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China’s PBOC Braces for New Year Cash Demand With Loan Rollover

The People’s Bank of China rolled over a 269.5 billion yuan ($43.4 billion) lending facility to banks and added 50 billion yuan in loans as it seeks to ease liquidity ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

The facility, first issued in October with an interest rate of 3.5 percent, was rolled over to keep the money market stable, the central bank said in a statement on its official microblog account. It said the move also aims to smooth liquidity before the holiday, which begins Feb. 18.

The PBOC has sought to shore up liquidity and broaden stimulus efforts in recent months, cutting the benchmark lending rate in November and issuing billions of yuan in short- and medium-term loans to banks. Each year around this time, demand for yuan starts to spike as Chinese give each other red envelopes full of cash for the Lunar New Year holiday.

“There may be some irregular capital inflow and outflow around the world,” PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos, Switzerland minutes after the central bank announcement. “That may also be a source of volatility.”

The PBOC doesn’t intend to provide too much liquidity, Zhou said in Davos.

China’s money-market rate climbed the most in a month today amid speculation banks will start hoarding funds to meet demands for cash. The central bank hasn’t conducted open-market operations since November. Last month, the PBOC reportedly rolled over part of a separate 500 billion yuan lending facility.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Xin Zhou in Beijing at xzhou68@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net Nicholas Wadhams

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Fortress Paper Announces Definitive IQ Loan Amendment

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Dec 3, 2014) – Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP) is pleased to announce today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. (“FSC”), has entered into a definitive amendment agreement with Investissement Québec (“IQ”) in respect of its C$102.4 million project financing loan with IQ (the “IQ Loan”) relating to its mill located in Thurso, Québec (the “FSC Mill”), which amendment has received final Provincial Government approval. This agreement reflects the strong relationship between Fortress Paper and IQ in respect of the FSC Mill and our mutual interest in ensuring the mill’s success.

Pursuant to the amendment agreement, the maturity date of the IQ Loan has been extended from April 30, 2020 to December 31, 2026. Additional key terms of the amendment include:

Interest Deferral

From May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016, inclusively, no interest shall accrue or be paid on the balance of the IQ Loan. Upon the expiry of such period, the IQ Loan shall bear interest at an annual rate of five percent, commencing January 1, 2017.

Principal Deferral

From May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016, inclusively, there will be a repayment moratorium on principal repayments on the IQ Loan. Upon the expiry of the moratorium period, the FSC Mill shall repay the balance of the principal of the IQ Loan in quarterly installments, commencing March 31, 2017.

Contingent Payment

In consideration of the interest and principal payment deferral, IQ shall be entitled to contingent payments of up to a maximum aggregate amount of $14.25 million, payable by the FSC Mill in three installments if the FSC Mill produces excess cash flow, as defined in the amendment agreement. The contingent installment payments, if any, are payable on April 30 of 2021, 2024 and 2027.

Warrants

The previously issued 715,000 share purchase warrants in Fortress Paper issued to IQ shall be cancelled and Fortress Paper shall issue 1,000,000 share purchase warrants (each, a “Warrant”). Each Warrant shall entitle IQ to purchase a common share of Fortress Paper from treasury at the purchase price of $5 per share, payable in cash. The issuance of the Warrants shall be subject to Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) approval. The Warrants shall expire five years following the entering into of the amendment agreement and shall be non-transferable. If the closing price of Fortress Paper’s common shares, as listed on the TSX, remains at $6.00 or higher for at least ten consecutive trading days, then Fortress Paper may accelerate the expiry date of the Warrants to be not earlier than thirty days following the date of notice to IQ of such acceleration.

Capital Expenditure

As evidence of the Company’s commitment to improving the performance of the FSC Mill, pursuant to the amendment agreement, the FSC Mill has agreed to incur aggregate capital expenditures of at least $25 million during the fiscal years ending on December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016, which is less than what management had anticipated spending during this period. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, the FSC Mill is projected to have incurred capital expenditures of approximately $11.8 million.

Permitted Inter-Company Transfers

Pursuant to the amendment agreement, FSC shall be subject to certain restrictions on distributions to the Company during the moratorium period and the remaining term of the IQ Loan. However, the Company believes that such restrictions will not materially impede its financial capability to operate in the normal course of business.

Operational Commitments

During the moratorium period, the FSC Mill has also agreed to consult with and seek the approval of IQ in connection with shutdowns outside of the normal course of business or other than as a result of labour disruptions or force majeure.

The summary of the terms of the amendment agreement in this news release is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, the full text of the amendment agreement which will be available shortly on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Paper, commented that: “Today’s amendment agreement with IQ is reflective of a cooperative commercial relationship and is an important step for the FSC Mill in enhancing its working capital. The increased certainty provided by this long-term agreement will allow the FSC Mill to better manage its cash flow while we continue to seek further opportunities to enhance the Company’s overall financial flexibility.”

About Fortress Paper

Fortress Paper operates internationally in two distinct business segments: dissolving pulp and security paper products. The Company operates its dissolving pulp business at the FSC Mill located in Canada, which has expanded into the renewable energy generation sector with the construction of a cogeneration facility and the production of northern bleach hardwood kraft pulp. The Company operates its security paper products business at the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, where it produces banknote, passport, visa and other brand protection and security papers.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of Fortress Paper with respect to, among others, the issuance of the Warrants, the Company’s expectations in respect of its financial capability and the impact of restrictions under the amendment agreement on FSC’s ability to make distributions to the Company, the rate of future operations at the FSC Mill and the costs of and timing for the completion of capital expenditure projects. The reader is cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which are difficult to predict and that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the then-current expectations, beliefs, assumptions, estimates and forecasts about the business and the industry and markets in which the Company operates.
Assumptions underlying the Company’s expectations regarding forward-looking statements contained in this news release include, among others, the IQ Loan amendment will increase the Company’s financial flexibility, the TSX will approve the issuance of the Warrants, planned capital expenditures will be completed on budget and on schedule, the Company will not come subject to unplanned shutdowns at the FSC Mill or other shutdowns not permitted per the amendment agreement and, if such shutdowns were to occur, that the Company will be able to find a mutually agreeable solution with IQ, that equipment will operate at expected levels, and that the Company’s liquidity and ability to pursue any business opportunities shall not be unduly impeded by restrictions on FSC’s ability to make distributions to the Company. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, potential disruptions to the completion of capital expenditure projects, potential disruptions to the FSC Mill operations that are not permissible under the amendment agreement and which may not be acceptable to IQ, the restrictions on FSC distributions in the amendment agreement may impede the Company’s ability to pursue certain business opportunities and have a material adverse impact on liquidity for the Company’s business segments, and those risk factors detailed in our Annual Information Form dated March 31, 2014, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and other filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Fortress Paper does not undertake any obligations to release publicly any revisions for updating any voluntary forward looking statements, except as required by applicable securities law.

[…]

Abe Loan Push Impeded by Companies Hoarding Cash: Japan Credit

Japanese banks are the most keen to lend companies money in 17 years. Corporate treasurers don’t need the cash.

A Bank of Japan index measuring the prevalence of mid-sized companies saying banks are willing to make loans rose to 19 in March, the highest since June 1997, according to Tankan data. Yet demand for loans from businesses remains below levels before the global financial crisis, other central bank data show.

The BOJ’s unprecedented monthly buying of about 7 trillion yen ($67 billion) of sovereign notes has flooded Japan’s markets with funds to encourage banks to boost lending, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to beat deflation. Companies including SoftBank Corp. (9984) and Toyota Motor Corp. have built buffers since the financial crisis with total cash holdings of non-financial Topix index members reaching the equivalent of $636 billion in latest filings, from $417 billion in March 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“It’s a positive that banks are more willing to lend, but the problem is that there’s just not much demand for funds among borrowers,” said Norio Miyagawa, a senior economist at Mizuho Securities Research & Consulting Co. in Tokyo. “We need to see the impact of the tax increase and the economic outlook.”

Japan’s economy will probably shrink 3.5 percent in the quarter started April 1 as the increase in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent this month weighs on spending, according to a survey of economists by Bloomberg. Large manufacturers expect the Tankan sentiment index to worsen to 8 in June from 17 in March, according to BOJ survey released this week.

Lending Rates

Domestic long-term lending rates were at 0.877 percent in February, one basis point from a record low set in December, according to BOJ data. The central bank’s stimulus has dragged down Japanese interest rates, with the 10-year yield at 0.635 percent, the lowest in the world. The yen was unchanged at 103.88 per dollar as of 11:04 a.m. in Tokyo.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and his board started their unprecedented easing policy last April in an effort to stamp out 15 years of deflation in the world’s third-largest economy.

The central bank is trying to fuel investors’ risk-taking by targeting an increase in inflation to 2 percent. Companies forecast that consumer price growth will pick up to 1.5 percent over the next 12 months, reaching 1.7 percent in three years where it will remain through 2019, the BOJ said yesterday. Prices (JNCPIXFF) excluding fresh food rose 1.3 percent from a year earlier in February.

Lending Attitude

This week’s Tankan data signal the turnaround in banks’ lending stance since the global financial crisis. The index which subtracts the percentage of companies saying banks are severe in their lending attitude from those saying they are accommodative was at minus 11 in March 2009 compared with 19 for mid-sized companies in this week’s survey.

Even so, while outstanding lending to companies increased by 2.2 percent from a year earlier in February, the total amount of 275 trillion yen in loans remains below levels in 2009, according to BOJ data.

An index measuring corporate demand for bank loans was 8 in January, versus 9 in mid-2007, a year before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. sparked global financial turmoil, the BOJ’s quarterly loan officer survey shows.

“There’s no bottleneck for supplying funds,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo. “The problem for most companies isn’t a lack of funds but that there aren’t good investments to make.”

Retained Earnings

Retained earnings by Japanese companies rose to 293.5 trillion yen in the October-December period of 2013, the highest since the data going back to 1954, according to the finance ministry data.

SoftBank’s cash has increased to the equivalent of $19.4 billion in the latest filing from $2.6 billion in March 2007, while that of Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, rose $1.4 billion to $17.5 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The BOJ doubled to 7 trillion yen a loan program to encourage banks to lend in February and said individual firms could borrow twice as much low-interest money as previously under the second facility.

Large companies plan to boost capital spending by only 0.1 percent in the year started April after an estimated 3.9 percent increase in fiscal 2013, according to the Tankan data.

Capital Investment

Capital investment is recovering a bit, but it’s still not that strong,” said Yoshimasa Maruyama, the Tokyo-based chief economist at Itochu Corp. “There’s not much motivation to invest domestically.”

Japanese companies have been borrowing to finance overseas acquisitions.

Billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank took out a 2 trillion yen loan last year to fund its purchase of Sprint Corp. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which bought Switzerland’s Nycomed in 2011, borrowed 80 billion yen in March 2012.

“In the long term, lending will probably increase, but mostly for overseas rather than domestic investment,” said Maruyama at Itochu, Japan’s third-largest trading company. “Companies are cash rich, and funding demand for domestic investment isn’t that strong.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Keiko Ujikane in Tokyo at kujikane@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net; Sandy Hendry at shendry@bloomberg.net; Katrina Nicholas at knicholas2@bloomberg.net Ken McCallum, Pavel Alpeyev

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2050 – The Future We Want Photo Competition | Peace Child …

Image musical_banner21.jpg


2050 – The Future We Want Photo Competition

By peace 2 July, 2013 Comments Off

2050 – The Future We Want Photo Competition

As part of the staging of the 2050 – The Future We Want musical and the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Green Cross International, we are happy to welcome you to participate in the photo competition.

Theme: Climate Change.

How to enter

Send us an original photo taken by you, of good resolution and not less than 1MB showing climate change at its best in your area. Your photos should capture the effects of climate change, including social, economic, environmental etc. In short, any way you see climate change affecting lives on the planet.

Eligibility

  1. Open to young people between the ages of 18 and 30 from around the world
  2. Entrants may send not more than 3 photos.
  3. Each photo should be original. Unoriginal photos will be disqualified.
  4. Photos should be submitted as high resolution TIFF files.
  5. Entrants must refer to the full terms and conditions before entering.

All the entries should be sent to musical@peacechild.org

The deadline for the entries is 15th July 2013 midnight GMT

Awards

A panel will select five (5) best photos that will be produced and displayed at the Grand Sale of UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland during the staging of the 2050 – The Future We Want musical on September 3rd.

The winners will be announced on 20th July.

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