Finally, spring is here. The sun is out. The pubs are open. The cars are . . . absolutely huge?
Seriously, did I shrink in lockdown, or did the vehicles get bigger? Amid London’s cherry blossom, the SUVs have taken over. They patrol the roads like an occupying army. Whose tanks are these? It’s the school run, not the Battle of Kursk.
According to a study by The New Weather Institute, the part of the UK with the highest proportion of SUV sales is Kensington and Chelsea. Seven of the top eight regions are around London; the other is the Cotswolds. Let’s face it: the only reason these cars go off-road is because they’re too big for the lanes. They bulge on to the pavements.
SUVs accounted for 38 per cent of new cars in the EU in 2019, up from 8 per cent a decade earlier, when oil prices were high. There were fewer than 50m of them worldwide in 2010; now there are more than 280m. They’re like a religion. Will no one rid us of these troublesome beasts?
SUVs do range from Land Rovers to so-called compact models. But they broadly have two problems. The first is emissions. Take the Volkswagen Tiguan, a medium SUV: it emits around 20 per cent more carbon dioxide per mile than a five-door Golf. Last year, the fuel saved by the rise of electric vehicles around the world was wholly cancelled out by the growth of SUVs, says the International Energy Agency.
Britons buy 17 SUVs for every battery electric car. As a result, the average car here has become less efficient since 2016, reversing years of progress. Only 3 per cent of SUVs sold worldwide are electric.
The second problem is size. The bigger the car, the more resources are needed to make it and the more wear and tear it inflicts on roads. And, though SUVs may make their occupants feel safe, they have the opposite effect on cyclists and pedestrians. Even driving a normal-sized car next to one, you feel like a seventies rugby player who has teleported into the professional era. So the answer isn’t just to make all SUVs electric. We want our cities back.
I’m not rigidly anti-car. I have a driving licence: when I first got it, I drove as badly as some SUV owners. Everyone uses a car sometimes.
But according to Jillian Anable, a professor at the University of Leeds, cars are 55 per cent bigger than in the 1970s. People are not, even after lockdown snacking, and nor are roads. In Kensington and Chelsea, and in Westminster, a fifth of new cars are now longer than the standard UK parking space.
The UK citizens’ climate assembly concluded that discouraging polluting cars was one of the most palatable ways of reducing vehicle emissions. If we can’t accept slightly smaller cars to stop climate meltdown, what will we do? Carmakers and politicians should act. Right now, SUVs pay the same vehicle excise duty as other petrol cars after their first year. Why? We should also charge them more for parking and permits. (Hammersmith & Fulham has recently taken a step towards this.)
The pandemic has given us a chance to reclaim outdoor space, with cafés spilling on to pavements. Why is so much of our cities dedicated to cars? In London, 44 per cent of households don’t own one. Imagine how much nicer our streets would be if some parking spaces were filled with benches and planters.
During lockdown I bought an electric cargo bike. It takes two kids on the back (or apparently one adult). It goes up steep hills. It doesn’t pollute my neighbours’ lungs. When I go to the shops, I don’t take 1.6 tonnes of metal with me.
Of course, I know my place. I see SUV drivers, riding high like colonial administrators on elephants. I doff my helmet as they pass. If only they would wind down their windows, I’d tell them the secret. My fellow city dwellers, you don’t need an SUV. You may not even need a car.
Indonesia’s B40 biodiesel plan faces new delay due to palm price
Indonesia’s plans to raise the mandatory bio-content in its palm oil-based biodiesel to 40per cent may face further delays, after the high price of the vegetable oil has made the programme too costly, a senior government official told Reuters.
Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter, has a mandatory biodiesel programme with 30per cent palm oil content, known as B30, but intends to expand the use of the oil for energy to save on fuel imports.
Authorities had planned to increase the mix to 40per cent in July this year, but the timetable for the B40 programme is now unclear.
“We don’t have a timeline yet for B40, although from the technical side, we’re ready,” Dadan Kusdiana, a director general at the energy ministry, said in an interview. He said implementing B40 in 2022 will be “challenging”.
Indonesia funds its biodiesel programme with proceeds from palm export levies.
However, authorities have revised levy rules three times since last year as they sought to support the biodiesel programme after prices soared, but without hurting exports.
Malaysian palm oil futures hit a record of 4,560 ringgit (US$1,089.35) a tonne on Aug. 12 and have been trading around 4,300 ringgit recently, about 60per cent higher than a year earlier.
Dadan said 45 trillion rupiah to 46 trillion rupiah (US$3.1 billion-US$3.2 billion) is needed this year to fund the difference between using regular diesel and the palm-based fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) for B30.
If prices stayed constant, mixing 40per cent FAME would require around 60 trillion rupiah (US$4.16 billion), he said, while noting adopting B40 would likely boost palm oil prices by shrinking global supply, making the programme even more expensive.
“That is what we’re considering, how capable are we in terms of the levies. We have to provide bigger financing, but it doesn’t have to come from higher levies,” Dadan said, without elaborating on alternatives.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) had already said in January it expected B40 to be delayed beyond 2022.
On the technical side, Dadan said the water and monoglyceride contents in FAME must be reduced for B40 to work, requiring new investment by biodiesel producers.
Although biodiesel promises lower emissions, the use of palm oil as a feedstock raises concern about deforestation in the clearance of land to grow it. The European Union is planning to phase it out as fuel for transport.
(US$1 = 14,425.0000 rupiah)
(US$1 = 4.1860 ringgit). REUTERS
Indonesia central bank anticipating risk of rising inflation in 2022: Governor
Indonesia’s central bank expected inflation to be within its target range of 2 per cent to 4 per cent in 2021 and 2022, but warned of potential price pressures next year, Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Wednesday (Aug 25).
“We need to anticipate a risk of rising inflation in 2022, in line with a rise in domestic demand and increasing global commodity prices,” he told a coordinating meeting on inflation management.
Indonesia’s annual inflation rate has stayed below BI’s target range since June of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic dampened domestic consumption.
July’s rate was 1.52 per cent. REUTERS
Dollar settles near 4-1/2 month highs as risk appetite cools
The dollar held near a 4-1/2 month high versus a basket of major currencies on Wednesday as simmering concerns about the global economy forced investors to seek safety in the greenback before the release of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting minutes.
Sterling and the commodity-exposed Australian and Canadian dollars all hovered near recent lows against the dollar as the broad market mood remained cautious. The dollar index held steady around 93.09, just below an early April high of 93.20 hit last week.
“The FX market is trading exactly as one would expect when growth worries are the dominant theme,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, a senior investment analyst at XM.
Even the New Zealand dollar, which briefly rose after the central bank set out a hawkish outlook for interest rates, swooned as a mild wave of risk aversion swept through markets.
The Kiwi was down 0.5per cent at US$0.6888 in London trading having risen earlier to US$0.6952 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said it would keep rates at 0.25per cent, after the country was put into a snap COVID-19 lockdown.
A monthly fund manager survey by investment bank BoFA Securities showed that investors flipped to a net overweight on the dollar for the first time in nearly a year.
That shift in positioning was evident in more high-frequency weekly data as well with hedge funds ramping up their net long bets on the greenback to the most since March 2020.
While the dollar failed to draw any sustained strength from Fed Chair’s Jerome Powell’s comments and mixed U.S. data, markets shifted focus towards the annual Jackson Hole symposium next week where some expect the Fed to signal a change in direction with regards to its asset purchase plans.
U.S. retail sales fell 1.1per cent in July, more than economists expected but industrial production numbers showed that output at U.S. factories surged in July. and
Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar hovered near a one-month low. [CAD/]
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin traded at US$45,244, not far from Saturday’s three-month high of US$48,190. Ether stood at US$3,042. REUTERS
Tencent Music posts over 15per cent rise in quarterly revenue
China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group posted a 15.5per cent rise in quarterly revenue on Monday, as its advertising business rebounded and more people subscribed to its music streaming platform.
Total revenue of the Tencent Holdings Ltd-controlled company rose to 8.01 billion yuan (US$1.24 billion) in the second quarter. Analysts were expecting revenue of 8.13 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
(US$1 = 6.4742 Chinese yuan renminbi). REUTERS
Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee
Credit Suisse has drafted a former Chief Operating Officer of UBS and heads the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors. The new chair, Antonio Orta Osorio, has been strengthening the bank’s defenses following a series of scandals.
Axel Lehmann, who left UBS in January, will join Credit Suisse’s board of directors on October 1. Juan Columbus, who played a risk role at Lloyds Banking Group and Alter Osorio’s Santander, will also join Credit Suisse’s board of directors.
Credit Suisse’s reputation for risk management has been hit this year by two crises surrounding professional finance firm Greensill Capital and the family office Arquegos. In two incidents, Credit Suisse liquidated a $ 10 billion investment fund, losing $ 5.5 billion in the worst transaction loss in 165 years of history.
NS Damn report Regarding the loss of Arquegos announced last month, it describes the “fundamental failure of management and control” and “lazy attitude toward risk” at Credit Suisse’s investment bank.
Alter Osorio, who escaped Lloyds from the financial crisis, Join Credit Suisse Board of Directors In April, he said the bank’s plight was the worst he had ever seen in his career. He also promised an urgent review of risk management, strategy and culture. The final details of the review are scheduled by the end of the year.
On Friday morning, Alter Osorio said the proposed appointment of Lehman and Columbus to the board would help strengthen Credit Suisse’s risk management.
“With both deep experience in risk management and business leadership and a career of nearly 30 years in financial services, they are in shaping the strategic restructuring of banks and strengthening the culture of risk management and personal responsibility and accountability. Will make an immeasurable contribution. “He said.
Lehman was Chief Operating Officer of UBS and President of Private and Corporate Banks. His career at UBS and earlier in the Zurich Insurance Group included several risk management roles.
Columbus was Lloyd’s Chief Risk Officer and Chief Operating Officer from 2011 to 2020. Previously, he was Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer of Santander’s UK operations. He has been a member of ING’s Audit and Risk Committee since 2020.
Andreas Gottschling resigned from his role as Chairman of Credit Suisse’s Risk Committee in April after several major shareholders have shown that they will do so. Vote against his reelection..
Richard Meddings, TSB Bank’s executive chair, has been the Interim Chairman of the Credit Suisse Risk Committee since April. He will continue to lead the bank’s audit committee.
Last month, Credit Suisse Hired David Wildermas, Former Deputy Risk Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Goldman Sachs. Wildams will move from New York to Zurich to take up his new position by February 2022.
Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee Source link Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee. FT
Global shares mixed as caution sets in on coronavirus worry
Global shares were mixed Thursday as caution set in among investors after banks and industrial companies helped lift stocks mostly higher on Wall Street.
France’s CAC 40 inched up less than 0.1% to 6,860.88 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX was virtually unchanged at 15,826.76. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2% to 7,205.48. U.S. shares were set to be mixed, with Dow futures up nearly 0.1% at 35,398. S&P 500 futures inched down less than 0.1% to 4,439.25.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down 0.2% to finish at 28,015.02. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.4% to 3,208.38 after seesawing earlier in the day. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended up less than 0.1% at 7,588.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.5% to 26,517.82, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2% to 3,524.74.
Worries continued in the region about the recent regulatory crackdown in China. Analysts said the next target appeared to be the online insurance industry.
“This comes amid increasing COVID-19 risks, with further tightening of restrictions in several cities potentially impacting the services sector near-term,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
COVID-19 infection cases are also surging in Japan, where a state of emergency has been in place, even as the nation hosted the Tokyo Olympics and plans to do the same for the Paralympics, which open later this month. New cases are reaching record highs in Tokyo and several other regions. Medical officials say hospital facilities are getting stretched thin.
“On the COVID-19 front, worries over growing restrictions are becoming a cause of concern. Growth expectations in the region will likely take a hit in the coming weeks. The recent resurgence of the virus will probably slow the economic recovery,” said Anderson Alves, a trader at ActivTrades.
After a stumbling start to the week, stocks have been moving higher on the back of strong earnings and better-than-expected economic data. Investors’ concerns about inflation and uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s future plans to ease up on its support for low interest rates have been hanging over the market.
While the headline figures may seem bad, most of the rise in consumer prices has been tied to very specific goods that are not expected to impact the long-term health of the economy, like used cars, building materials and hotel rooms. These items came into short supply during the pandemic, and the increased economic activity has made prices for them rise faster than usual.
The Federal Reserve has repeatedly said it believes any increase in inflation would be temporary and largely a result of supply disruptions that happened because of the pandemic. Investors will get another inflation snapshot Thursday, when the Labor Department issues its July wholesale price data.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 4 cents to $69.21 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, edged up 1 cent to $71.45 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar slipped to 110.40 yen from 110.41 yen. The euro cost $1.1740, up from $1.1738. AP
- Indonesian president’s approval hit by handling of pandemic: Survey 26/08/2021
- Indonesia’s B40 biodiesel plan faces new delay due to palm price 26/08/2021
- What is the Islamic State threat in Afghanistan? 26/08/2021
- S Korea parliament committee votes to curb Google, Apple commission dominance 26/08/2021
- The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home is out and is that Doc Ock we see? 26/08/2021