Category: reseoyvd

Free-from fervour

first_imgWhen somebody asks you, ’Do you like the taste of hospital food?’, it’s usually because you’ve spilt somebody’s pint in a packed Wetherspoon’s. Last month, British Baker had to ponder this question when we attended a taste test of baked goods, supplied into Southampton University Hospital. And it wasn’t without a similar sense of Friday night trepidation. This was a gluten-free taste test.”Go on, try the gluten-free baguette,” was the ominous dare that crept around the tasting table. On the surface, this curio seemed inviting enough: a dark crust, a slash down the centre, your standard bake-off quality baguette. But on the inside lurked something more akin to petrified loft insulation, with the mouth-feel of running your tongue up a brick wall.Such is the hit-but-mainly-miss nature of that unique niche: bakery products for people who cannot eat bakery products. “Do they actually taste this stuff?” piped up one member of the panel, held at the hospital, which was looking for something more palatable than this rogue baton.While there are, no doubt, a lot of stinkers out on the gluten-free market, product quality and availability has rocketed over the last five years. Dedicated free-from sections have sprung up in all the major multiples, while high street café chains stock gluten-free products as a staple.Why the shift? One reason is that consumers are increasingly shunning the GP for information on dietary matters in favour of Google, and self-diagnosing coeliac disease in greater numbers. For people under 44, the internet now ranks above GPs as a source of information on food sensitivity issues. Gluten is increasingly perceived as a “red flag” ingredient, like saturated fat. And coeliac disease has becomes that oddest of species: a disease it’s cool to have.A new report commissioned by Mrs Crimble’s – a free-from cake and biscuit brand – noted that most of the growth in the free-from market had not come from people who think they had a food intolerance, but from those who simply want less wheat and gluten in their diets, and that accounts for half the market. It stated the number of people who believed they had some food intolerance had grown by over a third between January 2007 and 2008, though from a small base.”The supermarkets are doing gluten-free more and more – partly because it’s quite fashionable to have allergies,” reflects Clea Pidgeon, paediatric dietician at the hospital. “You’ll read that some celebrity is on a wheat-free diet and that it’s the best thing ever, and people will have a go at it. That’s why it’s become a lot more available, but this helps the patients who really need it!”It was these genuine sufferers who tested the products with us in Southampton. Intriguingly, panellists said product quality was not as important as availability. Most attendees were grateful just to have something baked to eat. “I’ve not had a chocolate teacake for four years!” exclaimed one, joyfully. Price was the overwhelming sticking point for most coeliacs, who complained in chorus of the hefty premiums placed on standard products. When BB followed this up with suppliers, they said prices will only come down when scales increase and the category goes more mainstream.The market has changed considerably; while, five years ago, gluten-free bread would come in tins, you can now buy fresh bread, though often they have to be “refreshed” in the microwave – a drawback for everyday consumption. “People cannot regenerate their bread at school or work,” notes Pidgeon. “Bread, patients tell me, is the biggest area of concern, though there has certainly been real improvements.”But is it really possible to make gluten-free products that stand up next to regular ones? “We’re seeing more real bakers like ourselves in the market – and not just pharmaceutical companies – making the products,” says Paddy Cronin, sales and marketing director of United Central Bakeries, which is developing cakes alongside its existing gluten-free morning goods.== ==It’s apparent the expectations of some coeliacs are growing in tandem with product quality. I put it to one panellist that, surely, gluten-free is too niche to ever become mainstream. “Research suggests that 1% of the population are gluten-intolerant, but they don’t know it – that’s a huge market,” he replied. Of course, the remaining 99% that aren’t and do know it, is even more huge.Switching allegianceWould a coeliac really switch allegiance to, for example, Costa, if they found it stocked a gluten-free product, I ventured? “They already sell a couple of gluten-free products. But… they should be selling more than that!”The gripe is that, while gluten-free cakes are available in cafés, there are few gluten-free morning goods. But this may be down to the technical challenges in NPD. “It’s difficult to make them, because you don’t have the benefits of gluten, which gives structure – so you’re working more with a batter than a dough,” says UCB’s Cronin. “But anything is possible; we’ve made gluten-free pitta bread and crumpets when no-one else in the market was doing so.”But NPD for coeliacs is a tricky beast. It is very hard to find one ingredient that can replace gluten’s function in baking and still get a cake or biscuit that tastes good. “A careful mix of ingredients such as gluten-free flours – rice flour, maize flour and possibly starches, fibres and gums – I find can work well in baking,” says Angela Mumby, a technologist for consultant firm Food Ambitions.The other challenge for suppliers is that, while coeliacs are screaming out for more gluten-free, it can be hard to reach that audience. “I believe an increasing number of consumers are hoping that tasty gluten-free treats will make their way to mainstream stores. We receive many requests from the specialist stores, but I fear that mainstream venues are hesitant to stock gluten-free for fear that their conventional customers will not buy them,” says Lise Madsen, MD of Honeyrose Bakery.”Many gluten-free products taste pretty awful and yes, it’s difficult to overcome the inherent gritty, dry and heavy texture that characterises poor gluten-free products, but it’s definitely possible.”While coeliacs can source products directly, mainly through organisations such as Coeliac UK and Allergies UK, the difficulty, they say, is in trying to find much gluten-free on the high street. Unless, that is, you threaten to vomit in the shopkeeper’s face, as one panellist suggested: “They don’t take much notice if you say you’re coeliac. It’s not the same as nut allergies, where people are worried you’ll have a fit. But they’re more sympathetic if you threaten to throw up your stomach lining.”—-=== Labelling ===Coeliac disease is characterised by intolerance to gluten, but there is no legal definition of what gluten-free means. An international standard for gluten-free products that are produced from cereals containing gluten – The Codex Alimentarius – allows 200mg of gluten per kilogram in products, though manufacturers are not legally required to comply. In December 2007, it was announced that the Codex standard was to be cut to just 20mg/kg following pressure from campaigners. Those products between 20 and 200mg/kg will be referred to as “gluten-reduced”. The majority of coeliacs could tolerate between 20mg and 100mg of gluten per kg of product.”While in the grand scheme of things its impact will be low, apart from on those who follow a gluten-free diet, it will mean that coeliacs may lose faith in those brands that were once labelled as gluten-free, but will in future be labelled as gluten-reduced or reformulated and relaunched,” reported research firm Mintel.—-=== Street walking ===So how hard is it to get a gluten-free treat with your coffee? We’re not talking about soups, salads or jacket potatoes here – we want cakes, scones, the good stuff. Here’s what the streets of Southampton had to offer…? 1 John Lewis café: cherry and coconut slice, £1.95? 2 Morris Pasties: sells a variety of packaged traybakes and slices, but are any of them suitable for coeliacs? “How hungry are you?” says the assistant. “Our soups are gluten-free but our pasties and cakes aren’t.”? 3 Costa: Gluten-free round raspberry shortcake, £1.20? 4 Greggs and Subway: Dream on!? 5 Pret A Manger: The assistant guides us through a weighty ingredients book, and there are gluten-free salads, crisps and soups, but only one wheat-free orange cake finger, £1.99? 6 Bhs Coffee Shop: “We don’t have any information on what is or isn’t in the products, sorry…”? 7 M&S Café Revive: Rich fruit cake finger £1.50? 8 Druckers: none of their delightful treats were gluten-free—-=== Talking heads ===== Elianor Kea, dietician ==”A lot of the gluten-free breads are very dry, heavy and crumbly. But people generally don’t complain; they’re just pleased that they’ve got something that they can eat.”Once you’re on a gluten-free diet you’ve got the same health risks as everybody else. So most people will put up with the fact that the bread’s not as nice.”== Anna Brian, dietician and coeliac ==”With the sandwiches, you’ll find that the bread is very crumbly and dry. But if you have them as an open sandwich, you’ve only got one slice of bread to get through. If patients can’t find a bread they like, we urge them to get a breadmaker and try using seeds to make the bread more interesting. They tend to get the basics on prescription and buy the little luxuries from supermarkets.”== Karen Read, administrator, coeliac for four years ==”Gluten hides itself in a lot of products, so you don’t buy processed foods if you’re a coeliac. I tend to make everything like breads from scratch.”I don’t buy from supermarkets, because they’re a lot more expensive than normal foods, and you can make them yourself. I’ve lost the taste of what baked products used to taste like, and I’m used to it.”== Alan Noble, retired, coeliac for 11 years ==”The hardest thing for a coeliac is going out for a coffee or tea, because you’re very lucky to get something.”When you do find somewhere, you spread the word. It must be very difficult for a bakery to keep the separation in their production, but it would be nice to just be able to buy a gluten-free roll or scone from a baker in the high street.”last_img read more

Listen To The Allman Brothers Band Play The Warehouse, On This Day In 1971

first_imgOne of the biggest bands to come out of the 20th century, the Allman Brothers Band established themselves from 1969-1971 when original members Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, and Jaimoe wrote and produced some of the most definitive songs of Southern Rock. The band struck tragedy when founding member Duane Allman died in 1971, after the recording of Live At Fillmore East and before the release of Eat A Peach. Berry Oakley died a year later in 1972. The 45 years since the band’s formation went on in memory of these two Brothers.On March 11, 12, and 13 of 1971, The Allman Brothers Band played at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East, and recorded it for a live album. Advertisements for the shows read: “Bill Graham Presents in New York — Johnny Winter And, Elvin Bishop Group, Extra Added Attraction: Allman Brothers.” Though while Winter was billed as the headliner, by the third night, the Allman Brothers were closing the show. This became one of the most legendary recordings of all time.A week after the recording of Live At Fillmore East, the band continued on with their live shows with a performance at The Warehouse in New Orleans. Perhaps the fan-favorite venue of the band’s early years, the times spent playing at The Warehouse are considered some of the best ever. With their playing at an all-time high, these recordings are some of the best to go back and listen through.This particular recording includes a 22-minute “Whipping Post” and a 44-minute “Mountain Jam.” Enjoy the 3/20/71 show below:Setlist: Allman Brothers Band | The Warehouse | New Orleans, LA | 3/20/71Statesboro Blues, Trouble No More, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’, Done Somebody Wrong, One Way Out, Liz Reed, Midnight Rider, Hoochie Coochie Man, Hot ‘Lanta, Berry Oakley’s “revenge,” Revival, Stormy Monday, Don’t Want You No More, It’s Not My Cross to Bear, You Don’t Love Me, Whipping Post, Mountain Jamlast_img read more

Giving the gift of time

first_imgOn a recent Friday, a group of University officials from central administration traded in their blazers and neckties for T-shirts and blue jeans, and spent the morning volunteering at the Greater Boston Food Bank.Twenty-eight staffers climbed onto a bus and traveled to Boston’s South End on Nov. 6 to spend the morning sorting more than 9,000 pounds of food, such as cans of tuna, jars of peanut butter, and other nonperishable items for distribution to the 600 food pantries that the food bank supports. Harvard’s first group of volunteers also donated 166 pounds of nonperishable goods, raised through an in-house food drive.This year the food bank has seen a sharp rise in demand as more families are struggling to cope with the ongoing recession.The visit kicked off Harvard’s yearlong volunteer effort, which involves groups of students, faculty, and staff assisting at the food bank on Friday mornings through the end of the academic year.President Drew Faust announced the ongoing commitment to the food bank, the first of its kind for the University, last month during a University-wide celebration of public service. University groups that would like to join the volunteer effort can e-mail [email protected] to sign up.The Community Gifts Through Harvard campaign, which launches this month, is another way for the University to make a difference in its host communities. Each year, for more than half a century, the Harvard community has rallied to help. Last year’s contributions aided more than 400 human service agencies and charities in Greater Boston.The campaign helps to fund food distribution programs for the hungry and the homeless; home health care for the elderly; programs to prevent drug and alcohol abuse; programs to fight racism and discrimination; cancer research, education, and patient services; and programs to break the cycle of substance abuse and crime.last_img read more

Wall Street’s GameStop bug may have mutated; silver surges

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — The erratic trading in shares of underdog companies like GameStop that turned markets combustible last week appears to have migrated to commodities, sending silver prices surging to an eight-year high. Silver futures jumped more than 9% on Monday to $29.42 per ounce. Last week, there  were messages on the Reddit forum WallStreet Bets and other places on social media encouraging small investors to buy silver. The metal shot up Monday, but many of the online investors said it wasn’t them bidding up the price.last_img read more

Professor to walk 30 miles around campus to raise money for Burkina Faso

first_imgMichael Meyer, an associate professional specialist in the Mendoza College of Business, will walk 30 miles around campus while carrying two gallons of water Sunday to raise money to build a well in Burkina Faso.Meyer will do 20 laps of a 1.5-mile route around campus, to accomplish a total of 30 miles, which represents the distance a typical village resident of Burkina Faso walks in one week to obtain and bring back water. For half of his walk, he will carry two gallons of water.Meyer will begin the walk at 6 a.m. in front of Keenan Hall. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., students and others onlookers can purchase water balloons for $1 each from tables in front of Keenan and Dillon Hall, to throw at Meyer as he walks by.“I will admit my wife is very concerned that this will turn out to be a stoning, and I will get injured as students hurl water balloons at me,” Meyer said. “I have confidence that even with the frustration of taking my Accounting 20100 and Accounting 20200 exams, they will have mercy on a 48-year-old man and enjoy the moment in the spirit of love that is at the heart of the walk.”Meyer’s interest in poverty in Burkina Faso began four years ago, when a charity took up a collection to fund building a well in the African country.“To be honest, I had never heard of that country, but the pictures and the challenges of the Burkina Faso villages made a strong impact on me,” Meyer said. “The thought that one in three children die before the age of 10, often as a result of diseases brought on by drinking bad water — I have three daughters under the age of 10, and I could not bear to think about losing one. Knowing that parents in Burkina Faso must deal with the death of a child as a matter of regular occurrence was something that motivated me to give and to want to do more.”The following year, Professor Meyer and his wife donated the full cost of a well. Two years ago, his three daughters, 8-year-old twins and a 6-year-old, asked for donations for a well in Burkina Faso be given in lieu of gifts at their birthday parties.“I mean, really, what kid gives up birthday presents to give money to people they will never know, who live in a place they barely even heard of?” Meyer said. “So my daughters’ acts of charity motivated me to come up with doing something to raise money for a well.”Meyer said he thought about doing the walk around campus for about a year, but the death of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and comments of Pope Francis motivated him to action.Meyer said Pope Francis’s 2013 Evangelii Gaudium, an apostolic exhortation on caring for the poor, was an additional source of inspiration, particularly the pope’s comment that “each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and come to their aid.”“His words tell me that I need to do more than just think about doing something, but to get out there and do it now,” he said. “In reading all of the commentaries about the life of Fr. Ted, I was struck by the fact that Fr. Ted acted. His life was one of action to make this University, this nation, and this world a better place. His words and actions told me that I needed to do more, that I need to act.”According to Meyer, in Burkina Faso women can often be forced to walk up to three miles each way to get water if their village does not have a well. Their resulting water sources are often stagnant pools or other unsafe supplies, which result in the high death rates in children under the age of 10. One well could provide a lifetime’s worth of clean water for 400 to 1,000 village members.Meyer said his wife will be present for the duration of his walk, and his daughters will walk a lap with him. Additionally, some students and friends have indicated interest in walking alongside Meyer, who emphasized that anyone who wants to join in with him is welcome to do so.Meyer hopes to raise $2,000 to cover the cost of building one well in Burkina Faso.“I want everyone in this community to know that even a very little donation can made a significant impact because we are doing this as a community,” Meyer said, “This is not about me walking as about us all making an impact for a village in Burkina Faso.“I realize that we cannot fix the problem for every village, but we perhaps can solve the problem for one village. One village can have clean water, healthy children and a future. One village can have parents that do not have to bury their children. They may never know what the University of Notre Dame is, but they will know that they are loved; loved by strangers and loved by God.”Tags: accounting, Burkina Faso, Michael Meyer, water, welllast_img read more

Benson: Legislature committed to preserving the court system

first_img Benson: Legislature committed to preserving the court system Senior Editor Florida lawmakers are committed to maintaining the quality of the state’s court system as they take over more funding of trial courts and they welcome input from the legal community, according to state Rep. Holly Benson, R-Pensacola.Benson addressed the Bar Board of Governors at its December meeting. The night before, she and Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, had received The Florida Bar President’s 2003-04 Legislative Award for their work last year on the court funding issue. (Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, also received the award later in the month in Miami.)“We remain committed to preserving our court system,” said Benson, who chairs the House Special Committee on Article V, which is overseeing the state’s taking over more trial court funding, pursuant to a 1998 constitutional amendment. “We want to preserve one of the best court systems in the country and make it accountable to users and the public.”Last year, the legislature passed HB 113A which provides an outline on what expenses will be assumed by the state and which will remain county responsibilities.There will be the inevitable glitch bill to fix problems with that legislation, Benson said, although most changes appear to be noncontroversial. She invited lawyers to go to Myfloridahouse.com, read HB113A, and pass along their recommendations for any improvements.“My mother was a high school English teacher, so I’ve been edited all my life,” Benson told the board with a smile. “I’m used to it.”She likened the funding change to a statewide bank taking over 67 small, independent local banks — each with its own accounting system.The legislature will face many complex questions this year as it seeks to come up with more funding for county and circuit courts, Benson said. Issues include who pays for ongoing cases opened prior to July 1, 2004, the date in the constitution that the state assumes its greater responsibility, and how to handle county employees who will become state employees under the funding switch. Lawmakers will also likely consider raising filing fees to help pay court costs.The legislature is also looking for ways to standardize due process costs, Benson said, for such things as court interpreters, expert witnesses, conflict attorneys, and similar expenses.Legislators will welcome guidance from the Bar and lawyers as it tackles those and other topics.“As the people who go to courthouses on a regular basis, tell us what systemic improvements you would like to see,” Benson said, adding those can include such things as digital court reporting and online access to court records.“Offer us comments on legislation as it goes through the system,” she continued. “Tell us what we can do to improve it.”Benson praised the Bar for commissioning TaxWatch to study the court funding issue, saying it has been a struggle for legislators to determine the proper level for state funding. “I look forward to getting that report,” she added.The legal community also needs to work with Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, Benson said, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that sets funding for the judicial system.Bar President Miles McGrane told Benson that the Bar and lawmakers share the goal of preserving the “quality of the court system.”“We thank you for your hard work and we appreciate all you have done and we are here for you,” he said. “We may not always agree with you, but we will do that in a very polite way.” January 1, 2004 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Benson: Legislature committed to preserving the court systemlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, April 2

first_imgCartoon on Trump, McCain offensiveI am really saddened by The Daily Gazette’s publishing of the cartoon of Trump tweeting a repulsive tweet dropping poop on Sen. John McCain’s tombstone. I find it very offensive and not newsworthy.Coni TrackiAmsterdam Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionBlame CEOs, not unions, for GE woesI’m glad Michael Davi enjoyed his years at GE starting in l976. I agree “what’s happening lately is disturbing.”While Davi was enjoying gas turbine, I was at headquarters promoting Jones’ program called “Factory of the Future” to modernize U.S. GE manufacturing plants. Jones knew competitors like Siemens had productivity increases of 8 percent a year because of plant- and equipment investments.But don’t blame the unions for resisting automation. I also knew the GE negotiators, Baldwin and later Rocheleau. Yes, the 60s were rough. But in the 70s, the unions supported CEO Reginald Jones’ plans to modernize the 150 U.S. factories to be more competitive.When Jack Welch succeeded Jones in 1981, he canceled the “Factory of the Future” program. He turned GE into a financial company by selling GE consumer-, industrial- and defense businesses. No longer did 10 percent of profits go into R&D. Product development labs were closed. Advanced technology was even sold.  Jones, right before his death, rued the day he supported the GE board and backed Welch and not Stan Gault, who went on to head Rubbermaid and later Goodyear, which are old and very viable U.S. businesses today. Too many greedy CEOs like Welch find it easier and more profitable (for themselves) to harvest a garden rather than grow it.Today, we now have a hedge-fund manager in charge of what is left. Jack Welch has no worries because he left with a golden parachute of $417,361,902 (www.GMIratings.com) plus a $9 million-a-year pension.Mary KuykendallBallston Lake Get facts on failure to act on climateBased on the March 22 Gazette column by Nicolas Lortis, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the Green New Deal isn’t needed. He claims if we cut our CO2 emissions by 100 percent, it won’t make a difference. Let’s keep our big gas-hog pickups and SUVs filled with red meat.Yes, do what he suggests. Assume we maintain a 2 percent annual growth in GDP through 2100, and we dump all those nasty regulations on fossil fuel consumption. The United States would add some 370 Gigatons of Carbon (GtC) over the next 81 years. Climate scientists have developed what’s termed the “Carbon Budget.” This states that humans can add only 1000GtC to the atmosphere to limit temperature increase to 2C. As of now, humans have put in 535GtC since 1750, meaning we can add only 465CtC more. If we stay the same, the rest of the world (96 percent of the population) can emit only 95GtC. We get to generate 80 percent of the gases, everyone else 20 percent. Realistically, the world will generate sufficient CO2, that the IPCC 2015 RCP8.5 Scenario best describes our future planet. Global temperatures would be 4.8 degrees C higher in 2100, with CO2 over 900 ppm. This is catastrophic for our planet and my grandchildren. The Green New Deal needs to be seriously evaluated on how it will limit climate change. Let’s start by all becoming familiar with the science. Check out Coursera, a MOOC offering free climate change courses from major universities worldwide. Be concerned.Don CooperAmsterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Local banks offer relief to help borrowers and themselves in COVID crisis

first_img“We realize that MSMEs are facing a tough time because of COVID-19. That’s why we have tried to come up with a way to ensure debtors in this segment can get through this tough time,” vice president director Hery Gunardy said in the statement issued on March 24.The bank’s corporate secretary, Rully Setiawan, explained on Friday that, in addition to corporate borrowers, borrowers of automotive loans and app-based motorcycle taxi drivers would be given similar relief.Read also: ‘It’s time to work together’: Comradeship among SMEsState-owned Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) said it would provide relief in the form of extended repayment periods, adjusted interest rates, deferred loan repayment as well as reduced penalties. Companies engaged in the sectors of tourism, transportation, hotel, trade, manufacturing, agriculture and mining would be given priority in applying for the relief, BRI president director Sunarso said in a statement.The relief would vary for each debtor, as the bank would factor in a business’s prospects and repayment capacity, said Sunarso.The move followed a new rule issued by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) on March 19 that requires banks to provide relief in the form of loan restructuring to ease the financial difficulties faced by borrowers affected by the coronavirus crisis. The OJK proposed that relief be given to borrowers with a loan ceiling of Rp 10 billion.Read also: COVID-19 impacts across Indonesia’s business sectors: A recapIn a statement on March 24, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had called on banks to defer by one year loan repayments by business owners, app-taxi drivers and fishermen hit by the COVID-19 crisis.“Banks and nonbanking financing firms are banned from chasing after loan instalments, especially using debt collectors. It is prohibited and I’m asking the police to [oversee] the matter,” the President said in a teleconference with the media.Meanwhile, the OJK announced on Monday that a number of local banks had agreed to provide relief to customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.”Banks that have offered relief include Bank Mandiri, BRI, Bank Negara Indonesia, Panin Bank, Bank Permata, Bank BTPN, DBS Bank, Index Bank and Ganesha,” OJK spokesperson Sekar Putih Djarot said in a statement.Read also: Jokowi relaxes loan settlements to help small businesses cope with COVID-19 effectsMost of the banks have provided relief in the form of deferred loan repayment and reduced administrative fees.Panin Bank and Bank Permata, for example, provide relief in the form of an extended loan repayment period, a delay in the repayment of loan principal and an adjustment in lending rates.Meanwhile BTPN said the relief would also be given to borrowers engaged in the informal sector, especially MMSEs.Although the new OJK rule does not stipulate that all banks are obligated to relax loan terms, Bank Permata economist Josua Pardede said banks were likely to comply with the rule.“The relaxation could significantly help banks to at least maintain their performance until next year and prevent their nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio form rising too fast due to the pandemic,” he said.Read also: Battered by virus: Businesses across Indonesia feel the pinchWith the leniency applied by the banks, Josua projected the banking industry’s NPL ratio to rise only to 3 percent this year from last year’s 2.52 percent.Despite the expected positive impact of the leniency on banks’ performance, he believes banks will be selective in providing relief as they remain prudent to prevent misuse by irresponsible parties.For this reason, Indonesia SMEs Association chairman Ikhsan Ingratubun said he hoped banks would be transparent toward the OJK in their loan assessments.“We also hope that the OJK can create clear sanctions on multifinance firms that still use debt collectors and go about their business as usual to protect us while we face this ordeal,” said Ikhsan. A number of local banks have announced relief programs to help corporate and individual borrowers cope with uncertainties caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which has severely hit business activities in the country.State-owned lender Bank Mandiri said it would provide relief in the form of deferral of loan payments and a reduction of administrative fees for borrowers with a loan ceiling of up to Rp 10 billion (US$624,221), especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).center_img Topics :last_img read more

China sees more imported coronavirus cases despite restrictions

first_imgStill it has faced a continuous trickle of cases brought in by Chinese citizens wanting to return home in spite of risks of getting infected. In recent days, many of these have come back from Russia.The new cases in Shaanxi were all Chinese nationals who had returned on April 20 on a flight from Moscow that was diverted away from Beijing. As of Saturday, the flight had a confirmed total of 30 cases, and 8 asymptomatic infections, according to the provincial health commission.Read also: Coronavirus came to New York from Europe, not China: GovernorNo further details were given about the imported cases in Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia. The northern province announced Friday that it would start requiring all international arrivals to undergo a 28-day quarantine, as well as two tests for COVID-19 as well as an antibody test. China’s northwestern province of Shaanxi reported on Saturday seven new imported cases of the novel coronavirus, all in citizens returning home from Russia, even as domestic cases in the country were largely curbed.The port city of Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia also reported three new imported cases, without giving details.China has instituted stringent checks at its ports and border points, banning the entry of foreign nationals on March 28, and even diverting international flights from its capital city Beijing. China reported 12 new coronavirus cases on April 24, compared with six new cases on the previous day, National Health Commission data showed on Saturday.Of those, 11 were imported, compared with two the preivous day.The commission also reported 29 new asymptomatic cases, slightly down from the previous day’s 34. Four of these cases were imported.The total number of confirmed cases in China, where the virus first emerged in late December, is now 82,816. The death toll remained the same at 4,632, with no new deaths reported on April 24.Topics :last_img read more

Qatar to Start 2nd Phase of Hamad Port Project in Early 2019

first_imgThe second phase of Hamad Port development is expected to be announced before the end of 2018 and launched by early 2019, Qatar media cited the country’s Minister of Transport and Communications.According to the Minister, H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, the port is about to go through some important developments during the second phase of the project. He was cited as saying that, in terms of equipment, operation and clearance, the work for the current phase has been completed.The Minister revealed the details on the sidelines of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between QTerminals, the recently-established operator of the first phase of Qatar’s Hamad Port, and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).Under the MoU, which serves the objectives of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and the Qatar National Vision 2030, the parties would identify and invest in potential maritime investment opportunities around the world.The companies would agree on the working mechanisms concerning funding, designing, constructing, operating and managing the opportunities.The deal strengthens cooperation between the QTerminals and China Harbour Engineering Company in the framework of their mutual terms of reference, to provide the necessary resources and support to achieve the intended objectives of this cooperation.QTerminals is a terminal operating company jointly established by Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar- 51%) and Qatar Navigation (Milaha- 49%) to provide the container, general cargo, RORO, livestock and offshore supply services in Phase 1 of Hamad Port.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more