Daily Archives: December 11, 2015

U.S. Business Inventories Flat, Sales Fall

Washington, Safar 29, 1437, Dec 11, 2015, SPA — U.S. business inventories were unchanged in October, while total business sales fell for the second time in the past three months, the government reported Friday, raising concerns about economic growth in the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department said October business inventories were flat following a tiny 0.1 percent rise in September. It was the weakest performance since July. Business sales fell 0.2 percent in October after being flat in September.
Overall economic activity was limited over the summer partly because businesses worked to align their inventories with weaker sales. Economic growth slowed to a 2.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
Many economists believe continued weakness in inventories will dampen fourth-quarter growth as well.

20:02 LOCAL TIME 17:02 GMT

U.S. Producer Inflation Remains Tame

Washington, Safar 29, 1437, Dec 11, 2015, SPA — U.S. producer prices rose unexpectedly in November for the first time in four months as the cost of services increased, the government reported Friday, but the underlying trend continued to point to weak inflation pressures.
The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI)—which measures price changes before they reach consumers—rose 0.3 percent last month after falling 0.4 percent in October. However, in the past 12 months, producer prices have fallen 1.1 percent, and November marked the 10th consecutive 12-month decrease in PPI.
Energy prices fell 0.6 percent after being unchanged in October. Declines in energy are likely to continue, as oil prices have fallen sharply this week to below $38 a barrel. Wholesale food prices rose 0.3 percent in November after falling 0.8 percent the previous month. The increase was driven by the biggest jump in butter prices in 15 years.
Excluding volatile energy and food costs, core PPI rose 0.1 percent in November after falling 0.1 percent the previous month. Core PPI was up 0.3 percent in the 12 months ending in November.
Modest economic growth and weak wage increases have kept inflation contained more than six years after the Great Recession ended.
Over the past year, price pressures have been dampened by a strong U.S. dollar and continued declines in oil prices amid a supply glut and slowing global growth, leaving inflation persistently running below the Federal Reserve (Fed) 2 percent target.
But due to a strengthening labor market, economists expect the U.S. central bank to raise its short-term interest rate next Wednesday for the first time in almost a decade.

18:22 LOCAL TIME 15:22 GMT

U.S. Retail Sales Rise at Start of Holiday Season

Washington, Safar 29, 1437, Dec 11, 2015, SPA — U.S. retail sales rose slightly in November as the holiday shopping season began briskly, the government reported Friday, suggesting enough momentum in the economy for the Federal Reserve (Fed) to raise interest rates next week for the first time in almost a decade.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.2 percent in November as automobile sales fell and cheaper gasoline hurt service stations. Retail sales rose 0.1 percent in October.
Auto sales fell 0.4 percent last month, the biggest decline since June, after falling 0.3 percent in October. While automakers reported strong sales last month, the units sold were slightly below October levels.
Sales at gasoline stations fell 0.8 percent in November after dropping 1 percent the previous month. Sales at clothing stores jumped 0.8 percent, the largest increase since May. Sales at online retailers rose 0.6 percent, as did sales at electronics and appliance stores.
Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials, and food servicesincreased a strong 0.6 percent in November after a 0.2 percent advance the previous month. Such “core” retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer-spending component of gross domestic product (GDP).
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, slowed unexpectedly in October and September. The moderation came despite an improving labor market, which has begun to lift household income.
The latest signs of strength in consumption support expectations the Fed will raise its key interest rate from near zero when policymakers conclude a two-day meeting next Wednesday. The U.S. central bank has not lifted rates since June 2006.

17:56 LOCAL TIME 14:56 GMT

Cross-cultural Communicators to be Honored at Al Arabiya English Forum (PR Newswire)

DUBAI, UAE, December 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Awards honor those who have helped bridge the gap in understanding between the Muslim world and the West Voting has commenced in the inaugural Al Arabiya News (English) ‘Cross-Cultural Communication Award’, which honors those who have done the most to bridge the gap in understanding between the Muslim world…

Borsa Istanbul Goes Live on Nasdaq Technology Suite

BISTECH Transformation Will Give Turkey One of the World’s Most Advanced Exchange Technologies

Marks Completion of Phase One Delivery of Nasdaq’s Suite of Technologies and Advisory Services

— Borsa ?stanbul, in partnership with Nasdaq, continues to build a world-class capital markets hub for Eurasia region;
— Equity market, clearing and settlement launched first with risk management and other supporting systems;
— Derivatives, debt securities and precious metals markets will be launched later.

ISTANBUL and NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Borsa Istanbul and Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) have announced that Borsa Istanbul has officially gone live on nine of Nasdaq’s market-leading technologies including trading and clearing, settlement, market data management, index calculation, market surveillance, business intelligence, and pre- and post-trade risk management. The initial implementation is for Borsa Istanbul’s equity market. The Turkish exchange will also go live on Nasdaq technology for all other markets, including derivatives, debt securities, and precious metals markets.

The “transformation with technology” program, branded BISTECH by Borsa Istanbul, is a critical milestone in a series of major transformative steps aimed at making the Turkish capital markets more globally competitive.

“We are delighted to have established a high impact global partnership with Nasdaq, anchored by the objective of serving the financial community in the region and worldwide,” said Tuncay Dinc, CEO, Borsa Istanbul. “I am confident that our combined know-how, powered by one of the most advanced technology suites available in the world today, will consistently offer a cutting edge trading experience to customers worldwide with greater opportunity, innovation and flexibility. BISTECH transformation is a huge step for Borsa Istanbul on the path toward our vision of becoming a global player.”

“It has been an honor working with Borsa Istanbul as they emerge, unequivocally, as the capital markets heart of Eurasia,” said Bob Greifeld, CEO, Nasdaq. “Their relentless dedication to achieving success in growing their business makes them a perfect partner for Nasdaq. We look forward to continuing our very successful relationship with Borsa Istanbul.”

The strategic partnership with Nasdaq underscores Borsa Istanbul’s position and brand as the capital markets center for the Eurasia region, serving global issuers and investors. Borsa Istanbul also launched a new, environmentally-sensitive data center which offers co-location services that will facilitate high-frequency and algorithmic trading, and provides faster access to investors in remote locations.

“The technology and advisory project with Borsa Istanbul has been the largest, most complex and most ambitious project to date for Nasdaq – we’re very proud of it,” said Lars Ottersgard, Executive Vice President and Head of Market Technology, Nasdaq. “Creating a globally competitive capital market ecosystem is no small feat. As our client and partner, Borsa Istanbul has been absolutely dedicated to achieving success and this significant and successful go-live is a clear indication of this. We’re thrilled to be supporting them in this substantial endeavor.”

The inaugural go-live is a culmination of extensive collaboration between Borsa Istanbul and Nasdaq, following the signing of the first indicative agreement in July 2013, and announcing the official partnership in December 2013. Nasdaq also owns five percent equity stake in Borsa Istanbul.

About Nasdaq
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services across six continents. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 70 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to more than 3,600 listed companies with a market value of approximately $9.6 trillion and more than 10,000 corporate clients. To learn more, visit: nasdaq.com/ambition or business.nasdaq.com.

About Borsa Istanbul
Borsa Istanbul, with historical roots going back to 1873, is a diversified regional exchange in Turkey, providing trading, settlement, custody and registry services for equities, derivatives, fixed income & repo, precious metals and Islamic finance markets.

The Company operates under a single umbrella, following its de-mutualization and incorporation in 2012, and successful completion of horizontal integration (via the acquisition of the derivatives and gold exchanges), and of vertical integration (via control of the two domestic post trade firms), shortly thereafter.

Through its markets, Borsa Istanbul offers corporates, investors and traders in the region a broad range of financial products suited to their needs, and efficient access to extensive capital markets. Post trade and depository services are offered by its majority-owned subsidiaries of Takasbank (Istanbul Settlement and Custody Bank) and MKK (The Central Securities Depository). Borsa Istanbul calculates 360 indices that measure and benchmark equity and fixed income markets in Turkey.

Borsa Istanbul is a shareholder in the Sarajevo, Baku, Kyrgyz, and Montenegro Stock Exchanges, as well as LCH. Clearnet.

For further information, please visit Borsa Istanbul at http://www.borsaistanbul.com and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/borsaistanbulEN), and Twitter (www.twitter.com/borsaistanbulEN).


Media Contacts

— For Nasdaq:
Ryan Wells (ryan.wells@nasdaq.com or +44 (0) 7809 596 390)
— For Borsa Istanbul:
saha Baygul Ozpinar (saha.ozpinar@borsaistanbul.com or +90 212 298 2832)

Beril Serdaroglu (beril.serdaroglu@unite.com.tr or +90 212 272 93 13)

Security experts raise concern over ISIS spread (The Nation (Pakistan))

Security experts have raised concern over dangerous spread of ISIS across globe and said that lone wolf terrorist phenomenon has been a new addition in the tactics of ISIS. A two days international conference was held in National University of Modern Language on ‘Emergence of ISIS in Middle East and its Impacts on South Asia’ while…

Distribution Plan Announced For 2 Million Solar Power Systems To Homes In Kenya

LE BOURGET, France, Dec. 11, 2015 / PRNewswire — Onsite at COP21, the most important climate change event in the world’s history, SkyPower, the world’s largest developer and owner of utility-scale solar energy projects, and an Official Partner of COP21, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is proud to jointly announce with Plan International a program in accordance with its agreement with the Kenyan Government for the distribution of two million high-quality SkyPower Home solar systems to households, schools and health clinics in need of electricity in Kenya.

This initiative is the largest known program of its kind in the world and was announced by SkyPower and the Kenyan Government in July 2015 at the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. This initiative forms part of the landmark agreement between the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and SkyPower to develop, build, own and operate 2 GW of world-class, utility-scale solar projects across Kenya, which will be built over the next five years.

SkyPower conducted an extensive and exhaustive process working closely with the Government of Kenya and has selected Plan International, which works in partnership with 51 countries and 21 donor countries, to design a rigid, comprehensive, targeted logistics, distribution, management, product support and swap-out warranty program with the strictest of controls and accountability to ensure these solar power systems reach the families and healthcare providers, the intended recipients.

“SkyPower is proud to be setting the example that will support President Kenyatta’s vision for a growing, sustainable, and prosperous Kenya based on the cleanest and most reliable form of renewable energy,” said Kerry Adler, President and CEO of SkyPower. “As John Kerry, US Secretary of State, stated at COP21, it is possible to do well and do good.” This sentiment represents a fundamental part of SkyPower’s business strategy, and we truly hope it will resonate with other business leaders and institutions around the globe.

“Our partnership and alignment is with Plan International, who will manage and oversee a proven method of distribution, backed by over 75 years of experience, and in total alignment with SkyPower and the Kenyan Government’s goal of energizing homes around Kenya by providing them with access to safe, affordable and reliable solar electricity,” said Charles Cohen, Chief Commercial Officer, Commercial Strategy and Development, of SkyPower.

“Kenya is so very proud to work with SkyPower and its partners to ensure the timely and effectively targeted distribution of the 2 million SkyPower Home solar kits, a world’s first. It is a comprehensive plan that is reflective of the commitment of our government to address energy deficiency and climate change, in our unwavering efforts to ensure the brightest and most prosperous future for all Kenyans,” said H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.

Each SkyPower Home solar system will have a solar panel, LED bulbs, USB charging capabilities for charging cell phones and other handheld electronic devices and a solar-powered radio, and is designed to operate in extreme conditions. Each solar system is backed by a comprehensive warranty, which will include an in-community hot-swap program. These home solar systems are built to the most stringent of standards and will meet and/or exceed all requisite certifications and published standards to ensure the highest quality, reliability and longevity.

SkyPower Home solar kits will narrow the energy deficiency gap in carefully targeted communities, making impactful change to the areas of: education, maternal health, safety and job creation in each community.

To ensure the project is sustainable and fully integrated into each community, these solar systems will be distributed through selected local primary schools. Moreover, a percentage of the solar systems will also be provided to local primary health care centres that could truly benefit from access to electricity, and to community health workers who bring vital health services directly into homes and schools currently lacking access to electricity.

SkyPower Home solar systems, in conjunction with Plan International’s community focused, transparent and accountable distribution plan will:

  • improve the quality of life for over eight million people in rural Kenya through access to clean renewable energy and contribute to meeting the Government of Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan and Vision 2030
  • reduce or eliminate the need for lamps fuelled by dangerous kerosene fuel oil
  • extend market hours for small-scale entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, thereby expanding business opportunities
  • increase the number of hours of light available to students for homework and teachers for class preparation
  • provide more lighting at night for villages, improving safety for women and girls

“Plan International is proud to announce this landmark partnership with SkyPower, in Kenya,” said Marie Staunton, Plan International Canada’s interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “Plan has worked in Kenya for over 33 years, and this project will offer a truly transformative contribution towards ensuring the safe delivery of infants, that boys and girls succeed in school, women and girls are more protected and climate change is addressed. Triple positive impacts will be felt in education, health and protection for poor households, in line with Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 7.”

Under the auspices and expertise of Plan International, the solar system distribution will be done carefully and with consideration of local needs. A strategic approach – coupled with careful targeting – will be taken to ensure that households that would otherwise be unable to afford solar energy and communities in the greatest need will benefit. To guarantee that the initiative will have a long-lasting and transformative impact on targeted communities, Plan and SkyPower will engage and organize young men and women from their communities into volunteer management and monitoring teams. These local community members will serve a number of functions: ensuring distribution is to those most in need, delivering training to community members on the benefits of solar energy, building familiarity with the technology and providing solar kit demonstrations, delivering basic trouble-shooting and maintenance information to community members, manage the hot-swap program and provide data-collection and project-monitoring related services on a regular basis.

Plan International has extensive experience in the large-scale distribution of gifts-in-kind across Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1982, Plan has played an active role in Kenya, helping poor children to access their rights to health, education, sanitation and protection. Today more than 800,000 Kenyan families benefit from Plan’s work.

SkyPower has agreed to build utility-scale solar power projects in Kenya, bringing power to the people of Kenya as a part of its ongoing UN business commitment to develop and build a minimum of 5 GW of utility-scale solar power projects in Africa by 2020. As Strategic Champion of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Caring for Climate initiative and a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SkyPower supports and is focussed on the recently announced UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an approach that is integrated into the core of its business principles. SkyPower has successfully implemented a unified global solar energy development strategy that directly or indirectly supports 13 of the 17 UN SDGs. SkyPower’s efforts continue to set an example by demonstrating that corporations can do good and do well, helping the world become a better place for all humankind for generations to come.

About SkyPower

SkyPower is the largest and one of the most successful developers and owners of utility-scale solar energy projects in the world. With roots dating back to over a decade, SkyPower’s global team possesses a vast track record of over 800 years of combined experience in power and large infrastructure projects.

The experienced and accomplished SkyPower team has built, assembled and acquired an extensive pipeline of over 25 GW worldwide – 9 GW of which were recently announced in bilateral agreements, and other contract awards, to be built on the continents of Africa and Asia over the next five years in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Djibouti and India.

SkyPower’s over 30 utility-scale solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and Contracts in aggregate represent well in excess of US $80 billion worth of long-term renewable energy sales to leading utilities and governments around the world.

SkyPower is majority owned by CIM Group, a U.S.-based real estate and infrastructure investment firm founded in 1994 that has systematically and successfully invested in dynamic and densely populated communities throughout North America.

About Plan International

Plan International is an independent child rights organization committed to enabling vulnerable and marginalized children to be free of poverty. By actively connecting committed people with powerful ideas, we work together to make positive, deep-rooted and lasting changes in children’s and young people’s lives. For over 75 years, we have supported girls and boys and their communities around the world to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to claim their rights, free themselves from poverty and live positive fulfilling lives. The organization implements programs in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, and raises funds in 21 countries.

For more information about SkyPower, please contact our team at COP21 at cop21@skypower.com or at:

Samantha McMahon
Global Integration Coordinator
+1 647 449 8350

Leanne O’Brien
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
+1 647 339 0091

Shamini Selvaratnam
Director, Corporate Communications
+ 1 647 625 0997

For more information on Plan International, please contact:

Dena Allen
Senior Media and Public Relations Manager
Plan International Canada
+1 416 723 6340