risk, expenses, while preserving peace of mind.It sounds like selling. Maybe you’re not about selling to members. Then let’s change the word: Helping. Would you be willing to help your members choose what services make the most sense for their situation?Since you’re not always doing it in-person, yes, that means some pretty awesome site and mobile app design. You can do it!I was “sold” GAP by my credit union like this:“Ok, so your loan is approved. Do you want GAP? It can pay the difference between your loan and insurance payout in the event of your vehicle being totaled. It’ll be $$ more per month.”I declined. Shocked?I’m Just BrowsingIf you’re at a store and someone asks if you need help, what do you say? “No thanks. I’m just browsing.”In this case, I’m just browsing the ancillary services. If you present them as I expect, ie. selling, I won’t be interested. Yet maybe it’s actually perfect for me! Creating a beneficial relationship for all parties means the experience is better for your members (and the credit union, too!).Then there’s the question of “selling”. There are two extremes. We covered one in the first part: Companies trying to sell your members questionable products they may or may not even need.The other extreme is not mentioning anything to a member. You probably fall somewhere in the middle, and that’s a great place to start.Now, it’s up to you to make sure you provide the best everything for a member. And ensure it’s clear and easy for them!Because isn’t “serving members the best” what your credit union is all about?center_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Winn What do you get when you mix auto loan programs with a desire to help others? Well, approaches that make a difference, of course. So what do you get when … Web: credituniongeek.com Detailslast_img read more

JCPD stepping up to help officer’s son in need of heart transplant

first_imgJOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Jay Vandermark’s 4-year-old son, Jackson, has dealt with heart issues since he was born. Now he needs a heart transplant. JCPD has also organized a charity dinner to benefit the Vandermarks, which will take place Saturday, December 8 at the Endicott Elks Lodge. More information on attending can be found on its Facebook event page here. “You know there has to be a donor and unfortunately for a donor to come along, another child has to pass unfortunately. The size has got to be comparable to him, same blood type,’ Vandermark said. Finding a match could take months. “We were admitted down here a couple weeks ago. Now he’s on an IV medication to help with the heart failure and he’s just kind of waiting for a new heart,” Jay Vandermark said. Jackson is at a New York City hospital hoping for a match soon. Vandermark is new to the Johnson City Police Department and doesn’t have much sick time. That’s where his fellow officers have stepped in. Vandermark said his wife, Lisa, stays with Jackson. Then he travels to the city to see Jackson on his days off. “He hasn’t saved up a lot of sick time like some of the officers that have been here a long time. So guys are stepping up to donate sick time so that he can spend more time with his son especially after he recovers from the transplant once that happens,” Brent Dodge, Johnson City police chief, said. “You know my family’s gonna be split. I’m doing my best to keep working,” Vandermark said. “As a police officer you’re always trying to give to the community and that’s what the rest of the guys are trying to do for us. You know, we certainly appreciate that,” Vandermark said.last_img read more

Would you buy a house next to a cemetery?

first_imgThe home has character features including timber floors and VJ walls.“They treat the cemetery like a park and it is very well looked after these days. “For buyers, this is an opportunity to buy in to inner-city living on a big block of land at an affordable price.” The home at 63 Frederick St was built in 1935 and has timber floors, VJ walls and high ceilings. There is a separate living area, a dining room opening to the back patio, and a kitchen with walk-in pantry and gas cooking. The kitchen at 63 Frederick St, Toowong.There is a covered veranda at the front of the home and plenty of entertaining space at the back.Ms Healy said she was only selling because she was moving away from Brisbane.“I’ve really loved living in Toowong,” she said. “It is a great location 15 minutes’ walk to the Regatta, close to buses and the city.” The home at 63 Frederick St, Toowong, is across the road from Toowong Cemetery. Photo: SUPPLIEDIF ghost stories and gravestones don’t deter you, this 1930s Queenslander in Toowong could be an affordable entry in to the inner city market. The renovated three-bedroom home is on a double block across the road from Toowong Cemetery. Owner Maria Healy has lived in the house at 63 Frederick St since 2003 and in that time she hasn’t experienced a single spine tingle, undead visitor or unexplained event. Even on Halloween, she isn’t the slightest bit concerned about her silent neighbours. The home at 63 Frederick St, Toowong, is on a double block.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus1 day agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market1 day ago“There is always a lot of people in there, either tending the graves or walking their dogs. There are even a couple of water stations for the dogs to have a drink.” Marketing agent Byrony O’Neill said most buyers weren’t put off by the heritage-listed cemetery. “A lot of people make jokes about quiet neighbours or it being the dead centre of town but they don’t seem to mind it,” she said. The view of Brisbane city from the top of Toowong Cemetery.“I actually love that I live across the road from so much history,” she said. Ms Healy said Frederick St residents saw the well-maintained cemetery as a bonus. It is a large green space with city views, lots of trees and plenty of walking paths. It is also next to Anzac Park and the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. “I’ve got a two-year-old dog and we go for a walk through the cemetery several times a week, as do my neighbours,” Ms Healy said.last_img read more

Coal veteran’s luxury homes on market

first_imgThe home is spread across a rare 1,213 sqm block that Mr Ross bought over 20 years ago.Ascot has seen its median price jump 61.7 per cent in the last five years, with median rent sitting at $697 a week. 37 Mayfield Street, Ascot, was taken to market by Ray White Ascot’s Dwight Ferguson. 37 Mayfield Street, Ascot, is currently on the market for sale by tender, closing 4pm October 12 via Ray White Ascot.THE man who co-founded one of Australia’s largest coal producers is tidying up his Brisbane portfolio — with two luxury homes set to sell within weeks of each other.Keith Ross, who was once managing director of Whitehaven Coal, is acknowledged as one of the brains behind the massive growth in the firm which was to later famously be taken over by Nathan Tinkler in his heyday. Now his second home at 37 Mayfield Street, Ascot has also been taken to market by Ray White Ascot principal and agent Dwight Ferguson, with the luxury property for sale by tender closing 4pm on October 12. 37 Mayfield Street, Ascot, is a stunning property on a large site. 33 Mayfield Street, Ascot, has been sold for an undisclosed sum by Alma Clark Real Estate. 37 Mayfield Street, Ascot, is for sale by tender. 37 Mayfield Street, Ascot, has been meticulously cared for. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER The 33 Mayfield Street, Ascot, deal was struck on August 13, 2018.Mr Ross and wife Alison have always been partial to luxury real estate purchases — with their two remaining houses in Ascot hitting the market within weeks of each other.Alma Clark of Alma Clark Real Estate has just sold their “classic Spanish mansion” at 33 Mayfield Street for an undisclosed sum. The couple had bought the property for $2.35m around half a year before Mr Ross resigned from the board of Whitehaven Coal.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours ago Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenNRL stars tackling the property game00:50last_img read more

Maersk’s Focus Switch Challenges Prompt Moody’s Rating Review

first_imgMaersk’s separation of energy companies from its core business might drive its rating downgrade, according to Moody’s Investors Service, which has continued its review of the Baa2 issuer rating and senior unsecured rating of Denmark-based shipping and energy company. Moody’s review also includes Maersk’s senior unsecured medium-term note (MTN) programme’s (P) Baa2 rating.“The continuation of the rating review reflects ongoing uncertainty with respect to the application of proceeds of the Total S.A. shares,” said Maria Maslovsky, Moody’s Vice President and the lead analyst for Maersk.“Also, the Maersk Oil sale is not closed yet and the separation of Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service is still pending,” added Maslovsky.Maersk is pursuing a focus switch of its business strategy and plans to concentrate the group’s future activities on transport and logistics.The move was ascribed to recent years’ downfall of the oil and gas industry markets, among other things.The strategy change saw Maersk Oil sold off to Total S.A  in August for USD 7.45 billion in a combined share and debt transaction. In addition, Maersk Tankers was sold to one of the group’s subsidiaries APMH Invest A/S in October for USD 1.17 billion in an all-cash transaction.The proceeds of the sale of the two businesses, including that of the Dansk Supermarked disposition (USD 0.9 billion), are slated for cutting of debt.Buyers for Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service are expected to be found before the end of 2018.“Today’s (December 8) rating action reflects Moody’s understanding that Maersk has not yet determined the exact use of the proceeds of 97.5 million of Total S.A. (Aa3) stable shares it is due to receive as part of the sale of Maersk Oil,” the rating agency said, adding that it would conclude the review once the use of proceeds is determined.Maersk said earlier that it would return a significant portion of the shares to the APMM shareholders during 2018-2019, however, the exact amount depends upon the company’s performance and the solutions found for the Maersk Drilling business, Moody’s added.As indicated, Maersk is expected to gain a high degree of flexibility in terms of managing its leverage levels from the Total deal. However, the conglomerate will need to pay some of its debt soon, especially given the volatile nature of the ocean shipping industry, which is not anticipated to abate in the near term.Maersk has a liquidity reserve of USD 10.6 billion as of September 30, 2017, excluding committed financing for the Hamburg Sud acquisition. The group has a little over USD 1 billion of debt maturities in Q4 2017 and less than USD 2 billion in 2018 which are expected to be refinanced in due course, the rating agency said.Moody’s estimates adjusted Gross Debt to EBITDA of around 3x for the Transportation & Logistics businesses only in 2018, which is high for the Baa2 rating given that the industry has recovered from a low point in the cycle in 2016.In order to keep its strong Baa2 rating grade Maersk will need to maintain its debt/EBITDA below 3.0x at all points in the cycle and demonstrate greater stability in achieving a positive EBIT margin at Maersk Line on a consistent basis.In addition, a debt/EBITDA leverage of below 3.5x would need to be sustained through the shipping cycle for an investment grade credit profile.If the said preconditions are met, Maersk’s rating could be stabilized.However, the rating is likely to be downgraded if the company’s debt/EBITDA ranges between 3.0x and 3.5x pro forma for the separation of the energy businesses whilst not exceeding 3.5x at all points in the cycle. Consistent negative free cash flow (after capex and dividends) would also create pressure on the rating, Moody’s said.last_img read more

Kenya braces for El Niño rains

first_imgPopular Kenyan flood victim appointed El-Nino ambassador The first signs of the El nino climate phenomenon seem to be showing in Kenya. The last El nino recorded in Kenya was in 1997-1998 and it brought with it the most destructive spell of rain in the country’s history.Kenya’s government is however working to ensure that it is not caught flat footed this time around. Is the heatwave in South Africa beginning of El Nino? Related Is Africa prepared for the Forecasted El Niño?last_img

3 men hack couple over ‘old grudge’

first_imgThe 44-year-old Joseph Besanes and his wife Jerose, 38, sustained hack wounds on the body, a police report showed.  They received treatment at the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose, Antique.  Officers of the Pantongon police station have yet to arrest the suspects, who fled after the incident./PN Police investigators said prior to the hacking, there was an altercation between the couple and the suspects around 9:30 p.m. on June 3.  The suspects were identified as Raymond Alagos, 22; his younger brother Valentin, 17; and Junie Alagos, 47, the report added. ILOILO City – Old grudge was seen as the motive in the hacking of a couple in Barangay Pandanan, Patnongon, Antique, police said.last_img