Hire firm activity bounces in January suggesting output was better than official figures show

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Moore Stephens flags shipping pool pitfalls

first_imgShipping pools have been increasing in popularity in the heavy lift and multipurpose shipping sector. They can take a variety of forms, such as incorporated entities, partnerships, joint ventures or other types of agreement.”Shipping pools can be an attractive option, particularly in difficult markets and during periods of economic uncertainty,” said shipping partner Michael Simms. “Interest in the concept generally is increasing as a way to leverage money and maximise economies of scale. But while it might make good commercial sense for like-minded shipping interests to pool their resources to mutual advantage, traps may lie in wait for the unwary..Simms said that tax-friendly offshore jurisdictions have been a natural fit for many shipping pools, but an increasing focus on tax transparency, and proper governance and reporting procedures could be a catalyst for change.”The existing structure of shipping pools established in offshore jurisdictions is unlikely to change, but it would be reasonable to expect the members of any new pool arrangements to at least consider the option of establishing the pool in a more traditional jurisdiction,” he said.”A move towards greater corporatisation of shipping pools, which may grant access to trade finance solutions, might be a viable option for many owners, provided the terms of entry and exit are acceptable.”Moore Stephens said it has advised on a number of pool agreements in the past 12 months and there are a number of tax issues to consider when setting up, amending or joining a pool.In the case of a new pool, it will be necessary to consider the tax position of each entity within the pool structure. Other important considerations include the terms of the pool agreement itself, the status of the pool under competition law, the effectiveness of the marketing strategy, and the way pool accounts are prepared and submitted.”Shipping pools have clear advantages for some. But it is a challenging market, and one subject to increasingly stringent evaluation. It would be a mistake to just dive in without careful consideration,” Simms concluded. www.moorestephens.co.uklast_img read more

Financial list poised for launch

first_imgA new specialist list hosted by the Rolls Building to deal with complex financial markets cases is expected to begin work next Monday.The financial list will provide a specialist dispute resolution forum for claims of £50m or more, or cases that raise issues requiring particular expertise or of general importance to the financial markets.A spokesperson for the Judicial Office said the list will take cases that come into the Commercial Court and Chancery Division.Cases will go on the list from the next legal term, which begins on 1 October. However, the new arrangements are not expected to become fully operational until Monday, the Gazette understands.Five judges from the Chancery Division and five from the Queen’s Bench Division will be docketed to the cases, ‘meaning they will deal with the same case from beginning to end, which will speed things up,’ the spokesperson said.Chris Webber, senior associate at international firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, said he expects some delay before the first cases progress to the point ‘where we can see how it is working’.Webber said there would be a minimum of four weeks before the defendant filed a defence, followed by a further period – usually 21 days – for the claimant to file a response.‘During that stage there will be little real difference between a list case and a non-list case,’ he said.last_img read more

First blast for the Falkenberg tunnel

first_imgGERMANY: Construction of the 2·6 km Falkenberg tunnel as part of the upgrade of the Hanau – Aschaffenburg – Würzburg corridor was ceremonially launched on March 6 with a first blast triggered by Gerswid Herrmann, wife of Bayern transport minister Joachim Herrmann.The twin-bore tunnel is the longest of three mined tunnels and one cut-and-cover tunnel which are being built as part of an 8 km cut-off under construction between Laufach and Heigenbrucken. This will replace the existing alignment through the 160 year old 926 m long Schwarzkopf tunnel around 500 m further north. The new flatter alignment is scheduled to open in 2017, enabling line speeds on the busy corridor to be increased from 70 km/h to 150 km/h and removing the need for banking locomotives on freight trains.last_img read more

Leasing joint venture targets opening of European rolling stock market

first_imgEUROPE: Rock Rail and Aberdeen Standard Investments have announced a joint venture to target the rolling stock leasing market in continental Europe and Scandinavia. They hope to build on experience gained through the financing of three train fleets in the UK, where they said they had generated a new source of funding by enabling pension funds and insurance companies to invest in rolling stock. The companies believe that although many European rail networks are state-owned and operated, there is a ‘definite move’ towards more competition in the purchase, funding and operation of rolling stock. However, national differences in regulation, competition, fleet ages and technical standards means ‘one size will not fit all’ markets. ‘We have big ambitions in Europe’, said Rock Rail CEO Mark Swindell on September 13. ‘We aim to deliver enhanced value to both the public sector and passengers, bringing in new direct long term investment from the institutional sector, which has investment time frames, liabilities and return requirements that are closely aligned to rolling stock as an asset class.’ ASI is to provide funding from its infrastructure equity funds. ‘Extending our partnership with Rock Rail will allow us to continue our journey in the rail industry, and access a much wider opportunity set within Europe for our infrastructure funds and clients’, said Dominic Helmsley, Head of Economic Infrastructure at ASI. ‘For pension funds and insurance companies invested in our infrastructure funds, this fits with our strategy to invest in core assets which aim to provide long-term stable returns.’ Rock Rail and ASI entered the rail market in the UK in February 2016 with the financing of a £300m fleet of Siemens Desiro City Class 717 EMUs for Govia Thameslink Railway. Aviva Investors was exclusive debt funder in a deal which Rock Rail said was the first time that rolling stock had been financed by direct long-term investment by pension funds and insurance companies. In October 2016 Rock Rail and ASI financed a £700m Stadler Flirt UK fleet for Greater Anglia, working with the GLIL Infrastructure consortium of local authority pension funds and institutional funders Aviva Investors, Barings, Legal & General Investment Management, Standard Life Investments and Sun Life Assurance as well as the European Investment Bank. In 2017 the partnership agreed a £1bn contract to finance 90 Bombardier Transportation Aventra EMUs for South Western Railway. Rock Rail, ASI and GLIL provided the equity, whilst debt was provided by nine institutional investors from Europe and North America, including MEAG, Rothesay Life and Scottish Widows.last_img read more

New York MTA to study passenger options for Brooklyn freight corridor

first_imgPhoto: J M CalisiThe Bay Ridge line is primarily used by freight operator New York & Atlantic Railway.USA: New York MTA is to launch a formal study of proposals to introduce passenger trains over the 27 km Bay Ridge line in Brooklyn.Passing through a densely populated area of New York City, the Bay Ridge line is currently used primarily by freight operator New York & Atlantic Railway. The railway links docks at 65th Street Yard, which is served by a train ferry across the Hudson River, with NY&A’s main marshalling yard at Fresh Pond in Queens before turning north to join the Amtrak network near Hell Gate Bridge.Proposals to launch passenger trains along the route originated from the Regional Plan Association, an established advocacy group which assesses the long term infrastructure needs of the New York and New Jersey conurbation. A key objective would be to improve public transport links between Queens and Brooklyn and to enhance the potential for reverse commuting.MTA has awarded consultancy AECOM a $1·3m contract to evaluate the potential for Subway, commuter rail, light rail or bus services that would operate in conjunction with existing and planned freight operations.‘This project is hugely exciting, partly because it is based on the concept of squeezing more out of our already existing infrastructure so we don’t always have to build new subway lines from scratch’, said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. ‘Putting mass transit on the Bay Ridge Branch could allow MTA to provide better connections to thousands of people throughout Brooklyn and Queens, all while also creating opportunities for increasing environmentally-friendly freight rail in years to come.A profile of the New York & Atlantic Railway appeared in the August 2019 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine, available to subscribers via our digital archive. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Injunction Blocking Declaration of Election Results in Guyana Stays in Place

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! NewsPoliticsRegional Injunction Blocking Declaration of Election Results in Guyana Stays in Place by: – March 10, 2020 63 Views   no discussionscenter_img Tweet Share                                                    Guyana Chief Justice, Roxanne George(Caribbean360) A week after Guyanese went to the polls to choose a new government, Chief Justice Roxane George yesterday upheld an injunction blocking a winner from being declared, amid concerns about electoral laws being breached.The injunction, filed by Reeaz Hollander, a supporter of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), was granted last week by High Court judge, Justice Navindra Singh to prevent the outcome of the March 2 vote being declared until the legal process of verification of results in Region Four, Guyana’s largest electoral district, is complied with.The court action came after the Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo, only allowed the verification process for Statements of Poll for 421 of the 897 polling stations. The unverified results put the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU-AFC) coalition in the lead over the PPP/C by just over 59,000 votes. The opposition has alleged fraud in the counting and verification process.In maintaining Justice Singh’s injunction and ruling that the court can invoke is supervisory responsibility to ensure that the correct procedure is followed, the Chief Justice said she would begin hearing the case tomorrow to decide whether to direct Mingo to complete the verification process in the presence of party agents and local and international observers.While attorneys for the applicant had argued that the court had jurisdiction to hear the matter, lawyers representing the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) contended that the applicant had been premature in going to the court since the issue could only be addressed via an election petition after the results of the vote were declared.However, Justice George said in her ruling that a court cannot shirk its duty and “shelter behind the contention that an elections petition should be filed when the case clearly does not so warrant”.“As such, having found that there is prima facie evidence to support the court having jurisdiction to hear this application, the respondents must be given a chance to be heard in response through any evidence they may wish to file,” she said.Although disappointed with the ruling, attorney Roysdale Forde who is on GECOM’s legal team said they would comply with the order and review all options available at this stage.“We remain resolute in our position that the declaration of the Returning Officer is a valid declaration made and we will return to court,” he said.The law makes provision for the official declaration of results to be made within 15 days after the holding of elections, and GECOM’s lead lawyer Senior Counsel Neil Boston said he is confident that the Chief Justice will rule before that time expires.Boston, Forde and Robin Hunte are representing the country’s elections body in the matter while the PPP/C is represented by Trinidad and Tobago Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes along with local attorneys Anil Nandlall and Sanjeev Datadin.Meantime, GECOM said in a statement issued yesterday that it is “unfortunate how things have escalated” and insisted that it intended to abide by all legal and procedural requirements to conclude its work.It also sought to explain the decision by Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield to prepare his final report on the results of the elections and write to GECOM Chairperson Retired Justice Claudette Singh on Saturday seeking a meeting approve that report, although the injunction preventing the declaration of results was in place.“The recent action of the Chief Election Officer indicating to the [GECOM] Chairperson and Commissioners that his report in the relation to the final declaration was completed was not intended to disregard the court proceedings, but rather apprising the Chairperson of the completion of the document and that she may convene a meeting at her convenience. In relation to this matter, no meeting was scheduled,” it said.“GECOM remains resolute in the fulfillment of its constitutional and statutory obligation.”Internationally-renowned human and civil rights activist Dr Joseph Beasley has called on all external forces to allow Guyana’s electoral process to be completed by the people of this country.He also urged all Guyanese to come together to ensure that their actions during this time do not lead to any further senseless loss of life and property and the destabilization of the nation.Dr Beasley – who was an observer in South Africa’s 1994 elections that culminated in the end of Apartheid and also observed elections in several nations, including Haiti, Zambia and most recently, South Africa in 2019 – said he was saddened to hear of the country’s political crisis following the March 2, 2020 polls.There have been allegations of fraud and violent demonstrations which have so far resulted in one death, as opposition supporters protest the move to declare election results from Region Four, which would see the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU-AFC) coalition being returned the power.Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/human-rights-activist-insists-guyanas-electoral-process-should-be-free-from-foreign-interference#ixzz6GHzj3JKmlast_img read more

Harris Corporation Gets a U.S. Air Force order for Falcon III Multiband Handheld Radios worth $6.5 Million

first_imgThe U.S. Air Force is acquiring the Falcon III AN/PRC-152(C) to provide line-of-sight communications to civil engineering teams for a range of ground-based missions, such as fire and emergency management and explosive ordinance disposal. “The AN/PRC-152(C) handheld will provide Air Force civil engineers with high-performance voice communication capabilities for a wide range of tactical missions,” said George Helm, president, Department of Defense business, Harris RF Communications. “The AN/PRC-152(C) is part of the broader Falcon III® family of radios, which addresses current operational and emerging requirements for voice and wideband data networking on the battlefield.’’ The Air Force is acquiring the AN/PRC-152(C) radios via the Consolidated Single Channel Handheld Radios Project through the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS). The AN/PRC-152(C) is the most widely fielded NSA Type-1 certified, JTRS SCA-certified handheld radio, with more than 160,000 units deployed worldwide. The radio provides capabilities such as SINCGARS interoperability, ultra high-frequency (UHF) ground-to-ground line-of-sight communications, close-air support and programmable encryption. The AN/PRC-152(C) was developed using the JTRS Enterprise Business Model, which encourages companies to develop next-generation solutions in tactical communications using their own investment capital to integrate JTRS waveform software. This approach stimulates competition, increases innovation, and reduces costs through software re-use. The company’s Falcon® family of software-defined tactical radio systems encompasses manpack, handheld and vehicular applications. Falcon III is the next generation of radios supporting the U.S. military’s JTRS requirements, as well as network-centric operations worldwide.last_img read more

Miura signs loan with Sydney FC

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Former Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura has signed for Australia’s Sydney FC on a short-term loan deal, officials of his Japanese club said Monday.Yokohama FC vice president Hisao Sakamoto said the 38-year-old Miura sealed a contract the same day running from Nov. 7 through the end of January 2006. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img The former Asian Player of the Year will leave for Australia after second-division Yokohama’s game against Avispa Fukuoka on Sunday.He is set to play four games in the Australian A-League. last_img read more

Borough Approves KPBSD Additional Funding Request

first_imgKPBSD Superintendent Sean Dusek: “We are in very unprecedented times. We are hopeful that people will participate on the board level, borough level, and the state level. Some very important decisions need to be made as we move forward.” Governor Mike Dunleavy released an amended FY20 budget in February for the state. The budget proposes a significant reduction to education funding throughout the state. The school district faces a $22.4 million dollar reduction in state funding under the current budget proposal. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly approved a resolution at their meeting on Tuesday, in Seward, granting a request for an additional $2,423,955 in FY19 for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Residents have asked the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to “step up” and help lessen the impact to local schools by funding to the max at the borough level. In a vote of 5 to 4, Bagley, Cooper, Dunne, Hibbert, and Smalley voted in favor the resolution.center_img Assemblymember Willy Dunne: “This would be a partial solution to hold onto some of the best and brightest teachers we have and prevent them from being laid off and finding jobs elsewhere. We do have a moral obligation to provide a quality education for our kids and this is one small way to do that.”  In the request from the district, the additional funding would allow the school district to retain some of the non-tenured staff for FY20, as well as provide a cushion in the event of possible state reductions in funding. Assemblywoman Kelly Cooper: “We are asking to do  this  supplemental funding now for 2019, because the state may go into an emergency session. They may not have the information and we have got to manage the teachers that we have that need positions next fall.” last_img read more