Investors warn EC over definitions in sustainable finance proposals

first_img“We would argue that this would contravene the EU’s objective of spurring on sustainable investments, without any analysis or reasoning behind such a move.”The legislation should take into account the wide range of approaches used by asset managers to achieve institutional and individual asset owners’ objectives, it added. Sustainable finance proposals tabled by the European Commission could sideline many popular ESG strategies or approaches, investors have warned.The comments were made in feedback on the sustainable finance legislative proposals announced by the Commission in May. The window for feedback closes this week, and submissions have been coming in thick and fast in recent days. The Commission proposed a regulation on reporting requirements related to “sustainable investments and sustainability risks”, but the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) said that, as currently drafted, the proposal seemed to equate sustainable investments with impact and thematic investing.“Unless this drafting is changed, this would mean that a large majority of investment approaches and products that today are adopted as ‘sustainable’ on objective and legitimate grounds may no longer be considered so,” the industry association stated. The European Commission announced three legislative proposals on ‘susainable finance’ at the end of MayAccording to UK insurance group Aviva, the way the Commission’s proposed regulation on disclosures was worded “might discourage sustainable investment through proactive stewardship of investments to promote sustainability, for example through company engagement and voting”.It added: “The current wording may also not allow other strategies to integrate ESG factors, for example the integration of ESG risks and opportunities throughout a firm’s investment analysis, or screening out certain types of investments.”It suggested a rewording of the relevant text in the proposed regulation to accommodate not only investments in an economic activity contributing to an environmental, social or corporate governance objective, but “actions in relation to” such activity.This would also align the wording more closely with the approach to integrating sustainability in IORP II, the revised EU pension fund directive, Aviva argued.Taxonomy proposal aim ‘unclear’Investors also expressed concerns about the Commission’s definitions in feedback relating to its proposed system for determining the extent to which a given economic activity is environmentally sustainable. This is also known as the taxonomy proposal and is central to the Commission’s overall plan.The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry said it was not clear whether the aim was to establish a framework for “a niche” of investment activity – those marketed as sustainable investments or impact investments – or for the purpose of encouraging sustainable investments overall, whether marketed as such or not.Europe’s largest asset manager, Amundi, said the taxonomy should serve investors’ “wide and diverse” needs, rather than restrict them.last_img read more

BiH’s Football Association awards Best Players of the Season

first_imgEvent of the selection of the best players of the league competitions under the auspices of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was held on Sunday evening in the Hotel “Terme” in Ilidza suburb.The best player of BH Telecom Premier League of BiH for the 2018/19 season is the attacker of Sarajevo Mersudin Ahmetovic. The coaches and captains of our elite football clubs’ clubs gave the highest number of votes to Ahmetovic, who left Milos Filipovic from Zrinjski and Drazen Bagaric from Siroki Brijeg behind him.Mersudin Ahmetovic is the fifth player who received this award, and before him, the award was given to Wagner Santos Lago, Zajko Zeba, Miroslav Stevanovic and Goran Zakaric.The best goalkeeper of the Premier League is Vladan Kovacevic from FC Sarajevo.The best scorer in this season is Sulejman Krpic from FC Zeljeznicar who scored 16 goals.Husref Musemic was named the best coach.The best player of the Women’s League of Bosnia and Herzegovina this year is Selma Kapetanovic from SFK 2000 Sarajevo, while the award for the best goalkeeper won by Elma Kundic from the Iskra Bugojno, News Agency Patria reports.last_img read more

SAB’s R6bn empowerment deal

first_imgThe bottling section of South African Breweries’ plant in Alrode, Johannesburg. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.)MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterMultinational brewing giant SABMiller has announced a major black economic empowerment deal that will see local subsidiary South African Breweries (SAB) transfer some 10% of its value, worth about R6-billion (US$750-million), to black participants.These will include SAB employees, black-owned liquor retailers – both those licensed to sell alcohol and those in the process of applying for a licence – as well as black-owned companies that are customers of ABI, SAB’s soft-drink division, and the broader black South African community.The deal, announced yesterday, is expected to cost the company about R1.8-billion ($220-million).“There are three innovative and distinctive features of this transaction,” Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller plc, said in a statement. “Firstly, the transaction places no reliance on external bank funding, and requires only a relatively small and hence affordable cash investment from retail participants.“Secondly, a meaningful dividend stream is expected to be paid to all participants for the whole of the 10-year transaction period, thereby delivering a significant economic benefit from the first year.“Thirdly, the transaction aims to benefit the stakeholders who have made a real contribution to SAB’s success as well as the broader South African community through the SAB Foundation.”The transaction will not require any external bank funding, and will need only a small cash investment by participants who, SAB said, can expect meaningful cash dividends to be paid from the first year.At the end of the 10-year transaction period, participants will exchange their shareholdings in SAB for shares in SABMiller.One of the world’s largest brewers, SABMiller has brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents.Its brands includes premium international beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch along with top local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie.The structure of SAB’s BEE deal will see the creation of three new investment groups – an employee trust, a retailer entity and the SAB Foundation. These will each will each subscribe for new separate classes of SAB ordinary shares, allocated in the ratio of 40:40:20 respectively.The deal will significantly improve SAB’s compliance with the South African government’s BEE Codes of Good Practice.These Codes aim to reduce the entrenched inequalities caused by apartheid and increase the participation of black people in the economy. BEE is seen as a key requirement for the promotion of sustainable economic growth and social development in South Africa. For the purposes of BEE, black people are defined as African, Indian, coloured and Chinese South Africans.As only licensed retailers or those who have applied for a licence qualify, SAB hopes the deal will support the liquor-licensing process in South Africa. This would legalise an effective distribution network – South Africa’s township taverns, known as shebeens.“There are considerable socioeconomic benefits to be derived from a normalised and regulated industry in which liquor retailers, the vast majority of whom are currently unlicensed, are formally incorporated into the economy and liquor industry,” the company said.The precise terms of the transaction are expected to be finalised after the November release of SABMiller’s interim results for the six months ending 30 September 2009. Subject to shareholder approval, it is likely to be implemented in the first half of 2010.Related articlesBlack economic empowermentSAB wins big, greens Boks Brewery spreads African reach Brewing up boutique beers SABMiller: global brewing giantUseful linksSABMiller South African Breweries Department of Trade and Industrylast_img read more

Home Affairs ramps up ID services

first_imgSource: BuaNews Unclaimed ID worry Apleni said the department was particularly worried about the thousands of unclaimed IDs at its offices. 28 January 2011 “Of serious concern to the department … is that our offices across the country have at this stage a total of 767 889 unclaimed IDs. Unless these IDs are claimed, owners will not be able to exercise their democratic right to vote.” Home Affairs offices countrywide will open from 8am to 5pm during those days set aside for voter registration. Officials are also expected to work extended hours on the day before the voter registration weekend. From extended working hours to mobile offices, the department’s director-general, Mkuseli Apleni, said plans were in place to make certain that those who applied for IDs received them on time. While the department was doing its bit to ensure that South Africans had all they required to cast their votes, citizens were also expected to play a role.center_img He appealed to those who had received an SMS informing them their IDs were available to make every effort to collect them from their nearest Home Affairs office. Apleni said mobile offices would be deployed in areas where the department did not have an office close to registration stations. Officials at these mobile offices hand over IDs, collect and process first and re-issue applications, as well as deal with other inquiries. Assisting flood victims “We will also be visiting flood-ravaged areas to assist those who may have lost their enabling documents, including IDs,” Apleni said in Pretoria this week. Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) deputy chief executive Mosotho Moepya said the IEC was grateful and satisfied with the steps taken by the department to assist voters. The Department of Home Affairs is pulling out all the stops to ensure that as many South Africans as possible have their identity documents in time for voter registration weekend, taking place on 5 and 6 February, ahead of the upcoming local government elections.last_img read more

South African business encouraged to give more at conference

first_imgMelissa JavanBrand South Africa board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama challenged business leaders to go above and beyond to change society for the better. Speaking at the 2016 In Good Company conference at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on 30 August, Kweyama said: “It’s only when we create sustainable, durable solutions that we overcome challenges.”Sustainable change can be achieved, she argued, when companies are more creative and are courageous in the way it allocates corporate social investment (CSI) budgets. Far too often companies look at CSI as charitable spending rather than funds that can make real change. “CSI programmes can be invested in growing the country.”Why is enterprise and skills development not funded more often through CSI programmes, she questioned.She urged corporate leaders to show the way forward by being courageous, tenacious and resilient. “Let’s improve the social conditions and build a strong nation brand.”Create sustainable solutionsIn Good Company is part of an ongoing initiative run by Nation Builder, the conference organisers. Nation Builder helps companies channel it’s CSI into initiatives to make the most sustainable change in South Africa. Founded by the Muthobi Foundation, Nation Builder is a community of businesses and individuals dedicated to changing their communities through action.Keri Paschal, executive director of the Muthobi Foundation and trustee of Nation Builder, said it can be achieved “through the sharing of practice, lessons learned and the development of collaborative tools to equip all of us to achieve better results in our Good Giving, both individually and within our business.”Paschal explained that they have benchmarked charities and created tools and resources that help businesses gauge the success of their CSI projects.Research conducted by Nation Builder Trust has found that R8.1-billion is channelled annually through CSI budgets. It is estimated that that investment, if spent wisely, could generate R25-billion worth of economic activity.Informal traders, the invisible matrixGG Marc Alcock, author of Third World Child and KasiNomics, used the novelty of food trucks (entrepreneurial businesses that can generate between R25 000 and R100 000 a month) to explain how the country’s informal traders are contributing to the economy.When he noticed that employees were willing to spend R35 for a meal from a food truck when meals at the staff canteen were cheaper, he wondered why.“The food truck’s food doesn’t stay overnight. It is fresh,” was the answer.It gave Alcock important insight: businesses need to look at unique ways of meeting needs. It was the same with hawkers selling fruit and vegetables – customers bought it because it was fresh.“What about your neighbour being your competition?” Alcock asked the hawkers who sell the same products but sit next to each other. One answered: “I have my own customers, just like she [the neighbour] has her own.” Alcock said it showed that relationships are important in business.The value of spaza shops and spazarettesAlcock said that South Africa’s economy is being sustained by the informal sector. “We need to recognise the role the informal sector plays.”For example, there are 70 000 spaza shops, defined as a hole in the wall shop that sells basic necessities to customers, each could generate between R30 000 and R80 000 per month turnover. A spazarette is just a bigger version of a spaza shop, where customers buy weekly goods.He added: “Although they are below the tax bracket in terms of their profit, they pay VAT anyway when they buy their goods.”Alcock said the informal sector helps the unemployed earn a living. “We [as corporates] need to enhance, and support these businesses.“They are the invisible economic matrix, their businesses surround us, but we don’t see them.”Other speakers included Mike Schussler, director of Economists.co.za, and Francois van Niekerk, founder of the Mertech group and co-founder of Atterbury properties. Van Niekerk spoke about the marriage between business and purpose, while Schussler’s talk was titled We ignore the good news about South Africa at our peril.Conference host and actor Eric Miyeni said CSI should begin the day you start your business. “Most people think CSI is outside. You can start with your first employee, your first partner or yourself.“CSI is about being good to your fellow citizen.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Despite the Rumors, RickRolling Isn’t Dead

first_imgDramatic headlines cried out overnight that RickRolling was dead. The original Rick Astley video with more than 30 million views has been pulled from YouTube due to copyright violation. In fact, however, YouTube appears to have simply moved the video to Vevo, its music video website in partnership with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI. “Never Going to Give You Up” is published under the RCA record label, which is a property of Sony. Originating on outlaw web forum 4chan and leading to a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance by Astley 20 years after the song was released, RickRolling isn’t dead – it’s just safe now, in the official copyright friendly section of YouTube. Update: A YouTube spokesperson has now said that pulling the video was done on mistake.RIckRolling, the phenomenon, only remained outside the official boundaries of copyright for less than 3 years. The user account that uploaded the video to YouTube where it saw 30 million + views though, named cotter548, has now been suspended. Hardly a warm thanks from the company for a user that facilitated one of the most-referenced reasons to visit the website – that’s just hitting below the belt.Meanwhile the official version on Vevo already has more than 22 million views as well. RickRolling may not be dead, but it’s probably over being cool. Here at ReadWriteWeb we’ve moved on to other things anyway. Like Pickle Surprise. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrickcenter_img Tags:#news#web#YouTube A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more