Hungary and China have signed a loan agreement to finance the construction of a railway link between Budapest and Belgrade, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga announced on Friday.Varga said in a video on his Facebook page that the loan carried a fixed interest rate and an early repayment option but he did not say what the exact terms were.A key piece of data in the loan agreement is what interest rate Hungary will pay. Earlier this month, Hungary drafted legislation to classify all data included in contracts for the $2.1 billion, tax-payer funded rail project for 10 years.”We have a loan agreement that is advantageous and secure for Hungary,” Varga said in the video, adding that the terms of the loan were “favorable relative to the currently available debt financing conditions.”Some 85% of the financing comes from China as a loan, while 15% is provided by Hungary, he said.Varga said the new rail link, to be completed by 2025, would allow Hungary to be a center for European logistical networks as Chinese goods travel from Greece to western Europe. The 150-km (93-mile) Hungarian stretch of the railway will be built by CRE Consortium which includes holding company Opus Global, controlled by Lorinc Meszaros, an associate of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.The other half of the winning consortium is owned by China Tiejiuju Engineering & Construction Kft. and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group Kft., representing the Chinese state railways company.According to a statement by Opus in 2019, the holding company could earn revenues worth about 295 billion forints from the project over the planned construction period.The project has suffered significant delays. China, Serbia and Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding on the 370-km rail route in December 2014 in Belgrade. Topics :
Trustees of UK defined contribution (DC) schemes are unlikely to receive complete transaction cost information from their managers and providers in time for March 2018 year-end statements, according to a survey.Consultancy LCP surveyed 20 DC asset managers and five of the largest DC pension providers, and found that 56% of respondents were unlikely to be able to provide a full year of transaction costs in time for the information to be included in the next round of scheme statements.The situation would improve with time, LCP said, with over half of those surveyed indicating that they would be in a position to provide members with transaction costs for the whole year by the time required chair statements for the June year-end were due.In January regulation came into effect that, for the first time, required all asset managers to provide transaction costs in a standardised format to UK DC scheme trustees on request. The legislation was introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at short notice, and LCP noted that fund managers were experiencing initial problems in reporting as some data elements that were now required had not previously been monitored. In some cases managers had been forced to rebuild internal systems inside a year, LCP said.The consultancy said investment managers’ first priority was to provide transaction costs covering the first quarter of this year, and that prorating the costs would allow schemes to provide members with a proxy annual cost figure.“Longer term, the news is more positive,” said Laura Myers, LCP partner and head of DC, “with managers and providers seemingly confident that transaction cost information will be available and in a format that can be understood by all involved in running and saving into DC pensions”.“In light of the intentions of the FCA’s regulation in the first place, that appears to be a productive step forward,” she added.Illiquid assets, DGFs proving problematicHowever, the consultancy noted there could be a “major stumbling block” in providing DC scheme members with a comprehensive comparison of fund transaction costs.Almost half of survey respondents indicated envisaging problems in reporting transaction costs for some asset classes in a timely fashion, with illiquid asset classes such as property – and consequently some diversified growth funds (DGFs) – being the most problematic.Although the majority of DC savers are in default investment strategies, the requirement of managers to disclose transaction cost data also applies to asset classes traditionally offered as self-select options.The consultancy also noted that DGFs were a “fundamentally important asset class” for DC, and that it would be key for many schemes to have complete cost data for them.Any problems in providing transaction cost data for the broad range of illiquid assets, meanwhile, could affect their further adoption by DC schemes, LCP said.The consultancy’s survey found that four-fifths of providers have, or would shortly have, internal checks for reasonableness of transaction costs in place.“This is encouraging for trustees who rely on their providers as an aggregator and checker of this information,” said LCP.
When Brendan Shanahan took the podium on Thursday morning alongside general manager Kyle Dubas, the Toronto Maple Leafs president went out of his way to underline the fact that he and Dubas are completely unified when it comes to how they view a team should be built.“I want to make it really clear that we’re aligned and that this is how I see a team should be built as well,” Shanahan said. Really, what else was he to say at this point?The way in which the Maple Leafs have been assembled — prioritizing speed and skill above all else — is as much Shanahan’s vision as it is Dubas. Shanahan has ultimately placed his bet for the future of Toronto on a coach assuming the job with no NHL experience and a general manager, who assumed the job with no NHL experience over a Stanley Cup-winning future Hall of Fame coach in Mike Babcock (who recently became only the eighth coach to reach the 700 win plateau) and Stanley Cup-winning, Hockey Hall of Fame member, Lou Lamoriello as GM.MORE: Babcock statement | Who is Sheldon Keefe? This is not to say it won’t work, but it’s an aggressive bet.What we are watching now, and have been watching since Dubas took over as general manager from Lamoriello in May of 2018 is one grand science experiment playing out in real-time. The Maple Leafs are built on the theory, albeit an untested one, that they are designed to compete in a style that the game is trending to.Will it work more effectively now that Keefe, a coach who has had a long relationship with Dubas dating back to their days running the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, is at the helm in place of Babcock? We don’t know yet, but we will soon start to find out.Kyle Dubas meets with media in Arizona to address the firing of head coach Mike Babcock https://t.co/DlcaPrz4xc— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) November 21, 2019So far, the returns have not been pretty.Shanahan also addressed the constant clamouring for an injection of toughness and grit to the roster.“I think sometimes people want to simplistically put us in one box as ‘speed and skill’ and ‘toughness and grit’ in an entirely different box. We want to also be tough and gritty,” Shanahan said. “Our interpretation of toughness and grittiness might be different than someone who played in the ’70s and ’80s or coached then.”The confusing part is that nobody is asking for a roster built like the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s. He more clearly defined how he and Dubas view “toughness and grit.”“How we define that to our players is winning battles and being mentally tough, making a mistake and not become weak or small because of it,” Shanahan said. “We’re aligned on how we want to build this team.”MORE: Twitter reacts to Babcock firing | What’s next for Babcock?But that is the very type of “toughness and grit” the team, as currently constructed, has shown an inability or unwillingness to execute. Can Keefe glean this out of the current roster better than Babcock could or is the personnel just not capable, or willing, to play that way? Again, we’ll soon find out.Keefe has 59 games to turn around an underperforming roster and get them into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Missing the postseason would be an unmitigated disaster for a team that entered the season with Cup aspirations. There will be no feeling-out process for the new coach; it’s all heavy pressure for Keefe. Babcock took a lot of heat and a lot of criticism. With him gone, further underperformance will lead to heat on Dubas and Shanahan himself, though the president does not see it that way.Tavares on Keefe’s message, or part of it: “He talked a lot about just playing free and feeling good about ourselves and our game. For tonight, understand a couple of areas we want to make changes in, and at the same time, just go out there and play and compete.” #Leafs— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) November 21, 2019“I don’t see this decision by Kyle and the team as a situation where traditionalists might say, ‘well you’ve spent your bullet.’ That’s not how I view it and I can tell you that’s not how our ownership views it,” Shanahan said. “We’re in this together; we’re making moves and evolving as we see we have to do. You don’t set out with an idea, our plan and not evolve or make shifts throughout that plan.”Talk to us a year from now if this season goes down the tubes and next season has a similarly poor start. It would be shocking if the Maple Leafs ownership group, at that point, is extending the same level of leniency as Shanahan is suggesting they do today.Dubas committed to John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner and William Nylander, tying up essentially half the salary cap in four forwards. It has left the Maple Leafs with their hands tied in a number of areas: addressing issues on defense, finding an adequate backup goaltender and filling out the bottom of their roster — all areas where proficiency is vital if a team is going to contend for a Stanley Cup.Was Babcock’s firing the right decision? Time will tell. Was he free from blame? No.But should he shoulder all the blame? Far from it.With Keefe in place, the Maple Leafs will now ultimately be judged on the bet Dubas and Shanahan have placed. The clock is now ticking.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The son of an Iowa civil rights attorney in the midst of a high profile civil trial against a former governor has been arrested in the courtroom where his mother’s trial is taking place.Polk County Sheriff records say 50-year-old James Barton Conlin, of West Des Moines, was arrested during break in the proceedings Monday and charged with interference with official acts. He was booked into the county jail and released within an hour.The charge is a simple misdemeanor.Conlin told courthouse officials he was testing the air after his mother complained it was making her ill.Roxanne Conlin blames construction in the courthouse. Court officials refused her earlier request to move the trial.Conlin and her son didn’t respond to a message from The Associated Press but she tells The Des Moines Register she’s furious he was arrested.She’s representing former Iowa Worker’s Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey in his discrimination lawsuit against former Gov. Terry Branstad and the state.
Home again: Kenny DalglishLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish thanked fans for their support on Sunday after leaving hospital following a positive test for the coronavirus.Dalglish, 69, found he had the virus after being admitted to hospital on Wednesday for treatment for a separate infection which required intravenous antibiotics.He was discharged on Saturday night.“Thank you for all of your well wishes over the last few days,” said Dalglish in a Liverpool statement issued Sunday.“I’m delighted to be back home with the family after receiving brilliant care from the NHS (Britain’s National Health Service), which we appreciate now more than ever.“Marina (Dalglish’s wife) and I would like to express our immense gratitude to the medical staff who cared for me and who continue to treat countless others throughout the country during an incredibly challenging period.”Dalglish confirmed the couple would be in “full lockdown for the recommended amount of time in order to protect the lives of others”.There are fears that the warm weather across Britain over the Easter weekend will see the public flout government guidelines on social distancing instead of only going out to maintain health and purchase essential supplies.But a concerned Dalglish said: “I know the sun is shining for many of you, but I urge you to stay home and follow the government guidelines to the letter.”Earlier the Scotland great, in an interview with the Sunday Post, praised the “absolutely brilliant” hospital staff, adding: “People may think my name got me the best of care but every patient in the NHS gets the best of care.”On Friday, Dalglish’s family said he had tested positive for COVID-19 despite having previously displayed no symptoms of the illness.– ‘Humbling messages’ –Saturday saw two of Dalglish’s children take to Twitter to thank the public for their support. Paul Dalglish, also a former player, said: “Truly humbling messages from supporters of all teams,” with Dalglish’s daughter, Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates, saying: “Thank you so much for your lovely messages and I’m really sorry I can’t reply to them all.”Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker said on Twitter: “Love from Becker family to Sir Kenny Dalglish!!”Ian Rush formed a prolific partnership with Dalglish during their playing days at Liverpool and the Welshman took to Twitter to give his old team-mate his best wishes.“Wishing a speedy recovery to the best…Sir Kenny Dalglish. Get well soon,” he wrote.Dalglish won the Scottish league title with Celtic as a player on four occasions before signing for Liverpool in 1977.At Anfield, he captured eight English league titles, two FA Cups, five League Cups and three European Cups as a player and in two managerial spells.In his Liverpool playing career, Dalglish scored 172 goals in 515 games.As well as his role in Liverpool’s golden era in the 1970s and 1980s, Dalglish received plaudits for supporting victims’ families after 96 fans died in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster.He also coached Blackburn to the 1995 Premier League title.Almost 10,000 people in Britain have so far died as a result of the coronavirus. Share on: WhatsApp