JUST IN: Norwegian Air appoints new CEO to lead restructuring @Reuters #AceFinanceDesk reports

“His extensive management experience from global companies, proven leadership skills, strong commercial consumer orientation and impressive track record of value creation will greatly benefit Norwegian as the company enters into a new phase,” board Chairman Niels Smedegaard said in a statement.
https://t.co/0KnsppWG3K https://t.co/Na4UQNu3XS http://twitter.com/ReutersBiz/status/1197107667879239682 November 20, 2019 at 11:01AM: #acefiinancenews

SEC: ‘ Announces Emergency Asset Freeze Over Company into Suspected Ponzi-Scheme ‘

#AceFinanceNews – SOUTH FLORIDA – September 18 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an emergency asset freeze against a company located in Turks and Caicos Islands in connection with its operation of a South Florida-based Ponzi scheme.


The SEC’s request for the emergency asset freeze against Abatement Corp. Holding Company Limited was granted in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida last week.

The SEC’s complaint alleged that Abatement Corp. and its now-deceased principal Joseph Laurer – who commonly used the name Dr. Josef V. Laurer – falsely promised investors safe, guaranteed returns while engaging in an offering fraud and Ponzi scheme from November 2004 until Laurer’s death on May 15, 2014.

The SEC’s complaint also names Laurer’s widow Brenda Davis and another Laurer-controlled company International Balanced Fund as relief defendants because they received investor funds.

Unknowing investors were led to believe that Abatement Corp. and Laurer were watching out for their financial best interests when, in fact, they were callously stealing their hard-earned money,” said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Laurer, through Abatement Corporation, raised more than $4.6 million from approximately 50 investors residing primarily in South Florida.

Laurer, who was a member of the City of Homestead’s General Employee Pension Board and president of the South Dade chapter of AARP, convinced investors to give him money through false claims that he would put their money into Abatement Corp.’s purported bond fund that invested in triple-A rated corporate and government bonds. Laurer also told investors that the fund would pay a guaranteed fixed return, with no risk to principal because of insurance from either or both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

The SEC alleges that by at least 2007, Laurer was operating a full-fledged Ponzi scheme and putting virtually no new investor money into securities, instead using investor funds to pay returns to investors, fund investor withdrawals, and pay personal expenses.

At the time of Laurer’s death, approximately $900,000 remained in Abatement Corp.’s bank account in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and another $82,000 remains in a domestic bank account held by International Balanced Fund.

The SEC further alleges that Laurer used investor funds for the benefit of his wife, including paying premiums with investor funds on a half million dollar life insurance policy she received upon his death.

The court order issued on September 12 temporarily freezes the assets of Abatement Corp. and International Balanced Fund and sets a hearing for September 22.

Davis agreed to a temporary freeze of certain assets of hers until November 6, pending a determination of the SEC’s claim against Davis for disgorgement.

If the SEC and Davis have not resolved the claims against her or agreed to an extension of the temporary asset freeze by October 22, then the court will hold a hearing on the SEC’s motion against Davis on October 24.

The SEC’s complaint charges Abatement Corp. with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5.

In addition to seeking an asset freeze, the SEC also seeks an order directing Abatement Corp. and the relief defendants to pay disgorgement with prejudgement interest and provide a sworn accounting of all proceeds received and an order directing repatriation of any funds held at any offshore bank or other financial institution not subject to the jurisdiction of the court.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Terence M. Tennant and Mark S. Dee under the supervision of Elisha L. Frank in the SEC’s Miami Regional Office.

They were assisted by Anson Kwong, Debra E. Williamson, George Franceschini, Nicholas A. Monaco and John C. Mattimore of the Miami office’s examination program. The SEC’s litigation is being led by Andrew Schiff.

The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Turks and Caicos Islands Financial Services Commission.



#acefiinancenews, #aarp, #abatement-corportion, #sec, #south-florida

BRUSSELS: Landmark Ruling Against Mastercard After 20-Years of Payment Fees ‘

#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – September 12 – Mastercard has lost its legal battle with the European Commission over payment fees following a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

Master Card loses 20 Year Battle over Payment Fees - 2014-09-11T115146Z_1_LYNXMPEA8A0JJ_RTROPTP_3_MASTERCARD_original

The verdict on Thursday (11 September) threw out the firm’s appeal against a commission decision dating back to 2007, in which the EU executive ordered Mastercard to repeal its cross-border card fees.

The fees – known as “multilateral interchange fees (MIFs)” – are paid between the banks of a retailer and customer every time someone pays for items by card. The fee is charged to the retailer’s bank who, in turn, normally factors it into the price paid by consumers.

At present, average fees range from around 0.2 percent in Denmark and the Netherlands, to over 1 percent in Germany, Hungary, and Poland, raking in around €6 billion per year to credit card giants across the bloc.

In its judgement, the EU court found that the fee structure could not be described as being “objectively necessary” as the system was “still capable of functioning without those fees.”

There was also an “absence of … appreciable objective advantages” to either retailers or consumers from the system.

The court ruling comes more than 20 years after the commission originally launched proceedings against Mastercard in 1992.

Antoine Colombini, the Commission competition spokesman, described the ruling as “a big win for European consumers who for too long have been paying unjustifiably hidden fees”.

Javier Perez, the president of Mastercard Europe said it would have “little or no impact on how MasterCard operates,” although he conceded that it was “disappointing”.

But the ruling was welcomed by consumer and retail groups.



#acefiinancenews, #brussels, #credit-card, #cross-border, #denmark, #european-commission, #european-court-of-justice, #germany, #hungary, #multi-interchangeable-feesmifs, #netherlands, #payment-fees, #poland

JAPAN: ‘ Cost of Dying Puts One Man Out of Business Making Tombstone’s ‘

#AceFinanceNews – JAPAN (Tokyo) – September 12 – Jianxing An can see he is in a dying business.

 An Jianxing, a 50 year old gravestone business owner and designer, closes the gate of his company showroom in Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo September 10, 2014.  CREDIT: REUTERS/YUYA SHINO

An Jianxing, a 50 year old gravestone business owner and designer, closes the gate of his company showroom in Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo September 10, 2014.

The gravestone designer, who takes pride in works featuring musical instruments and heavenly gates, says years of shrinking

sales are driving him to close up shop in Japan and move back to his native China.

“It hasn’t been easy running a Japanese company these 18 years and I want to keep it going,” An said at his spartan office in suburban Tokyo, where the computers had already been packed up. “But the Japanese market is in decline and I’ve decided to shut down my business here and return home.”

Japan’s aging society should be a boon for Chinese craftsmen, such as An, who dominate the tombstone trade. The number of deaths each year is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next quarter century.

But more Japanese are choosing to have their ashes scattered at sea or planted under a tree, as these options are cheaper than a gravestone, which is usually the last big splurge for many people at a time of intense caution over the economy.

About 40 percent of Japanese already have a spot waiting in an ancestral grave, a survey by a tombstone industry group shows, limiting the scope for potential sales.

At the same time, a fifth or more of Japanese would consider alternative, natural burials. Price is one concern.



#acefiinancenews, #ashes, #business, #china, #designer, #gravestones, #japan, #sales, #tokyo, #tombstones

‘ BRICS Could Consider World Development Bank With 43 Percent of the World’s Population and $4.4 Trillion in Currency Reserves ‘

#AceFinanceNews – The five countries known as the BRICS have 43 percent of the world’s population, $4.4 trillion in currency reserves, and generally healthier economic growth than Europe and the U.S.

​Yet to their frustration, Americans and Europeans still dominate policy-making at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Should the five—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—create their own development bank and crisis fund?

BRICS leaders, concluding a summit meeting in Durban, South Africa, today pronounced the idea “feasible and viable.”

They also made clear, however, that it won’t happen soon, as they failed to reach agreement on how such institutions would be financed and governed.


#acefiinancenews, #brics

` Gazprom Getting Ready to Sign 30 Year Gas Contract with China ‘

#AceFinanceNews – RUSSIA/CHINA – May 19  – Russia and China are set to sign a long-awaited 30-year gas contract during a two-day meeting, when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Shanghai on May 20-21.


Gazprom, Russia’s largest natural gas producer, and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are set to sign a gas deal that will send 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year eastward to China’s burgeoning economy, starting in 2018.

The timing is almost flawless as Russia is looking to shield itself from Western sanctions by pivoting towards Asia, and China desperately needs to switch from dirty coal to more environmentally friendly natural gas.

“The arrangements on export of Russian natural gas to China have nearly been finalized. Their implementation will help Russia to diversify pipeline routes for natural gas supply, and our Chinese partners to alleviate the concerns related to energy deficit and environmental security through the use of ‘clean’ fuel,” President Vladimir Putin said.

The deal has been on the table for over 10 years, as Moscow and Beijing have negotiated back and forth over price, the gas pipeline route, and possible Chinese stakes in Russian projects. The gas price is expected to be agreed at between $350-400 per thousand cubic meters.

The deal has been on the table for over 10 years, as Moscow and Beijing have negotiated back and forth over price, the gas pipeline route, and possible Chinese stakes in Russian projects.

The gas price is expected to be agreed at between $350-400 per thousand cubic meters.

” Of course Russia wants to sell gas and resources at the highest possible prices. But because of the sanctions from European partners, we need to find a partner that can buy our gas long-term, which is why at the moment China looks very attractive to us,” Aleksandr Prosviryakov, a partner at Lakeshore International, a Moscow-based asset management firm, told RT at a Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) in Moscow ahead of the big meeting on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Gazprom chief Aleksey Miller sat down with his CNPC counterpart, Zhou Jiping, in Beijing to discuss final details, including price formulas.



But the sticking point is how to finish the pipeline from Russia to China.

Currently there is one complete gas pipeline that runs throughout Russia to the Chinese border, “Siberian Power” which Gazprom broke ground on in 2007, three years after Gazprom and CNPC signed a strategic cooperation agreement in 2004.

The pipeline stretches across Russia’s Far East and after extension to China, it will deliver gas to the country’s populous north, near Beijing.

“Now is the time for Russia to compromise a little bit so that they can lessen their dependence on Western Europe as a buyer of Russian gas. Diversification is a strategy for Russia to have good long-term business relationships with both Europe and China,” Benedicto Yujuico, president of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told RT at an Asian business gathering in Moscow on Wednesday. 


A record amount of agreements are expected to be signed at the working meeting between Russia and China. Already 30 out of the 43 prepared agreements are expected to be inked, according to presidential aide Yury Ushakov, as reported by RIA Novosti. 






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#acefiinancenews, #afn2014, #beijing, #china, #china-national-petroleum-corporation, #gazprom, #moscow, #russia, #shanghai, #vladimir-putin

“Four Latin Countries have`Signed a Treaty to Eliminate Tariffs’ on 92 Percent of Goods & Services”

#AceFinanceNews says “Four Latin American Countries’ have agreed an $85 billion `Free-Trade-Deal”

Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico have signed a treaty to eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of goods and services. The Pacific Alliance is free trade area of some 210 million people, accounting for more than a third of all Latin American and Caribbean GDP.

Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico have signed a treatyThe move is a big step towards strengthening the countries’ position alongside the strong neighbouring trade pactMercosur which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

This translates into more investment, more competitiveness and as a consequence, more employment, and good quality employment. This is the fundamental purpose of this whole exercise,” the Wall Street Journal quotes Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos.

Morgan Stanley estimates an average 4.25 percent growth for the new alliance this year, or about $85 billion. At the same time many economists forecast a shrinking Venezuelan economy, weak 2 percent growth for Brazil, along with Argentina falling into recession.

Besides establishing strong economic connections, the deal will also create a fund to finance infrastructure investment and a medicines price monitoring and leverage system.

The Pacific Alliance, founded in June 2012, has set a vital goal to increase trade with fast-growing Asian nations.

Accounting for 50 percent of the population of Latin America the union is ready for further expansion. Costa Ricaapplied for membership at the VIII Summit of the Pacific Alliance. Panama and Guatemala have also expressed interest in becoming members.


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#acefiinancenews, #colombia, #costa-rica, #juan-manuel-santos, #latin-america, #morgan-stanley, #pacific-alliance, #wall-street-journal

#US : “Obama `Threatens French Firms’ over `Iran and Business Investment’

#AceFinanceNews says `Obama threatens French firms over Iran business’ according to Press TV – US President Barack Obama has threatened tough action against French companies looking for business opportunities n Iran amid hopes of an easing of sanctions imposed on Tehran.

François Hollande

François Hollande (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande in Washington on Tuesday, Obama said “Businesses may be exploring: ‘

Are there some possibilities to get in sooner rather than later if there is an actual agreement to be had?”

 “They do so at their own peril right now, because we will come down on them like a ton of bricks,” Obama threatened.

A 116-delegation of French businessmen travelled to Tehran from February 3 to 5 to explore trade opportunities in light of the prospect of sanctions relief on Iran following last month’s implementation of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers -Russia, China, France, Germany, the US and the UK.

Hollande acknowledged that he could not control travel by French firms, but noted that anti-Iran sanctions will remain in effect before a final deal is reached on Iran’s nuclear issue.

So companies just make their decisions when it comes to traveling, but I certainly let them know that sanctions were in force and would remain in force,” Hollande said.

The French delegates, which visited Iran, represented various sectors of its industry including its banking, telecommunications and shipping sectors.

France’s oil giant Total, oil and gas services provider Technip as well as GDF Suez voiced their readiness to invest in Iran as soon as sanctions are lifted.

Under a landmark deal with six world powers, Iran agreed to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities as a confidence-building measure, and the world powers undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief and release more than USD 4 billion of Tehran’s oil revenues.


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#acefiinancenews, #barack-obama, #france, #gdf-suez, #iran, #president, #tehran, #united-states

Canada Federal Budget 2014 by the numbers: Deficit goes down, revenue goes up

#AFN2014 says `Federal Budget by the Numbers’ #Canada2014

#acefiinancenews, #canada, #federal-budget-2014

Full text of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget speech in the House of Commons


#acefiinancenews, #jim-flaherty