• Underdog Gives Tory Big Beasts a Fright in U.K. Leader Race

    (Bloomberg) -- He’s admitted smoking opium, denied being a spy, pledged to revive the most unpopular plan in the history of Britain’s Parliament, and acknowledged he has a lot to learn.But Rory Stewart, the rank outsider in the contest to become Britain’s next leader, is suddenly winning support and giving his bigger-name rivals a reason to worry.Officials working for three better-known contenders privately said they believed Stewart could deliver a major upset in the Conservative Party leadership votes this week. His rivals have now begun taking him seriously as a threat.Stewart is aiming to defy the odds and make it through the voting among Tory members of Parliament on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to a probable head-to-head against Boris Johnson, the favorite, next month.“He’s the candidate that other candidates fear,” cabinet minister David Gauke, one of Stewart’s earliest backers, said in an interview. “If he gets a chance of being in the final two, he is the candidate who can deliver a big surprise.”His Critics Say He Lies, But Tories Want to Trust Boris JohnsonBritain is in the middle of a political crisis after Theresa May was forced to quit as prime minister over her failure to complete the country’s exit from the European Union. The result of the contest will decide what kind of Brexit the U.K. pursues and shape the country’s political dynamics and economic outlook for years.Johnson is promising a decisive break from the EU by the Oct. 31 deadline, even without a deal. But Stewart insists the only option for delivering on the 2016 referendum is to ensure May’s unpopular withdrawal agreement -- which was defeated three times in Parliament, including once by a record margin -- succeeds.His manifesto is for compromise. He wants to root government in the center-ground of politics, and to be humble enough to accept his limits and tell the truth.Face-to-Face PoliticsStewart, the international development secretary, started his campaign with a typically eccentric decision. Instead of trying to win over the electorate that matters in the first stages of the contest -- the 313 Tory MPs who will whittle down the crowded field of 10 candidates to two -- he walked high streets around Britain to speak directly to voters.“Theoretically this should be catastrophic for me,” Stewart, 46, told journalists Monday. “Oddly what seems to be happening is that people are refreshed.”Stewart has criticized the “machismo” of opponents -- especially Johnson -- who say they can get changes to the Brexit agreement from Brussels, when the EU said it won’t renegotiate. He’s said pursuing a no-deal Brexit is pointless because Parliament won’t allow it. And he’s vowed to bring down Johnson if he tries to override MPs to force through an exit without a deal.‘The Undeliverable’The tactic is paying off so far. After scraping through the first round of voting among Tory MPs on Thursday in last place, Stewart picked up new backers, including de-facto deputy prime minister David Lidington, Culture Minister Margot James, and former Cabinet minister Caroline Spelman.Bookmakers have moved him up from long-shot to a genuine contender to make the final two. One of his backers in Parliament, Antoinette Sandbach, said Stewart has electoral appeal that reaches beyond the Tory core voters.“Rory recognizes that Boris Johnson is promising the undeliverable and says so,” she said in an interview. “People like his straight-talking.”Before May even announced her resignation as prime minister, Stewart said he’d like her job. After she quit -- and before he’d been in his first cabinet post for a month -- he took to touring the country, posting shaky videos of his interactions with the public on social media under the hashtag RoryWalks. In one of them, he even spoke Dari with an Afghan immigrant.‘Be Brave’That’s a legacy of Stewart’s exotic past. The son of a spy, he spent a short period in the army between his schooling at Eton College, and Oxford University -- the same educational background as Johnson. After graduating, he served in the foreign service in Indonesia and Montenegro. On Monday, he denied to journalists rumors that he’d been a spy himself.Read more: Tories Spar Over ‘Dictator’ Brexit Plan With Johnson AbsentAfter the Iraq War, Stewart served as deputy governor of a province in the country, before taking time out to walk across Asia. This included a month spent crossing Afghanistan that he turned into a book, “The Places in Between,” which won several prizes and made the New York Times best-seller list. It was during the Iranian portion of the walk that he smoked opium, he admitted during the current campaign to the Daily Telegraph.On Tuesday, Stewart was forced to issue a somewhat specific denial when asked if he was a spy. In an interview with BBC Radio, he said the law prevents intelligence offers revealing their identity and puts a similar prohibition on newspapers. “I definitely would say I served my country,” he said. “And if somebody asked me whether I was a spy I would say ‘No.’”Stewart entered Parliament in 2010, and has represented the English seat of Penrith and the Border -- neighboring Scotland -- since then. He won just 19 votes in Thursday’s ballot, and needs at least 33 to avoid being knocked out Tuesday.Asked if he was confident he will get the votes he needs, Stewart replied: “If they do what they say.” He recognized the danger. “I mean I have to stare at literally every single one of them in the eye and look into their souls” as they vote “and say ‘be brave.”’ Asked if he trusted his fellow MPs, Stewart replied: “In the voting lobbies? Nah.”(Updates with Stewart spy comment three paragraphs from bottom.)\--With assistance from Kitty Donaldson.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Robert Jameson, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • UN humanitarian chief deplores deadly bombings in Nigeria

    The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria has condemned the multiplesuicide bombings in the volatile northeast that killed 30 people, including a community volunteer and injured 40 others. "This is another terribly sad day for civilians in northeast Nigeria and for the humanitarians who are working to help them," Edward Kallon said in a statement late Monday. "The UN and its partners deplore these abhorrent acts of violence and call for those responsible for these attacks to be swiftly brought to justice," he said.


  • Digital Asset eyes enterprises as it rolls out more widely compatible app-software

    Blockchain development firm Digital Asset is leveraging Amazon’s data unit to make its smart contract language, DAML, more accessible. In particular, DAML will now be compatible with enterprise blockchain-maker giants Hyperledger Fabric and R3 Corda.The post Digital Asset eyes enterprises as it rolls out more widely compatible app-software appeared first on The Block.


  • What Did Outokumpu Oyj's (HEL:OUT1V) CEO Take Home Last Year?

    Roeland I. Baan became the CEO of Outokumpu Oyj (HEL:OUT1V) in 2016. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO...


  • What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Elife Holdings Limited (HKG:223)?

    The big shareholder groups in Elife Holdings Limited (HKG:223) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large...


  • Naspers' Biggest Investor Mulls Cutting $16.5 Billion Stake

    (Bloomberg) -- Naspers Ltd.’s biggest shareholder is considering whether to reduce its 245 billion rand ($16.5 billion) stake in Africa’s biggest company because of concern it’s overexposed to a single stock, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund is being encouraged by its manager, the Public Investment Corp., to reduce its Naspers shareholding of about 16%, said three of the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. Any decision is ultimately up to the GEPF.Naspers’s value has grown 72-fold since 2004 on the back of the success of an early-stage investment in Chinese games developer Tencent Holdings Ltd., which listed in Hong Kong that year. That’s turned Naspers, a Cape Town-based internet technology investor once focused on South African newspapers, into a 1.53 trillion rand ($101 billion) global entity. But it’s also made the company dependent on China, where it has little influence. The shares gained as much as 1.9% in Johannesburg as Tencent gained in Hong Kong.“Naspers success is dependent on the Chinese government,” said Tahir Maepa, deputy general manager for members affairs of the Public Servants Association, whose 240,000-members make it the biggest labor union representing contributors to the GEPF. “It’s a huge risk, not only for the PIC, it’s a risk for the South African economy and the JSE,” he said, adding that the GEPF should “definitely” cut its stake.The rapid growth also means Naspers accounts for almost 25% of a shareholder-weighted index on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. While that will be reduced when the company spins off its Tencent stake and other internet-focused assets into a new vehicle listed in Amsterdam next month, its 73% holding in that entity, known as NewCo, will only cut its weighting in Johannesburg by about a quarter, according to Naspers. Furthermore, Naspers and NewCo are both reliant on the Tencent investment, which is worth more than the company as a whole.Tencent has been struggling with a Chinese government crackdown on addiction to computer games, and regulators are currently working on an overhaul to the approval process for new titles.Read More: China Outlines New Approval Process for World’s Top Games MarketNaspers currently makes up almost 21% of the value of the GEPF’s listed equity holdings, the fund said in an emailed response to questions. “The GEPF does review its benchmarks from time to time,” although “not all reviews lead to changes.” The pension fund didn’t answer a query about whether it has held talks with the PIC about the Naspers stake.Naspers declined to comment on discussions with specific investors. “The formation and listing of NewCo is in response to shareholder requests,” spokeswoman Shamiela Letsoalo said in an emailed response to questions. The move will allow investors to move “some of their weight off the JSE onto (Amsterdam’s) AEX index while at the same time continuing to lock in continued high returns,” she said. “This will likely result in shareholders having more balanced weightings and will help to reduce any overhang.”Read More: Naspers CEO Bets on Dutch Listing to Fix Tencent DiscountWhile Naspers acknowledges that the company’s assets and management will overlap with NewCo “there are also important differences,” Letsoalo said. The parent group will separately own news business Media24, online marketplace Takealot and “continue to invest in South Africa’s fast-growing ecommerce and internet segment,” she said. “These differences will cause many investors to view them separately within their portfolio.”NewCo will hold various internet businesses around the world, including Russian social-media network Mail.ru Group Ltd. and Indian food-delivery service Swiggy as well as Tencent.The debate over the stake in Naspers has been going on for months. One element being discussed is whether the GEPF should change its holding from an arrangement known as a full SWIX, or shareholder-weighted index, to one called a capped SWIX, where a single stock can make up a maximum of 10% of the funds, three of the people said. Any sell down would be done in phases, one of the people said.Phased SelldownLast October, another of the PIC’s clients, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, sold Naspers shares to switch from a full SWIX position to a capped one, the fund said in an emailed response to questions. Prior to this it had used derivatives to hedge the risk but found this too costly, it said.What to do with the GEPF’s Naspers stake is being considered by the fund’s board of trustees, one of the people said. Pierre Snyman, a member of the board and chairman of the Public Servants Association, declined to comment.Some senior members of the GEPF are opposing cutting the shareholding, said one of the people.“The PIC does not publicly discuss its strategy on specific investee companies,” Deon Botha, its head of Corporate Affairs, said in a response to queries.(Adds shares in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net;Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.net;Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John McCorry at jmccorry@bloomberg.net, ;Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Naspers' Biggest Investor Mulls Cutting $16.5 Billion Stake

    (Bloomberg) -- Naspers Ltd.’s biggest shareholder is considering whether to reduce its 245 billion rand ($16.5 billion) stake in Africa’s biggest company because of concern it’s overexposed to a single stock, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund is being encouraged by its manager, the Public Investment Corp., to reduce its Naspers shareholding of about 16%, said three of the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. Any decision is ultimately up to the GEPF.Naspers’s value has grown 72-fold since 2004 on the back of the success of an early-stage investment in Chinese games developer Tencent Holdings Ltd., which listed in Hong Kong that year. That’s turned Naspers, a Cape Town-based internet technology investor once focused on South African newspapers, into a 1.53 trillion rand ($101 billion) global entity. But it’s also made the company dependent on China, where it has little influence. The shares gained as much as 1.9% in Johannesburg as Tencent gained in Hong Kong.“Naspers success is dependent on the Chinese government,” said Tahir Maepa, deputy general manager for members affairs of the Public Servants Association, whose 240,000-members make it the biggest labor union representing contributors to the GEPF. “It’s a huge risk, not only for the PIC, it’s a risk for the South African economy and the JSE,” he said, adding that the GEPF should “definitely” cut its stake.The rapid growth also means Naspers accounts for almost 25% of a shareholder-weighted index on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. While that will be reduced when the company spins off its Tencent stake and other internet-focused assets into a new vehicle listed in Amsterdam next month, its 73% holding in that entity, known as NewCo, will only cut its weighting in Johannesburg by about a quarter, according to Naspers. Furthermore, Naspers and NewCo are both reliant on the Tencent investment, which is worth more than the company as a whole.Tencent has been struggling with a Chinese government crackdown on addiction to computer games, and regulators are currently working on an overhaul to the approval process for new titles.Read More: China Outlines New Approval Process for World’s Top Games MarketNaspers currently makes up almost 21% of the value of the GEPF’s listed equity holdings, the fund said in an emailed response to questions. “The GEPF does review its benchmarks from time to time,” although “not all reviews lead to changes.” The pension fund didn’t answer a query about whether it has held talks with the PIC about the Naspers stake.Naspers declined to comment on discussions with specific investors. “The formation and listing of NewCo is in response to shareholder requests,” spokeswoman Shamiela Letsoalo said in an emailed response to questions. The move will allow investors to move “some of their weight off the JSE onto (Amsterdam’s) AEX index while at the same time continuing to lock in continued high returns,” she said. “This will likely result in shareholders having more balanced weightings and will help to reduce any overhang.”Read More: Naspers CEO Bets on Dutch Listing to Fix Tencent DiscountWhile Naspers acknowledges that the company’s assets and management will overlap with NewCo “there are also important differences,” Letsoalo said. The parent group will separately own news business Media24, online marketplace Takealot and “continue to invest in South Africa’s fast-growing ecommerce and internet segment,” she said. “These differences will cause many investors to view them separately within their portfolio.”NewCo will hold various internet businesses around the world, including Russian social-media network Mail.ru Group Ltd. and Indian food-delivery service Swiggy as well as Tencent.The debate over the stake in Naspers has been going on for months. One element being discussed is whether the GEPF should change its holding from an arrangement known as a full SWIX, or shareholder-weighted index, to one called a capped SWIX, where a single stock can make up a maximum of 10% of the funds, three of the people said. Any sell down would be done in phases, one of the people said.Phased SelldownLast October, another of the PIC’s clients, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, sold Naspers shares to switch from a full SWIX position to a capped one, the fund said in an emailed response to questions. Prior to this it had used derivatives to hedge the risk but found this too costly, it said.What to do with the GEPF’s Naspers stake is being considered by the fund’s board of trustees, one of the people said. Pierre Snyman, a member of the board and chairman of the Public Servants Association, declined to comment.Some senior members of the GEPF are opposing cutting the shareholding, said one of the people.“The PIC does not publicly discuss its strategy on specific investee companies,” Deon Botha, its head of Corporate Affairs, said in a response to queries.(Adds shares in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net;Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.net;Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John McCorry at jmccorry@bloomberg.net, ;Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Sanofi turns to Google in search for better treatments

    French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi said Tuesday it is partnering with Google to use artificial intelligence and deep analytics tools to sift through its data to find better treatments. The titan in online search "will apply technology and analytics on Sanofi’s large real world database to better understand what treatments work for patients," the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement. The use of Google's tools for deep analytics -- organising large amounts of data to make insights -- will help it better understand key diseases and patient outcomes to make further improvements.


  • AstraZeneca's Lynparza gets EU nod as first-line ovarian cancer maintenance treatment

    Lynparza, being jointly developed by AstraZeneca along with U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co , can now be used in patients who are in response following chemotherapy for advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer in Europe, AstraZeneca said. BRCA genes are responsible for producing proteins which repair damaged DNA, and if the genes are mutated, they can cause cancer growth.


  • What Percentage Of Steve Leung Design Group Limited (HKG:2262) Shares Do Insiders Own?

    Every investor in Steve Leung Design Group Limited (HKG:2262) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups...


(ARA) - As winter approaches and the outdoor temperature drops, energy consumption is on the rise. Homeowners can implement these five tips to help reduce their home's energy use and costs, yet maintain a warm and comfortable indoor environment, this winter.

Energy audit
If you want to reduce your home's energy costs, a home energy assessment or audit is a good place to start. While many homeowners can observe obvious air leaks on their own, a professional energy auditor will go into greater detail, checking a home's exterior and interior room-by-room, for undetectable energy wasters. A professional will also review your recent utility bills before recommending ways to decrease household energy consumption. Many electric or gas companies provide professional energy assessments or can recommend a local auditor.

Lighting
During the winter, people tend to use more artificial lighting to make up for the decrease in daylight. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, switching from incandescent light bulbs to more efficient compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) can save up to $50 a year in energy costs. Another easy way to reduce energy consumption during the winter holiday season is to use a timer on your festive decorative lights. Your local home improvement stores should carry a variety of inexpensive timer models to choose from.

Water heating
Lowering the thermostat on your water heater by 10 degrees can help save between 3 and 5 percent in energy costs. In addition, keeping your water heater set at 120 degrees will slow corrosion in your water heater and pipes, allowing them to operate at their most efficient. Insulate your water heater tank and any accessible hot water pipes using pre-cut insulation pieces available at most home improvement stores. The pre-cut pieces are easy to install and may prevent your pipes from freezing in the winter.

Indoor heating
It's tempting to turn up the heat when the weather cools; however, during the winter months, you can save as much as 3 percent of heating costs for every degree your thermostat is lowered. A professional heating and cooling contractor can recommend and install a programmable thermostat like the AccuLink(TM) Platinum ZV Control from American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning that allows homeowners to create heating schedules for when no one is home ensuring greater energy efficiency and enhanced indoor comfort. Learn more at www.americanstandardair.com.

Insulation
Adding more insulation where you already have some, in your home's attic, for example, will help to save energy. However greater energy savings are often found when installing insulation into places that are not currently insulated. A home energy auditor can help identify how much insulation you currently have and how much you need, in addition to which type of installation to install.

During the winter, energy costs can make a big dent in the family budget; however, there are a few easy things you can do to lower your home's energy consumption. Find comfort and joy in your home this season by reducing energy costs and efficiently heating your home.Five tips to stay warm and reduce energy costs
Category: Business