‘ GERMANY PREPARES FOR BATTLE WITH ECB OVER PROPOSED QUANTITATIVE EASING MEASURES ‘

#AceFinanceNews – GERMANY:Dec.30: Germany set the scene for a bitter battle with the European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi, over emergency measures to revive the eurozone’s flaccid economy, as senior officials hardened their opposition to a full-scale money-printing programme.

The ECB is fighting to reflate a barely growing eurozone economy with inflation of just 0.3 per cent registered in November, but has so far stopped short of using central bank money to buy up sovereign debt – the so-called quantitative easing employed by the US, UK and Japan – due to fierce resistance from the inflation-wary Germans.

The central bank has cut interest rates to 0.05 per cent, launched a Funding for Lending-style credit scheme, and charged banks to hold deposits with the ECB to encourage credit growth, with limited success.

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BRITAIN: ‘ WINE INVESTMENT COMPANY DIRECTOR DISQUALIFIED OVER SALE OF WINES WITHOUT A LICENSE ‘

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN:Dec.30:Nicholas Lomax, a director of Wimbledon-based The Wine Shop UK (TWS) Ltd (“TWS”), a wine investment company has been disqualified as a director for 11 years for involving the company in a scheme to induce members of the public to invest in fine wines with no provision to supply the wine.

The investigation uncovered that between 15 April 2011 and 29 October 2012, the company ‘sold’ fine wines as an investment and provided receipts and confirmation of ownership documents to investors without actually purchasing the wines.

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MOSCOW: ‘ RUSSIAN OPPOSITION ACTIVIST NAVALNY RECEIVES 3.5-YEAR SUSPENDED SENTENCE ‘

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW:Dec.30: Russian opposition activist Aleksey Navalny has received a suspended 3.5 year sentence in an embezzlement case, a Moscow district court announced in an early verdict.

Navalny was accused of embezzling over $500,000 from cosmetics company Yves Roche.

These charges can merit a sentence of up to 10 years in prison says district court prosecutors.

Aleksey Navalny stood trial with his brother Oleg, who was facing an eight-year sentence. Oleg was also found guilty and received a sentence of 3.5 years in prison.

Both brothers were each fined 500,000 rubles (US $8,500) and together will have to pay out 4.4 million rubles ($76,000) to a company listed as one of those affected in the case.

The Navalnys’ lawyers have already appealed Oleg’s sentence.

#AFN2014

MOSCOW: ‘ RUSSIAN COURT AGREES DATE OF COURT HEARING ‘

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW:Dec.29: A Russian court has brought forward the date of its ruling in the trial of opposition activist Aleksey Navalny to December 30, Reuters quoted his lawyer as saying on Monday.

Navalny is accused of stealing 30 million rubles ($536,193), and prosecutors want him to be imprisoned for 10 years.

He denies any wrongdoing and has described ‘the Yves Rocher case’ as politically-motivated.

#ANS2014

WASHINGTON: ‘ CROMNIBUS SPENDING & FUNDING PROVISIONS BREAK-DOWN ‘

#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.29:The Senate over the weekend approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that included funding for the Defense Department. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk.

The bill provides most of the government, including the Pentagon, with funding through Sept. 30, and for the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 27. The vote was 56-40.

The bill provides a base budget of $490 billion to the Pentagon. According to the Associated Press, defence and foreign-policy-related provisions include:

  • $128 billion for the 1.3 million active-duty troops, and 820,800 reserves
  • $162 billion for operations and maintenance
  • $92 billion for new weapons systems, including 38 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
  • A 1 percent pay raise for troops and civilian Pentagon employees in fiscal 2015
  • Scaling back the housing stipend by 1 percent
  • $25 million to provide more legal help to military sexual assault victims

The bill would also give the Veterans Affairs Department $160 billion, according to the Military Times, including:

  • $4.2 billion for programs to specifically aid Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans
  • $4.6 billion for female veterans
  • $7.4 billion to combat homelessness among veterans

The bill provides $73.7 billion for overseas military operations and diplomatic efforts by the State Department to combat terrorism, including:

  • $3.4 billion for U.S. operations in Iraq against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
  • $1.6 billion to train and equip the Iraqi military
  • $4.1 billion for the Afghan military.

The bill also provides $5.4 billion towards efforts to fight Ebola in the U.S. and abroad, including:

  • $2.5 billion to help African countries
  • $2.7 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services
  • $1.2 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention efforts in West Africa and to strengthen public health systems in at-risk countries.

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USA: ‘ VICTIMS OF MADOFF PONZI SCHEME WILL GET FRESH $322 MILLION PAY-OUT IF US JUDGE APPROVES ‘

#AceFinanceNews – USA:Dec.29: Victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme will get afresh $322 million payout if a U.S. judge approves the request by the trustee liquidating the convicted fraudster’s firm, bringing the recovery total to more than $7 billion.

The trustee, Irving Picard, said on Monday he would seek permission from a U.S. bankruptcy judge in New York to begin the fifth interim distribution of payments, which would average $299,900 and range from just under $400 to more than $60 million.

The announcement came five weeks after Picard said he had reached three settlements with various defendants, totalling more than $642 million.

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USA: ‘ US CREDIT REGULATOR SUES WELLS FARGO OVER FAILING TO FULFIL THEIR ROLE AS TRUSTEES ‘

#AceFinanceNews – USA:Dec.29:The U.S. credit union regulator sued Wells Fargo & Co Tuesday, saying the bank failed to fulfil its duties as a trustee for certain residential mortgage-backed securities trusts that soured and brought down five credit unions.
The lawsuit, filed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in a federal court in Manhattan, seeks a jury trial, damages and full compensation for legal costs associated with the case.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The NCUA said it is bringing the case after five credit unions bought about $2.5 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities issued from trusts between 2004 and 2007.

Those underlying loans soured, as borrowers began to default on their mortgage payments and lost their homes to foreclosure. The losses on these investments, the NCUA said, eventually led those five credit unions to fail.

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GREECE: ‘ PEOPLE FACE AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE AS LAWMAKERS FAIL TO ELECT NEW PRESIDENT ‘

#AceFinanceNews – GREECE:Dec.29:Europe’s financial markets returned from their Christmas break in a cautious mood on Monday, as Greece’s parliament prepared for a final round of presidential voting, which if unsuccessful, will fuel worries about its future in the euro…..Reuters reported. Sometime later news came that Greek lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a final round of voting on Monday, leaves the country now facing an early election that could derail the international bailout program, as it needs to keep paying its bills.

Should they not resolve this issue – it could be lights out in Athens and Greek people facing a bleak future, yet again.

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WASHINGTON: ‘ CONGRESS FAILS TO REAUTHORISE TERRORIST RISK INSURANCE TO 2015 ‘

#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.28:Recently another change took place in Congress took major commercial insurers, and lenders, serving the real estate, tourism, and construction sectors by surprise when Congress’s failed to reauthorize the federal government’s terrorism insurance backstop,or at least extend it into 2015.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act(TRIA) was established in November 2002 as a federal backstop to protect insurers in the event an act of terrorism results in losses above $100 million.

It has been extended and reauthorized twice. The insurance industry had hoped that TRIA would be renewed for another six years. The bill — the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 — was passed by the House, but Senate Republicans and Democrats remained in disagreement through the end of the legislative session.

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MOSCOW: ‘ ALEXIS MILLER SAYS YAMAL IS FUTURE OF RUSSIAN GAS INDUSTRY ‘

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW:Dec.27:A new gas facility (GP-1) was commissioned on Dec.22 2014 at the Bovanenkovskoye field.

Taking part in the commissioning ceremony were Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Dmitry Kobylkin, Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, heads of the Company’s structural units, subsidiaries and contracting agencies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commanded to put on-stream the gas facility.

New gas facility (GP-1) commissioned at Bovanenkovskoye field

Construction of new gas facility GP-1

Enlarged photo (JPG, 473 KB)

Gazprom gradually builds up its production capacities in the Bovanenkovskoye field and develops the Cenomanian-Aptian deposits. The annual design capacity of the new gas facility (GP-1) is 30 billion cubic meters.

As a comparison, it is more than the Company will be producing from the Chayandinskoye field, the largest one in Yakutia.Earlier in 2012, the first gas facility (GP-2, 60 billion cubic meters) was launched at the Bovanenkovskoye field. A total of three gas facilities with 115 billion cubic meters in annual capacity will operate in the Cenomanian-Aptian deposits.

Celebrations held at Bovanenkovskoye field on occasion of bringing onstream new gas facility No. 1

Well cluster No. 52 of gas facility No. 1 at Bovanenkovskoye field

Enlarged photo (JPG, 12 MB)

Innovation technologies and engineering solutions were applied while building the new gas facility. In particular, the single technical infrastructure is used for extracting gas from productive deposits at different depths – Cenomanian (520 to 700 meters) and Aptian-Albian ones (1,200 to 2,000 meters).

It saves construction expenditures and increases field productivity.

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