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Switching to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty: Study

Switching to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels can help reduce carbon emissions but at the expense of increased energy inequality, claims a study.

The study published in the journal 'Energy Research & Social Science' found that renewable energy consumption reduces carbon emissions more effectively when it occurs in a context of increasing inequality. Conversely, it reduces emissions to a lesser degree when occurring in a context of decreasing inequality.

The study of 175 nations from 1990 to 2014 supports previous claims by researchers who argue that renewable energy consumption may be indirectly driving energy poverty.

Energy poverty is when a household has no or inadequate access to energy services such as heating, cooling, lighting, and use of appliances due to a combination of factors: low income, increasing utility rates, and inefficient buildings and appliances.

Julius McGee, an author of the study said that in nations like the United States where fossil fuel energy ...

July 16, 2019


India seeks to raise $47 bln from stake sales in state firms over 5 years-sources

The Indian government has plans to raise as much as 3.25 trillion rupees ($47.4 billion) in the next five years by reducing its stakes in some large state-owned firms to 40%, two senior government officials told Reuters, in the nation’s biggest privatization push in more than two decades.

Last week, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget announced that the government will look to reduce direct controlling stakes in some state-run firms on a case-by-case basis.

The plan will open up a steady stream of state companies to greater private investment, and target the kind of annual divestment revenue that will be crucial to meet fiscal deficit targets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration already sold government stakes in a host of companies to raise a record $40.92 billion in his first five-year term, nearly three times the divestment proceeds of $14.52 billion achieved by the Congress party government in 2009-2014. Modi was re-elected ...

July 12, 2019


Sony, Daiwa eye $185 million fund to invest in high-tech start-ups

Sony Corp. said Wednesday it will set up a venture fund of around 20 billion yen ($185 million) with a Daiwa Securities Group Inc. unit to invest in prospective start-ups.

Innovation Growth Ventures Co. has been established by Sony and Daiwa Capital Holdings Co. to support the growth of companies with innovative technologies in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and finance.

The initiative follows that of other financial institutions in Japan, such as Nomura Holdings Inc., which have created funds to invest in smaller prospective companies amid the Bank of Japan's prolonged low-interest policy that have squeezed their profits.

Sony will screen investment targets in Japan and abroad from the technological aspect, while Daiwa Capital will provide support with stock market listings and matchings with other listed firms.

Entities including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. have already signed to invest in the fund, ...

July 8, 2019


TPG Raises About $14 Billion for Buyout, Health-Care Funds

Private equity firm TPG has raised almost $14 billion for its eighth flagship buyout fund and a supplementary health-care pool as investors pour money into the industry.

The firm’s latest flagship buyout fund, TPG Partners VIII, brought in about $11.2 billion, according to regulatory filings, and is fully subscribed. A health-care fund, TPG Healthcare Partners, raised another $2.6 billion, a filing showed. That pool will invest alongside the main fund in health-care deals.

The latest fundraising surpasses the $10.5 billion amassed for its seventh main pool in May 2016. Luke Barrett, a spokesman for TPG, whose main offices are in San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas, declined to comment.

TPG and peers are benefiting from a robust fundraising market as investors continue to express confidence in the asset class. Private equity firms raised about $224 billion through the first half of this year, according to Preqin data.

Private equity health-care fundraising reached $122 billion ...

July 4, 2019


Top 40 miners’ good performance not enough for investors

The world’s 40 largest mining companies continued to consolidate their stellar performance of the past several years by delivering steady growth in 2018 according to PwC’s Mine 2019report released yesterday.

  • Revenue up 8% to $683 billion
  • EBITDA up 4% to $165 billion
  • Record dividend paid to shareholders of $43 billion up 13%
  • Market capitalisation of the Top 40 down 18% to $757 billion, 31 Dec 2018 with partial recovery thereafter

As a group, the Top 40 increased revenue by 8%, buoyed by higher commodity prices and marginally improved production. They also boosted cash flows, paid down debt and provided a record dividend to shareholders of $43 billion.  Forecasts indicate continued steady performance in 2019. Revenue should remain stable, with weaker prices for coal and copper offsetting marginally higher production and higher average prices for iron ore.

Yet investors seemed unimpressed by the Top 40’s result, judging by market valuations, which fell 18% over 2018. While total ...

July 1, 2019


Gold jumps to 6-year high on low rates, slowing economy and heightened geopolitical tensions

Gold prices hit their highest level in six years on Tuesday as investors plowed into the precious metal amid the prospects for lower interest rates, a softer global economy and increased geopolitical tensions.

Futures for August delivery hit a high of $1,442.90 per ounce overnight, its highest level since May 14, 2013, when it reached $1,444.90. Gold settled slightly higher $1,418.70.

Gold has been on a tear, rallying more than 8% this month and over 9% for the quarter. Those gains put the metal on pace for its best monthly and quarterly performances since 2016.

In that time, expectations for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates have increased sharply. Traders are currently pricing in a 100% probability of a rate cut in July, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The Fed said last week it will “act as appropriate” to maintain the current economic expansion. The announcement sent rates along with the ...

June 27, 2019


Europe Aims to Produce Prototype for New Fighter Plane by 2026

France, Germany and Spain will move a step further to building a new combat plane on Monday at the Paris Air Show when defense ministers will sign a cooperation accord to produce a prototype.

The three European countries are aiming to produce the prototype in 2026, the French president’s office said. The project was launched in 2017 by President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Read More: Airbus Calls on Europe to Present United Front on Future Fighter

Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA and the German arm of Airbus SE are part of the alliance to manufacture the plane and will jointly submit their industrial plans to produce the prototype, officials in Macron’s office told reporters in a briefing on Friday. They declined to comment on specific industrial contracts -- on engines or avionics -- but indicated announcements may come Monday.

France and Germany are still in talks over the export policy they will adopt ...

June 24, 2019


U.S. solar power installation outlook brightens on falling costs -report

The U.S. solar energy industry lifted its installation outlook for this year and beyond thanks to robust demand for large-scale projects by utilities buying the clean energy source for its low cost, according to a report published on Tuesday.

In 2019, installations are expected to be up 25 percent from 2018 to 13.3 gigawatts, the report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie said. The groups' previous forecast called for 14 percent growth this year.

The change is primarily due to late project announcements in Texas, the report said.

The rosy outlook marks an about-face from 2018, when installations fell 2 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped 30 percent tariffs on overseas-made solar panels.

Since then, global panel prices have fallen dramatically due to an oversupply of panels in top producer China, which cut incentives for installations there. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, monocrystalline ...

June 20, 2019


Norway forces sovereign wealth fund to go greener

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest at more than $1 trillion, is set to become greener by withdrawing further from fossil fuels, the Norwegian parliament decided on Wednesday. 

To comply with the new directive, the fund looks set to divest assets in mining giants working with coal, such as Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, and energy companies such as Germany's RWE and Italy's Enel.

Previously, the fund was told to only keep clear of mining companies or energy producers whose coal-related activities represented 30 percent or more of their business.

But that allowed large coal players to slip through the cracks since most of their revenue came from other activities.

Going forward companies will be judged on production levels and the fund won't be able to invest in companies producing more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year or more than 10,000 MW of electricity from coal.

According to several environmental groups, ...

June 14, 2019


KKR to buy Axel Springer for 6.8 billion euros

KKR & Co. KKR, +0.87% is making a public takeover offer for the shares of Axel Springer SE (SPR.XE) after reaching an agreement with the German media company.

KKR will offer all Axel Springer shareholders 63 euros ($71.31) a share in cash, Axel Springer said Wednesday in a press release. The takeover offer will be subject to a minimum acceptance of 20%, Axel Springer said.

According to FactSet, Axel Springer has 107.9 million shares. Based on this, the private-equity firm's offer values the company at EUR6.8 billion.

Axel Springer's executive and supervisory board said they will support KKR's takeover offer, and KKR has entered a shareholder agreement with Friede Springer, widow of the company's founder and Chief Executive Matthias Doepfner. They won't accept the public takeover offer and will continue to be involved in Axel Springer to the same extent as before, Axel Springer said.

Axel Springer shares closed at EUR56.00 on Tuesday. Last ...

June 12, 2019