Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

Posts Tagged ‘increase’

Ross University School of Medicine and Saint Peter’s University Partner to Increase Physician Diversity

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 agosto 2019

Hispanics comprise 18 percent1 of the U.S. population yet are only 5 percent2 of U.S. physicians. In an effort to drive diversity in the physician workforce, Saint Peter’s University and Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) announced an agreement to help more Hispanics attend medical school. The agreement, signed today at Saint Peter’s campus, creates an educational pathway program for Saint Peter’s graduates to study medicine at RUSM. Qualified Saint Peter’s students who earn full acceptance into the medical school will receive a scholarship for first semester tuition at the RUSM campus in Barbados.
As an HSI, Saint Peter’s has been consistently recognized for its commitment to serving Latino students. In 2016, Saint Peter’s was awarded the Title III HSI STEM grant for $3.8 million to support SURGE (STEM Undergraduate Retention, Graduation, and Empowerment) that provides opportunities for research. In 2018 Saint Peter’s also received the National Science Foundation’s first-ever Hispanic serving grant for $1.5 million to build STEM internship experiences. Most recently Saint Peter’s was selected as one of 20 nationwide finalists to receive a Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit organization that seeks to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.
RUSM is an International Member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. RUSM has also announced four similar agreements with minority serving institutions over the past year, including: Charles R. Drew University, Dillard University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Tuskegee University. As part of its continued commitment to addressing diversity, RUSM’s parent company, Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), signed on to the HBCU Partnership Challenge created by the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, pledging to invest in creating strategic collaborations with HBCUs and working to increase diversity in key workforce sectors.Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, RUSM’s 14,000-plus diverse alumni practice medicine throughout North America and across all specialties, including a high percentage of graduates who enter the in-demand field of primary care. More than a quarter of RUSM students identify as black or Hispanic, with RUSM earning a 96 percent USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate in 2018. RUSM also achieved a 92 percent residency attainment rate for first-time-eligible 2018-2019 graduates, and of the 647 RUSM medical students who attained residency in March of 2019, 82 were black and 61 were Hispanic.

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Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! Partner to Increase Play Opportunities for Black Mountain Kids

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 9 ottobre 2018

The Black Mountain community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at Black Mountain Primary. In just six hours, more than 200 volunteers from Foresters Financial™, the YMCA of Western North Carolina, Buncombe County Schools and the national non-profit KaBOOM! created the new playspace, which will serve more than 1,800 children and their families in the local community for years to come.The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event held August when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters Financial to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.
Since 2006, Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! have built 150 beautiful playspaces across 86 cities in 31 states and provinces throughout North America. Thanks to the hard work of over 9,900 Foresters members, sales partners and guests for the last eleven years, we are positively impacting the lives of more than 5 million children by providing them with access to play. Through each new playground, families are better able to spend quality time together right in their own neighborhoods, playing alongside Foresters members and community partners.
Play is the business of childhood and is essential to the physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of every kid. It’s how kids build strong muscles and healthy bodies; it’s how they learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity; it’s how they make friends and build strong bonds with adults. Play is critical to a kid’s ability to thrive.
Foresters Financial is a KaBOOM! Founding Partner and National Partner. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the balance and active play they need to thrive.

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Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! Partner to Increase Play Opportunities for Chicago Kids

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 luglio 2018

The Chicago community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at Nixon Elementary School. In just six hours, more than 200 volunteers from Foresters Financial™, Nixon Elementary School, Hermosa Neighborhood Association, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) and the national non-profit KaBOOM! created the new playspace, which will serve more than 900 children and their families in the local community for years to come.”For over 140 years Foresters Financial has focused on our Purpose, which is to help families and strengthen communities,” said Jim Boyle, President and CEO, Foresters Financial. “In 2018 we are excited to complete our 150th playground build with KaBOOM!. This partnership creates safe play areas where families can spend quality time together while developing young bodies and minds. We know the Chicago community will use this playground for many years to come.”The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event held in March when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters Financial to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.Since 2006, Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! have built 147 beautiful playspaces across 86 cities in 31 states and provinces throughout North America and by the end of 2018, Foresters Financial will have funded more than 150 playgrounds. Thanks to the hard work of over 9,900 Foresters members, sales partners and guests for the last eleven years, we are positively impacting the lives of more than 5 million children by providing them with access to play. Through each new playground, families are better able to spend quality time together right in their own neighborhoods, playing alongside Foresters members and community partners.Play is the business of childhood and is essential to the physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of every kid. It’s how kids build strong muscles and healthy bodies; it’s how they learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity; it’s how they make friends and build strong bonds with adults. Play is critical to a kid’s ability to thrive.Foresters Financial is a KaBOOM! Founding Partner and National Partner. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the balance and active play they need to thrive.

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Obesity needs urgent action warns research organisation

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 maggio 2016

bruxelles (1). The leading organisation responsible for research into obesity in Europe has warned that unless something is quickly done to tackle the region’s rising obesity epidemic, it is going to have a devastating effect on healthcare costs and productivity.The warning, from the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), comes in the wake of several reports showing that obesity and overweightness continue to increase at an alarming rate and will affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030. In some countries it may be as high as 90%.EASO, and its member associations in 32 countries in Europe, will be staging various events to draw attention to the situation and to create greater awareness and understanding of obesity as part of the activities for European Obesity Day this Saturday (21 May).According to World Health Organisation, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries in Europe since the 1980s.It is now costing European countries more than €70 billion in healthcare and lost productivity.
Two reports in the medical journal, the Lancet[i], have also highlighted the sheer magnitude of the global obesity epidemic and have highlighted a huge rise in type 2 diabetes as a result.
Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer, are among a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are all a greater risk to people with excess weight.
European Obesity Day is organised annually by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) to bring people together and to increase knowledge about obesity and the many other diseases on which it impacts.Other major disease organisations, including those related to Cancer, Diabetes, cardiovascular, hypertension, diet and liver disease are also taking part to highlight the dangers that overweight and obesity causes to those diseases too.As well as events on the day itself, many of the EASO National Associations have also been organising various initiatives over recent weeks.These have included public awareness campaigns throughout France and Spain; lectures on the importance of fresh food and vegetables for school children and symposia in medical universities in Bulgaria; public events to measure key health indicators in Bratislava, Trnava and Kosice in Slovakia; Presentations and discussions in the Parliament and at regional level in Italy; and numerous obesity advice initiatives with the media around Europe.In line with the theme for European Obesity Day 2016, Action for a Healthier Future, people across all EU member states are being encouraged to participate.
At a European level, EASO has expressed its support for a Written Declaration that has been initiated in the European Parliament. It calls for greater recognition of obesity as a disease by EU Member States.“Obesity is a complex and chronic disease with numerous causes, many of which are beyond an individual’s control,” says EASO President, Professor Hermann Toplak. “The causes can range from genetic and endocrine conditions to environmental factors, such as stress, diet and increasingly sedentary working patterns.
“A healthier lifestyle, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help maintain a normal weight. However, obesity is a chronic disease and should be recognised and treated as such. Accepting and supporting people with obesity will help them seek the help and treatment they need,” he said.

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WEST: Delivering payment solutions to the health care sector in South Africa

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 18 maggio 2016

South AfricaWest International and V-Switch Ltd have signed an agreement for the delivery of a card payment solution for the growing health care sector in South Africa. The deal marks a substantial increase in West’s presence on the South African market. South Africa represents a vital growth market on the African continent. The installed base of card payment terminals amounts to some 250 000. This figure is expected to increase rapidly and reach one million within the next coming years. West is already established as a supplier of card payment terminals to South Africa’s largest bank, ABSA Bank.V-Switch is a supplier of financial services within The Net 1 Health Program, a private South African health care program. It targets millions of uncovered individuals and their families with low cost medical, wellness and lifestyle benefit options. Within the program, V-Switch acts both as a card issuer to members as well as providing the card payment infrastructure to the health care providers. Acquiring bank supporting the Net 1 Health Program will be Standard Bank, who alongside ABSA is the second leading bank in South Africa.In the pilot phase of the program, V-Switch will provide its card payment services to 1 500 care providers handling 15 000 individuals. The market potential of the Net 1 Health Program is more than 40 000 health care providers whom all need this payment solution. V-Switch expects to reach 10% of this market during the first year of service. In addition, V-Switch is active in several other African countries, e.g. Nigeria, Kenya and Mauritius and aim to deliver the card payment solution to similar health care programs in these countries as well.“We now open a new chapter in West’s history. I am very proud to start this partnership with South Africa’s leading supplier of financial services within the health care sector. The deal will have significant impact on West’s continued international expansion and growth”, says Sten Karlsson, CEO of West International.”We are very excited about partnering with West in Africa. Their technology will definitely give V-Switch the edge in a number of industries across Africa in the next 12 months”, says Dr Johan Bosch, CTO of V-Switch Pty Ltd.The companies have signed a four-year agreement. At signing, West has received a first pilot order amounting to USD 320 000. Required certifications are expected to be completed around the year end when the deliveries will commence.

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Catella AB – Interim Report January-March 2016

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 10 maggio 2016

catellaAssets under management totalled SEK 135.7 Bn at the end of the quarter. This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 3%. Transaction activity was in line with last year. Catella’s income increased by 10% in the first quarter year-on-year, to SEK 462 M. Consolidated operating profit was SEK 62 M, SEK 13 M up on the previous year.
First quarter The Group
Total income SEK 462 M (419)
Net sales SEK 450 M (413)
Operating profit/loss SEK 62 M (49)
Profit/loss before tax SEK 75 M (52)
Profit after tax SEK 55 M (43), of which attributable to parent company owners SEK 17 M (35)
Earnings per share SEK 0.21 (0.43)
Equity SEK 1,486 M (1,248)
Equity per share SEK 16.28 (14.08)
Corporate Finance
Total income SEK 80 M (87)
Net sales SEK 73 M (86)
Operating profit/loss SEK -12 M (-15)
Property transaction volumes of SEK 6.2 Bn (6.7):
– Sweden SEK 3.2 Bn (2.4)
– France SEK 1.5 Bn (2.8)
– Germany SEK 0.4 Bn (0.6)
Asset Management and Banking
Total income SEK 386 M (334)
Net sales SEK 379 M (329)
Operating profit/loss* SEK 83 M (72)
Assets under management SEK 135.7 Bn (131.2)
– decrease of SEK 2.6 Bn (+8.8)
– of which net outflows SEK 1.2 Bn (+4.3)
“Assets under management totalled SEK 135.7 Bn at the end of the quarter. This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 3%. Transaction activity was in line with last year. Catella’s income increased by 10% in the first quarter year-on-year, to SEK 462 M. Consolidated operating profit was SEK 62 M, SEK 13 M up on the previous year”, says Knut Pedersen, Catella’s CEO and President.
The information in this Report is mandatory for Catella AB (publ) to publish in accordance with the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act and/or the Swedish Securities Markets Act. This information was submitted to the market for publication on 10 May 2016 at 7:00 a.m. (CET).

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January Home Sales Top Last Year’s Pace

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 25 febbraio 2016

denver-colorado-1DENVER January home sales were 6.3% higher than those one year ago, about the same year-over-year increase seen in December. At the same time, anticipated seasonal trends resulted in 31.7% fewer sales in January than December. Since January 2009, the average drop in sales from December was 27.6%. Over the last 12 months, the average year-over-year increase in sales has been 5.6% and only two months, November and October, did not rise above year-ago sales. The Median price of all homes sold in January was $200,714, or 6.7% higher than January 2015. The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many metros across the country, at a level that is 14.7% lower than one year ago. At the rate of home sales in January, the national Months Supply of inventory was 4.6, down from 5.2 one year ago. For this month’s housing report infographic, visit http://rem.ax/216Glx3. “While home sales in the month of January are usually a little slow, it’s nice to start the year with stronger sales than we saw last January. Mortgage interest rates remain about the same as one year ago and very close to historic lows. More reasonable price appreciation is giving current homeowners improved equity, while not significantly impacting affordability for buyers,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “Home valuations continue to rise as the economy strengthens and buyers find homeownership often cheaper than renting. The number of potential homebuyers outpaced sellers in some markets. On the other hand, some areas are more balanced, producing slower growth or even a slight decline in some months. It is important to remember that tepid growth is not necessarily a cause for concern, but rather a sign of a healthy and sustainable market,” added Bob Walters, Quicken Loans, Chief Economist.
In the 52 metro areas surveyed in January, the average number of home sales were 6.3% higher than one year ago, but were 31.7% lower than the previous month. January home sales are typically less than those in December and since January 2009, the average decrease has been 27.6%. January home sales appeared to be especially strong in the northeast, in places like Boston, Philadelphia, Trenton, Manchester and Burlington. In December, 38 of the 52 metro areas surveyed reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis with 13 experiencing double-digit increases: Trenton, NJ +31.3%, Burlington, VT +30.9%, Manchester, NH +27.0%, Boston, MA +22.1%, Philadelphia, PA +16.8%, and Minneapolis, MN +16.2%. The Median Sales Price for all homes sold in the month of January was $200,714, down 2.3% from December. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for 48 consecutive months, but January’s increase of 6.7% is less than the average of 7.6% for each month in 2015. A low inventory supply continues to pressure prices, although price increases have been moderating over the last few months. Among the 52 metro areas surveyed in January, 49 reported higher prices than last year, with 15 rising by double-digit percentages, including Tampa, FL +19.4%, Nashville, TN +16.1%, Trenton, NJ +15.2%, Orlando, FL +14.6%, Des Moines, IA +13.9% and Denver, CO +12.9%.
The average Days on Market for all homes sold in January was 71, up 4 days from the average in December, but 9 days lower than the average in January 2015. January becomes the 34th consecutive month with a Days on Market average of 80 or less. In the two markets with the lowest inventory supply, Denver and San Francisco, Days on Market was 40 and 36 respectively. Only four metro areas had a Days on Market average of 100 or greater; Burlington, VT 103, Des Moines, IA 105, Chicago, IL 107 and Augusta, ME with a 165-day average. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
The number of homes for sale in January was 5.0% lower than in December and 14.7% lower than in January 2015. The average year-over-year loss of inventory for each month in 2015 was 12.2%. Based on the rate of home sales in January, the Months Supply of Inventory of 4.6 was slightly lower than December’s 4.9, and was lower than the 5.2 average in January last year. A 6.0 Months Supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. Augusta, ME continued with the highest January supply at 12.7. Five metros had a supply of 2 months or less, including Denver, CO 1.2, San Francisco 1.4, Seattle 1.5, Portland, OR 1.7 and Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 2.0.
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 100,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of nearly 100 countries. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX, when measured by residential transaction sides.
RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX).
With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $150 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities.
For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit http://www.remax.com. For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit http://www.remax.com/newsroom.

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Miami Real Estate Sets Single-Family Home Sales Record in June

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 luglio 2015

miamiThe Miami real estate market recorded its highest number of single-family home sales of any month in history in June and is on pace to set another all-time annual sales record, according to a new report by the 36,000-member MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) and the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. The Miami market registered 1,390 single-family home sales in June, beating its previous record of 1,317 in June 2005.A total of 7,100 single-family homes were sold in Miami in the first six months of 2015, an 8.5-percent increase from the 6,543 properties sold in the first half of 2014. Single-family home sales are on pace to reach 14,600 transactions for all of 2015. The annual Miami record is 13,521 sales, established last year.Miami’s existing condominium market, which saw a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase in transactions in June, is also on pace for a banner year despite a rise in pre-construction condo sales. A total of 8,153 existing condos were sold in Miami in the first six months of 2015, which puts the market on pace for 16,030 transactions for all of 2015. That would rank as the third-most sales in Miami history behind the 16,409 sales in 2014 and the 17,142 closings in 2013.“The Miami real estate market continued its upward trend with a strong June,” said Christopher Zoller, a 27-year Miami-based Realtor and the 2015 Residential President of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS. “Not only did sales increase year-over-year for both single-family homes and existing condominiums, but median sales prices also rose. An improving jobs market, historic low mortgages rates, and Miami’s reputation as miami1a world-class global city continue to attract domestic and international home buyers who want to live, work, and play in one of America’s most dynamic areas.”Single-family home transactions jumped 8.6 percent year-over-year in June 2015, from 1,280 to 1,390. Existing condominium sales increased 4.5 percent, from 1,443 to 1,508. Combined, Miami-Dade County residential real estate sales rose 6.4 percent to 2,898 last month compared to 2,723 a year ago.Access to mortgage loans for existing condominium buyers remains limited. The lack of Federal Housing Administration loans for a large number of existing Miami condominium buildings is preventing further market strengthening. Of the 8,523 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, only 29 are approved for FHA loans, according to statistics released earlier this year from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA. Just .0034 percent of local condo buildings are approved for FHA loans. The U.S. average is 30 percent.“The MIAMI Association of REALTORS continues to work on various initiatives to increase the number of Federal Housing Association loans approved for our existing condo buyers,” said Danielle Blake, MIAMI’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Housing.Single-family home prices, which again increased in June, remain at affordable 2004 levels despite four years of consistent year-over-year increases. Condo prices also increased in June 2015, marking 48 months of growth in the last 49 months. The median sale price for single-family homes rose 14.9 percent, up to $280,000 in June 2015 from $243,700 in June 2014. The median sale price for condominiums increased 7.9 percent in June to $205,000 from $190,000 a year ago.Despite the increase in median prices, Miami’s residential properties remain more affordable than other world-class global cities, according to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients. NAR analyzed the cost of a 120-square meter condo in a number of foreign cities based on prices reported in the Global Property Guide and compared the prices against the median price of a condo in several major U.S. cities. A 120-square meter condo in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach cost $149,900 on average, according to NAR. The price for the same condo in London ($960,840), Hong Kong ($776,280), and New York ($1.6 million) were at least five times higher.
Miami single-family homes and condominiums continue to sell close to asking price, reflecting a strong consumer demand. The median number of days on the market for Miami single-family homes increased 4.9 percent to 43 days in June 2015 from 41 days in June 2014. The average percent of original list price received was 95.1 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percent from a year earlier.The median number of days on the market for condominiums sold in June 2015 was 59 days, a decrease of 3.3 percent from 61 days in June 2014. The average percent of original list price received was 93.4 percent, a 1.2 percent decrease.Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops increased 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million in June from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales are now at their highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million), have increased year-over-year for nine consecutive months and are 9.6 percent above a year ago (5.01 million).Statewide, closed sales of existing single-family homes statewide totaled 27,729 last month, up 19.6 percent over June 2014, according to Florida Realtors. Florida’s condominium market saw a 14.6 percent year-over-year increase with a total of 10,991 sales in June 2015.The national median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $236,400, which is 6.5 percent above June 2014 and surpasses the peak median sales price set in July 2006 ($230,400). June’s price increase also marks the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $203,500, up 10 percent from the previous year, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in June was $152,076, up 7.9 percent over the year-ago figure. Cash deals represented 50.4 percent of Miami’s total closed sales in June 2015, more than double the national average. Just 24 percent of all national housing sales are made in cash, according to NAR. Cash transactions represented 57.5 percent of total Miami deals in June 2014. Miami’s high percentage of cash sales continues to reflect South Florida’s historic ability to attract international home buyers, who tend to purchase properties in all cash.Condominiums comprise a large portion of Miami’s cash purchases as 64.4 percent of condo closings were made in cash in June compared to 35.3 percent of single-family home sales.Distressed property transactions declined in Miami due to fewer short sales and foreclosures. In June 2015, only 26.7 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 33.4 percent in June 2014.
Short sales and REOs accounted for 5.5 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively, of total Miami sales in June. Short sale transactions decreased 35.9 percent year-over-year while REOs decreased 7.3 percent. Nationally, distressed sales were 8 percent of sales in June, down from 11 percent a year ago.
Seller confidence continues to result in more properties being listed in Miami. Active listings at the end of June increased 3.8 percent year-over-year, from 17,089 to 17,740. Active listings remain about 60 percent below 2008 levels when sales bottomed. Inventory of single-family homes decreased 6.0 percent from 6,122 active listings last year to 5,754 last month. Condominium inventory increased 9.3 percent to 11,986 from 10,967 listings during the same period in 2014.At the current sales pace, there is a 4.9-month supply of Miami single-family homes, a decrease of 11.4 percent from 5.5 months in June 2014. There is a 8.9-month supply of condominium inventory, up from 7.8 months in June 2014, an increase of 14.2 percent. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months supply of inventory.New listings of Miami single-family homes increased 6.1 percent from 2,036 in June of last year to 2,161 last month. New listings of condominiums increased 5.0 percent to 2,815 last month, compared to 2,682 during the same time period in 2014.Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of June increased 0.9 percent to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, and is 0.4 percent higher than a year ago (2.29 million).).
Strong sales in the preconstruction condominium Miami market east of Interstate 95 continue to reflect significant demand for new properties, according to the latest available New Construction Market Status Report released by Cranespotters.com and MIAMI in May 2015.In the four years since 2011, 12 towers with 313 floors and 1,977 units have been completed in Miami-Dade County east of I-95 as of May 2015, according to Cranespotters.com and MIAMI. There are 75 towers with 1,644 floors and 9,399 units under construction in Miami east of I-95. About 71 towers with 1,731 floors and 11,130 units are planned, but have not begun development. There are also 57 towers with 1,472 floors and 9,024 units that have been proposed in Miami east of I-95.Overall in Miami-Dade County, developers have announced 215 towers with 5,160 floors and 31,530 units since 2011. Of the above projects in Miami-Dade:
▪103 projects with 119 towers comprising 17,199 units are currently selling.
▪71 percent of units have been sold.
▪The mean minimum price per square foot of these units is $949, compared to $952 last month.

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Albania: PM considers Energy sector a most important source of economic growth

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 13 aprile 2015

TiranaPrime Minister Edi Rama inaugurated the Albania Oil, Gas & Energy 2015 Summit on 17th-18th March at the Sheraton Tirana Hotel by giving the Welcome Address. HE stated that the energy sector is seen by the Government as one of the most important sources of economic growth of the country.Following his speech, Energy Minister Damian Gjiknuri announced that there are still 13 unexplored onshore and offshore oil blocks in Albania, which the Government aims to offer to private sector investors. He added that the Albanian Government will “ensure a transparent and competitive process to attract serious companies and investors that can afford exploration and production activities.” Albania aims to increase its extraction to two million tons and its domestically refined crude to 700,000 tons this year, the Energy Minister said.International Research Networks, Global Summits Organiser, was the host of this very high-level Summit with the exclusive attendance of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Republic of Albania, Edi Rama; the Minister of Energy and Industry of Albania, Damian Gjiknuri; and the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Arben Ahmetaj.The Summit attracted more than 200 delegates from international oil, gas and renewables companies, including current and potential operators in the country, as well as Government representatives and bodies. Amongst the companies in attendance were: Aggreko, AKBN, Albpetrol, Alma Petroli, Armo Refinery, Bankers Petroleum, BB Energy, BP, Dana Petroleum, Devoll Hydropower, Eagle LNG, Edison, Eni, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil, Gas Plus International, Hunt Oil, KUFPEC, Management Force Group, National Oilwell Varco, Noble Energy, OMV, Petrobras, Petromanas, Polyeco, Repsol, San Leon Energy, Shell, Sigal Uniqa Group Austria, Spectrum, Su-Yapi Engineering, Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Weatherford, and many more.During the first morning, major operator in Albania and Lead Sponsor of the event, Bankers Petroleum, represented by their General Manager and VP, Loni Cobo, presented on their operations and presence in Albania, stating that they are the firmest supporter of the Ministry’s plans and actions.The highlight of the event, announced by the Prime Minister, was the privatisation of Albpetrol, details of which were presented by Endri Puka, showing the high value and importance of Albpetrol.Another announcement was made by the main E&P consortium in Albania, composed by the event’s Platinum Sponsor, Petromanas, and Gala Dinner Sponsor, Shell. They declared that they will start drilling the third well in the Shpirag area within 2015, after the first two wells have confirmed oil reserves.TAP, Elite Speaking Sponsor, supported the event with a detailed presentation on the ins and outs of the most important pipeline for the region, by showing the roadmap to drive forward with important deadlines and strategic plans.
SOCAR, the Azeri gas giant, was also there to speak about their thoughts on the important Gas Master Plan to be implemented in order to set the grounds of an integrated gas infrastructure and market in Albania. The Summit has also provided the audience with the opportunity to discuss the new key role of Albania for Europe’s energy security.Additionally, a strong outlook on Albania’s developed refining sector, was given by the Summit’s Lunch Break Sponsor, ARMO Refinery’s representative Mr Christophe Darbord.So far, Albania’s energy security has been 100% dependent on hydropower energy, as Devoll illustrated with their presentation, however the Ministry will now take full advantage of Albania’s hydrocarbon production, and gasification of the country through TAP and Eagle LNG. They will diversify their resources.To do so, as the PM, Economy and Energy Ministers discussed, investment is needed, both from national majors as well as from foreign institutes or companies, either already familiar with Albania or new but willing to invest in the immense potential of the country.The two-day Summit also featured key presentations from Polyeco and Ernst & Young. At the same time, the several coffee breaks offered by Weatherford have fostered private business discussions in parallel with the main talks.Official Exhibitor Sponsors of the Summit included Aggreko, Management Force Group, NOV/FluidControl and Sigal Uniqa Group Austria.The event was also supported by the National Agency of Natural Resources of Albania (AKBN), Albania Energy Association, the Foreign Investors Association of Albania, the Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation & Conservation, Cedigaz, the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Albania, the German Association of Industry and Trade in Albania (DIHA) and the Albania International Chamber of Commerce. IRN donated a substantial amount of the Summit proceedings to its Charity Partner, Down Syndrome Albania.

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Miami Real Estate Market Continues Strong Performance in 4Q

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 febbraio 2015

Miami-skyline-for-wikipediaMiami the Miami real estate market continued to perform robustly in the fourth quarter due to renewed consumer confidence and increasing demand from both domestic and international buyers, according to the 36,000-member MIAMI Association of REALTORS (MIAMI) and the local Multiple Listing Service systems.The median sales price for single-family homes in Miami-Dade County increased to $246,140 in the fourth quarter, a 4.7 percent jump compared to the same period last year. The median sale price for condominiums increased 8.6 percent to $190,000 in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier. Miami-Dade County has now seen 12 consecutive quarters of growth for both single-family homes and condominiums.“We expect Miami home prices to continue to increase in 2015 but at a more moderate rate,” said Christopher Zoller, a 27-year Miami-based realtor and the 2015 Residential President of the MIAMI Association of Realtors. “Limited supply and strong demand for single-family homes is still reflective of a seller’s market. There is also strong demand for both new construction and existing condominiums, so we will continue to see price growth for residential properties in Miami-Dade.”Nationally, the median sales price of existing single-family homes was $208,700 in the fourth quarter, up 6.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national median sales price for condominiums was $203,300, a 3.3 percent increase over the previous year.The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in the fourth quarter was $180,000, up 5.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. The median sales price for condominiums in Florida was up 7.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year at $143,000.Compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the average sales prices for condominiums in Miami-Dade County increased 18.5 percent to $375,269. The average sales price for single-family homes decreased 2 percent to $394,095.Sales of single-family homes, which set an all-time record for all of 2014, increased 7.7 percent to 3,426, while condominiums decreased 3.3 percent to 3,981 compared with the same period in 2013.There were 7,407 homes and condos sold in Miami-Dade County during the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 1.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.“Much of the increase in single-family home sales activity is due to consumer confidence,” said Carlos Gutierrez, the principal Realtor of Gutierrez Group Miami Real Estate and the 2015 president-elect of MIAMI. “Many buyers who were staying on the sidelines are now buying. Huge gains in job growth and more solid economic indicators are resulting in more consumers returning to the housing market.”Nationally, total existing-home sales, including single family and condo, declined 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.07 million in the fourth quarter from 5.12 million in the third quarter, but are 2.6 percent higher than the 4.94 million pace during the fourth quarter 2013.Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 62,080 in the fourth quarter 2014, up 14.9 percent over the fourth quarter 2013 figure. Statewide closed sales totaled 26,070 during the fourth quarter 2014, up 4.8 percent compared to the same period last year.Home and condominium listings also increased in the fourth quarter of 2014. There were 5,716 new single-family home listings during the fourth quarter, a growth of 3 percent relative to the same period last year. New condominium listings increased by 4.2 percent from 7,585 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 7,907 in the fourth quarter of 2014.Fourth quarter active listings in Miami-Dade County totaled 17,695, representing an increase of 10.8 percent. This reflects the success of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS campaign to achieve a more balanced market between buyers and sellers.“The MIAMI Association of REALTORS is in constant contact with its members,” Gutierrez said. “It provides all of its members with market data and all the tools necessary to better serve clients.”At the current sales pace, the number of active listings represents 5.6 months of inventory for single-family homes and 8.4 for condominiums. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the months supply of inventory for condominiums increased 19.7 percent. The inventory for single-family homes decreased 0.2 percent compared to the same period from last year. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months of supply inventory.The median days on the market of single-family home listings during the fourth quarter was 45 days compared to 40 days during the same period last year, an increase of 12.5 percent. Similarly, the median days on the market for condominium listings were 58 days compared to 47 last year, an increase of 23.4 percent.

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New ‘CoCo’ bonds may worsen financial crisis situations

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

Technische Universität MünchenBanks are increasingly issuing ‘CoCo’ bonds to boost the levels of equity they hold. In a crisis situation, bondholders are forced to convert these bonds into a bank’s equity. To date, such bonds have been regarded only as a means of averting a crisis. A study by economists at Technische Universität München (TUM) and University of Bonn now shows that if such bonds are badly constructed, they worsen a crisis instead of stabilizing the banking system – because they incentivize a bank’s owners to worsen a bank’s situation themselves so as to leave bondholders out in the cold. One lesson that policymakers and financial regulators have drawn from the financial market crisis is that banks need to be backed by more equity. But banks have found it hard to increase their core capital positions – in other words, the equity available to them long-term. Since 2009, this has led European banks to increasingly deploy an instrument that allows them to convert debt into equity in times of need: contingent convertible bonds, also known as CoCo bonds. Banks issue these bonds at fixed interest rates – as is normal with corporate bonds. The special aspect of CoCo bonds is that if banks fall short of their predetermined core capital ratio levels – mostly 7 percent – the bonds are converted into the banks’ equity. In other words, bondholders are forced to convert their securities into the banks’ shares, or even waive their claims entirely. Banks use these instruments as it is generally easier for them to place them on the market than shares, and they also entail tax advantages. For investors, CoCo bonds are interesting because they offer higher interest rates than other corporate bonds. Policymakers and regulators welcome them because banks that are in financial difficulties ‘bail in’ their bond creditors, rather than resorting directly to taxpayers to bail them out. This has led various European states and the European Central Bank to recognize CoCo bonds as bank equity capital. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner concluded in 2010 that CoCo bonds could function as ‘shock absorbers’ in market upheavals.

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What multinational companies can learn from the Jesuits

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 20 novembre 2014

warwick01BOVCompanies looking to expand into a global operation could learn a thing or two from the Jesuits according to Jose Bento Da Silva who has dedicated years to researching the 500-year-old religious order.Dr Bento da Silva, Assistant Professor of Organisational Studies at Warwick Business School, believes the Jesuits are the original multinational organisation. Dr Bento da Silva suggests many of the lessons and materials taught across business schools today have also been utilised by the Jesuits, who have practiced such methods for nearly half a millennium. He argues the Jesuits are a truly multinational order, with no country of origin, and practices tailored across the globe to suit the varying cultures of the locations they are based in. Dr da Silva’s research into the Jesuit movement shows how its organisational structure, which remains almost unchanged in spite of how the order has grown to encompass almost 200,000 members, can still be considered a perfect template for others to imitate. As demand for businesses to show a clean social conscience increase, Dr da Silva’s research on the Jesuits could be far reaching, with the Jesuit order a perfect example of an organisation that conducts business across the globe in a very ethical way. Read more about how the Jesuits’ system has been implemented across six continents and 100 countries, and the lessons companies aspiring to globalise or put social conscience at the heart of their business can learn, online or in the latest edition of Core magazine, available now.
Warwick Business School, located in central England, is the largest department of the University of Warwick and the UK’s fastest rising business school according the Financial Times. WBS is triple-accredited by the leading global business education associations and was the first in the UK to attain this accreditation. Offering the full portfolio of business education courses, from undergraduate through to MBAs, and with a strong Doctoral Programme, WBS is the complete business school. Students at WBS currently number around 6,500, and come from 125 countries. Just under half of faculty are non-UK, or have worked abroad. WBS Dean, Professor Mark P Taylor, is among the most highly-cited scholars in the world and was previously Managing Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

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Allergy and Asthma – double trouble

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 31 ottobre 2014

allergic reactionsZurich, Switzerland, Allergy is a public health problem of pandemic proportions that affects more than 150 million people in Europe. According to experts, 1 out of every 3 children has an allergy and they expect the disease to affect more than 50% of all Europeans in 10 years’ time.The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) has launched an awareness campaign (www.bewareofallergy.com) to help the society to better understand how allergy sufferers feel, how profound allergy impacts quality of life, how severe and costly the diseases can become and how important it is to diagnose early and better manage this disease. By focusing on education for allergy prevention, early diagnosis and correct management, EAACI hopes to help patients and their families to better control their allergy and improve their quality of life and to increase the resources allocated by the society to manage the allergy epidemic.The campaign will roll out through 2014-2015 and will highlight different types of allergies such as: asthma, food allergy and anaphylaxis, allergic rhinitis, allergen immunotherapy (AIT) and skin allergy. The first wave of the campaign focuses on asthma as a major allergic disease with the aim to increase awareness on how close allergy and asthma are linked.Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders; it affects 300 million patients around the world of all ages and is a serious challenge to public health. It affects profoundly the school and work performance of the patients.Asthma prevalence and impact are particularly on the rise in urbanized regions, associated with environmental and lifestyle changes. With a projected surge in the world’s urban population by 2025 it is estimated that a further 100 million people will suffer from asthma, adding to the number of current sufferers. This will represent the most prevalent chronic childhood disease and result in one of the highest causes of health care costs.The reasons behind asthma are not well understood, however people with allergic rhinitis, atopic eczema, food allergy and those who have asthma running in the family are at risk of developing asthma. This position is also supported by the European Commission: “In many people, asthma appears to be an allergic reaction to substances commonly breathed in through the air, such as animal dander, pollen, or dust mite and cockroach waste products”.There are several other arguments to support the relation between allergy and asthma:
many patients are aware of allergic triggers for their asthma (house dust mites, animal dander, molds)
atopic eczema is often the first sign that the child has an atopic phenotype and may develop rhinitis and asthma when they grow up childhood wheeze often develops into asthma if an allergic background is present. 75% of adults with asthma have allergic rhinitis 50% of people with allergic rhinitis have asthma treating rhinitis may improve asthma symptoms, especially cough You may have asthma if you experience recurrent episodes of coughing, wheezing (noisy breathing), breathlessness and chest tightness. The complaints may be triggered by colds, exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution and/or allergens such as house dust mites, grass pollens, animal dander, mold, etc. Because allergens are everywhere, it’s important that people with allergic asthma identify their triggers and learn how to prevent a crisis.Optimal asthma control is the goal of asthma management. Controlled asthma means no daily or nighttime symptoms, not missing school or work, good capacity to exercise and no asthma crisis leading you to the hospital. The important thing is to recognize and treat the disease.The majority of people with asthma can be controlled by environmental measures and asthma medications. Many good asthma treatments are available but the control of allergic triggers and associated allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, is an essential step in gaining asthma control. Testing for allergies is thus recommended to get your asthma under better control. Given the strong relation between atopy and asthma tolerance, induction to indoor allergens is a promising strategy for asthma prevention.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is a non-profit organisation active in the field of allergic and immunologic diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, eczema, occupational allergy, food and drug allergy, and anaphylaxis. EAACI was founded in 1956 in Florence and has become the largest medical association in Europe in the field of allergy and clinical immunology. It includes over 8,000 members from 121 countries, as well as 47 National Allergy Societies. (www.eaaci.org)

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Universities and university autonomy

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 aprile 2011

Around 450 university leaders and other higher education stakeholders gathered last week (13-15 April) at Aarhus University, Denmark for the EUA Annual Conference on the theme “Investing today in talent for tomorrow”. Europe’s future as a dynamic competitive global region will depend largely on its ability to increase the number of highly trained people within EU Member States and to attract others from abroad. The meeting in Aarhus highlighted that developing and nurturing more talented individuals is already central to the mission of European universities. One of the most striking developments in recent years in this respect has been the rapid development of doctoral (PhD) education within universities. The establishment of structured doctoral programmes and schools has rapidly become the norm in Europe. Other recent changes have also included improved university-industry partnerships and rapid internationalisation of universities. At the same time, universities face a number of challenges in developing talent – not least because of increasing global competition to attract and retain the best researchers and students. At a time when the EU is preparing priorities and budgets for the next financial period (2014-2020) the conference examined the elements that condition successful strategies for developing talent and will determine universities contribution to the EU2020 agenda for ‘Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth’ . Participants discussed different ways of embedding research from the undergraduate level onwards and underlined how engaging undergraduate students in research improves their overall educational experience and increases interest in pursuing research careers. They also analysed different ways of creating greater critical mass which makes it easier for universities to develop better career opportunities and structures for young researchers. As employers, universities themselves also play a crucial role in developing talent.  University leaders agreed, for example, that they will need to: improve support to young researchers in writing their first grant proposal, or through transversal skills development; provide clear recruitment and exit procedures; and do more to retain staff through a set of institutional benefits such as supplementary pension schemes, support for international mobility and competitive wages. They will also need to put in place the additional human resource (HR) management needed to support international recruitment. University rectors/presidents/vice-chancellors will also have to focus on mentoring and grooming the next generation of university leaders.

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Increase in November

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 dicembre 2010

Miami, FL – The sales of existing single-family homes in the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) increased 49 percent to 679 compared to November 2009 and 86 percent higher than they were in November 2008 according to the MIAMI Association of REALTORS and the Southeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (SEFMLS).  Sales of condominiums increased 98 percent to 1,039 compared to November 2009 and 237 percent compared to November 2008. The Miami real estate market experienced rising residential sales since August 2008, posting increases for 23 consecutive months.  Statewide sales increased 11 percent to 5,411 for condominiums and decreased 15 percent for single-family homes to 11,900.  Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops rose 5.6 percent from October but are 27.9 percent below November 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Short sales and foreclosures continue to have an impact on median and average sales prices for both single-family homes and condominiums especially in some areas of the county. In the Miami MSA, the median sales price of single-family homes in November decreased seven percent to $171,500 from a year earlier.  The median sales price of condominiums dropped 29 percent to $105,600. Statewide median sales prices decreased 16 percent to $88,200 for condominiums and five percent to $132,700 for single-family homes. Inventory Levels Continue to Drop
The inventory of residential listings in Miami-Dade County dropped 4.5 percent from 25,415 to 24,278 since December 2009, according to the SEFMLS. Compared to last month, the total inventory of homes dropped .05 percent. Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of November fell four percent from the previous month.
The MIAMI Association of REALTORS was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating its 90th year of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida.  Comprised of four organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward County Board of Governors, and the International Council, it represents more than 24,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage.  It is the largest local association in the National Association of Realtors, and has partnerships with more than 60 international organizations worldwide.  MIAMI’s official website is http://www.miamire.com.

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Dade Pending Home Sales Increase

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 3 dicembre 2010

Miami, FL – Total cumulative pending home sales – including single-family homes and condominiums – in Miami-Dade County increased 26 percent in November compared to a year earlier, from 8,288 to 10,495, and increased 2.3 percent, up from 10,264, compared to the previous month according to the MIAMI Association of REALTORS and the Southeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (SEFMLS).  November marks the fourth consecutive month of increased pending home sales in Miami-Dade County.Pending sales of condominiums in Miami-Dade County continue to perform stronger than that of single-family homes.  In November, condominium pending sales increased 38 percent compared to the previous year, from 4,414 to 6,094 and increased 3.68 percent, up from 5,878 the previous month.  Pending sales of single-family homes in November increased 14 percent from the previous year, from 3,874 to 4,401, and increased .34 percent from the previous month, when pending single-family home sales totaled 4,386.
Increased pending sales are an indication of increased future sales.  A sale is listed as pending when a contract is signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
The MIAMI Association of REALTORS was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating its 90th year of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida.  Comprised of four organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward County Board of Governors, and the International Council, it represents more than 24,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage.  It is the largest local association in the National Association of Realtors, and has partnerships with more than 60 international organizations worldwide.  MIAMI’s official website is http://www.miamire.com.

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British Private School Pupils Earn 30% More In Later Life

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 giugno 2009

Students who attended independent schools go on to obtain an average of 30% higher earnings than state school students, according to a study published today in Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society.  When compared against like for like family background, the gap is reduced to an increase of 20% in earnings. Most of this gap came from the achievement of higher qualifications.   For several decades 7-8% of children in Britain have been educated in private/independent schools. Yet, small though this proportion is, privately educated people have gone on, in adulthood, to occupy a much larger share of the prominent positions in public and private life.  This throws up several questions. Is this because of the background and connections of students whose families can afford this education?  Do private schools give more added-value, such as self-esteem and a wider view of the world through more extra-curricular activities? Is it the networking abilities and contacts which lead to increased earnings? The study looked at data from 10,000 British residents and compared them on earnings, schooling, qualifications, family background, age, and region lived in.  Whilst family background did have an impact on earnings, the main difference was in relation to the qualifications gained, implying that if the average person attending private school were to fail their exams, there would be no other benefits to fall back on. The study also compared the effect on earnings of attending a private school prior to 1960, and after.  The results showed that the estimated impact had increased over time.  “Given this finding, it seems that today’s pupils might expect to see even greater benefits,” added Green.

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Financial results of the first quarter of 2009

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 13 aprile 2009

Saudi Arabia, PRNewswire Al Rajhi Bank CEO, Mr. Abdullah Sulaiman Al Rajhi announced the financial results of the first quarter of 2009 where the Bank achieved SR 1,732 million in net profits compared to last year’s net profits which were at SR 1,424 representing an increase of 21.6%.Al Rajhi noted that the Bank continued developing its financial and investment resources where first quarter profits this year increased by 8.1% compared to the first quarter of 2008. Net income for investments in the first quarter reached SR 2,284 million compared to SR 2,030 during the same period last year representing an increase of 12.5%. Revenues for financial services during the same quarter reached SR 456 million and the total operational income jumped to SR 2,740 million compared to SR 2,485 during the same period last year representing an increase of 10.3%. Al Rajhi indicted that the Bank reinforced its financial position increasing shareholder rights to reach 26 billion compared to 24 billion last year, an increase of 6.6%. Total assets increased to SR 162 billion compared to SR 143 billion an increase of 13.4%. Customer deposits reached SR 120 billion compared to SR 101 billion an increase of 18.2%. The Bank achieved a return on assets of 4.2% while the return on shareholder rights reached 26.3%. Profits per share reached SR 1.15 compared to SR 1.07 last year. Al Rajhi Bank CEO attributed the increase in profits due to the diversification of the financing and investment portfolio especially for corporate customers which in return led to the increase in revenues by 12.5%during the first quarter.

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Millions with mental disorders

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 12 aprile 2009

In the developing world are deprived of necessary treatment and care WHO calls for urgent scaling up of services for mental disorders More than 75% of people suffering from mental disorders in the developing world receive no treatment or care. Across Africa for example, nine out of ten people suffering from epilepsy go untreated, unable to access simple and inexpensive anticonvulsant  drugs which cost less than US$5 a year per person. WHO is now calling on governments, donors and mental health stakeholders to rapidly increase funding and basic mental health services to close this huge treatment gap. The programme, Mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP): Scaling up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders asserts that with  proper care, psychosocial assistance and medication, tens of millions could be treated for diseases such as depression, schizophrenia, and epilepsy and begin to lead healthy lives– even where resources are scarce. The mhGAP focuses on the gap between what is needed to treat a range of priority disorders and what is actually available worldwide. In the majority of countries, less than 2% of health funds are spent on mental health. In any one year, one-third of people living with schizophrenia, more than half of those suffering from depression, and three-quarters of those with alcohol use disorders are unable to access simple and affordable treatment or care. Worldwide, every 40 seconds, one person dies of suicide that is one of the leading causes of death among young adults. Suicide is a condition that is preventable.  It does not have to be this way. In Chile, the national primary care programme now includes treatment of depression for all who need it bringing much needed care to hundreds of thousands of people. An epilepsy project in China which integrated a model of epilepsy control into local health systems achieved excellent results. This confirmed that epilepsy could be treated with an inexpensive anti-convulsant medicine by health professionals who had undergone basic training. The project which started in six provinces has now been extended to 15 provinces and tens of thousands of sufferers have been treated.  The extra cost to scale up services for mental disorders is not too large. A study conducted by WHO  showed that in low-income countries, scaling up a package of essential interventions for three mental disorders – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression – and for one risk factor – hazardous alcohol use – requires an additional investment as low as $US 0.20 per person per year. People with mental disorders are stigmatized and are subject to neglect and abuse. “The proper care of mental, neurological and substance use disorders should not only be evidence based but also value based,”  said Dr Benedetto Saraceno, Director of WHO’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department.. “We need to ensure that people with these disorders are not denied opportunities to contribute to social and economic life and that their human rights are protected.” The programme sets out a number of cost-effective strategies to tackle the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. These include: assessing countries needs and resources; developing sound mental health policy and legislation; and increasing human and financial resources. The programme relies on partnerships to scale up services with the objective of reducing the burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

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