Elaflex HIBY Tanktechnik, a specialist company in safe connections for the transfer of dangerous goods and sensitive fluids, have acquired a major stake in Oasis Engineering Ltd of Tauranga (New Zealand). Oasis, a member of NGV Global, is an internationally operating specialist for valves and couplings used in the compressed natural gas (CNG) industry.
The company established a strong reputation as supplier of CNG components and systems for filling stations and gas delivery networks. An example: Worldwide CNG trailer companies are rapidly adopting the new Oasis high flow breakaway and coupling systems that have positively changed the whole economics of road transport for gas.
“This exciting partnership brings together two highly innovative companies both well respected in the fuel handling world,” says Andy Cameron, Managing Director of Oasis Engineering.
Stefan Kunter, Managing Director of Elaflex: ”The complementary product ranges mutually allow us to further expand our expertise with fluid energy transfer.”
Existing distribution structures will remain untouched. Oasis will continue to independently operate, with unchanged staff and with Andy Cameron, as Oasis’s managing director.
Yesterday, the CTU publicly called for a return to centralised wage bargaining. Max Whitehead, CEO of Small Business Voice, says they have made their motivation for pushing for pay equity clear: The CTU thinks one shoe fits all employees.
“The unions are out of date and no longer relevant, despite having infiltrated Parliament and introduced a myriad of overzealous employment laws,” says Mr. Whitehead.
Mr. Whitehead says the unions’ overzealous laws are so difficult to handle that employers have spent the last ten years removing employees and replacing them with self-employed contractors. Consequently, New Zealand has become a nation of contractors and small employers. In fact, today, less than 4% of NZ enterprises employ more than 20 employees.
“Unions are now barely relevant because they focus on big employers. “Richard Wagstaff, who replaced Helen Kelly, is desperately trying to turn things around, but unfortunately, it is too late.”
Mr. Whitehead acknowledges that unions have at times played a positive role in the workplace. However, he says their lust for power has cost them.
“If Unions had have adopted a more moderate approach, they may have remained relevant.”
Mr. Whitehead says that today's jobs are more diverse and very different from in the past, so trying to impose one wage on them all is verging on ridiculous.
“Centuries ago, Prince Charming proved that one shoe does not fit all, so why do the unions think otherwise."
| A Small Business Voice release || April 24,2017 |||
We use linked employer-employee data from 2004–2012, combined with individual qualifications data from 1994–2012, to study how graduates with different skills fare in the labour market in the six years after studying.
We find that graduates experience improvements in earnings, and that they systematically move between jobs, industries and locations in a pattern that is consistent with their securing better job matches, particularly for high level STEM graduates.
We then estimate joint production function and wage equations to see how the skill composition of a firm’s employees correlates with productivity, and compare this with how the skill composition correlates with its wage bill.
Our results suggest that degree graduates make a growing positive contribution to production in the six years after graduation, with associated wage growth.
There is variation in relative productivity and wages across groups of graduates that differ by field of study and level of qualification.
BNZ parent National Australia Bank is major force in introducing Islamic banking
Rugbyman Sonny Williams made it clear that he was no longer going to prance around pitches attired in kit promoting usury.
Rugby officials instantly kicked for touch. They heaped upon themselves sackcloth and ashes.
All Black branding sponsor Bank of New Zealand kept quiet.
It might have been viewed though as another publicity opportunity.
BNZ parent National Australia Bank is a major force in opening up Australasia to Islamic investors from the Gulf and Southeast Asia that seek to adhere to religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling.
If the BNZ had applied islamic banking principles in taking a share of ownership in the assets in which it had invested its clients’ money, it might still be owned in New Zealand.
Instead it charged interest on its loans. This was reinforced by seeking to impose penalties when the borrowers failed to pay their interest.
Interest and penalties are both taboo under islamic financing.
Islamic banking turns on joint risk-sharing as opposed to risk-transfer, which islamics describe as usury.
Islamic mortgages centre on the bank taking the responsibility of purchasing a property and then re-selling it to the buyer. This arrangement enables the buyer to repay the bank in installments in which process the bank receives also its profit.
This arrangement is designed to ensure that the bank takes its share of the risk, in this case owning the building, and recovering its profit, the installment payments, while shouldering its continued share of the risk.
The point being that at no stage is interest (usury) levied.
Nobody gets paid for renting out money. Islamic banking embraces risk-sharing as opposed to risk-transfer.
Islamic banking principles though continue to underpin Occidental merchant banking in which the bank takes on the risk of a venture by taking on ownership.
Money as money must not be used to make more money.
So why did islamic financing become sidelined by the Western model which centres on the diametric opposite practice of using money to make money via the charging of interest?
The problem was that the degree of concensus required to arrive at a common valuation of the asset to be financed and thus the proportion of risk involved began to become increasingly cumbersome in the face of the standardised model developed in the Occident.
In Europe charging a cut and dried level of interest regardless of the success of the asset or otherwise became so much easier to implement.
Curiously, the other two Abrahamist/book religions, Judaism and Christianity, have at one stage or another shaken from their shoes the dust of usury and tested instead the risk-balancing islamic system..
But the standardisation of administration and thus the efficiency inherent in the Western technique in the end compensated for its own drawback in which the advantages are seen to be weighted in favour of the lender, the bank.
It is said that Williams was converted in the French port of Toulon nearly 10 years ago while he was a local team member.
Toulon’s cathedral was once a mosque.
Pressure will now be being brought onto the athlete to lead by example.
The issue has so far been viewed exclusively in moral and/or sports gear outfitting terms.
It should also be seen, as perhaps Williams intends, as the start of a wider evaluation of islamic finance.
One such source of interest might be from those who have enlisted in class actions against banks over the bank infliction on them of penalties.
Islamic finance principals hold that penalties may not be levied.
Instead failures to perform to the original agreement require that donations be made to charities – and not to the bank.
| From The MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Friday 14 April 2017 |||
Renting turned out to be as dangerous for production engineers as for families.
The putting into financial play in the late 1980s of the nation’s castings, forgings and machining engineers had the effect of stripping out their ownership of their own sites and thus leaving them prey to the real estate sector and its exorbitant demands.
New Zealand’s short lease regime and even shorter rent review periods effectively threw the nation’s medium to heavy production engineers into the hands of the non-productive property sector.
This bitter harvest coincided with the disappearance from New Zealand of its merchant banking capability. There is no merchant finance capability now in the accepted risk participation-ownership sense.
The fact that the engineers had been stripped of their site ownership meant that they had to turn now to the Australian commercial banks with their reluctance to lend on anything that was not backed by clear land title.
This did not become immediately obvious, however, partly because the tariff protection abolition that accompanied this boom-bust era took time to dismantle.
There was some good news too from Europe.
The events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall meant that Eastern Europe was identified as an important new market. Backed by the government, notably in the form of assistance from the New Zealand embassy in Moscow several engineering bi lateral trade deals were exploited within the old iron curtain.
Immediately after this there began the intensive trade with China.
This now allowed production engineers to start abandoning their sites, which they now did not own anyway, and focus on their design and brand work in New Zealand while farming out their production to Asia.
It was now though as the end of import restrictions began to finally melt away under accelerating globalisation that the remaining production engineers on leases began to feel the chill winds of change.
For the long established production engineers, the ones that had gone through the 80s property and credit bubble, and in the process had lost title to their yards and premises what had once been asset now became a big liability
Heavy engineers were historically positioned near to rail and ports and thus their now leased sites became attractive to the premium residential and leisure sector.
Which is what the property rotators had gambled on in the first place.
Another problem was and is that the once-forecast inland container depots never materialised in sufficient bulk to take the pressure off port land, the land that the engineers now leased and which became increasingly prone to lease rent hikes.
The engineer now became the industrial version of a fashionable restaurant. If they did badly- then they did badly. Should they do well- then their landlord was in for their share of the bounty, knowing too that if the tenant quit that there would be plenty of service sector takers for the site.
The point being that the speculators apportioned no value to the gantries, rolling beds, and other such fixtures other than scrap value
It is in borrowing though that the leased land problem is most evident for engineers. They cannot borrow on improved value. Machine tools of any value will be leased anyway, probably from UDC which, incidentally this year was sold to Chinese interests.
The tenancy position is not so critical for assemblers and process engineers who sell finished goods into retail with its accelerated turnover and thus returns based on measurable cash flow from consumers.
But for the heavy project engineering sector with its ever-extending payment times and attendant payment uncertainties the failure to possess the title to their own premises increasingly proved fatal.
Some lease booby trap fuses were longer than others. But in the end the results were the same. The sites leased out on a service sector rent level could no longer sustain their original purpose of production.
A curious difference between the New World and the Old World is that leasing and renting has never been accepted as an economic proposition in the new world.
We can see now that this applies as much to the industrial sector as it does to the residential sector.
This systematic undercutting of the nation’s productive capacity was widely applauded at the time by management theoreticians whose slogan was that production engineers among others should “stick to their knitting.”
In the event, and as we can now see, the loss of title to their own works meant that the engineers now became involved instead in the complex world of leases.
Especially and willy-nilly they found themselves in the sphere of the property management company with its attendant contract that ensures that whichever side wins or loses the possessor of the contract always comes out the winner.
Inquirers back off one step short of the Supercat Issuers
The arrival of Erin Brokovich (pictured) in Christchurch and her call for those at the wrong end of insurance compensation to “speak up” about the injustice of it all is a further reminder of the obscure role in the earthquake aftermath of the global re-insurers.
Among the most powerful forces force in reinsurance is Berkshire Hathaway. It is considered within the industry to be the leader in supercats which is the category of reinsurance involved in major disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake.
Berkshire Hathaway sells sell policies that insurance and reinsurance companies purchase in order to limit their losses when mega-catastrophes strike.
The company is therefore the major reinsurer of reinsurers.
Though Mr Buffett in New Zealand is frequently the subject of admiring, some might say, adulatory, media coverage the matter of his involvement in these supercats is ignored out of either ignorance or out of fear. Or both.
The matter has similarly been too complex for politicians to contemplate at least openly.
Hurricanes and earthquakes are the two primary factors in the probabilities of supercats.
It is said that Mr Buffett’s supercat exposure can weather at any given time the eventuality of the calculable risk of up to four such eventualities.
Supercat insurance shares with the rest of the insurance sector one quite literally priceless advantage. Payments are received prior to the issue of the policy. In other words, cash up front.
This payment-in-advance gives the industry its cash float which in the case of the supercat sector is immense.
Therefore the following questions need to be asked:-
1. Who are the Christchurch reinsurers?
2. Who reinsures them?
3. Are the ultimate reinsurers solvent?
4. If so why are they not compensating the Christchurch home owners?
Instead the various debates have circled around the role of the primary insurers, the known insurers.
Erin Brokovich, formerly a California legal clerk, and the centrepiece of the eponymous film that starred Julia Roberts is roving ambassador for an Australian-based legal compensation practice.
As an environmental advocate she transcends the routine geomantic abstract preoccupation with global warming/carbon levels and by her presence fixes it upon the unpleasantness of ordinary people in the face of ambitions of big business.
Can Miss Brokovich now force into the light the identities of the entity or entities that hold the supercats over Christchurch and who decline to pay out on them?
| FRom The MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Tuesday 11 April 2017 |||
The Reserve Bank today published an updated assessment of the money laundering and terrorism financing risks that face the financial sector.
Head of Prudential Supervision Toby Fiennes said: “The sector risk assessment is designed to help financial institutions to better understand their own exposure to money laundering and terrorist financing risks.”
The risk rating for the banking sector is in line with similar international assessments. It is rated high risk largely due to factors such as the wide accessibility and availability of banks, the global nature of some banking products, and the volume of transactions (including cash) that banks handle.
The Reserve Bank is responsible for supervising compliance by registered banks, non-bank deposit takers and life insurers with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AMLCFT Act), and requires supervised institutions to put processes and systems in place to manage risks that are identified.
“We expect that after reading the Sector Risk Assessment 2017, the institutions supervised by the Reserve Bank will update their own written risk assessments,” Mr Fiennes said
The banking sector continues to have a relatively high potential risk, because money launderers and terrorist financiers are more likely to target financial institutions in that sector, rather than targeting in other sectors.
“The bank sector risk rating hasn’t changed since the Reserve Bank’s last assessment, but more detail has been added about the different risks potentially experienced by New Zealand’s retail-focused banks compared with commercial and business banking or wholesale and institutional banking,” Mr Fiennes said.
The non-bank deposit taker sector is rated as having an overall ‘medium’ potential risk. In the 2017 update, more attention has been given to the money laundering and terrorist financing risks potentially experienced by New Zealand’s credit unions, which have a strong domestic customer focus. Credit Unions’ products and services are becoming more ‘bank like’ and, as a result, the credit union sector has been upgraded to a medium risk rating.
Overall, the life insurance sector has not changed greatly in terms of inherent money laundering and terrorist financing risk. It is rated low risk.
The assessment updates work previously published in 2011. The ratings don’t reflect on the financial stability of these sectors or the institutions within them, but provide an overview of the relative inherent risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. The assessment covers inherent risk and doesn’t take into account any work done by each financial institution to reduce its own individual risks.
$1.4b surplus in Crown Accounts to February. The Crown accounts for the eight months to 28 February posted a $1.4 billion operating surplus before gains and losses, $912 million better than expected at the half yearly update, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.
“Higher tax revenues and lower than forecast expenditure mean the OBEGAL surplus is better than expected,” Mr Joyce says.
Tax revenues from the last year are 3.8 per cent ahead of Budget 2016 expectations and 7.7 per cent ahead of the same period last year, with all categories of tax growing.
“The Government has collected $3.5 billion more in tax in the first eight months of this year compared to last year,” Mr Joyce says. “That’s one of the dividends the country obtains from a consistently growing economy that is responding to a strong economic plan.”
Core Crown expenses were $395 million below forecast.
The $1.4 billion OBEGAL surplus compares to Treasury’s Budget 2016 forecast of a $568 million surplus for the eight months to February at the start of the fiscal year.
“While, the expenses outturn will continue to move around a little, it is good to see the trend of growing tax revenues continue as we head into Budget 2017, Mr Joyce says.
“It’s also good to see us making progress on our debt target, with net debt currently at 23.5 per cent of GDP,” Mr Joyce says. “Reducing net debt to around 20 per cent of GDP by 2020/21 will improve the resilience of the New Zealand economy to future shocks.”